- Course type: Self-paced
- Available Lessons: 207
- Average Lesson Length: 8 min
Eligible for Certificate:
Certificates show that you have completed the course. They do not provide credit.
Watch a preview:chapter 1 / lesson 1The Main Branches of Geology
Course SummaryThis Physical Geology Syllabus Resource & Lesson Plans course is a fully developed resource to help you teach physical geology. You can easily adapt the video lessons, transcripts, and quizzes to take full advantage of the comprehensive and engaging material we offer. Make planning your course easier by using our syllabus as a guide.
to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days
Course Practice TestCheck your knowledge of this course with a 50-question practice test.
- Comprehensive test covering all topics
- Detailed video explanations for wrong answers
How It Works
You can use this physical geology course as a template for designing and implementing your course. Here are the key components of the course and how you can use them:
- Chapters - Each chapter covers a unit of physical geology, from the main branches of geology and work in the field to environmental ethics and policies. Use these chapters as mile markers as you map out your course. We recommend planning to spend a week on each chapter, but you can always allocate the chapters according to the length of your specific physical geology course.
- Lessons - Within each chapter are video lessons that further break down topics into bite-sized chunks. These lessons cover single topics like chemicals that cause cancer to the three major rock groups. Each one is often appropriate for a single class.
- Key Terms - Within each lesson are key terms. These are emphasized on screen and in the transcript. As you develop your syllabus, these key terms help you focus on the most important learning objectives. For example, the lesson on springs includes key terms like groundwater, confined and unconfined aquifers, gravity spring, artesian spring, seepage spring, tubular spring and fissure spring.
As you work on your physical geology plans, save time by incorporating video lessons from this resource. Here's how:
- Introduce Topics - Your students will be in the right mindset for understanding topics like characteristics of the U.S. Southwestern deserts if you begin class with a short video. It can be a jumping-off point for a lecture, group activity or class discussion.
- Break Up Lectures - The video format, which often includes animation, helps students visualize topics like beach drift and ways to conserve energy at home.
- Assign For Homework - Each lesson in the course, from the alignment of the continents in Pangaea to the effect of global warming on climate, can be assigned to your students as homework.
Each video lesson includes a complete transcript. You can utilize these transcripts in several ways:
- Lecture Notes - Do you need a guide as you plan a lecture, such as one on types of stars or aftershocks to an earthquake? The transcripts cover each topic in depth, with key terms highlighted for quick reference.
- Student Reading - Perhaps you'd like your students to learn about conditions that favor fossil preservation, but you don't have class time available. Assign the transcript as extra reading.
- Study Tools - When it's time for a unit exam on geologic time scale, you can point your students to the transcripts on major eons, period and epochs, catastrophic vs. uniformitarianism, the significance of half-life and the principle of fossil succession.
Each video lesson has a corresponding quiz. Here's how to use the quizzes:
- Homework - Assign a quiz to your students as homework. You'll receive an email with the results, which enables you to verify they've completed the assignment and that they've understood the material. Questions cover everything from types of mountains to key facts, like the term for ice cracks that form at the top of glaciers.
- Tests - You can meld the material in the quizzes into your own student assessments, saving you valuable time. Need a few questions on energy resources? There are plenty!
- Discussions - Jump-start a discussion with questions like: What is the difference between a mineral and a rock.
Below is a sketch of the physical geology syllabus modeled on a 28-week course. This sample can be adapted based on your course schedule. Navigate the chapters and lessons for more detail.
