HS-ESS2-1: The Creation of Landforms

Develop a model to illustrate how earth’s internal and surface processes operate at different spatial and temporal scales to form continental and ocean-floor features. (Stability and Change)

Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on how the appearance of land features (such as mountains, valleys, and plateaus) and sea-floor features (such as trenches, ridges, and seamounts) are a result of both constructive forces (such as volcanism, tectonic uplift, and orogeny) and destructive mechanisms (such as weathering, mass wasting, and coastal erosion).

Assessment Boundary: Assessment does not include memorization of the details of the formation of specific geographic features of Earth’s surface.


The following assessments were created by science teachers hoping to better understand the NGSS. In most cases teachers went from standard to assessment in around an hour.  These are drafts and should be used accordingly. Feel free to improve these assessments or contribute to the collection. Learn more about assessment design here.




Plate tectonics
Land features (e.g. mountains, valleys, and plateaus)
Sea-floor features (e.g. trenches, ridges, and seamounts)
Constructive forces (e.g. volcanism, tectonic uplift, and orogeny)
Destructive mechanisms (e.g. weathering, mass wasting, and coastal erosion)
Stability and Change (temporal and spatial)


Learning Plans


*Next Generation Science Standards is a registered trademark of Achieve. Neither Achieve nor the lead states and partners that developed the Next Generation Science Standards were involved in the production of this product, and do not endorse it.  Visit the official NGSS website.