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DRAFT

Lansing School District Elementary Science
Scope & Sequence for Grades 2-5

 

Grades

Quarters

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

2

Describing Weather

All about Water

Sound

Animals

3

Earth Materials and Their Uses

Shadows and Light

Motion, Force, and Simple Machines

Plant Parts
(and Who Eats Them)

4

Earth Features and Changes

Simple Electric Circuits

Plant Growth

Interdependence of Animals and Plants

5

Astronomy
(the Earth, Sun, and Moon)

Matter, Energy, and Changes

Weather Systems

Electricity
(including "current")

  Color Codes:  
 
 = Earth and Space Science  
 
 = Physical Science  
 
 = Life Science  

 


 

Lansing School District Elementary Science
Pacing Guides for Grades 2-5

DRAFT

[ Return to "scope and sequence" chart at top of page. ]         [ Go forward to next unit. ]

           
  Grade:     Second     Science Area:     Earth and Space      
  Quarter:     First     Unit Title:     Describing Weather      
  Unit overview:   Children observe and describe local weather conditions. They keep observations of daily weather and seasonal patterns in a scientific journal. They begin their study of water — as a liquid and as a solid — in terms of its forms as observed in the weather. They learn appropriate safety precautions associated with severe weather.  
  The 4 benchmarks in this unit represent ideas that are portions of 2 more encompassing Michigan Curriculum Framework science standards, as described in these MI-BIG narratives: V.2 The Hydrosphere
V.3 The Atmosphere and Weather
 
           

MCF 2000 Code and Benchmark*

Main Ideas and Connections

Essential^ Tools (T) for Students in Real-world Contexts (R)

Notes for Teachers

V.2.e.1

Describe how water exists on earth in three states.

MI-CLiMB Benchmark Clarification

Water can be described in three states:   solid, liquid, and gas. In this second-grade unit, we focus only on liquids and solids. Liquids are visible, and they can flow. We see liquid water in dew or rain. Solid water is hard and visible. We can see solid water when it freezes to make ice, snow, freezing rain (sleet), and hail. When solid water melts, it begins to flow again. By the fifth grade, children will understand the gaseous state of water.

T:   None.

R:   Examples of solid and liquid water including dew, rain, snow, ice; examples of melting and freezing.

Children often limit their ideas of solids to rigid materials, and of liquids to anything that can be poured. They often do not associate freezing with temperature. Water vapor is hard for them to understand because young children view water that evaporates as disappearing, instead of changing locations. So, the third state of water, gas, is left for the fifth-grade unit on matter, energy, and changes.

V.3.e.1

Describe weather conditions.

MI-CLiMB Benchmark Clarification

We can describe weather conditions by observing the temperature, precipitation, cloud cover, and wind. The air can be described as cold, hot, warm, or cool. Cloud cover can be cloudy, partly cloudy, or foggy. Precipitation can fall as rain, snow, hail, or freezing rain. The wind can be breezy, windy, or calm. Severe weather includes lightning, thunderstorms, tornadoes, high winds, or blizzards.

T:   Student journals, thermometer, wind sock, rain gauge.

R:   Daily changes in local weather and changes within the same day. Examples of severe weather.

Young children often believe that rain occurs when someone opens up reservoirs of water in the clouds to make it rain. They often think of clouds as smoke or cotton. They may think that clouds rain when they bump into each other and explode, rip, or tear. Younger children sometimes think wind is made by moving objects like cars, trees, and clouds. They may also think that cold temperatures make it very windy, while warm breezes are always gentle.

V.3.e.2

Describe seasonal changes in Michigan’s weather.

MI-CLiMB Benchmark Clarification

We can observe the seasons and describe the weather in each season. In fall, the nights are cool and the days are warm. In winter, it is often snowy or constantly cold, and it gets dark earlier in the evening. In spring, the days start to get longer and warmer, and it is often rainy with thunderstorms. In summer, we have hot days and warm nights, and the days are long.

T:   Student journals.

R:   Temperature trends in each season, and across seasons. Comparisons of the kinds of clothes we wear in each season.

In this unit, we are simply describing the seasonal changes. Children often think that we have seasons because the earth moves closer to or farther away from the sun during the year. Until the upper grades or middle school, they have difficulty understanding how the tilt of the earth influences the concentration of sunlight on different parts of the earth, and accounts for the seasons. So, explaining the seasons is not the focus in second grade.

