Credit Recovery - Earth Science A

Course Description

This introductory Earth Science course is designed to study all aspects of our planet, including earth, water, atmosphere, and space as they impact our universe.  This course will provide the student with information that will enable him or her to effectively investigate and study the interactions of the Earth and its processes.  The first semester will examine the scientific method, rocks and minerals, landforms, weathering and erosion, plate tectonics, earthquakes, volcanoes, and oceanography.

Course Outline

Each unit in this course is typically divided into three or more sections, with each section containing information that will build upon material that was presented in the previous section.

Unit 1: Introduction to Earth Science

Section 1: What is Earth Science?

Section 2: Scientific Methods

Section 3: Measurement

Unit 2: Earth’s Materials

Section 1: Matter

Section 2: Minerals

Section 3: Rocks

Unit 3: The Surface of the Earth

Section 1: Physical Features of the Earth

Section 2: Weathering and Soil

Section 3: Erosion

Unit 4: The Interior of the Earth

Section 1: Plate Tectonics

Section 2: Earthquakes

Section 3: Volcanoes

Unit 5: The World’s Water

Section 1: Fresh Water

Section 2: Ocean Movement

Section 3: Oceanography


Course Objectives



After the student has completed this course, he/she will be able to:

  • Differentiate among the various areas of Earth Science, including geology, oceanography, meteorology and astronomy.
  • List steps commonly used in the scientific method.
  • Apply the scientific method to solve problems.
  • Distinguish among hypotheses, theories, and laws.
  • Identify the SI units of measurement commonly used in science.
  • Identify properties of atoms and how to distinguish one atom from another.
  • Contrast the four states of matter.
  • List the physical properties used to identify minerals.
  • Describe the characteristics of minerals and how they form.
  • Describe the rock cycle and the changes that may occur.
  • Compare and contrast the differences between igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks and how they form.
  • Differentiate between plains and plateaus.
  • Compare and contrast different types of mountains.
  • Differentiate between latitude and longitude and describe how they are used to identify locations.
  • Explain the effects of climate on weathering, and understand the difference between mechanical and chemical weathering.
  • Describe layers of soil and analyze factors that contribute to its formation.
  • Define erosion and deposition and describe ways that erosion can be reduced in some high-risk areas.
  • Compare various types of erosion.
  • Explain the processes that take place at plate boundaries.
  • Relate Earth features and processes that change the Earth.
  • Describe how the processes that take place at plate boundaries continue to shape Earth.
  • Understand and describe the processes of plate tectonics.
  • Identify the effects of earthquakes and volcanic activity.
  • Assess the value of water as a resource.
  • Describe factors that affect water quality and flow through a water system.
  • Explain the significance and contribution of water as a resource to living things and the shaping of the land.
  • Compare and contrast different types of shorelines.
  • Describe the composition and origin of ocean water.
  • Relate aquatic life to water conditions.
  • Describe the characteristics of oceans.




There is no textbook associated with this course.


Course Policies and Procedures


Even though this is an on-line course, it’s not just you and the computer. There are real people behind the screens everywhere to help you succeed.Therefore, there need to be some guidelines so that we can create meaningful boundaries of participation and working with each other, instead of just keyboards and computer screens. As in all classes there are rules and procedures that must be followed. Please read the following:

1. Participation: Please contribute. Contributions by each student are very important. To make up for the limitations of the cyber-classroom, there are several tools available to aid in classroom participation. We will make liberal use of the threaded discussions and the assignment drop box.

2. Email: Email is a terrific tool and should be used often, but, it is very easy to use this tool in ways it was not intended. We all know people who forward spam email. Please, use the e-college email for class work ONLY. When you email your teacher please include your real name. It is very difficult to communicate with students through email and keep track of their assignments and questions without using real names.

3. Email attachments: Often times your teacher will ask for assignments to be an attached file in an email. Please format all of your assignments into rich text format (RTF). Please use a word processing program that is compatible such as Microsoft Word. Without this, your teacher cannot open your attachments.

4. Assignments: Assignments come in a variety of forms. Some are straight forward in terms of answering questions. Others might be a paper explaining a geologic process, etc. Regardless of the nature of the assignment, there are certain expectations. (A) There is never a place for profanity. (B) Spelling counts. (C) Be complete. (D) Put your name on each paper. (E) Do the work yourself. Any assignment can be delivered in numerous ways. The overall best method is the drop box located in the e-college system.

Sometimes tech problems arise. At the first sign of problems:

  • Email your teacher or use a friend's computer to tell them that you may be a little late with your assignment. Your teacher will make a determination after communicating with you regarding your individual circumstance/problem.
  • Contact YOUR provider to get it fixed.
  • Use a friend's computer or public library computer to get your assignment turned in on time.
  • Again, your teacher needs to know that you are experiencing problems. They will make the determination with regards to your grade in terms of your individual circumstance/problem.

1. Technical aspects: You are probably aware computers and their associated networks don't always do what you want them to do. Please back up your work. If you have any technical problems with the class, let e-college know right away.

2. Time: Don't believe that a distance class will be easier since you don't "go to class". The weeks tend to fly by in these classes and it is very easy to get behind. Please, don't let that happen. Start your assignments early, stay with the reading and watch the due dates. Your teacher will be very specific about what is due and when it is due. It is your responsibility to keep up.

3. On-line classes are a fun, dynamic way to learn, and many people excel in this alternative setting. Good luck!