Reflection: Student Ownership Earth's Changing Surface Vocabulary Preview (Cornerstone Lesson) - Section 3: Explore


I selected a vocabulary word sort activity for this portion of the lesson to familiarize students with vocabulary words that will be used throughout our unit. Pre-exposure of vocabulary words, especially for English Language Learners and special education students is important for comprehension of content and concepts.    As students are sorting words they know and don’t know, I can quickly identify what words students are already familiar with and words they are not.  I pre-selected these seven words because each word is a process that changes the surface of the Earth and we will be exploring each process in upcoming lessons within the unit.  By having students analyze their own vocabulary sort supports metacognitive awareness and prepares them to discuss their thinking and reasoning for sorting them in that particular way. 

In this lesson, students were actively involved during this activity. As I walked around the room, I noticed many similarities among students in what words they knew and words they didn't know. Simultaneously, many differences were observed among the students sorting mats.  For example, many students had earthquake, landslide, and volcano in the green portion of their mat. This indicated to me that students were very familiar with those processes that change land.  As I continued making my way around the room, several differences were apparent in my observations. The words sediments, deposition, weathering, and erosion all varied from sorting mat to sorting map.  Some of the words were in the yellow portion of the mat, sort of know. and while others had them in the red section of the mat.  All in all, it was a good indicator for me to focus on those words during instruction in future lessons within this unit and do more of a review the other words earthquake, landslide, and volcano.  

  Student Ownership: Vocabulary and Definition Sort and Match
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Earth's Changing Surface Vocabulary Preview (Cornerstone Lesson)

Unit 4: Earth's Changing Surface
Lesson 1 of 11

Objective: SWBAT distinguish among seven processes that change the Earth's surface and apply these processes as they examine photos displaying land changes.

Big Idea: Students will distinguish among seven processes that change the Earth's surface by completing a vocabulary word sort . They will apply these processes as they examine photos of land changes, determine what caused the land change, and write claim statement.

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