Earth Science Outside – y 2018 – 2019 – Via SLDistrict

Homework 1 – Due September 8, 2018

Go Outside!


Mindful curiosity about landscapes.


Step 1. Go outside, preferably where you teach, preferably with a friend, colleague, family member… but, first, without students.

Step 2. Look around. Breathe! Relax. Just look around.

Step 3. See patterns!

Step 4. Practice curiosity. Ask yourself “why” questions about the patterns you see. State the obvious… that’s a talent.

For example you may see the Wasatch Range and the Oquirrh Mountains. You might ask: Why are the Wasatch taller than the Oquirrhs?

If you see any canyon you might ask? How did that canyon there?

If you’re locale is flat, you might ask? Why is this locale so flat? Has it “always” been flat or what did it look like before it was flat?

Step 5. Think about  your questions. Are you genuinely curious about your questions? If not, you may wonder why you’re not curious… and then, please try again. What are you curious about with respect to physical features that surround you?

Step 5. Compare your “why” questions to “what” questions such as … what’s the name of that mountain?

Step 6. Think about your curiosity and your students’ curiosity. Be curious about curiosity and then… refocus on the landscape.

SUBMIT by September 8, via email to with at least two images and one document

  • At least two images. One is a selfie of you outside at the location. The other(s) is (are) of the landscape and features you can see. Some places are so flat, you can only take a picture of flat!
  • An attachment, preferably a .doc document or pdf. I need to be able to print it. Here’s minimum contents:
    • Homework 1 from Your Name
    • Then give me enough of a clue of location and where you were looking so I can imagine where you were or look it up on Google Earth. (For example, we role played Salt Lake School District Headquarters, 440 East 100 South, SLC).
    • Share one pattern you noticed… about natural features on Earth’s surface you could see at your locale, or you know about its environs.
    • Then share with me what piqued your curiosity about natural features on Earth’s surface that you could see or imagine if trees weren’t in the way. 
    • Please write three questions you have about these features.
    • Please, don’t “answer” these questions.Please… don’t write about this… just wonder… if your students had  those questions, could you as their teacher steer them toward information connecting their questions to any of the following four themes of Earth science: tectonics, Earth materials, role of water on Earth’s surface, and geologic history of Salt Lake County?

I’m curious about your curiosity!

Submit via email to by September 8.

Expect feedback the first half hour of Session 2 – September 11 and 13.

This exercise should take less than an hour… although you may find “mindful curiosity” addictive!

CLICK HERE for links to the course SYLLABUS which has links to the five homework assignments (toward the end).