999 West Dundee Road
Wheeling, Illinois 60090

Phone: 847-537-8270

Superintendent: Dr. Michael Connolly

School Board & Administration



CCSD21 is a school district comprised of 13 schools across 6 different communities in the northwest suburbs of Chicago.



School District 21 prides itself on its Professional Learning Community and its rich tradition of professional collaboration, high levels of professional development, and family-like atmosphere. If you see the opportunity to work with colleagues in making a difference in the lives of students and families in a truly diverse setting, School District 21 seeks your application.

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Eighth Grade

Earth Science

Power Standards
  • Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence for how the uneven distributions of Earth’s mineral (metal ores), energy (petroleum/natural gas), soil and groundwater resources are the result of past and current geoscience processes (rock cycle). Emphasize that these are typically limited and nonrenewable resources.(MS-ESS3-1)
  • Apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing a human impact on the environment. (MS-ESS3-3)  
    • Per-capita consumption of natural resources impact Earth’s systems
    • Global climate change

Critical Content

Concepts and Skills

* Power Standard Content

Earth Space Sciences 1.C:  The History of Planet Earth

  • The geologic time scale interpreted from rock strata provides a way to organize Earth’s history.  Analyses of rock strata and the fossil record provide only relative dates, not an absolute scale. (MS-ESS1-4)

Earth Space Sciences 2.A:  Earth’s Materials and Systems

  • The planet’s systems interact over scales that range from microscopic to global in size, and they operate over fractions of a second to billions of years. These interactions have shaped Earth’s history and will determine its future. (MS-ESS2-2)

Earth Space Sciences 2.B:  Plate Tectonics and Large-Scale System Interactions

  • Maps of ancient land and water patterns, based on investigations of rocks and fossils, make clear how Earth’s plates have moved great distances, collided, and spread apart. (MS-ESS2-3)

Earth Space Sciences 3.A:  Natural Resources

  • Humans depend on Earth’s land, ocean, atmosphere, and biosphere for many different resources. Minerals, fresh water, and biosphere resources are limited, and many are not renewable or replaceable over human lifetimes. These resources are distributed unevenly around the planet as a result of past geologic processes. (MS-ESS3-1)

Earth Space Sciences 3.B:  Natural Hazards

  • Mapping the history of natural hazards in a region, combined with an understanding of related geologic forces can help forecast the locations and likelihoods of future events. (MS-ESS3-2)
  • Analyzing and interpreting data on natural hazards helps to forecast future catastrophic events and inform the development of technologies to mitigate their effects.(MS-ESS3-2)

Earth Space Sciences 3.C:  Human Impacts on Earth Systems

  • Human activities have significantly altered the biosphere, sometimes damaging or destroying natural habitats and causing the extinction of other species.  But changes to Earth’s environments can have different impacts (negative and positive) for different living things. (MS-ESS3-3)
  • Typically as human populations and per-capita consumption of natural resources increase, so do the negative impacts on Earth, unless the activities and technologies involved are engineered otherwise.  (MS-ESS3-3, MS-ESS3-4)

Earth Space Sciences 3.D:  Global Climate Change

  • Human activities, such as the release of greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels, are major factors in the current rise of Earth’s mean surface temperature (global warming).  Reducing the level of climate change and reducing human vulnerability to whatever climate changes do occur depend on the understanding of climate science, engineering capabilities, and other kinds of knowledge, such as understanding human behavior and applying that knowledge wisely in decisions and activities. (MS-ESS3-5)


Critical Language (Science & Engineering Practices)


Language Usage

  • A student in eighth grade can demonstrate the ability to apply and comprehend critical language by analyzing data on natural hazards and applying scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing a human impact on the environment.


Content-Specific Vocabulary

  • Global Climate Change
  • Rock strata / formations
  • Minerals/metal ores
  • Energy resources (petroleum & natural gas)
  • Fossil
  • Continents
  • Renewable, limited, non-renewable resource
  • Earthquakes
  • Meteor strikes
  • Sedimentation
  • Plate Tectonics
  • Earthquakes
  • Volcanoes
  • Rock cycle
  • Greenhouse gases
  • Destruction of natural habitats
  • Natural resources


Process-Specific Vocabulary

  • Stability and change
  • Patterns
  • Hazard


Concept-Based Connections

Essential Understandings

  • The movements of rocks at Earth’s surface (plate tectonics) provide us with information that helps us understand Earth’s geologic history.
  • Human activities have altered the Earth and affected global warming, leading to the need for increased understanding of Earth’s dynamics and engineering capabilities to reduce people’s impacts on Earth.


Factual Guiding Questions

  • What are the factors that have contributed to Earth’s landforms? (plate tectonics, landslides, weathering, glaciers, earthquakes, volcanoes, meteor strikes) They can connect this to what they learned in 6th grade.
  • Describe the different kinds of rocks.
  • Explain the processes that cause rocks to change from one kind to another.


Conceptual Guiding Questions

  • How does a scientist gather data from fossils and rock strata? (age of sample, etc)
  • What data can a scientist gather from fossils and rock strata?
  • How do the formations at plate boundaries differ and what are the geological changes that happen as a result of the types of movement? (earthquakes and volcanoes)
  • How can an understanding of past natural hazards (intensity, frequency, location of specific hazards) and current monitoring technologies mitigate the risks posed by these hazards? (Don’t build your house on a fault line or below sea level.)


Authentic Learning Activities & Experimental Design

  • How has human behavior affected the earth? Can it be fixed? Apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing a human impact on the environment.  (greenhouse gases, global climate change, destruction of natural habitats, and consumption of natural resources)