8th Grade Science Sylabus

Earth Science

8th Grade Syllabus

Mrs. Prill & Mr. Stevens

Course Description

This hands-on inquiry based course will focus on the four components of Earth Science:  Earth Systems, The Solid Earth, The Fluid Earth, and Earth in Space & Time.

In recent years, the study of Earth has undergone profound changes. It has expanded from surface geology and the recovery of economic resources toward global change and Earth systems. Concurrently, research methods have changed from solely using human observations and mapping, to using remote sensing and computer modeling. The advent of technology has made it possible to conduct more integrated and interdisciplinary research to view the Earth as a single dynamic entity composed of four interacting systems.

The Earth system is usually subdivided into the geosphere (solid Earth), the hydrosphere (the liquid part of the planet), the atmosphere (the gaseous part of the planet), and the biosphere (the living part of the planet). These four parts do not exist in isolation, but are interconnected by complex cycles. Alterations to one part of the Earth system result in effects on another part of the system. The study of the individual components and their interactions are necessary to completely understand the complex dynamics of our planet.

There has also been a shift in goals, as advances in theory have made it possible to more accurately predict changes (especially in weather and climate), to provide life-saving warnings of floods, hurricanes, and volcanic eruptions, and to understand how human activities influence air and water quality, ecosystems, and climate across the globe. We are also better prepared to understand the processes that occur within and between each of the Earth systems.

Recent research in the Earth sciences has focused on:

1. climate variability and change

2. impact of elements and compounds on ecosystems

3. water and energy cycles

4. atmospheric processes

5. earth surface and internal processes. (Michigan Department of Education, 2012)


STANDARD E1 Inquiry, Reflection, and Social Implications

E1.1 Scientific Inquiry

E1.2 Scientific Reflection and Social Implications

STANDARD E2 Earth Systems

E2.1 Earth Systems Overview

E2.2 Energy in Earth Systems

E2.3 Biogeochemical Cycles

E2.4 Resources and Human Impacts on Earth Systems

STANDARD E3 Solid Earth

E3.p1 Landforms and Soils (prerequisite)

E3.p2 Rocks and Minerals (prerequisite)

E3.p3 Basic Plate Tectonics (prerequisite)

E3.1 Advanced Rock Cycle

E3.2 Interior of the Earth

E3.3 Plate Tectonics Theory

E3.4 Earthquakes and Volcanoes

STANDARD E4 Fluid Earth

E4.p1 Water Cycle (prerequisite)

E4.p2 Weather and the Atmosphere (prerequisite)

E4.p3 Glaciers (prerequisite)

E4.1 Hydrogeology

E4.2 Oceans and Climate

E4.3 Severe Weather

STANDARD E5 The Earth in Space and Time

E5.p1 Sky Observations (prerequisite)

E5.1 The Earth in Space

E5.2 The Sun

E5.2x Stellar Evolution

E5.3 Earth History and Geologic Time

E5.3x Geologic Dating

E5.4 Climate Change

General Classroom Rules

  1. Be Considerate
  2. Do Your Best
  3. Please see the WOLF P.A.C.K Matrix for questions on any area in the school.


Required Materials for Class

  1. Science Notebook or folder with paper
  2. Textbook
  3. Pencil
  4. Colored Checking Pens



Grades based on….

Formative Assessment

Summative Assessment


Labs, Projects, etc.


Common Assessment






Formative Assessment is part of the instructional process. When incorporated into classroom practice, it provides the information needed to adjust teaching and learning while they are happening. In this sense, formative assessment informs both teachers and students about student understanding at a point when timely adjustments can be made. These adjustments help to ensure students achieve, targeted standards-based learning goals within a set time frame. Although formative assessment strategies appear in a variety of formats, there are some distinct ways to distinguish them from summative assessments.  One distinction is to think of formative assessment as "practice."

Summative Assessments are given periodically to determine at a particular point in time what students know and do not know. Many associate summative assessments only with standardized tests such as state assessments, but they are also used at and are an important part of district and classroom programs. Summative assessment at the district/classroom level is an accountability measure that is generally used as part of the grading process. The list is long, but here are some examples of summative assessments:

  • State assessments
  • District benchmark or interim assessments
  • End-of-unit or chapter quizzes/tests
  • End-of-term or semester exams (Garrison, 2012)


  1. Tests are summative assessments, in which they show what material the student has mastered.
  2. Students may retake up to 3 tests within one week of the original test date, provided they complete the Student Accountability Retake Form and retake the test within one week’s time.



  1. Quizzes are summative and/or formative assessments, depending on the purpose of the quiz.
  2. In most cases quizzes are based on accuracy, as they have had the opportunity for mastering understanding during the teaching of the lesson, class work/homework practice, however, exit quizzes can be used as formative assessments to see what the students know to change future instruction.







Class work/Homework

  1. Tests and quizzes will be based on class work/homework and other topics assigned in class, such as projects and labs.
  2. Individual work submitted is to be the student’s own.  Copied work will result as a zero in the grade book. Some may be group work; however, the expectation for group work is that there will be group input from all or the result will be a zero even if other group members receive a grade.
  3. Homework will be based on completion since we will be providing students with the correct information throughout the learning process.  This is their practice from the lesson taught!


Absent Work/Late Work

Students are responsible to get the work they have missed due to an absence.  All assignments will be posted at the front of the room daily.  All absent/late work must be turned in to the Absent Tray located at the front of the room and will be accepted provided it is completed and handed in before the end of the unit of study.  Please be aware that assignments not completed before tests/quizzes DIRECTLY impact the test/quiz score!  So please check PowerSchool frequently and avoid missing assignments! 


Contact Information

Mrs. Anne Prill                                                       Mr. Wyatt Stevens(810) 538-2334 ext 3342                                  (810) 538-2334 ext 3344
april@lapeerschools.org                                                          wstevens@lapeerschools.org


Works Cited

Garrison, Catherine, and Michael Ehringhaus. "Formative and Summative Assessments in the Classroom." Formative and Summative Assessment in the Classroom. Association for Middle Level Education, n.d. Web. 30 Aug. 2012.