Grade 4 - Program Terminology

Geology of Nova Scotia

Here are some terms we hope you will introduce to your class before taking part in the grade four program. Understanding the meaning of these words will help the students prepare for and enjoy their visit to the Museum of Natural History.

Continents:    The seven major landmasses on Earth. They include North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, and Antarctica.

Earthquake: Vibrations on the Earth’s surface caused by the underground movement of tectonic plates.

Equator:     An imaginary line around the middle of the earth that divides the planet into the Northern Hemisphere and the Southern Hemisphere.

Geology:     The study of the Earth and its rocks and minerals.

Glacier:      A huge mass of ice that moves slowly over time.

Hemisphere: Half of the earth, such as the Northern Hemisphere or the Southern Hemisphere.

Hurricane:   A large tropical storm that brings with it strong winds and heavy rain.

Landscape:  An area of land that has certain characteristics. Examples of landscapes include mountains, forests, beaches, and cities.

Minerals:    Naturally occurring, solid substances made of crystals. Minerals are the ingredients, or building blocks, of rocks.

Property:    A characteristic of something, such as its size, weight, colour, or hardness.

Rock:        A naturally occurring solid that is made up of minerals.

Tectonic Plates: Large pieces of rock that make up the surface of the earth. They constantly move around the planet very, very slowly. Sometimes, when these plates shift against each other, it can cause earthquakes.

Tsunami:     A big ocean wave usually caused by an earthquake or a volcanic explosion.

Volcano:     An opening in the surface of the Earth that sometimes erupts, letting gas, ash, and magma escape.

Grade 4 - Program Terminology [PDF 42 KB]