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Back in 1963 when LAB-AIDS® shipped its first kit, we had a vision, to revolutionize the middle school classroom with one of the first inquiry-based approaches to learning science through hands-on activity. More Info

SEPUP Texas Edition, Science Grade 7, Environmental Change Unit

SEPUP Texas Edition, Science Grade 7, Environmental Change Unit


In this unit, students will explore the earth processes that move rocks and soil from one place to another. Students will learn how humans and nature shape the land around you. Students will also explore the various ecoregions of Texas and how people affect groundwater and watersheds. Where did the mud come from? How was it transported to the park?

Content in SEPUP Texas Edition, Science Grade 7, Environmental Change Unit is organized into 12 activities, as follows:

Activity Title Activity Type Activity Overview
68. Ecoregions of Texas Investigation In this activity students learn about the characteristics of the ecoregions of Texas.
69. Mapping Soils Investigation Students are introduced to field sampling of soils. They become experts on the composition of a regional soil and share that information with their small groups. They map the soil composition data onto a map and learn about four major soil categories in the United States.
70. The Dust Bowl Role Playing Students consider the factors that led to the Dust Bowl of the 1930s by reading a vignette about life on a farm along the Texas-Oklahoma border at that time. From this historical perspective, students are introduced to some of the soil issues farmers face. A literacy strategy to guide discussion helps students process the ideas presented in this role play.
71. Necessary Nutrients Laboratory Students first measure the amount of nitrate, one of the necessary plant nutrients, in unfertilized local soil. Next they add fertilizer to the local unfertilized soil, and measure the nitrate content of both the fertilized soil and the runoff water. They then compare the nitrate content of these samples to the sample of unfertilized soil. The activity closes with a discussion of the effect of excess nutrients in an ecosystem and how human activities can increase or decrease water contaminants.
72. Groundwater and Aquifers Reading Students read about groundwater and the processes by which water enters, flows through, and is stored within earth materials. They also learn about the relative proportion of all the earth’s fresh water that is contained in lakes, rivers, streams, and below ground, and how this limited amount of water that many living things depend on becomes contaminated by both natural and human activity.
73. Watersheds Laboratory This activity explores the dynamics of watersheds. Students use a scale model of a watershed to model where water from precipitation travels and collects, and how this is influenced by the topography of the land. After identifying rivers and lakes on the watershed model, students are able to locate watersheds and the divides that separate them. This activity not only provides students with first-hand experience with watersheds, but also provides a knowledge base to better understand such issues as how an abandoned mine may influence water quality far from the mine site or how farming practices in Nebraska may influence the health of organisms in the Gulf of Mexico.
74. Cutting Canyons and Building Deltas Modeling Students investigate how flowing water creates common landforms. Using a river model, students observe how water can erode portions of the land and create various topographical features such as river beds, canyons, and valleys. They also observe that the earth materials carried away by the flowing water are eventually deposited downstream, modeling the formation of deltas. They then identify evidence that would help them to make a more informed decision about the three proposed building sites in Boomtown.
75. Weathering, Erosion, and Deposition Reading Students read about earth processes that include those they investigated in the last activity—erosion and deposition—and the related earth process of weathering. The impact of human activity on these earth processes is also presented. Two literacy strategies that guide comprehension and synthesis help students process the main ideas. The terms, concepts, and issues associated with the reading are reviewed and discussed.
76. Challenges of the Mississippi Delta Role Playing In this activity, students consider the role of erosion and deposition in Louisiana’s Mississippi River delta. Through a role-playing exercise, the students learn about New Orleans’ location on the Mississippi River and how the city was impacted by Hurricane Katrina in 2005 due to its location. Students focus on the impact of human activities that have prevented natural cycles of erosion and deposition in the delta region. A literacy strategy to guide discussion helps students process the ideas that are presented in the role play.
77. Resistance to Erosion Modeling Students investigate one of the factors that contributes to different amounts of erosion. They investigate the effects of a erosion on different earth materials, in a situation in which the force of the erosive agent (water) is held relatively constant. By using models of the different earth materials found in and around Boomtown, they are able to evaluate the resistance to erosion of the different building sites.
78. Engineering a Solution Investigation Continuing their study of erosion, students model the effect of ocean waves on a cliff. They then design, test, and redesign structures to prevent erosion. They use their observations to compare the likely rate of erosion on the hillside and cliff.
79. Building for Sustainability Talking it Over Students discuss the advantages and disadvantages of situating two very different construction projects within the ecosystems at locations in four Texas ecoregions. In doing so, they take into account the likelihood and potential impact of various types of severe weather events. They also make recommendations on how the projects could be modified in order to maintain the sustainability of the ecosystems in which they will be located.

A full suite of course tools is available for teachers, as follows:

SEPUP Texas Edition, Science Grade 7, Environmental Change Unit

Student Edition

The Student Edition guides investigations and provides related readings. It uses a variety of approaches to make science accessible for all students. SEPUP’s integrated literacy strategies help students process new science content, develop their analytical skills, make connections between related concepts, and express their knowledge orally and in writing.

eStudent Edition

Availible in both download and online access platforms.

SEPUP Texas Edition, Science Grade 7, Environmental Change Unit

Teacher Edition

The SEPUP Core Curriculum Teacher’s Edition takes you through each activity in the Student Edition and helps you see the development of concepts within the big picture of the units and the course you are teaching. It helps you set up the equipment from the kit, organize the classroom, conduct activities, and manage practical details, all of which enhance students’ learning environment. The Teacher’s Edition is packaged as a series of loose-leaf binders that you can personalize with annotations, rearrangements, and insertions. The Teacher’s Edition provides full support for teaching the program. Additional support resources can also found in the Teacher’s Edition.

Complete Material Package

All SEPUP materials packages are designed with teachers, students and environmental considerations in mind. Traditional laboratory style classrooms are not necessary to teach SEPUP. Materials packages include most of the items needed for the activities. They support multiple classes – typically up to five classes of 32 students (160 total students) – before consumables need to be replaced. It’s important to note that materials are consumed at various rates; therefore, it will not be necessary to replace all consumable items every year. Exclusive to SEPUP programs are the molded tray liners that keep everything in place and easy to locate – even in a hurry.

Online and Technology Tools

These include the Exam View suite of assessment tools and more than 100 web links for each of the three SEPUP 6-8 courses, to be used for basic instruction and enrichment.

SEPUP Texas Edition, Science Grade 7, Environmental Change Unit Item # Price Quantity