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About the course

This course develops students’ understanding of Earth and its place in the universe. Students will investigate the properties of and forces in the universe and solar system and analyse techniques scientists use to generate knowledge about them. Students will closely examine the materials of Earth, its internal and surficial processes, and it's geological history, and will learn how Earth’s systems interact and how they have changed over time. Throughout the course, students will learn how these forces, processes, and materials affect their daily lives. The course draws on biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics in its consideration of geological and astronomical processes that can be observed directly or inferred from other evidence.

Earth and Space

Course Credit


Course Price


Course Developer

My Learning Oasis

Prerequisite(s) (Text)

Grade 10 Science, Academic(SNC2D)

Course Code

Department Head & Contact Information


Course Type


Grade Level

Grade 12

Course Development Date

June 10th, 2021

Course Outline

The Science of the Universe

This unit introduces students to the field of astronomy. In it they will explore the origins of the universe and the evolution of stars and other satellites in space, but the focus will be on stars. They will look at the techniques used to determine these findings. Students will explore the characteristics of electromagnetic radiation (e.g., the relationship between wavelength, frequency, and energy) and the ways in which each region of the electromagnetic spectrum is used in making astronomical observations (e.g., X-rays in the search for black holes; infrared radiation to see through interstellar dust). They will look at how stars are classified on the basis of their surface temperature, luminosity, and chemical composition. They will explore the sequence of events in the life cycle of a star, from its formation to the main sequence phase and beyond, with specific reference to energy sources and forces involved. They will look at the relationship between the type of death of a star and the star’s initial mass (e.g., a star with a low mass will form a planetary nebula and a white dwarf).

Expected Hours of Instruction: 28hours

The Science of the Solar System

Students will investigate the composition of the solar system (e.g., the sun, terrestrial inner planets, the asteroid belt, gas giant outer planets, the Kuiper belt, the scattered disc, the heliopause, the Oort cloud), and describe the characteristics of each component. They will identify and explain the classes of objects orbiting the sun (e.g., planets, dwarf planets, small solar system bodies [SSSBs]). They will look at how gravitational force led to the contraction of the original solar nebula. They will look at factors that determine the properties of objects in space, for instance the further away from the sun a planet is, the colder it is typically. Atmospheres of these objects etc. They will look at the necessary properties of these objects to support life. Students will study Kepler’s laws and Newton's Laws, and use them to describe planetary motions (e.g., the shape of their orbits; differences in their orbital velocity). They will be introduced to the major external processes and phenomena that affect Earth (e.g., radiation and particles from the “quiet” and “active” sun; cosmic rays; gravity of the sun and moon; asteroidal and cometary debris, including their force, energy, and matter)

Expected Hours of Instruction: 30 hours

Recording Earth’s Geological History

In this unit, students will explore the evolution of life through the Proterozoic, Paleozoic, Mesozoic, and Cenozoic eras, using important groups of fossils that date from each era (e.g., stromatolites, trilobites, brachiopods, crinoids, fish, angiosperms, gymnosperms, dinosaurs, mammals). They will evaluate various kinds of evidence that life forms, climate, continental positions, and Earth’s crust have changed over time (e.g., evidence of mass extinction, of past glaciations, of the existence of Pangaea and Gondwanaland). They will compare and contrast relative and absolute dating principles and techniques as they apply to natural systems (e.g., the law of superposition; the law of cross-cutting relationships; varve counts; carbon-14 or uranium- lead dating). They will evaluate and analyze different types of evidence used to determine the age of Earth (e.g., index fossils; evidence provided by radiometric dating of geological materials or lithostratigraphy) and how this evidence has influenced our understanding of the age of the planet.

