Reflection: Connection to Prior Knowledge Water on Earth - Liquid or Solid - Section 2: Liquid and Solid Water on Earth


Sometimes students connect to prior learning without teacher direction. They make connections to things that have been discussed in the past, much the same way they make connections to their own experiences. Teachers can facilitate these connections with questions, but when students make these connections on their own, teachers can be sure that students have internalized the information.

In the discussion about why certain places on earth are hot or cold, and if the suns and snowmen on the map are in the right places, a student suddenly began to relate the discussion to what we had learned about landforms. He said, "mountains are higher than deserts. The tops of the mountains can be so high that they are always covered with snow. Even if a storm hits the mountain it won't rain there. It will have to snow. Not every mountain is so tall, but I can put a snowman here (the Canadian Rockies) because I read that those mountains have glaciers on them. Glaciers are really cold and stay there all year."

Another student picked up on this and added, "glaciers cause erosion so the mountains might get smaller. The ice pushes the rocks down the mountains. Could the mountains get smaller like that?"

This connection to our discussions of landforms and erosion took us off on a tangent to just hot and cold places on earth, but it brought the unit together in a meaningful way. It is important to allow students to make these connections to enrich their understanding, and to enlighten ourselves about what they are really learning.

  Generalizing Understanding
  Connection to Prior Knowledge: Generalizing Understanding
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Water on Earth - Liquid or Solid

Unit 3: Understanding Our Earth
Lesson 12 of 13

Objective: SWBAT identify where they might find liquid or solid water on earth and explain why

Big Idea: Climates vary and understanding that water on earth reacts to the climate is a way to understand why water can be found as both liquid and solid on earth.

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Science, Map Skills and Knowledge, wind (Weather), erosion, solids, liquid, landforms
  50 minutes
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