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Earth Systems I Can Statements


2011-2012 I Can Statements

Nature of Earth Systems Science

N1—I can name and describe the four main Earth systems (geosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, & biosphere) and some basic interactions               
      between them.
N2—I can distinguish between observations and inferences.
N3—I can create and analyze science related graphs.

Formation of the Universe

U1—I can explain how the study of spectra helps us learn about the  
U2—I can explain the Doppler Effect.
U3—I can describe red shift and blue shift and how they enable scientists to determine the motion of a star relative to Earth.
U4—I can describe the Big Bang Theory and the evidence that supports this theory.
U5—I can explain how ideas about the universe have changed over the years.

Formation of the Solar System

U6—I can explain nuclear fusion.
U7—I can explain how the elements in the universe are formed.
U8—I can describe the formation of our solar system.
U9—I can compare the life cycle of the sun to the life cycles of other stars.

Plate Tectonics

G1—I can explain Alfred Wegener’s continental drift hypothesis and tell why it was not accepted.
G2—I can explain and evaluate the evidence for the theory of plate tectonics.
G3—I can describe the location of the major plates and plate boundaries.
G4—I can identify the energy source that causes plates to move and demonstrate related movements (magma and plates).
G5—I can model and compare movements along plate boundaries and describe the landforms that result from this movement.
G6—I can explain how earthquakes and volcanoes can occur at locations other than plate boundaries.
G7—I can explain how the movements of plates causes changes in the other sphere.


A1—I can explain the possible pathways the sun’s energy takes as it reaches Earth.
A2—I can compare climate and weather.
A3—I can describe the effect of solar energy and the earth’s rotation on climate and weather. (Seasons, Coriolis Effect, El Nino)
A4—I can describe ozone and explain how it can be good or bad.
A5—I can explain the greenhouse effect and how it can be good or bad.
A6—I can explain how the atmosphere interacts with other spheres.

Cycles of Nature

C1—I can identify the reservoirs of Earth’s water cycle and compare the size of these reservoirs.
C2—I can illustrate and explain Earth’s water cycle.
C3—I can describe the processes that move water.
C4—I can explain the carbon cycle and how humans might be changing this cycle.
C5—I can explain the nitrogen cycle and how human actions might affect this cycle.

Hydrosphere—Fresh Water

H1—I can use knowledge of the characteristics of water to analyze a water pollution problem.
H2—I can create a long-term water use plan.


H3—I can describe the movements of water in the oceans. (waves, currents, El Niño, tides).
H4—I can describe how the physical properties of oceans affect life (salt, depth, tides, and temperature).
H5—I can explain how sea levels have changed in the past and predict how future changes could affect life on Earth.
H6—I can explain how the hydrosphere interacts with other spheres.

Earth’s Biomes

B1—I can observe and list abiotic and biotic factors in different ecosystems.
B2—I can predict how an ecosystem will change as a result of changes in abiotic and/or biotic factors.
B3—I can explain how energy enters most of Earth’s ecosystems through photosynthesis.
B4—I can compare the paths of energy as it is transferred through different ecosystems           
(both land and water).
B5—I can describe different biomes including abiotic factors, biotic

factors, location, and biodiversity.  


B6—I can explain the importance of biodiversity  and evaluate the  
diversity in a specific area.
B7—I can explain factors that contributed to extinctions in the past and contribute to extinctions now.
B8—I can explain how the biosphere interacts with other spheres.

Conditions that Sustain Life

S1—I can compare the conditions that support life on Earth  (atmosphere,

solar energy, and water) to the conditions of other bodies in the

solar system and the universe.