The Standards

High School

Earth's Systems

Students who demonstrate understanding can:



Develop a model to illustrate how Earth’s internal and surface processes operate at different spatial and temporal scales to form continental and ocean-floor features. HS-ESS2-1

Clarification Statement and Assessment Boundary

Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on how the appearance of land features (such as mountains, valleys, and plateaus) and sea-floor features (such as trenches, ridges, and seamounts) are a result of both constructive forces (such as volcanism, tectonic uplift, and orogeny) and destructive mechanisms (such as weathering, mass wasting, and coastal erosion).

Assessment Boundary: Assessment does not include memorization of the details of the formation of specific geographic features of Earth’s surface.

Common Core State Standards Connections

  • SL.11-12.5 - Make strategic use of digital media (e.g., textual, graphical, audio, visual, and interactive elements) in presentations to enhance understanding of findings, reasoning, and evidence and to add interest. (HS-ESS2-1)
  • HSN-Q.A.1 - Use units as a way to understand problems and to guide the solution of multi-step problems; choose and interpret units consistently in formulas; choose and interpret the scale and the origin in graphs and data displays. (HS-ESS2-1)
  • HSN-Q.A.2 - Define appropriate quantities for the purpose of descriptive modeling. (HS-ESS2-1)
  • HSN-Q.A.3 - Choose a level of accuracy appropriate to limitations on measurement when reporting quantities. (HS-ESS2-1)
  • MP.2 - Reason abstractly and quantitatively. (HS-ESS2-1)
  • MP.4 - Model with mathematics. (HS-ESS2-1)

Model Course Mapping

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