The curriculum unit that I am writing has to do with the geology of Connecticut. This includes; plate tectonics,volcanic activity, glaciation, earthquakes, mineral and fossil formation through time. Along with this, “life” in Connecticut through history will be included, and relationships between the topics discussed.
This unit is intended for use in an 8th or 9th grade science classroom. It is assumed that the students will have already covered these topics in a global format. Students are fascinated with earthquake and volcanic events that happen all over the world. When these can be “brought home,” and shown to occur in Connecticut, earth science concepts become more relevant and interesting.
Included within this unit is a discussion of animals that have roamed Connecticut in the past, including dinosaurs, the most popular creatures that have ever roamed our planet. Students still talk about the movie “Jurassic Park,” and when they find out about dinosaurs such as Eubrontes, their interests peaks.
Also, children are fascinated by rocks and minerals. They usually end up with a collection. When rocks and fossils can be studied, tested and discussed in a classroom, students tend to learn and retain more information. In addition, when fossils such as dinosaur bones, footprints and fern imprints are held and looked at up close, they help to fuel a child’s imagination.
The geologic history of Connecticut is a long and still active one. We have survived plate collisions, while both losing and gaining land. Earthquakes, though minor are still occurring in our area. Due to geologic activity, the Appalachian Mountains, Sleeping Giant, East Rock and West Rock formed.
The aforementioned activity has resulted in mineral/ ore deposits of traprock, marble, granite, gneiss etc. have been found. Gemstones have also been found in our state.
Glaciers have also affected our landscape, creating lakes and helping to create Long Island Sound. They have shaped and reshaped our landscape. These glaciers will be back again—how long from now, and how far they will go is a subject of debate.
Lastly, not only will past and present geologic history be presented, but future possibilities will be included as well. Will we have more earthquakes and Moodus noises, will a volcano sprout up in someone’s backyard? Within this unit , the curriculum includes labs and field trips to provide hands—on learning experiences which make the concepts and principles easier and more interesting.