Updated October 2014

CK-12: Earth Science

Multimedia resources inspire kids to hypothesize, investigate, prove

Subjects & skills
  • Critical Thinking

  • Science
Grades This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
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If you're looking for direct instruction in this broad array of Earth science tools, you might pick the resource that has kids read a passage and label Earth’s layers. However, the Next Generation of Science Standards asks kids to move beyond labeling and use scientific data to understand how the model was developed. CK-12's Earth Science module (via the website or Chrome app) does this, too. In the Earth’s Polygraph 2 simulation, kids try to make sense of how seismic waves move through Earth. Unfortunately, at the time of review, the link to the interactive was broken, but with some online searching you can also find the same resource externally.

Other NGSS scientific practices, such as testing hypotheses, are also highlighted. With the video "What Apollo Astronauts Saw," kids can puzzle through a problem that NASA scientists are currently struggling with. In "Birth of an Ocean," students examine NASA images of Earth from the International Space Station. In this and many other tasks, kids make claims about tectonic movement and back them up with evidence from both text and image resources. Keep in mind that you'll have to dig through more than 50 concept titles linked to plate tectonics to find the best tools for your classes. While this is time-consuming, the sheer number or resources increases the chance you'll find something to support your curriculum.

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Teacher Reviews

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Featured review by
Barbara H. ,
A great resource for Earth Science Teachers wanting to move away from the traditional textbook!

Overall, I think CK-12 is a great resource to introduce a topic or to provide additional resources to a student that is struggling understanding a difficult topic, for example: the Coriolis Effect or Solar and Lunar Eclipses. Working in a 1:1 district, we have moved away from a traditional textbook but some of my students would benefit from some pre-reading. I would most likely use this to flip my lessons and assign a passage or video clip before I teach the lesson. I would also use this to personalize learning and assign enrichment activities to students that need additional explanations to master the concepts. One way that this resource could serve my students better is the animations of the material. The animations are very basic and probably need more explanation for my students to really learn from them and stay interested in the topics. I also liked some of the real world applications but I felt like I needed to do a lot of clicking to find ones that I wanted to use in my classes. A more streamlined way to search the site might make this resource more user friendly to the teacher and less time consuming.

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