M3 (Grade 9) Science At Home Learning and Assignments

Chapter 10 - Chapter 11 - Chapter 12 - Chapter 13 - Chapter 14 - Chapter 15

Chapter 10: Geologic Time

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  • Section 1: Life and Geologic Time

    What you will learn:
  • Explain how geologic time can be divided into units.
  • Relate changes of Earth's organisms to divisions on the geologic time scale.
  • Describe how plate tectonics affects species.

  • Vocabulary:
  • Geologic Time Scale: is the division of Earth's history into units based on the life forms that lived only during certain periods.
  • Eon: is the longest subdivision of the geologic time scale and is based upon the abundance of certain fossils.
  • Era: is the second longest subdivision of geologic time marked by major, striking, and worldwide changes in the types of fossils present.
  • Period: is a unit of geologic time characterized by the types of of life existing worldwide at the time.
  • Epoch: is a period divided into smaller units of time which are characterized by differences in life-forms but some of the differences can vary from content to continent.
  • Organic Evolution: is the fossil record showing that a species has changed over geologic time.
  • Species: is a group of organisms that normally reproduces only with other members of their group.
  • Natural Selection: is a process by which organisms with characteristics that are suited to a certain environment have a better changes of surviving and reproducing.
  • Trilobite: comes from the structure of the hard outer skeleton or exoskeleton which consists of three lobes that run the length of the body.
  • Pangaea: is the name of the supercontinent when, during the Paleozoic Era, sea levels dropped and the continents had come to gather to form one giant landmass.

  • Section Summary:
    Geologic Time:
  • Earth's history is divided into eons, periods, and epochs, based on fossils.
  • Organic Evolution:
  • The fossil record indicates that species have changed over time.
  • Charles Darwin proposed natural selection to explain change in species.
  • In natural selection, organisms best suited to their environments survive and produce the most offspring.
  • Trilobites:
  • Trilobites were abundant in the Paleozoic fossil record and can be used as index fossils.
  • Plate Tectonics and Earth History:
  • Continents moving through time have influenced the environments of past organisms.

    Section 2: Early Earth History

    What you will learn:
  • Identify characteristic Precambrian and Paleozoic life-forms.
  • Draw conclusions about how species adapted to changing environments in Precambrian time and the Paleozoic Era.
  • Describe changes in Earth and its life-forms at the end of the Paleozoic Era.

  • Vocabulary:
  • Precambrian Time: is the longest part of Earth's history and includes the Hadean, Archean and Proterozoic Eons.
  • Cyanobacteria: are blue-green algae thought to be one of the earliest forms of life on Earth.
  • Paleozoic Era: began about 544 million years ago and ended about 248 million years ago and is knows as the era of ancient life because traces of life was much easier to find in Paleozoic rocks.

  • Section Summary:
    Precambrian Time:
  • Precambrian time covers almost 4 billion years of Earth history, but little is know about the organisms of this time.
  • Cyanobacteria were among the earliest life-forms.
  • The Paleozoic Era:
  • Invertebrates developed shells and other hard parts, leaving a rich fossil record.
  • Vertebrates - animals with backbones - appeared using this era.
  • Plants and amphibians first moved to land during the Paleozoic Era.
  • Adaptations in reptiles allow them to move away from water for reproduction.
  • Geologic events at the end of the Paleozoic Era led to a mass extinction.
  • Section 3: Middle and Recent Earth History

    What you will learn:
  • Compare and contrast characteristic life-forms in the Mesozoic and Cenozoic Eras.
  • Explain how changes caused by plate tectonics affected organisms during the Mesozoic Era.
  • Identify when humans first appear on Earth.

  • Vocabulary:
  • Mesozoic Era: is known as the era of middle life which was a time of many changes on Earth.
  • Cenozoic Era: is known as the era of recent life which began about 65 million years ago and continues today.

  • Section Summary:
    The Mesozoic Era:
  • During the Triassic Period, Pangaea split into two continents.
  • Dinosaurs were the dominant land animals of the Mesozoic Era.
  • Birds, mammals, and flowering plants all appeared during this era.
  • The Mesozoic Era ended 65 million years ago with a mass extinction.
  • The Cenozoic Era:
  • The Cenozoic Era has been a mountain-building period with cooler climates.
  • Mammals become dominant with many new life-forms appearing after the dinosaurs disappeared.
  • Humans also appeared in the Cenozoic Era, probably about 140,000 years ago.


