Distribution of Elements in Earth’s Crust
LevelHigh School — General
In this activity, students read a passage about how planets in our solar system formed and why the element iridium is so rare in Earth’s crust. They then answer questions about the information presented, testing their non-fiction reading comprehension.
Students read a passage entitled “Iridium: Calling Card from Outer Space,” which contextualizes information that is key to developing an in-depth understanding of the concepts presented in the film The Day the Mesozoic Died. The passage can be used as a prefilm activity or an extension activity after watching the film. After reading the passage and answering the analysis questions, students can also be given a reading comprehension assessment, included at the end of the “Teacher Materials.”
Student Learning Targets
Determine the central ideas and themes of a scientific text.
Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts.
Identify and determine the meaning of key terms in the scientific domain based on context and by using reference resources.
Explain the conditions necessary for the formation of our solar system and Earth-like planets.
Describe the value of chemical analysis for identifying the origin of a substance or material.
asteroid, big bang, coalesce, differentiation, fusion, heavy elements, iridium, meteor, meteorite, nebula, planet, planetesimal, solar wind, star, supernova
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HS-ESS1-1, HS-ESS1-2, HS-ESS1-3, HS-ESS1-6; SEP6
Common Core (2010)
Vision and Change (2009)
CC5; DP1, DP4