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Earth Science Series 1 of 3: Mapping, Minerals, and Rocks

Earth Science 1

This class is only offered once per year in September.

Please note:
If you enroll in Series 1, you are guaranteed space in the remaining earth science classes as long as you enroll before the deadline for each class.

This is part 1 of 3 in the full year (24 weeks) Earth Science series.
This first 4 week class gives you the chance to make sure our format is a good fit for your student's learning needs without you having to commit to a full year of classes. However, it is packed with information and is the foundation for our Earth Science studies. There are two additional sessions to complete the course.

It is not required, but it is highly recommended that you take these classes in order.

Other classes in the series include:
Earth Science Session 2: Our Dynamic Earth (starts in October for 10 weeks)
Earth Science Session 3: The Hydrosphere and Atmosphere (starts in January for 10 weeks)

This will not be a “fluff” class, or an “overview”. This is an intensive, science heavy class where students will learn all of the major foundations of Earth Science, backed up with hands on labs. There will be no surface skimming in this class! We are going to go deep- all the way to the core!

In this session, students will be learning what Earth Science is and the branches of science that pertain to it. We will learn how scientists map our earth, and we will get hands on with doing it ourselves! We will then discuss earth chemistry: elements and states of matter. The section will finish up with a study on minerals, the 3 types of rocks (igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary), and the rock cycle. Lots of hands on labs!

I have created educational videos to accompany the course—some of these will be on site at various areas around the world. Each week, there will be a choice of hands on projects for students to complete to reinforce their knowledge of the material.

No live classesview lessons on YOUR schedule. In general, expect 1.5-2.5 hours to work through the lesson plan each week, and an additional 2-5 hours working on assignments (it really depends what assignment your child chooses to do and how they manage their time). For classes with two levels, the material is the same for boththe depth of the assignments differs. Younger students should usually be placed in Level 1. Older students, or younger students who want more of a challenge, should be placed in Level 2.

Each lesson consists of a fully narrated PowerPoint presentation with images and videos to enhance the topics. Students will have access to our learning management system, Canvas, for viewing their lesson, printing worksheets, taking quizzes, viewing/submitting assignments, participating in discussions, and viewing grades/feedback. Read more details about class format.

Week 1
We'll start off with the basics, and learn what earth science is (and isn't), the 5 main earth systems that we'll be focusing on throughout the year, and how to map with both latitude/longitude and topography.

Week 2
We'll learn about the chemistry of the Earth, starting all the way back with atoms! We'll then use this knowledge to get a better understanding of the elements that makes up the different Earth systems, and start our unit on minerals.

Week 3
This week is focused on minerals, building on the foundational information we learned last week. We'll learn about how and where they are formed, the different groups, and get hands on with how to identify minerals using scratch, hardness, luster, and other characteristics.

Week 4
For our final week of Session 1, we move from minerals to rocks. We'll discuss how they are formed, the different types (sedimentary, metamorphic, and igneous), and how they are broken down through the process of weathering, erosion, and deposition.

All labs are OPTIONAL and not required to complete the work.
These materials will allow students to follow along with the in-lesson labs.
Students who do not have materials can simply follow along with me in the video.

Week 3 lab materials:
Hot water
flat dish or pan (like a cookie sheet)
Wax paper/foil
candle wax

Mineral Samples: You can use any brand, but they should be labeled so you can identify them, your kit should come with testing equipment.
If not, get as many of these items as you can: Rough white porcelain tile (not glazed), glass, steel nail, copper, a US penny from 1982 or older will work for this

Rock Samples: You can use any brand, but they should be labeled so you can identify them and include samples of igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks.

Week 4 lab materials:
LAB 1:
Clear jar with lid (tall and narrow is best)
3 tablespoons each of dirt, small gravel, and large gravel

LAB 2:
quinoa or cous cous
raw popcorn kernels
salt or sugar
raw beans like pinto, kidney, etc.
a ruler that measures millimeters.

LAB 3:
½ cup of water

Next Level Homeschool is a firm believer that not all learning should happen from behind a screen! That's why we give students the freedom to submit their assignments in the way THEY want to! We don't want regurgitation learning here. By allowing students to use their own talents, skills, and passions to complete assignments, they become even more engaged and retain the information. Why? Because now it's literally in their hands! We receive thousands of projects every year from our students: written reports, videos, models, posters, Scratch, Minecraft, Roblox, songs, poems, skits, drawings, sculptures, craftswe've seen it ALL! And WE LOVE IT!!

Click here to view just a few projects we've received from students who have taken this class and see what YOUR kid could be learning with Next Level Homeschool!

Course Features

  • Schedule Sep 5 - Oct 10
  • Activities Science
  • Lessons 4
  • Suggested Ages 11-17 Two Levels
  • Time This class is currently closed for enrollments. Join our mailing list to be notified when enrollment opens.