3570 Timpview Dr. Provo, Utah 84604 Phone: (801)221-9720 Fax: (801)224-4210

Earth and Sky

Course Description/Overview/Welcome Statement

Credit: 1.0 Science (one full year)

Grade Level: 11 – 12

This course is similar to Honors Earth Science. Students should have passed Earth Science (9th grade) and at least one biology, chemistry, or physics class. Secondary Math I is also required. This class studies the origin and development of the universe, including the Big Bang, galaxies, stars, planets, and the Earth. Students will learn how the earth formed, when life appeared, how the earth continues to change, and will investigate the evidence that leads to these conclusions. Students will investigate the future of Earth, including climate change, resource scarcity, and cosmological events.


  • Cosmology (Big Bang, star formation, galaxies, black holes, Dark Matter, Dark Energy
  • Astronomy (Solar Systems, planetary formation, asteroids, comets, moons)
  • Earth and Moon (Formation, tides, eclipses, moon phases)
  • Earth (Earth layers, magnetic field, plate tectonics, earthquakes and volcanoes)
  • Earth Surface (Rocks and minerals, mountain building, erosion)
  • Earth History (Origin of life, mass extinctions, evolution of life, geological eras, fossils)
  • Modern Earth (Human civilization, exploration, technology, space missions)
  • Future Earth (Climate change, future of earth and our solar system)

Learning Expectations

Students will be given objectives and learning targets with each unit. There are 10 units in the course and they are outlined in Canvas.

Grades are determined by tests, quizzes, and one project per term. Examples of a project include making a powerpoint, writing a paper that describes a visit to a museum, watching a documentary, going on a hike. Students may also create a poster, a detailed diagram, write a song, etc. Projects are graded based on content, originality, and creativity. Plagiarism may result in an “Incomplete.”

See Student Handbook for grading structure and policies.

Students with special needs may be given alternative assessments to demonstrate mastery of class content.

Assessment of Progress

Formative assessments are performed during class through short quizzes, activities, assignments, lecture, and labs. Formative assessments are generally not included in a students grade, but may be collected and used to guide instruction.

Summative assessments are generally multiple choice tests. Summative assessments can be retaken.

Dates for summative assessments will be given in class and on Canvas.

Course Materials

A classroom set of textbooks may be used for some class work. No textbooks will be assigned to students or taken home. Resources are online and will be available through Canvas.

Classroom Procedures

Attendance: Please see the Student Handbook. Roll is taken at the beginning of class. Students not present are marked absent. If a student arrives late and wishes to change his or her absence to a tardy, he or she must speak with me after class.

Students who leave the classroom without permission may be marked truant.

Students who leave to use the restroom but are gone for more than five minutes may be marked truant.

Tests and quizzes can be retaken before the end of the term. Retakes must be done during lunch or after school.

Students are expected to be respectful of each other (no bullying or harassment) the classroom (no stealing or vandalizing), and themselves (no plagiarizing or cheating.)

Tests and quizzes are due by the end of each term.

Calendar of Due Dates for Major Assignments

All tests, quizzes, and projects are due at the end of each term. There is no other due date or late work.

Tests and quizzes can be retaken multiple times before the end of the term.

There is one project per term. Students are encouraged to turn projects in before the last two weeks of the term so that they can use feedback to improve their project, if necessary.

Progress Reports and Report Cards

Grade from tests and quizzes are entered and posted within three days of being turned in.

Grades are meant to provide a measure of understanding. Students are encouraged to use grades to help in their learning. Students can review material and retake tests. Grades are only finalized at the end of a term.

Connecting Home to School

Online materials, instructions, and other resources are available on Canvas. Email questions to me at jonathanm@provo.edu. Visit me during lunch or after school to review, ask questions, retake tests.

Personal Statement and other items (optional)

Students who work in this course (come to class, take notes, complete all assignments, ask questions, retake tests) are successful. Tests can always be reviewed and taken again. Resources, links, videos, and other help will be available on Canvas. Students are encouraged to be creative, investigate, and ask questions.