Week 12 Science Lessons: Rapid Changes to Earth’s Surface (3rd Grade)

Each week of your school year can now be less of a stress for you because I am going to be sharing my lesson plans with you for free every week!! This series is for elementary science grades 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th since those are the grades I have curriculum for. I don’t want you to miss out on a single free lesson plan, so make sure you sign up right now to get these sent straight to your inbox!!

If your school follows a different order of standards than I do, you can check out my elementary science scope and sequence to see which weeks line up with your school’s scope. Here is your stress-free lesson plan for the week.

Standards Covered:


•3.7 (B) investigate rapid changes in Earth’s surface such as volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, and landslides; and


Not a topic covered for 3rd NGSS

Guiding Question:

How can the Earth change rapidly?

The Lesson:

And now, for all the fun and engaging learning! Click the image to grab your printable lesson plans for the week. Click any image in the post to grab the whole lesson set that’s ready to print and teach.

To make my life easier, I plan each each with the same structure. Students like the routine and it helps them know what to expect for each day of the week.


Each day of the week, students will walk in and get to work on their KWL. Each Monday, you will complete the first 2 columns. This will get students thinking about the topic and activate their schema. You will also be able to see some misconceptions they may have. Every other day this week students will add to their “Learned” column to record what they have learned so far. You can also let them add to the “Wonder” column through the week if they have new ideas that pop up.

Word Wall Builder

Before moving into the lesson, complete column one of the Word Wall Builder Chart. This is a way to get vocabulary on their mind and to help students identify their own misconceptions as they learn more through the week. Word Wall Builder Charts are my favorite way to make your word wall more interactive and useful. I always provide printable versions for students to record their own answers, plus a class version to post in the room through the week. You can see below that I use sticky notes to make my chart paper reusable each week.

Day one: Introduce the word wall (or key terms) for the week. Ask students what they think the words mean and let them know they will find out the real definitions this week! Create a chart on the board to record the word wall activities for the week.

Day two: Complete the second column of the word wall builder as a class. Ask students to give their new definitions of the word wall words based on what they read today.

Day three: Complete the last columns of the word wall builder as a class. Write the actual definitions of the word wall words and a have the students help you illustrate each word.

Have students record the word wall chart for the week into a word wall journal. They can record this on notebook paper, in their science notebook, or you can print the Word Wall Chart handout for them.

Add the key words from your reading to your classroom word wall, however you display your word wall.

A printable copy of a Word Wall Builder Chart is provided on the next page.

*You can use the four key terms, or use other words you would like to cover.



•Pre-learning: Fun with Landform Creations

•Informational Text with Context Clues and graphic organizer

•Optional: Introduce Project


•Input: Summary Writing using key terms

•Input: Anchor Chart as a class and in Interactive Science Notebook

•Vocabulary Matching (2 terms)


•Lab: Earth Changes Model Observations

•Vocabulary Matching (2 terms)


•Output: Interactive Science Notebook Activity

•Output: Analyzing Data Activity


•Vocabulary Pages

•Formative Assessment: Claim, Evidence, Reasoning Activity

If you have time left over any day of the week, you can play a couple of my favorite review games that prep students for state testing later on. Science Says and Diagram Draws are a fun way to make science words and science diagrams stick throughout the year. I love to play Science Says anytime we have extra time in class or my students just need a brain break.

You made it! The weekend is near!!

I hope this gives you some good ideas for a whole week of learning. My goal is to provide you with engaging lessons that are ready to go each week so you can spend far less time planning and prepping, and far more time spoiling yourself **because you deserve it!** Enjoy your weekend!!

To make your teacher life even easier, I have put my lesson activities and materials into easy to use files. This saves all the time we spend scrolling and collecting lesson resources. Just print and add simple lab supplies! Or, go digital for NO PREP! No making copies, and the lab is virtual – Talk about saving your sanity.

Rapid Changes Lesson Set

3rd Grade

Everything you need for a week (or two) of learning. Printables, lesson plans, teacher instructions. Just add simple lab supplies for a low prep week.

Recently Added!!

Rapid Changes DIGITAL Complete Lesson Set

3rd Grade

Everything you need for a week of learning.
One file with a student activity guide and all activities including a Digital Lab means NO PREP!!

Recently Added!

Here is the lesson plan link again. And, don’t forget to join the Science Newsletter so you never miss a planned week of learning!

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