Science

Grade 3 Science
Units of Study
2016-2017

Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems

Performance Expectations  
Students who demonstrate understanding can:

  1. Construct an argument that some animals form groups that help members survive.

  2. Analyze and interpret data from fossils to provide evidence of the organisms and the environments in which they lived long ago. [Examples of data could include type, size, and distributions of fossil organisms. Examples of fossils and environments could include marine fossils found on dry land, tropical plant fossils found in Arctic areas, and fossils of extinct organisms.]

  3. Construct an argument with evidence that in a particular habitat some organisms can survive well, some survive less well, and some cannot survive at all. [Examples of evidence could include needs and characteristics of the organisms and habitats involved. The organisms and their habitat make up a system in which the parts depend on each other.]

  4. Make a claim about the merit of a solution to a problem caused when the environment changes and the types of plants and animals that live there may change. [Examples of environmental changes could include changes in land characteristics, water distribution, temperature, food, and other organisms.]




Disciplinary Core Ideas

(the big ideas for this unit)

  • When the environment changes in ways that affect a place’s physical characteristics, temperature, or availability of resources, some organisms survive and reproduce, others move to new locations, yet others move into the transformed environment, and some die.
  • Being part of a group helps animals obtain food, defend themselves, and cope with changes. Groups may serve different functions and vary dramatically in size. 
  • Some kinds of plants and animals that once lived on Earth are no longer found anywhere. 
  • Fossils provide evidence about the types of organisms that lived long ago and also about the nature of their environments. 
  • For any particular environment, some kinds of organisms survive well, some survive less well, and some cannot survive at all. 
  • Populations live in a variety of habitats, and change in those habitats affects the organisms living there.





 Weather and Climate

Performance Expectations
Students who demonstrate understanding can:
  1. Represent data in tables and graphical displays to describe typical weather conditions expected during a particular season. [Examples of data could include average temperature, precipitation, and wind direction.]
  2. Obtain and combine information to describe climates in different regions of the world.
  3. Make a claim about the merit of a design solution that reduces the impacts of a weather-related hazard. [Examples of design solutions to weather-related hazards could include barriers to prevent flooding, wind resistant roofs, and lightning rods.]

Disciplinary Core Ideas
(the big ideas for this unit)

  • Scientists record patterns of the weather across different times and areas so that they can make predictions about what kind of weather might happen next. 
  • Climate describes a range of an area's typical weather conditions and the extent to which those conditions vary over years.
A variety of natural hazards result from natural processes. Humans cannot eliminate natural hazards but can take steps to reduce their impacts. 


Engineering Design for 3-5
(to be integrated into units above)

  • Possible solutions to a problem are limited by available materials and resources (constraints). The success of a designed solution is determined by considering the desired features of a solution (criteria). Different proposals for solutions can be compared on the basis of how well each one meets the specified criteria for success or how well each takes the constraints into account.
  • Research on a problem should be carried out before beginning to design a solution. Testing a solution involves investigating how well it performs under a range of likely conditions.
  • At whatever stage, communicating with peers about proposed solutions is an important part of the design process, and shared ideas can lead to improved designs.
  • Tests are often designed to identify failure points or difficulties, which suggest the elements of the design that need to be improved.
  • Different solutions need to be tested in order to determine which of them best solves the problem, given the criteria and the constraints.


The Eight Science Practices
 
(also integrated into units)

  1. Asking questions (for science) and defining problems (for engineering)
  2. Developing and using models
  3. Planning and carrying out investigations
  4. Analyzing and interpreting data
  5. Using mathematics and computational thinking
  6. Constructing explanations (for science) and designing solutions (for engineering)
  7. Engaging in argument from evidence
  8. Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information


Our teachers use a variety of commercial and teacher-made curriculum resources to support the development of our students’ understanding. Each classroom has library of Informational texts on the topics above. In addition, our teachers will be using resources from publishers including Pearson Interactive Science and Teacher's Curriculum Inc.  Students engage in hands-on science and engineering using a range of materials appropriate to their topics of study.

Grade 4: Science
Units of Study
2016-2017
 

Earth Systems: Processes that Shape the Earth

Performance Expectations
Students who demonstrate understanding can:
  1. Identify evidence from patterns in rock formations and fossils in rock layers to support an explanation for changes in a landscape over time. [ Examples of evidence from patterns could include rock layers with marine shell fossils above rock layers with plant fossils and no shells, indicating a change from land to water over time; and, a canyon with different rock layers in the walls and a river in the bottom, indicating that over time a river cut through the rock.]

  2. Make observations and/or measurements to provide evidence of the effects of weathering or the rate of erosion by water, ice, wind, or vegetation. [Examples of variables to test could include angle of slope in the downhill movement of water, amount of vegetation, speed of wind, relative rate of deposition, cycles of freezing and thawing of water, cycles of heating and cooling, and volume of water flow.]

