Science and Technology
Grade 8: Earth and Space Systems: Water Systems
Overall Expectations
•demonstrate an understanding of how the earth’s water systems were formed, the similarities and differences among them, and how they influence the climate and weather of the region in which they are located;
•investigate the major features of the earth’s water resources (e.g., oceans, rivers, lakes, glaciers, ice-caps, snowfall, clouds) and the effects of large bodies of water on global climate and ecosystems;
•examine how humans use resources from the earth’s different water systems and identify the factors involved in managing these resources for sustainability.         
Specific Expectations
Understanding Basic Concepts        
•identify the various states of water on the earth’s surface and the conditions under which they exist (e.g., glaciers, snow on mountains, and polar ice-caps are solid states of water; oceans, lakes, rivers, and groundwater are liquid states of water; the atmosphere contains water in its gaseous state);        
•describe the distribution and circulation of water on the earth (e.g., oceans, glaciers, rivers, groundwater, the atmosphere);        
•compare the formation of geological features on the ocean floor (e.g., sea mounts, continental shelves, trenches) and the formation of lakes and rivers;        
•compare the physical characteristics of salt water with those of fresh water (e.g., movement, density, buoyancy of objects in water);        
•explain how salinity differs in bodies of fresh and salt water;        
•describe wave formation and the effects of waves on coastal features (e.g., bays, rocky headlands, beaches);        
•explain, using simulations or models, how certain geological features affect the height of tides (e.g., Bay of Fundy tides);        
•describe, for their geographical area, the direction of water flow and its relationship to the Continental Divide (the watershed boundary for North America);        
•investigate, through observation, the effects of changes in temperature on convection currents in water;        
•investigate how large bodies of water affect the weather and climate of an area (e.g., lakes affect snow precipitation);        
•describe factors that affect glaciers and polar ice-caps, and describe the effects of glaciers and polar ice-caps on the environment (e.g., annual precipitation, temperature);        
•investigate, using simulations or models, the movement of ocean currents and their impact on regional climates (e.g., Gulf Stream, Labrador Current, Alaska Current).         
Developing Skills of Inquiry, Design, and Communication        
•formulate questions about and identify needs arising from events relating to the earth’s water, and explore possible answers to these questions and ways of meeting these needs (e.g., search print and/or electronic resources for information and prepare a map showing the changes in world ice distribution patterns over several geological time periods; conduct research to explain why fossils of ocean fish are found in places geographically removed from present-day oceans);        
•plan investigations for some of these answers and solutions, identifying variables that need to be held constant to ensure a fair test and identifying criteria for assessing solutions;        
•use appropriate vocabulary, including correct science and technology terminology, to communicate ideas, procedures, and results (e.g., use terms such as salinity, currents, and basins when describing oceans and their characteristics);        
•compile qualitative and quantitative data gathered through investigation in order to record and present results, using diagrams, flow charts, frequency tables, bar graphs, line graphs, and stem-and-leaf plots produced by hand or with a computer (e.g., record the results of a comparison of the density of various objects and of their buoyancy in fresh water and salt water);        
•communicate the procedures and results of investigations for specific purposes and to specific audiences, using media works, written notes and descriptions, charts, graphs, drawings, and oral presentations (e.g., prepare a multimedia presentation on the effects of tides on Canadian shores; create a concept map linking the different stages of the water cycle).         
Relating Science and Technology to the World Outside the School        
•evaluate human use of water and the economic and environmental effects of that use (e.g., filtration plants, tourism, industrial applications, control of water flow);        
•explain the different stages involved in processing water for use by humans (e.g., obtaining water from its source, treatment, distribution, disposal);        
•evaluate the positive and negative effects on the earth’s water supply of the development of natural resources (e.g., use of oil rigs, pulp and paper mills);        
•describe technological innovations that have facilitated and improved scientific research into oceans (e.g., sonar mapping, core sampling, satellite imaging, underwater photography and videography, tracking devices, submersibles);        
•analyse factors that affect the productivity and distribution of animal species in marine and fresh water environments (e.g., water released from a nuclear power plant, oil spills);        
•compare the diversity of living organisms in salt water with that in fresh water (e.g., construct marine and freshwater food webs and compare them);        
•explain how the geological features of the ocean floor interact with ocean currents to influence the productivity of the oceans and affect marine life (e.g., Grand Banks);        
•identify ways in which humans have tried to contain damage caused by water (e.g., flood control, dune vegetation, coastline reconfiguration);        
•explain how changes in the water table (e.g., changes in the water level in wells) relate to the water cycle;        
•discuss the technologies used to extract and secure oil and natural gas from the ocean floor and the possible economic and environmental costs and benefits.         
Student Name:        
 Expectations: Copyright The Queen's Printer for Ontario, 1998.  Format: Copyright B.Phillips, 1998.