Expected Hours of Instruction: 25 hours

Earth’s Materials and Processes

In this unit, the students will explore the physical and chemical properties of selected minerals, and describe the tests used to determine these properties. They will look at the formation (i.e., intrusive or extrusive) and identify the distinguishing characteristics of igneous rocks (e.g., composition and eruption type; mineralogical content indicating the type of volcano in which a rock was formed); sedimentary rocks (e.g., shape and size of particles, nature of their deposition); They will look at different ways in which metamorphic rocks are formed (i.e., through changes in temperature, pressure, and chemical conditions) and the factors that contribute to their variety (e.g., variation in parent rock; regional or contact metamorphism). The processes that contribute to the formation of boundaries between two types of materials are going to be discussed as well. Some of these are subduction, divergence, convergence, hot spot activity, folding, faulting etc. They will investigate the characteristics of the main types of seismic waves (i.e., P- and S-waves; R- and L-waves), and explain the different modes of travel, travel times, and types of motion associated with each. Students will compare qualitative and quantitative methods used to measure earthquake intensity and magnitude (e.g., the Mercalli Scale, the Richter Scale).

Expected Hours of Instruction: 25 hours

This is a proctored exam worth 30% of your final grade.

Expected Hours of Instruction: 2 hours

Total Hours: 110


The course material (class notes and necessary handouts) will be provided by the teacher.

The students will be required to have:
● Access to a library or the Internet to do research
● Access to the internet as well as electronic devices for note taking and communication for those taking the class online

Overall Curriculum Expectations

A.Scientific Investigation Skills and Career Exploration

A1 demonstrate scientific investigation skills (related to both inquiry and research) in the four areas of skills (initiating and planning, performing and recording, analysing and interpreting, and communicating); A2 identify and describe careers and Canadian contributions related to the fields of science under study.

B. Astronomy (Science of the Universe)

B1 analyse the development of technologies that have contributed to our understanding of the universe, and evaluate the impact of milestones in astronomical theory or knowledge on the scientific community; B2 investigate and analyse the properties of the universe, particularly the evolution and properties of stars, in both qualitative and quantitative terms;
B3 demonstrate an understanding of the origin and evolution of the universe, the principal characteristics of its components, and techniques used to study those components.

C. Planetary Science (Science of the Solar System)

C1 analyse political, economic, and environmental issues related to the exploration and study of the solar system, and how technology used in space exploration can be used in other areas of endeavour;
C2 investigate features of and interactions between bodies in the solar system, and the impact of these features and interactions on the existence of life;
C3 demonstrate an understanding of the internal (geological) processes and external (cosmic) influences operating on bodies in the solar system.

D. Recording Earth’s Geological History

D1 analyse, with reference to geological records, the relationship between climate, geology, and life on Earth, and evaluate contributions to our understanding of changes in Earth systems over geological time; D2 investigate geological evidence of major changes that have occurred during Earth’s history, and of the various processes that have contributed to these changes;
D3 demonstrate an understanding of how changes to Earth’s surface have been recorded and preserved throughout geological time and how they contribute to our knowledge of Earth’s history.

E. Earth Materials

E1 analyse technologies used to explore for and extract Earth materials, and assess the economic and environmental impact of the exploitation of such materials;
E2 investigate the properties of minerals and characteristics of rocks, including those in their local area; E3 demonstrate an understanding of the properties of minerals and the formation and characteristics of rocks.

F. Geological Processes

F1 analyse technological developments that have increased our knowledge of geological processes and structures, and how this knowledge assists in monitoring and managing these processes and structures; F2 investigate, through the use of models and analysis of information gathered from various sources, the nature of internal and surficial Earth processes, and the ways in which these processes can be quantified; F3 demonstrate an understanding of the processes at work within Earth and on its surface, and the role of these processes in shaping Earth’s surface.

Special Accommodations

Only Some students are able, with accommodations, to be part of a regular course curriculum and to demonstrate independent learning. These accommodations allow access to the course without any dilution of the knowledge and skills the student is expected to demonstrate. These required accommodations to facilitate the student’s learning will be identified in his or her IEP (see IEP Standards, 2000, page 11*).

