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Monday, February 06, 2012

The earth, it is a-changin'

Last Friday, as a brief prelude to our upcoming unit in science, I gave the kids a paper that had 2 claims on it.

#1: The surface of the earth IS constantly changing.

#2: The surface of the earth IS NOT constantly changing.

They had to choose a claim and then support their claim by writing evidence and examples. Reasoning and justification -- NOT two of my students' strong suits.

I was looking through their responses and just had to share. I should note that before I turned them loose, we did talk a bit about what "surface" meant, and how that applied to the earth. How the earth was a sphere (even though many said circle) and that the surface of the sphere was the outside, the ground, the part we walked on and could see. This may have influenced some of the answers...

Here is a sampling from those who chose Claim 2 (NOT changing):

- I have seen the seasons and there is always grass and dirt every year.

- Yes, because there are not new stuff around the earth.

- Because it is not moving it is not changing colors and the earth it's not going up and down.

- The earth is a sphere and never going to change to another shape.

- The earth is not changing because it just stays on the same place it never does something different. It doesn't spin around the sun the sun is the one spinning around the earth because the earth doesn't move. (Galileo opponents would be so proud!)

And a few from those who chose Claim 1 (Surface IS changing):

- The surface of the earth is changing by the different people that are coming to the united states of America.

- Yes, because the grass is green and it changes to brown sometimes.

- Where we live is on a circle (Not reasoning AND totally opposite to what we talked about beforehand)

- In earth all the days some people start inventing new things like the scientists invent things by doing experiments in the museum.

- Changes from the outside of the earth some are night some is day that changes the earth.

- The earth is changing because they building new apartments.

And ONE kid who actually explained it properly:

- New plants form and the ground cracks when there is an earthquake. When an ocean dries up it turns into a desert changing earth's surface.

There seems to be a LOT of room for learning in this unit! Can't wait!


Profe said...

I like the circular logic (or should I say spherical?) I get this sometimes when I try to explain things like time markers and the use of preterit vs. imperfect to my kids. Preterit is used to describe events in the past and Imperfect is used for descriptions in the past. But if asked on a quiz, some of the kids' explanation are pretty out there. The latest in our classroom is trying to explain our classroom "economy" vs. the real world economy

Almost American said...

Wow. Just wow!