V.3.e.3

Explain appropriate safety precautions during severe weather.

MI-CLiMB Benchmark Clarification

During severe weather, safety precautions should be taken. When we hear tornado sirens, or radio and T.V. broadcasts for severe weather watches or warnings, we can find safe locations until the severe weather is past.

T:   Radio and TV broadcasts, weather forecasts in the daily paper.

R:   Examples of local severe weather including tornadoes, thunderstorms, and blizzards. Examples of local community safety precautions including weather bulletins and tornado sirens.

 

 


 

Lansing School District Elementary Science
Pacing Guides for Grades 2-5

DRAFT

[ Go back to previous unit. ]         [ Return to "scope and sequence" chart at top of page. ]         [ Go forward to next unit. ]

           
  Grade:     Second     Science Area:     Earth and Space      
  Quarter:     Second     Unit Title:     All about Water      
  Unit overview:   Children investigate the solid and liquid states of water and how temperature is related to the state of water, as related to the different forms of precipitation they have studied in the describing weather unit. They explore what happens to rain water after it falls and how this is related to changes in earth’s surface. They investigate how we get the water we use, and how we use water, and examine the need for conservation of and protection of sources of fresh water.  
  The 7 benchmarks in this unit represent ideas that are portions of 3 more encompassing Michigan Curriculum Framework science standards, as described in these MI-BIG narratives: IV.2 Changes in Matter
V.1 The Geosphere
V.2 The Hydrosphere
 
           

MCF 2000 Code and Benchmark*

Main Ideas and Connections

Essential^ Tools (T) for Students in Real-world Contexts (R)

Notes for Teachers

V.2.e.1

Describe how water exists on earth in three states.

MI-CLiMB Benchmark Clarification

In second grade, we focus on water in the solid and liquid states. Water in the environment can exist in the solid state (as snow, hail, or ice on lakes, rivers, or land) and in the liquid state (as rain or dew, as well as in puddles, lakes, streams, and rivers).

By the fifth grade, children will understand all three states of water:   solid, liquid, and gas.

T:   Thermometer.

R:   Examples of water in solid and liquid states, including dew, rain, snow, ice, evidence of moisture in the air, such as "fog" on cold bathroom mirrors; examples of melting, freezing, and evaporating

Water in its solid forms is less obvious than the liquid form that is central to everyday experience. Students can, however, watch liquid water freeze in an ice cube tray and observe the melting of snow and ice. It is much more difficult for children to understand how liquid water evaporates into the air, because children often believe that the water simply "disappears," even in middle school. Even when they see water drops on the outside of a cold glass, they may think the liquid inside "leaked" to the outside. This is the reason why we focus on water in its solid and liquid forms in this unit; water in its gaseous state is addressed in the fifth-grade unit.

V.2.e.2

Trace the path that rain water follows after it falls.

MI-CLiMB Benchmark Clarification

Rain, falling locally from sky, collects on the earth’s surface, runs off downhill into streams and rivers, and soaks into the ground. In cities, gutters and street drains collect the water in underground systems that eventually empty into streams, rivers, or lakes.

T:   Maps showing local surface water and watersheds, maps that children make of the areas around the school.

R:   Examples of water flowing locally including gutters, drains, streams, and wetlands.

Children may be aware that water from rain or melting snow collects in puddles and either runs down the drains, soaks into the ground, or dries up. However, where the water goes after going down the drain or soaking in is much less obvious. They may have trouble believing that the water actually gets to rivers or lakes some distance away.

V.2.e.3

Identify sources of water and its uses.

MI-CLiMB Benchmark Clarification

Water is used for sanitation, drinking, cleaning, and food preparation. We also use it for recreation, and for transportation and industry. Almost all human activity requires the use of some water, for example, irrigating crops, transporting barges on rivers, generating electricity.

Drinking water is obtained from below the surface by digging wells, and from surface sources such as rivers or lakes.

T:   Maps or documents showing local sources of drinking water.

R:   Local sources of drinking water including wells, rivers, and lakes. Local examples of water use, e.g. car wash, swimming pools, fire hydrants, cleaning, watering lawn, bathing.

Young students are most familiar with the water they use in their daily lives for drinking, cleanliness, or recreation. We may need to encourage them to ask questions, such as, "Where does our water comes from?" They may observe it coming out of the faucet, but have difficulty tracing it further back than that.