  • Chapter 11: The Sun-Earth-Moon System

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  • Section 1: Earth

    What you will learn:
  • Examine Earth's physical characteristics.
  • Differentiate between rotation and revolution.
  • Discuss what causes seasons to change.

  • Vocabulary:
  • Sphere: is a round, three-dimensional object.
  • Axis: is an imaginary vertical line around which Earth spins.
  • Rotation: is the spinning of Earth on its axis with 1 full rotation equal to about 24 hours, or 1 day.
  • Revolution: is Earth's yearly elliptical orbit around the Sun.
  • Ellipse: is an elongated, closed curve.
  • Solstice: is the day when the Sun reaches its greatest distance north or south of the equator.
  • Equinox: occurs when the Sun is directly above Earth's equator.

  • Section Summary:
    Properties of Earth:
  • Earth is a slightly flattened sphere that rotates around an imaginary line called an axis.
  • Earth has a magnetic field, much like a bar magnet.
  • The magnetic axis of Earth differs from its rotational axis.
  • Seasons:
  • Earth revolves around the Sun in an elliptical orbit.
  • The title of Earth's axis and its revolution cause the seasons.
  • Solstices are days when the Sun reaches its farthest points north or south of the equator.
  • Equinoxes are the points when the Sun is directly over the equator.
  • Section 2: The Moon - Earth's Satellite

    What you will learn:
  • Identify phases of the Moon and their cause.
  • Explain why solar and lunar eclipses occur.
  • Infer what the Moon's surface features may reveal about its history.

  • Vocabulary:
  • Moon Phase: is the different forms that the Moon takes in its appearance from Earth.
  • New Moon: occurs when the Moon is between Earth and the Sun.
  • Waxing: means that more of the illuminated half of the Moon can be seen each night.
  • Full Moon: occurs when all of the Moon's surface facing the Earth reflects light.
  • Waning: is when you see less of the Moon's illuminated half each night.
  • Solar Eclipse: occurs when the Moon moves directly between the Sun and Earth and casts its shadow over part of the Earth.
  • Lunar Eclipse: is when Earth's shadow falls on the Moon which begins when the Moon moves into Earth's penumbra.
  • Maria: are the dark, flat regions of the moon formed when cracks in the Moon's crust allow lava to reach the surface and fill up the large impact craters.

  • Section Summary:
    Motions of the Moon:
  • The Moon rotates on its axis about once each month.
  • The Moon also revolves around Earth about once every 27.3 days.
  • The Moon shines because it reflects sunlight.
  • Phases of the Moon:
  • During the waxing phases, the illuminated portion of the Moon grows larger.
  • During waning phases, the illuminated portion of the Moon grows smaller.
  • Earth passing directly between the Sun and the Moon causes a lunar eclipse.
  • The Moon passing between Earth and the Sun causes a solar eclipse.
  • Structure and Origin of the Moon:
  • The Moon's surface is covered with depressions called impact craters.
  • Flat, dark regions within craters are called maria.
  • The Moon may have formed as the result of a collision between Earth and a Mars-sized object.
  • Section 3: Exploring Earth's Moon

    What you will learn:
  • Describe recent discoveries about the Moon.
  • Examine facts about the Moon that might influence future space travel.

  • Vocabulary:
  • Impact Basin: is the depression left behind by an object striking the moon.

  • Section Summary:
    Missions to the Moon:
  • The first lunar surveys were done by Luna, launched by the former Soviet Union, and U.S.-launched Ranger and Lunar Oribiters.
  • Five Surveyor probes landed on the Moon.
  • U.S. Astronauts landed on and explored the Moon in the Apollo program.
  • Clementine, a lunar orbiter, mapped the lunar surface and collected data on rocks.
  • Clementine found that the lunar crust is thinner on the side facing Earth.
  • Data from Clementine indicated that water ice could exist in shaded areas of impact basins.
  • Mapping the Moon:
  • Lunar Prospector orbited the Moon from pole to pole, collecting data that confirm Clementine results and that the Moon as a small iron-rich core.
  • Data from Lunar Prospector indicate the presence of large quantities of water ice in craters at the lunar poles.