  3. Analyze and interpret data from maps to describe patterns of Earth’s features. [ Maps can include topographic maps of Earth’s land and ocean floor, as well as maps of the locations of mountains, continental boundaries, volcanoes, and earthquakes.]Generate and compare multiple solutions to reduce the impacts of natural Earth processes on humans. [Examples of solutions could include designing an earthquake resistant building and improving monitoring of volcanic activity.]

Disciplinary Core Ideas
(the big ideas for this unit)

  • Local, regional, and global patterns of rock formations reveal changes over time due to earth forces, such as earthquakes. The presence and location of certain fossil types indicate the order in which rock layers were formed.
  • Rainfall helps to shape the land and affects the types of living things found in a region. Water, ice, wind, living organisms, and gravity break rocks, soils, and sediments into smaller particles and move them around.
  • The locations of mountain ranges, deep ocean trenches, ocean floor structures, earthquakes, and volcanoes occur in patterns. Most earthquakes and volcanoes occur in bands that are often along the boundaries between continents and oceans. Major mountain chains form inside continents or near their edges. Maps can help locate the different land and water features areas of Earth.
  • Living things affect the physical characteristics of their regions.
  • A variety of hazards result from natural processes (e.g., earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions). Humans cannot eliminate the hazards but can take steps to reduce their impacts.
  • Testing a solution involves investigating how well it performs under a range of likely conditions.

Energy

Performance Expectations 
Students who demonstrate understanding can:
  1. Use evidence to construct an explanation relating the speed of an object to the energy of that object.
  2. Make observations to provide evidence that energy can be transferred from place to place by sound, light, heat, and electric currents.
  3. Ask questions and predict outcomes about the changes in energy that occur when objects collide. [Emphasis is on the change in the energy due to the change in speed, not on the forces, as objects interact.]
  4. Apply scientific ideas to design, test, and refine a device that converts energy from one form to another. [Examples of devices could include electric circuits that convert electrical energy into motion energy of a vehicle, light, or sound; and, a passive solar heater that converts light into heat. Examples of constraints could include the materials, cost, or time to design the device.]
  5. Obtain and combine information to describe that energy and fuels are derived from natural resources and their uses affect the environment. [Examples of renewable energy resources could include wind energy, water behind dams, and sunlight; nonrenewable energy resources are fossil fuels and fissile materials. Examples of environmental effects could include loss of habitat due to dams, loss of habitat due to surface mining, and air pollution from burning of fossil fuels.]

Disciplinary Core Ideas
(the big ideas for this unit) 

  • The faster a given object is moving, the more energy it possesses.
  • Energy can be moved from place to place by moving objects or through sound, light, or electric currents.
  • Energy is present whenever there are moving objects, sound, light, or heat. When objects collide, energy can be transferred from one object to another, thereby changing their motion. In such collisions, some energy is typically also transferred to the surrounding air; as a result, the air gets heated and sound is produced.
  • Light also transfers energy from place to place.
  • Energy can also be transferred from place to place by electric currents, which can then be used locally to produce motion, sound, heat, or light. The currents may have been produced to begin with by transforming the energy of motion into electrical energy.
  • When objects collide, the contact forces transfer energy so as to change the objects’ motions.
  • The expression “produce energy” typically refers to the conversion of stored energy into a desired form for practical use.
  • Energy and fuels that humans use are derived from natural sources, and their use affects the environment in multiple ways. Some resources are renewable over time, and others are not.
  • Possible solutions to a problem are limited by available materials and resources (constraints). The success of a designed solution is determined by considering the desired features of a solution (criteria). Different proposals for solutions can be compared on the basis of how well each one meets the specified criteria for success or how well each takes the constraints into account.



Engineering Design for 3-5

(to be integrated into units above)

  • Possible solutions to a problem are limited by available materials and resources (constraints). The success of a designed solution is determined by considering the desired features of a solution (criteria). Different proposals for solutions can be compared on the basis of how well each one meets the specified criteria for success or how well each takes the constraints into account.
  • Research on a problem should be carried out before beginning to design a solution. Testing a solution involves investigating how well it performs under a range of likely conditions.
  • At whatever stage, communicating with peers about proposed solutions is an important part of the design process, and shared ideas can lead to improved designs.
  • Tests are often designed to identify failure points or difficulties, which suggest the elements of the design that need to be improved.

  • Different solutions need to be tested in order to determine which of them best solves the problem, given the criteria and the constraints.