V.1.e.6

Demonstrate ways to conserve natural resources, reduce pollution through reduction, reuse, and recycling of manufactured materials.

MI-CLiMB Benchmark Clarification

Although there seems to be plenty of water, much of it is not suitable for human use without special treatment. In times of low rainfall, there can be shortages of useable water even in Michigan. People usually have to pay to have water supplied to their houses and businesses.

Water use in homes can be reduced by being careful and through use of appliances that reduce the flow of water.

Pollution can make water sources unusable or more expensive to use. Proper disposal of harmful materials can protect our water supply.

T:   Records of water use for the school and community.

R:   Water use in school and at home. News items of local water pollution or programs to prevent or repair pollution.

The need to conserve water may not be clear to students because it is often assumed to be plentiful and easily replaced, especially here in Michigan where we are surrounded by the Great Lakes.

This unit deals primarily with water as a resource. Other natural resources are dealt with in other units.

V.1.e.1

Describe major features of the earth’s surface.

MI-CLiMB Benchmark Clarification

In this unit, we focus on bodies of water only. The earth’s surface is different at different locations in Michigan. The way the earth looks where we are may not be the way it looks in other locations. Michigan has many different surface features including bodies of water like waterfalls, the Great Lakes, lakes, and rivers.

By the fifth grade, children will understand the full range of Earth’s surface features, including mountains, deserts, plains, and valleys.

T:   Maps of Lansing, and Michigan. Children’s maps of the area around the school.

R:   Michigan surface features:   waterfalls, the Great Lakes, rivers.

Children commonly think that the earth is flat, or that we live inside of a hollow sphere, so the idea of a "rounded" earth’s surface is difficult for them to understand, and left for the 5th grade astronomy unit.

See also EH — V.2.e.2.

V.1.e.3

Describe natural changes in the earth’s surface.

MI-CLiMB Benchmark Clarification

In this unit, we focus on changes made by rainwater and flowing water. Natural changes in the earth’s surface can be slow and gradual processes like erosion by water or glaciers. Or they can be rapid changes caused by floods. These slow or fast changes lead to valleys, cracks in the surface, and movement of materials like sand, clay, boulders, and gravel.

By the fifth grade, children will understand other slow and gradual changes due to wind and gravity, as well as rapid changes caused by volcanoes and earthquakes.

T:   Pictures and footage of various natural disasters. Journals for recording observations of changes.

R:   Places around the school where erosion has occurred, such as gullies formed in downhill gravel areas. Cracks in the asphalt or sidewalk. Spring flooding in the Midwest. Changes in sand dunes due to water

Children believe the world today is as it always was. For example, they think mountains have always been in the places they are now, or lakes and rivers have always been in the places they are today. They often think of change as limited to dramatic changes, as in natural disasters. They may need help understanding the concept of slow and gradual change over long periods of time.

IV.2.e.1

Describe common physical changes in matter including size, shape, state (e.g., melting, freezing, evaporating), and dissolving.

MI-CLiMB Benchmark Clarification

In this unit, we focus on changes of state from solid to liquid and back again, for water only. Everything we experience that takes up space and has mass is called matter. Matter can be changed in a number of ways using a variety of processes. For example, we can change the shape (e.g., by pouring into another container), or state of matter (e.g., by heating — to cause melting — or cooling — to cause freezing). All of these kinds of change are "physical changes" because — even though the matter may change shape, or state — it is still the same substance. For example, water from a melting ice cube is the same substance before and after freezing.

By fifth grade, children will understand that we can find water in three states of matter:   solid, liquid, and gas.

T:   Heating devices (e.g., stoves, hot plates, and hair dryers).

      Cooling devices (e.g., freezers, refrigerators, proximity with ice in a closed container).

      Journals to record findings with words and pictures.

R:   Changes in size or shape of familiar objects, such as making snowballs or ice cubes; changes in the state of water or other substances, such as freezing of ice cream, or ponds; puddles drying.

Note that "patterns of change" is one of the seven "connecting themes" identified for attention by Michigan Essential Goals and Objectives for Science Education (pp. 145-146) that can receive emphasis in this unit.

