FOSS Module Summary

Module Summary – Solid Earth (CA Ed.)


The Solid Earth Module consists of five sequential investigations, each designed to introduce or reinforce concepts in earth science. The investigations provide students with firsthand experiences with rocks and minerals, and modeling experiences to study changes to rocks and minerals at Earth's surface.


  • Learn that rocks are composed of minerals and that minerals cannot be physically separated into other materials.
  • Use measurement in the context of scientific investigations.
  • Use evaporation to investigate rock composition.
  • Investigate the effect of vinegar (acid) on a specific mineral, calcite.
  • Identify and organize minerals with a diagnostic table of color, hardness, streak, luster, cleavage, and other special properties.
  • Become familiar with the processes that form igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks and their place in the rock cycle.
  • Understand the processes that slowly change Earth's surface (physical and chemical weathering, erosion, and deposition) and those that cause more rapid changes (landslides, volcanism, floods, and earthquakes).
  • Observe the effect of water on surface features of the land, using stream tables.
  • Follow written instructions to conduct a scientific investigation.
  • Plan and conduct stream-table investigations.
  • Develop questions and perform scientific investigations to test predictions and draw conclusions.

For a description of each investigation in the Solid Earth Module and the correlations to the National Science Education Standards, download the Module Overview PDF.

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