  • Chapter 12: The Solar System

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  • Section 1: The Solar System

    What you will learn:
  • Compare the Earth-centered and Sun-Centered models of the solar system.
  • Explain that gravity holds the planets in their orbits around the Sun.

  • Vocabulary:
  • Solar System: is made up of nine planets, including Earth, and many smaller objects that orbit the Sun.

  • Section Summary:
    Ideas About the Solar System:
  • The planets in the solar system revolve around the Sun.
  • The Sun's immense gravity holds the planets in their orbits.
  • How the Solar System Formed:
  • The solar system formed from a piece of a nebula of gas, ice, and dust.
  • As the piece of nebula contracted, nuclear fusion began at its center and the Sun was born.
  • Motion of the Planets:
  • The planets' orbits are elliptical.
  • Planets that are closer to the Sun revolve faster than those that are farther away from the Sun.
  • Section 2: The Inner Planets

    What you will learn:
  • List the inner planets in order from the Sun.
  • Describe each inner planet.
  • Compare and contrast Venus and Earth.

  • Vocabulary:
  • Mercury: is the closest planet to the Sun.
  • Venus: is the second planet from the Sun, sometimes called Earth's twin because its size and mass are similar to Earth's.
  • Earth: is the third planet from the Sun with an average distance of about 150 million kms, or one astronomical unit (AU), from the Sun.
  • Mars: is the fourth planet from the sun, sometimes called the red planet.

  • Section Summary:
    Mecury:
  • Mercury is extremely hot during the day and extremely cold at night.
  • Its surface has many craters.
  • Venus:
  • Venus's size and mass are similar to Earth's.
  • Temperatures on Venus are between 450 degrees C and 475 degrees C.
  • Earth:
  • Earth is the only planet known to support life.
  • Mars:
  • Mars has polar ice caps, channels that might have been carved by water, and the largest volcano in the solar system, Olympus Mons.
  • Section 3: The Outer Planets

    What you will learn:
  • Describe the characteristics of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune.
  • Explain how Pluto differs from the other outer planets.

  • Vocabulary:
  • Jupiter: is the fifth planet from the Sun and the largest in the solar system.
  • Great Red Spot: is a continuous start of swirling, high-pressure gas that can be observed on the surface of Jupiter.
  • Saturn: is the sixth planet from the Sun and the second largest in the solar system but with the lowest density.
  • Uranus: is the seventh planet from the Sun and is a large, gaseous planet discovered in 1781.
  • Neptune: is usually the eight planet from the sun but Pluto's orbit crosses inside Neptune's during part of its voyage around the Sun.
  • Pluto: is the smallest planet in the solar system.

  • Section Summary:
    Jupiter:
  • Jupiter is the largest planet in the solar system.
  • The Great Red Spot is a huge storm in Jupiter.
  • Saturn:
  • Saturn has a complex system of rings.
  • Uranus:
  • Uranus has a bluish-green color caused by methane in its atmosphere.
  • Neptune:
  • Like Uranus, Neptune has a bluish-green color.
  • Neptune's atmosphere has storms and can change rapidly.
  • Pluto:
  • Pluto is a small, ice-rock planet.
  • Its moon, Charon, is about half as large as Pluto.
  • Section 4: Other Objects in the Solar System

    What you will learn:
  • Describe comets and how comets change when they approach the Sun.
  • Distinguish among comets, meteoroids, and asteroids.
  • Explain that objects from space sometimes impact Earth.

  • Vocabulary:
  • Comet: is composed of dust and rock particles mixed with frozen water, methane, and ammonia.
  • Meteor: is a meteoroid that burns up in the Earth's atmosphere.
  • Meteorite: is a meteoroid that is large enough not to burn up complete in the atmosphere so that it strikes the Earth.
  • Asteroid: is a piece of rock similar to the material that formed into planets, most of which are located between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter called the asteroid belt.

  • Section Summary:
    Comets:
  • Comets consist of dust, rock, and different types of ice.
  • Billions of comets surround the solar system in the Oort Cloud.
  • Meteoroids, Meteors, Meteorites:
  • When meteoroids burn up in the atmosphere, they are called meteors.
  • Meteor showers occur when Earth crosses the orbital path of a comet.
  • Asteroids:
  • Many asteroids occur between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. This region is called the asteroid belt.