In this unit, the focus is on observable examples of more familiar, physical changes. Determining whether or not a change is a "physical change" depends on whether or not you have the same substance before and after the change. Students have learned that substances are identified by their properties. However, some properties of substances (e.g., the state of matter) can be changed by physical changes, and so children sometimes have difficulty understanding that ice and snow are still water, because their properties are so different from liquid water. They may believe that snow and ice "turn into" water, rather than consisting of water themselves.

Understanding which properties scientists use to distinguish physical changes from other kinds of changes will be addressed in middle school when students begin to consider matter at the particle level. Thus, molecular level accounts of physical changes, along with chemical and nuclear changes should be reserved for study in middle and high school (see for example benchmarks IV.2.m.1-3, IV.2.h.1-5). In the meantime, we will need to explain to our students that "by definition" physical changes are those that involve only changes in the size, the shape, or the state of matter.

See also the "earth science" benchmark V.2.e.1, which deals specifically with the three states of water.

 


 

Lansing School District Elementary Science
Pacing Guides for Grades 2-5

DRAFT

[ Go back to previous unit. ]         [ Return to "scope and sequence" chart at top of page. ]         [ Go forward to next unit. ]

           
  Grade:     Second     Science Area:     Physical      
  Quarter:     Third     Unit Title:     Sound      
  Unit overview:   Students explore a variety of sounds and how they are made. Students learn that sounds travel and exist separately from their sources. Students also distinguish between the two main characteristics of sounds:   loudness and pitch. Students create their own sound-making devices (e.g., musical instruments) and learn to manipulate both the loudness and the pitch of a sound. In addition, students describe some of the kinds of motions associated with sounds and learn that sound is a form of energy.  
  The 4 benchmarks in this unit represent ideas that are portions of 3 more encompassing Michigan Curriculum Framework science standards, as described in these MI-BIG narratives: IV.1 Matter and Energy
IV.3 Motion of Objects
IV.4 Waves and Vibrations
 
           

MCF 2000 Code and Benchmark*

Main Ideas and Connections

Essential^ Tools (T) for Students in Real-world Contexts (R)

Notes for Teachers

IV.1.e.3

Identify forms of energy associated with common phenomena.

MI-CLiMB Benchmark Clarification

In second grade, we study sound as a kind of energy. Energy is needed to cause changes. This can involve changing the shape or state of matter, or changing the speed or direction of an object’s motion.

By fifth grade, children will understand that we have a variety of names for the different kinds of energy, for example:   sound, light, motion, electricity, heat, and food energy. The name we use depends on the contexts in which and the senses by which we experience them. For example, we hear sound, we see light, and we feel heat. However, scientists use the concept of energy for all these events because they each involve some kind of change.

T:   None.

R:   Selected examples of things that make sound, such as the human voice, animal sounds, tuning forks, thunder, doorbells, radios, and musical instruments.

The variety of changes caused by energy is so diverse that they often appear unrelated. This makes the abstract scientific notion of energy difficult for students to learn. Students need multiple opportunities to experience and investigate each of the forms of energy before they can be expected to see what they share in common. In this unit, students focus their attention on sound.

For information about student learning experiences with other kinds of energy in grades 2-5, see the following science units (and benchmarks):

• grade 3 "Shadows and Light" (IV.4.e.3-4 about light),

• grade 3 "Motion, Force, and Simple Machines" (IV.3.e.1 about energy of motion),

• grade 4 "Simple Electric Circuits" (IV.1.e.4 about electricity),

• grade 4 "Interdependence of Plants and Animals" (III.2.e.4 and III.5.e.2 about energy from food), and

• grade 5 "Matter, Energy, and Changes" (IV.2.e.1 about heat).

IV.3.e.1

Describe or compare motions of common objects in terms of speed and direction.

MI-CLiMB Benchmark Clarification

When matter moves repeatedly back and forth, we call that kind of motion "vibrating." Rapid vibration of matter creates sound that we can hear. Sound can travel through whatever matter (e.g., a tabletop, water, air) is next to the vibrating object that is its source. The directions in which a sound can travel can be described as east, west, north, south, up, down, left, or right. We can use words like fast, faster, slow, or slower to compare the speed at which a sound travels with the speed of other moving objects. Sound typically spreads out or travels very quickly in all directions away from its source.

T:   A compass for determining direction.

      Tables and journals to record findings with words and pictures.

