REAL Science Odyssey – Earth & Environment 1


eBook or printed format

written by Blair Lee, M.S.

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Product Description

Grade level: 1st through 4th (target grade is 2nd)

Pages: 318

Materials: For the most part, all lab materials are household items. Please refer to the Supplies tab for items that are not commonly found in households.

Earth & Environment 1- What’s New? 

Written by RSO Chemistry 1 author Blair LeeEarth & Environment 1  (E&E1) is being offered as an alternative to one of our most popular courses, Earth & Space 1. Some of the best parts of Earth & Space 1 (E&S1) are included in this course, but E&E1 includes many new elements; most notably environmental science topics and scientific modeling activities have been added. This innovative course is being offered to those yearning for a more nuanced Earth science course with environmental science woven throughout.

Earth & Space 1 will remain available for those wanting to teach the traditional basics of Earth science and astronomy in a single one-year course.

Earth & Environment 1 can be used as a stand-alone 25 week course, or paired with Astronomy 1 for a year+ of science.

We also offer a supplement eBook (Earth & Environment Add-on) for those who are using Earth & Space 1 and wish to teach the topics added to Earth & Environment 1.

Note from the Author

Earth & Space 1, originally published over a decade ago, has been updated, edited, and restructured into two courses Earth & Environment 1 and Astronomy 1. Earth & Environment 1  has added new sections with material that is now considered essential thematic elements and topics for an Earth science course.


What are the new elements?

  • Scientific modeling: There has been a movement to teach the practice and vocabulary of scientific modeling in all science classes, particularly Earth and environmental science. Scientific modeling at its most basic is done when a complex system is simplified so that specific elements within that system can be studied. This leads to a more solid understanding of the specific elements and a deeper, more nuanced understanding of the system as a whole.
  • During the past decade there has been a concerted movement by science educators to include environmental science as a thematic element when teaching Earth science. Earth & Environment 1  has woven environmental science topics throughout the updated course. An important topic now covered in this course is global warming and how that is causing climate change.
  • I’ve included focused definitions of core science terms and phrases that have significant differences of meaning from regular and scientific use.
  • The course was restructured so that the units build more naturally going from one to the next allowing for the inclusion of language from the previous units, for example the unit explaining weather has been combined with climate and moved from the beginning of the course to after the unit on the hydrosphere and atmosphere.


What are some of the new topics in Earth & Environment 1?

  • The spheres of Earth: the geosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere
  • Scientific modeling
  • Geologic timeline
  • Plate tectonics
  • Clouds
  • Global warming, climate change, and what can be done to help
  • Pollution of land, air, water
  • Hurricanes and tornadoes

Blair Lee, M.S.

RSO Earth & Environment 1 Course Description

You will find R.E.A.L. Science Odyssey (RSO) to be unlike any other science curricula available. Most notably, it is secular. Only scientific inquiry and theory based on empirical and measurable evidence are understood to be valid and standard science in all RSO courses.

Also, RSO courses are written specifically for home and small group use. Packed full of serious science and loads of fun, RSO is an incremental program that gently builds on itself and incorporates mathematics, scientific method, and science terminology. Created with the science novice in mind, you don’t need any science background to teach RSO.

In RSO Earth & Environment 1, the topics include scientific modeling, a study of three of Earth’s “spheres,” weather, climate, the environment, erosion, and plate tectonics. Students study the weather; climate and climate change; the age of the earth and forces that shape it; and current pollution and environmental issues that affect water, land, and air. Short lessons are followed by several hands-on labs and activities including making a Pangaea puzzle, testing various methods of cleaning an oil spill, making a geologic timeline, and water cycle in a bowl. Rocks and minerals are studied in depth with students identifying their samples through the same tests used by geologists.

The following is a list of topics your child will learn during the year while completing Earth & Environment 1. Each topic includes one to three lessons complete with lesson story, labs, reading, and other activities. Remember your child will also be having a whole lot of fun. Also included in this scope are laughing, playing, digging, exploring, reading, singing, and begging for more science!

RSO Earth & Environment 1 Scope and Sequence

Earth Introduction

  • What is Earth science?
  • Earth has four “spheres”
  • Age of Earth
  • Geologic timeline

Atmosphere & Hydrosphere

  • Air composition and characteristics
  • Air pollution
  • Water cycle
  • Water pollution
  • Cloud types

Plate Tectonics

  • Pangaea
  • Tectonic plate movement
  • Forces that shape the earth: earthquakes and volcanoes

Weather & Climate

  • Weather and seasons: monitoring weather, understanding seasons
  • Climate versus weather
  • Climate change
  • Shrinking my carbon footprint


  • Earth’s interior
  • Minerals: what they are and how to identify them
  • Rocks: identifying igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic
  • Rock cycle
  • Soil


  • Forces that erode rock: water, ice, and living things
  • Wind erosion
  • Human causes of erosion

Important Copyright Information: If you choose the eBook version of this course, you are purchasing a license to use the PDF for your own children. You may make copies for your own children, but you may not share (email, download, print and distribute, resell, etc.) this eBook or any portion of this eBook to others.

Licensing is available for group, school, and co-op use. Please contact Pandia Press for details on group licensing ([email protected]).

Uncommon Supplies Needed for Course Labs:

Science Thermometer– The liquid in good science thermometer goes down on its own, unlike the liquid in a medical thermometer, which must be shaken down. Some kitchen thermometers will work, but most do not go low enough. You will need a thermometer that will go down to 30° F or 0° C.

Inflatable Globe

RSO Rock and Mineral Kit & Streak Plate- A custom kit is available from Rainbow Resource. If you want to put together your own kit, you will need 1- to 2-inch samples of: Talc, Magnetite, Mica, Pyrite, Feldspar, Quartz Crystal, Granite, Basalt, Snowflake Obsidian, Conglomerate, Sandstone, Shale, Marble, Slate, and Schist. Plus, you need a streak plate to test mineral streak color. An unglazed kitchen tile (or even a sidewalk) can serve as a streak plate.

Please see the Try Before You Buy file for a complete list of the lab supplies needed to complete this course.

Earth & Environment 1 in Action

Do you have something to say about RSO Earth & Environment 1?

Please email pictures, videos, reviews, helpful links, blog posts, and any other information that you want to share about RSO Earth & Environment 1 to [email protected].

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