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Unit 5: Earth’s Systems and Resources
Chapters 8+9
Finals Week (30 multiple choice + free response section)
The earth is 4.5 Billion years old and has been through incredible changes. In this unit, we will look at the
natural processes that change the earth over time, and how those changes can benefit and threaten
humans. We will also examine Earth’s mineral, soil and water resources, as well as current issues
regarding sustainable use of these resources and providing access for all people.
Essential Questions:
1) How was Earth formed, and what ongoing processes shape the earth and living things on it?
2) How are rocks formed and changed over time, and what can they tell us about the history of our planet?
3) Where are earth’s water resources found, and how do humans use them?
4) How are earth’s water resources distributed amongst the human population?
5) How can humans manage mineral, soil and water resources to ensure sustainable access for all?
Major Topics:
Formation of Earth – Minerals – Layers/Structure of Earth – Tectonic Plates – Earthquakes – Volcanoes –
Rock Cycle – Weathering – Erosion – Soil Formation and Properties – Soil Problems and Conservation –
Earth’s Water Resources – Groundwater – Aquifers – Water Tables – Water Management – Human
Water Use – Unequal Access to Water – Conservation of Water – Water Ownership
 describe the formation of Earth and the distribution of critical elements on Earth.
 define the theory of plate tectonics and discuss its importance in environmental science.
 describe the rock cycle and discuss its importance in environmental science.
 explain how soil forms and describe its characteristics.
 explain how elements and minerals are extracted for human use.
 identify Earth’s natural sources of water.
 discuss the ways in which humans manage water distribution.
 describe the major human uses of water.
 identify the factors that will affect the future availability of water.