|Week||Unit||Sample of Topics Covered|
|Week 1||Introduction to Geology||Branches of geology, the scientific method, major geological subsystems|
|Week 2||Earth Materials||How minerals, rocks, soil and water are formed, how the earth's materials sustain life, metals and gemstones|
|Week 3||Mineral Types, Properties and Uses||Definition of minerals, types of crystal shapes, strength and density of minerals|
|Week 4||Earth and Celestial Rocks||The rock cycle, three major rock families, rocks on other celestial bodies|
|Week 5||Igneous Rocks||Magma, types of igneous rocks, where igneous rocks are found|
|Week 6||Sedimentary Rocks: A Deeper Look||Definition of sedimentary rocks, types of sedimentary rocks, how sedimentary rocks are formed|
|Week 7||Metamorphic Rocks: A Deeper Look||Definition of metamorphic rocks, how they are formed, contact and regional metamorphism|
|Week 8||Rock Deformation and Mountain Building||Causes of rock deformation, geologic folds, geologic faults, how mountains are built|
|Week 9||Weathering and Erosion||Chemical and mechanical weathering, causes of soil erosion, definition and causes of mass wasting|
|Week 10||Running Water||Drainage basins, erosion and deposition, how stream valleys are created|
|Week 11||Ground Water||Role of ground water, types of springs, environmental problems connected to ground water|
|Week 12||Glaciers||Creation of valley glaciers and ice sheets, accumulation and wastage, impact of Ice Age glaciers|
|Week 13||Oceans||Definition of ocean basins, marine organisms, causes of tides|
|Week 14||Deserts and Wind||Definition of deserts, wind action, structure and types of sand dunes|
|Week 15||Water Balance||The water cycle, how solar energy influences the water cycle, runoff|
|Week 16||The Universe||The Big Bang Theory, how stars are formed, types of telescopes, the structure of the sun|
|Week 17||Geologic Time||Geologic time scale, relative dating, radiometric dating, fossil preservation|
|Week 18||Earth's Spheres and Internal Structure||The internal and external forces that shape the Earth, the Earth's four spheres and how they interact|
|Week 19||Atmospheric Sciences||Influences on the atmospheric cycle, causes of global warming, cycles of matter|
|Week 20||Earthquakes||Causes of earthquakes, seismic waves, destruction|
|Week 21||Plate Tectonics||Unified Theory of Change, Theory of Continental Drift, support for the theory of plate tectonics|
|Week 22||Energy Resources||Definition of energy, Laws of Thermodynamics, fossil fuels, nuclear energy|
|Week 23||Renewable and Nonrenewable Resources||Solar energy, wind energy, energy conservation, hydraulic fracturing|
|Week 24||Economic Geology and Mineral Resources||Definition of economic geology, finding mineral resources, how minerals become concentrated|
|Week 25||Human Impact on the Environment||The IPAT equation, the impact on the environment of the agricultural revolution, industrial ecology|
|Week 26||Environmental Sustainability||Definition of environmental sustainability, threats to sustainability, the voluntary simplicity movement|
|Week 27||Environmental Risk Analysis||Environmental health, agents that cause disease, why children are especially vulnerable to environmental toxicants|
|Week 28||Ethical and Political Processes of the Environment||Environmental justice, environmental impact statements, world trade rules|
Earning College Credit
Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.
To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page
Transferring credit to the school of your choice
Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.
Research Schools, Degrees & Careers
Get the unbiased info you need to find the right school.
Browse Articles By Category
Browse an area of study or degree level.
- Biological and Biomedical Sciences
- Communications and Journalism
- Computer Sciences
- Culinary Arts and Personal Services
- Liberal Arts and Humanities
- Mechanic and Repair Technologies
- Medical and Health Professions
- Physical Sciences
- Transportation and Distribution
- Visual and Performing Arts
- Educational Videos Help Teacher to Make Online Courses More Engaging
- Health and Physical Education Lesson Plans
- How Tech Can Help Teachers Create Engaging Lesson Plans
- Guided Reading Lesson Plans
- Lesson Plan Design Courses and Classes Overview
- What Is the Difference Between a Physical & Geological Oceanographer?
- List of Free Online Geology Courses
- Geology: Summary of Coursework
- How Teachers Use Video Lessons to Help ADHD Students Learn
- Human Resource Management Course in Connecticut
- Answers and detailed explanations to each question
- Video lessons to explain complicated concepts
Explore our library of over 79,000 lessons
- College Courses
- High School Courses
- Other Courses