It is likely that IEP for many or all courses will reflect the same accommodations. The instructions and accommodations are geared to meet the diverse needs of learners. The three types of accommodations that are going to be used are:

i) Instructional accommodations - changes in teaching/learning strategies facilitated by different styles of presentation; methods of organization; the use of technology and multimedia.
ii) Environmental accommodations - Certain classroom settings and preferential seating may benefit these students.
iii) Assessment: assessment procedures that enable the student to demonstrate his or her learning, such as Multiple Intelligence Theory, giving more time to complete tasks (see page 29 of the IEP Resource Guide, 2004, for more examples).

For students who require accommodations for only the mathematics courses, the assessment and evaluation of their achievement will be based on the appropriate course curriculum expectations and the achievement levels outlined in this document. The IEP box on the students’ Provincial Report Cards will not be checked, and no information on the provision of accommodations will be included.

* Taken from: Ministry of Education, Ontario. Extracted from The Ontario Curriculum, Grades 11 and 12: Science, 2008; (Pg:- 33-35) Date of extraction: Sunday, March 14, 2021

Program Considerations For English Language Learners

Students from a variety of cultural and linguistic backgrounds. For many of these students, English is not their spoken language. They may be coming from highly sophisticated educational systems, while others may have come from regions where access to formal schooling was limited. These students offer a rich addition to the classroom experience by way of their background knowledge and experience. All teachers will assist with their English-language development. In mathematics the teachers will include appropriate adaptations and strategies in their instructions and assessments to facilitate the success of the English language learners in their classrooms. Some of these strategies and adaptations are: modification of some or all of the course expectations so that they are challenging but attainable for the learner at his or her present level of English proficiency, given the necessary support from the teacher.

Teaching/Learning Strategy

The key learning strategy at My Learning Oasis Elite Private School is Constructivism. This format facilitates learning by many techniques, most or all of which will be adopted in the classroom. The most dominant of these is group learning. The facilitator places students of different backgrounds in the same group so that they can feed off each other. Each may bring to the table a different reasoning strategy to facilitate problem-solving. Now, each student becomes a learner and a teacher at the same time, as he/she has to communicate his/her solution. This builds the students' knowledge base and by default, increases their confidence to speak in a crowd, albeit a small group at the beginning. The famous educationalist, Vygotsky, proved that by placing students in a group they function at the upper level of their zone of proximal development, each one scaffolding the other.

Assessment And Evaluation

At My Learning Oasis, course facilitators do not wait for a quiz or exam to determine how well a student is doing. Here, evaluation is an on-going exercise. The pedagogical techniques (refer to Teaching and Learning Strategies) used at My learning Oasis are perhaps the best techniques suited for on-going assessment, hence, they being an integral part of our delivery methodologies.

Concrete assessments are made through projects and assignments. However, the evaluation is based on “our flavor” of the Mastery Teaching technique. This ensures that the emphasis is on the quality of learning and NOT grading. Students' projects and homework will continuously be evaluated and re-evaluated with appropriate guidance to meet the school’s and Ministry’s expectations. At My Learning Oasis, we will work with the students until the projects meet a minimum of a B-grade, unless in extreme circumstances where the willful negligence of the students force lower grades. While this is a lot more taxing on the facilitator, it does not matter because My Learning Oasis is a Learner-centered institution NOT a Grade-Centered nor a Teacher-Centered institution.

Four categories of knowledge and skills are outlined in the achievement chart - knowledge and understanding, thinking, communication, and application. Student’s work is assessed and evaluated with respect to these categories, and that achievement of particular expectations is considered within the appropriate categories. A final grade will then be recorded for this course and if that grade is 50% or higher, a credit is granted to the student and recorded for this course. The final grade for this course will be determined as follows:
● For material evaluated throughout the course, seventy percent of the grade will be assigned. This portion of the grade should reflect the student's consistency in his/her level of achievement throughout the course, although special consideration should be given to more recent evidence of achievement.
● Thirty percent of the grade will be based on a final evaluation, which is administered towards the end of the course

Final Exam 30%

Grading for all course work, projects, presentation, participation, interim quizzes and exams 70%

Course Summary
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