October 30th-November 3rd


October 30th

Plate Motion Louisiana Companion Lesson

Students read the article “Using Rock as a Clock: Dating the Dinosaur Extinction” to learn what radioactive dating is and how geologists use it to estimate the ages of different rock
formations. Using this technique, along with other Earth science concepts such as relative dating, geologists can create a time line and explain when different events in Earth’s history occurred. This lesson builds on and reinforces students’ understanding of how information collected from rock can tell the history of Earth. It also provides more context for students to understand how scientists use fossils in their pursuit of understanding Earth’s history in the rock record. After the teacher models Active Reading, students annotate and then reflect on their annotations in partner and whole-class discussions. Students then revisit the article to learn more about radioactive dating. The purpose of this lesson is for students to develop an understanding of what radioactive dating is and
how it is used to estimate the age of Earth’s materials and different events that happened in Earth’s history.


October 31st


 Plate Motion Lesson 3.4


1: Warm-Up (10 min.)

Students apply their understanding of the concepts related to the central mystery of the unit as they use the Sim to re-create what happened to separate the Mesosaurus fossils.

2: Examining Evidence About Plate Motion (10 min.)

Students consider all the evidence they have about the plate boundary between South America and Africa.

3: Reasoning About Plate Motion (15 min.)

Students use a graphic organizer called the Reasoning Tool to explain how the evidence about the plate boundary between South America and Africa relates to one of two claims.

(Teacher Only) Video: Indian Plate Motion (5 min.)

Students watch a video about Dr. Wilson, the real-life paleontologist who was introduced in Lesson 1.2. The video helps students make connections between what they have learned about plate motion and real-world research.

(Teacher Only) Explaining the Homework Assignment (5 min.)

The teacher explains the homework assignment so that students will be prepared to write a scientific argument independently at home.

4: Homework

Students practice written argumentation as they write a concluding message to Dr. Moraga about how the Mesosaurus fossils got so far apart from each other.

5: Self-Assessment (Optional)

Students check their understanding of important content in the unit, and are given a chance to reflect on additional questions they have about why the fossils of Mesosaurus that once lived together are found in different locations on Earth now.



November 1st

Plate Motion Lesson 4.1

1: Warm-Up (5 min.)

Students are provided with a plate boundary map and are invited to speculate about the geology near the state of Jalisco in Mexico.

2: Introducing the Jalisco Block (5 min.)

Students are introduced to the context, question, and claims that they will consider during the Science Seminar sequence.

3: Analyzing Evidence (25 min.)

Students examine and annotate evidence about the movement of the Jalisco Block in preparation for sorting each piece of evidence based on the claim it supports.

4: Sorting Evidence (10 min.)

Students sort the evidence based on which claim they think it supports in order to help them organize their thinking in advance of the Science Seminar discussion in the next lesson.

5: Homework

Students prepare for the Science Seminar discussion by reading about an analogous case of plate motion in Baja California.


November 2nd

Plate Motion Lesson 4.3

1: Warm-Up (5 min.)

Students consider how a single piece of evidence can be used to support opposing claims.

2: Using the Reasoning Tool (15 min.)

Students use the Reasoning Tool to lay out their arguments in preparation for writing.

3: Organizing Ideas in the Reasoning Tool (10 min.)

Students plan how they will use their Reasoning Tools to write their scientific arguments. This activity provides an opportunity for an On-the-Fly Assessment of students’ ability to organize the evidence they use to construct arguments in support of their claims.

4: Writing a Scientific Argument (15 min.)

Students apply their knowledge of plate motion as they write a convincing scientific argument about the Science Seminar Question. Student writing represents an opportunity for students to demonstrate understanding through a three dimensional performance. Student writing can be scored by referencing the provided rubric in the Plate Motion Rubrics for Final Written Argument (in Digital Resources).

5: Homework

Students engage in an important part of the writing process by reviewing and revising their written arguments.

6: Self-Assessment (Optional)

Students check their understanding of important content in the unit, and are given a chance to reflect on additional questions they have about why the fossils of Mesosaurus that once lived together are found in different locations on Earth now.


7. Students will complete Flocabulary work on plate motion in class



November 3rd

Building Pangaea Gizmo

  • Learn the names of major landmasses.
  • Explain the theory of continental drift.
  • Fit the landmasses together to form an ancient supercontinent called Pangaea.
  • Use several types of evidence (fossils, rocks, glaciers) to revise their model of Pangaea.
  • Practice plate motion review blooket before end of unit assessment for 11/6/23
  • Make up any missed assignments