  • Chapter 13: Stars and Galaxies

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  • Section 1: Stars

    What you will learn:
  • Explain why constellations are visible only during certain seasons.
  • Distinguish between absolute magnitude and apparent magnitude.

  • Vocabulary:
  • Constellation: is a pattern of stars in the night sky.
  • Absolute Magnitude: of a star is a measure of the amount of light it gives off.
  • Apparent Magnitude: is a measure of the amount of light received on Earth from a star.
  • Light-Year: is the distance that light travels in one year, about 9.5 trillion kms at 300,000 km/s.

  • Section Summary:
    Constellations:
  • Constellations are patterns of stars in the night sky.
  • The stars in a constellation often have no relationship to each other in space.
  • Absolute and Apparent Magnitudes:
  • Absolute magnitude is a measure of how much light is given off by a star.
  • Apparent magnitude is a measure of how much light from a star is received on Earth.
  • Measurement in Space:
  • Distances between stars are measure in light-years.
  • Properties of Stars:
  • Astronomers study the composition of stars by observing their spectra.
  • Section 2: The Sun

    What you will learn:
  • Explain that the Sun is the closet star to Earth.
  • Describe the structure of the Sun.
  • Describe sunspots, prominences, and solar flares.

  • Vocabulary:
  • Photosphere: is the lowest layer of the Sun's atmosphere and the layer from which light is given off.
  • Chromosphere: is a layer of the Sun's atmosphere that extends about 2,000 mms above the photosphere.
  • Corona: is above the transition zone and is the largest layer of the Sun's atmosphere extending million of kilometers into space.
  • Sunspot: are areas on the Sun's surface that appear dark because they are cooler than surrounding areas.

  • Section Summary:
    The Sun's Layers:
  • The Sun's interior has layers that include the care, radiation zone, and convection zone.
  • The Sun's Atmosphere:
  • The Sun's atmosphere includes the photosphere, chromosphere, and corona.
  • Surface Features:
  • The number of sunspots on the Sun varies in a 10- to 11-year cyle.
  • Auroras occur when charged particles from the Sun interact with Earth's magnetic field.
  • The Sun - An Average Star:
  • The Sun is an average star, but is i much closer to Earth than any other star.
  • Section 3: Evolution of Stars

    What you will learn:
  • Describe how stars are classified.
  • Compare the Sun to other types of stars on the H-R diagram.
  • Describe how stars evolve.

  • Vocabulary:
  • Nebula: is a large cloud of gas and dust that is the beginning of a star.
  • Giant: is a star in the late stage of its life cycle.
  • White Dwarf: is the stage in a star's evolution that it contracts and its outer layers escape into space, leaving a hot, dense core.
  • Supergiant: is a massive star where the core heats up to much higher temperatures, heavier and heavier elements form by fusion and the star expands.
  • Neutron Star: is a star with a very dense core where only neutrons can exist.
  • Black Hole: is a region formed from the remaining dense core from a supernova where core's mass collapses to a point.

  • Section Summary:
    Classifying Stars:
  • Most stars plot on the main sequence of an H-R diagram.
  • As stars near the end of their lives, they move off of the main sequence.
  • How do stars shine?:
  • Stars shine because of a process called fusion.
  • During fusion, nuclei of a light element merge to form a heavier element.
  • . Evolution of Stars:
  • Stars form in regions of gas and dust called nebulae.
  • Stars evolve differently depending on how massive they are.
  • Section 4: Galaxies and the Universe

    What you will learn:
  • Describe the Sun's position in the Milky Way Galaxy.
  • Explain that the same natural laws that pply to our solar system also apply in other galaxies.

  • Vocabulary:
  • Galaxy: is a large group of stars, gas and dust held together by gravity.
  • Big Bang Theory: is the leading theory about the formation of the universe from an enormous explosion approximately 13.7 billion years ago.

  • Section Summary:
    Galaxies:
  • The three main types of galaxies are spiral, elliptical, and irregular.
  • The Milky Way Galaxy:
  • The Milky Way is a spiral galaxy and the Sun is about 26,000 light-years from its center.
  • Origin of the Universe:
  • Theories about how the universe formed include the steady state theory, the oscillating universe theory, and the big bang theory.
  • The Big Bang Theory:
  • This theory states that the universe began with an explosion about 13.7 billion years ago.


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    Chapter 15: XXX