Earth Science Syllabus

Earth Science Syllabus

This syllabus applies to Summer School 2018 at Hoover High School

Teacher: Bill Weissbard
Phone:  818-242-6801 x81314

The goal of this course is to refresh and reteach essential concepts of Earth Science.

Course Outline:

Major topics to be covered include;
understanding maps and geologic features
rocks, their origin and transformation
plate tectonics
mountain building (earthquakes and volcanoes), California geology
oceans, physical oceanography
the atmosphere
solar and space science


A standard grading scale will be used
100% > A >= 90%
90% > B >= 80%
80% > C >= 70%
70% > D >= 60%
50% > F
Grading basis (approximate):
Quizzes and Unit Tests 50%
Classwork and Homework 40%
Behavior and citizenship 10%
Please note: this course will include daily quizzes and Unit tests. A final exam is not planned at this time.


Textbook: Earth Science (Holt-California Edition); Allison, DeGaetano, Pasachoff
contains lecture materials not available in the textbook and links to videos
Online quizzes: help

Pacing Plan – Earth Science

Week 1: 6/11  U1 – U2.2
Week 2: 6/18
Week 3: 6/25
Week 4: 7/2
Week 5: 7/9
Semester ends Friday 7/13

Unit Plan

Unit Plan Semester A:

  1. Unit 1 Maps of the world
    1. Maps as models of the earth
      global projections, topography, topographic maps
    2.  Core to crust (the inside out story)
      major geologic features
      continents, oceans, ice caps, mountains, plains
    3.  minerals of the earth’s crust and distribution (maps)
  2. Unit 2 Rocks
    1. rock types,
    2. rock formation
    3. igneous, metamorphic, sedimentary
    4. the rock cycle
  3.  Unit 3 Resources and Energy
    1. Minerals and mining
      1. methods and environmental hazards
    2.  coal mining and drilling for oil
      1. hydrocarbon usage and global warming
    3. renewable  energy sources
      1. hydroelectric, solar and wind
  4. Unit 4 Plate tectonics
    1. continental movement from Pangea to Present
    2. plate collisions
      1. mountain building (Alps, Himalayas,)
    3. plate subduction
    4. magma and hot spots, volcanoes
      1. the ring of fire
    5. California geology, fault lines, earthquakes
      1. the speed of sound in the crust, s and p waves

Unit Plan Semester B:

  1. Unit 5 The oceans
    1. physical oceanography
    2. geology of the ocean floor
      1. trenches, mountains, magnetics
      2. evidence for pole flip
    3. ocean water:
      1. composition, salinity, acidity
      2. ocean temperature, temperature distribution,
        1. total energy content
    4. transport mechanisms:
      1. the Gulf Stream
      2. polar melt flow
        1. destruction of the polar ice cap, impact on the Gulf Stream and potential mini ice age in Europe
  2. Unit 6 The atmosphere
    1. structure and compositions of the atmosphere
      1. temperature, winds, clouds
      2. weather
      3. climate
  3. Unit 7 The upper atmosphere – the gateway to space
    1. Na layer – C14 from Nitrogen (we’re closer to space than you might think)
    2. sun/earth system
      1.  seasons
      2. solar flares, northern lights – impact on telecommunication satellites
  4. Unit 8  Space science
    1. solar system
    2. stellar evolution – HR diagram
    3. big bang theory
    4. Space and space weather
    5. interplanetary objects – asteroids, meteors, comets
    6. the asteroid belt, L4*, L5* asteroid fields


Teaching aids, Lesson Plans and comments