The Eight Science Practices
(also integrated into units)

  1. Asking questions (for science) and defining problems (for engineering)
  2. Developing and using models
  3. Planning and carrying out investigations
  4. Analyzing and interpreting data
  5. Using mathematics and computational thinking
  6. Constructing explanations (for science) and designing solutions (for engineering)
  7. Engaging in argument from evidence
  8. Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information


Our teachers use a variety of commercial and teacher-made curriculum resources to support the development of our students’ understanding. Each classroom has library of Informational texts on the topics above. In addition, our teachers will be using resources from publishers including Pearson Interactive Science and Teacher's Curriculum Inc.  Students engage in hands-on science and engineering using a range of materials appropriate to their topics of study.

Grade 5: Science
Units of Study
2016-2017

Earth’s Systems: Processes that Shape the Earth

Performance Expectations
Students who demonstrate understanding can:

  1. Develop a model using an example to describe ways the geosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, and/or atmosphere interact. [Examples could include the influence of the ocean on ecosystems, landform shape, and climate; the influence of the atmosphere on landforms and ecosystems through weather and climate; and the influence of mountain ranges on winds and clouds in the atmosphere. The geosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere are each a system.]
  2. Describe and graph the amounts and percentages of water and fresh water in various reservoirs to provide evidence about the distribution of water on Earth.
  3. Obtain and combine information about ways individual communities use science ideas to protect the Earth’s resources and environment.












Disciplinary Core Ideas

(the big ideas for this unit)

  • Earth’s major systems are the geosphere (solid and molten rock, soil, and sediments), the hydrosphere (water and ice), the atmosphere (air), and the biosphere (living things, including humans). These systems interact in multiple ways to affect Earth’s surface materials and processes. The ocean supports a variety of ecosystems and organisms, shapes landforms, and influences climate. Winds and clouds in the atmosphere interact with the landforms to determine patterns of weather.
  • Nearly all of Earth’s available water is in the ocean. Most fresh water is in glaciers or underground; only a tiny fraction is in streams, lakes, wetlands, and the atmosphere.
  • Human activities in agriculture, industry, and everyday life have had major effects on the land, vegetation, streams, ocean, air, and even outer space. But individuals and communities are doing things to help protect Earth’s resources and environments.

 


space


Space Systems: Stars and the Solar System

Performance Expectations
Students who demonstrate understanding can:
  1. Support an argument that the gravitational force exerted by Earth on objects is directed down. [“Down” is a local description of the direction that points toward the center of the spherical Earth.]
  2. Support an argument that differences in the apparent brightness of the sun compared to other stars is due to their relative distances from Earth.

  3. Represent data in graphical displays to reveal patterns of daily changes in length and direction of shadows, day and night, and the seasonal appearance of some stars in the night sky. [Examples of patterns could include the position and motion of Earth with respect to the sun and selected stars that are visible only in particular months.]

Disciplinary Core Ideas
(the big ideas for this unit)

  • The gravitational force of Earth acting on an object near Earth’s surface pulls that object toward the planet’s center.
  • The sun is a star that appears larger and brighter than other stars because it is closer. Stars range greatly in their distance from Earth.
  • The orbits of Earth around the sun and of the moon around Earth, together with the rotation of Earth about an axis between its North and South poles, cause observable patterns. These include day and night; daily changes in the length and direction of shadows; and different positions of the sun, moon, and stars at different times of the day, month, and year.



Engineering Design for Grades 3-5
(to be integrated into units above)

  • Possible solutions to a problem are limited by available materials and resources (constraints). The success of a designed solution is determined by considering the desired features of a solution (criteria). Different proposals for solutions can be compared on the basis of how well each one meets the specified criteria for success or how well each takes the constraints into account.
  • Research on a problem should be carried out before beginning to design a solution. Testing a solution involves investigating how well it performs under a range of likely conditions.
  • At whatever stage, communicating with peers about proposed solutions is an important part of the design process, and shared ideas can lead to improved designs.
  • Tests are often designed to identify failure points or difficulties, which suggest the elements of the design that need to be improved.
  • Different solutions need to be tested in order to determine which of them best solves the problem, given the criteria and the constraints. 

 

The Eight Science Practices
(also integrated into units)

  1. Asking questions (for science) and defining problems (for engineering)
  2. Developing and using models
  3. Planning and carrying out investigations
  4. Analyzing and interpreting data
  5. Using mathematics and computational thinking
  6. Constructing explanations (for science) and designing solutions (for engineering)
  7. Engaging in argument from evidence
  8. Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information


Our teachers use a variety of commercial and teacher-made curriculum resources to support the development of our students’ understanding. Each classroom has library of Informational texts on the topics above. In addition, our teachers will be using resources from publishers including Pearson Interactive Science and Teacher's Curriculum Inc.  Students engage in hands-on science and engineering using a range of materials appropriate to their topics of study.