How Does the Ring of Fire Provide Evidence of a Changing Earth?

This module is being field tested and will be available to purchase fall 2018

How Does the Ring of Fire Provide Evidence of a Changing Earth?

How Does the Ring of Fire Provide Evidence of a Changing Earth? is part of Smithsonian Science for the Classroom, a brand new curriculum series by the Smithsonian Science Education Center. It is aligned to a group of grade 4 standards. It has a focus on Earth and space science with a secondary focus on engineering. In this module, students:

  • Analyze and interpret data to explain patterns in the formation of rock layers
  • Carry out an investigation to show how erosion moves sediment from one place to another
  • Use patterns in the locations of mountain ranges, earthquakes, and volcanoes to show that tectonic plate boundaries are areas of major geologic activity
  • Design and test solutions for how structures can be built to resist earthquake damage
  • Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information regarding risks from natural hazards

Below are digital resources that support teaching of this module.

Lesson 1: Information Recorded in Rock Layers

Earth’s Landscapes: Different landscapes found on earth  

Rock Layers: A photograph of exposed rock layers

Index Fossils: An illustration show how index fossils used to identify rock layers of similar age



Lesson 2: Interpreting Evidence Found in Rock Layers

1. Fossils

2. Fossils

3. Fossils 

Photos of fossils found in the Burgess Shale

1. Rock Layer Sequences 

2. Rock Layer Sequences 

3. Rock Layer Sequences

4. Rock Layer Sequences 

5. Rock Layer Sequences

Diagrams showing rock layer sequences, including layers that have been tilted or folded, that show episodes of the wearing away of rock, and that have been offset by an earthquake).



Lesson 5: Agents of Change

Pillars of Erosion 

Scales of Erosion

Glacier: Photo of a glacier

Erosion and Weathering: A seven slide slideshow about erosion and weather.




Lesson 6: The Power of Water

Tree Roots: A photograph of tree roots growing in cracks in rocks 




Lesson 7: Major Features of Earth's Surface
Lesson 8: Major Features and Plate Boundaries
Lesson 10: Volcanic and Earthquake Hazards
Lesson 14: Use a Risk Assessment Chart
Lesson 15: Present a Risk Assessment
Kit Tips & Tricks