4.1 Plate Tectonics

  • 4.1a Describe the three different plate boundaries and the mechanisms of how these boundaries move.
  • 4.1b Explain how geologic formations can be found at plate boundaries, with a focus on earthquake formations.
  • 4.1c Explain how plate tectonics and earthquakes can cause environmental issues.
  • Textbook correlation Chapter 8, Module 24

4.2 Soil Formation and Erosion

  • 4.2a Explain the process of soil formation and the different layers of soil after formation.
  • 4.2b Explain the various ways soil can be eroded and how this can connect to water quality.
  • Textbook correlation Chapter 8, Module 25; Chapter 11, Module 33

4.3 Soil Composition and Properties

  • 4.3a Explain soil particle size and its connection to water holding capacity. Demonstrate the utility and use a soil triangle.
  • 4.3b Explain the variety of methods to test the chemical, physical, and biological properties of soil and carry out these tests.
  • Textbook correlation Chapter 8, Module 25

4.4 Earth’s Atmosphere

  • 4.4a Describe the structure and composition of the Earth’s atmosphere and explain how to read a diagram of the layers of the atmosphere.
  • Textbook correlation Chapter 4, Module 9

4.5 Global Wind Patterns

  • 4.5a Explain how environmental factors result in atmospheric circulation through density differences and the Coriolis effect.
  • Textbook correlation Chapter 4, Module 10

4.6 Watersheds

  • 4.6a Identify the characteristics of a watershed, and discuss the environmental impacts of human activity within watersheds.
  • Textbook correlation Chapter 3, Module 8

4.7 Solar Radiation and Earth’s Seasons

  • 4.7a Define insolation, explain how it varies at different Earth latitudes, and describe how these differences are related to the shape of the Earth.
  • 4.7b Identify why the Earth has seasons and describe the variability of insolation at different latitudes throughout a full year.
  • Textbook correlation Chapter 4, Module 9

4.8 Earth’s Geography and Climate

  • 4.8a Explain the influence large bodies of water on terrestrial climate.
  • 4.8b Explain the influence coastal mountains have on terrestrial climate.
  • Textbook correlation Chapter 4, Module 10

4.9 El Niño and La Niña

  • 4.9a Define El Niño/La Niña and their impacts on ocean currents, then describe the oceanic environmental problems associated with this weather phenomenon.
  • 4.9b Explain the El Niño/La Niña weather patterns, then describe the terrestrial environmental problems associated with them.
  • 4.9c Explain the El Niño/La Niña weather patterns and their environmental effects.
  • Textbook correlation Chapter 4, Module 11


Unit 4 - Earth Systems and Resources

Timeline (per College Board): 6 block periods - 10-15% AP Exam Weighting

AP Central Videos: A single point is assigned for each video (Lab & Classwork category). Students earn this point if they have watched the videos at 80% completion before the review presentation.

It is an expectation that students take their own notes during the lessons.



Unused 22/23