R:   Motions of familiar vibrating objects including human vocal cords, doorbells, tuning forks, speakers in audio equipment (e.g., radios, CD players, televisions) and a variety of musical instruments.

Students began describing the locations and motions of familiar objects in K-1. The study of sound in this unit provides opportunities to observe and describe a particular kind of motion:   vibrations. Everyday use of the word "speed" in these contexts can be confusing if it is used to refer both to the rate of vibration of an object and the speed at which sound travels away from its source. Some of this confusion may be avoided by referring to how rapidly the material is vibrating and the "speed" at which sound travels.

Since measurements of speed — which involve ratios of distance and time — can be difficult for second-grade students, it is not important at this time for students to measure or learn the numeric speed of sound. However, FYI, sound travels approximately 330 meters per second through air. Also, matter must vibrate at least 20 times per second to make an audible sound.

IV.4.e.2

Explain how sounds are made.

MI-CLiMB Benchmark Clarification

All sounds are created by vibrations of matter. In order for a vibration to occur, a force must be applied to the object (e.g., strumming a guitar string). The size of a vibration can be described as being large or small. The rate of vibration can be described as being fast or slow. The sound that is created by an object’s vibration then exists in and spreads out through the air (or other surrounding matter), separate from the object or source of the sound. When these traveling vibrations reach our ears, they cause our eardrums to vibrate, and we "hear" the sound.

T:   Journals to record ideas with words and pictures.

R:   Sound from common sources — especially those with which the vibrations can easily be felt or seen — such as musical instruments, speakers of radios or CD players, animal sounds, door bells, thunder, tuning forks, and human voices.

Sound is one variety of wave motion, but identifying it as a wave is not a focus of the second-grade unit. In this unit, students learn that vibrating matter is always at the source of any sound. Careful use of the words "sound" and "source" will help students distinguish sounds from the objects that make them. For example, in everyday language we may say, "I hear the violin," when actually we are hearing the sounds that the violin makes. Making the distinction between the vibrating object that is the source of a sound and the sound that is produced by it is a sufficient challenge for many second-grade students. Further understanding of the nature of the sound waves that spread out through air (or other media) from a sound’s source is addressed in middle school benchmarks (see for example benchmark IV.4.m.1), as is more technical vocabulary like "sound wave," "amplitude."

IV.4.e.1

Describe sounds in terms of their properties.

MI-CLiMB Benchmark Clarification

Loudness and pitch are two properties that help us to compare different kinds of sound. The loudness of a sound depends on how much force is applied to the source to make it vibrate. A large vibration makes a loud sound; a small vibration makes a soft sound. Louder sounds have more energy than softer sounds. Sounds typically become softer as we move farther away from their source. Another term for loudness is volume. The pitch of a sound depends on how rapidly the source vibrates. A very fast rate of vibration is heard as a high pitch; a slow rate of vibration is heard as a low pitch.

T:   A decibel meter (e.g., as can be found on many tape recorders) or a sound probe connected to a computer.

    Tables and journals to record findings with words and pictures.

R:   Sound from common sources — especially those with which the vibrations can easily be felt or seen — such as musical instruments, speakers of radios or CD players, animal sounds, door bells, thunder, tuning forks, and human voices.

Many students have difficulty distinguishing between loudness and pitch. This is probably because the everyday meanings of the words we use in referring to these properties are different from their scientific meanings. For example, we may describe adjusting the loudness of a radio as turning the volume (i.e., the loudness) "up higher" or "down lower." Second-grade students should learn that when they describe sounds precisely, the terms "high" and "low" refer to a different property of sound from "loud" and "soft," and they should use those terms appropriately in describing real sounds.

For your own information, a very fast rate of vibration (i.e., thousands of times per second) is heard as a high pitch; a slow rate of vibration (i.e., between 20 and 500 times per second) is heard as a low pitch. Another term for rate of vibration — although not one to be used with second-grade students — is "frequency."

 


 

Lansing School District Elementary Science
Pacing Guides for Grades 2-5

DRAFT

[ Go back to previous unit. ]         [ Return to "scope and sequence" chart at top of page. ]         [ Go forward to next unit. ]

           
  Grade:     Second     Science Area:     Life      
  Quarter:     Fourth     Unit Title:     Animals      
  Unit overview:   Children are fascinated by animals of all kinds. In this unit, they observe, compare and contrast several different animals. They observe how animals’ body parts help them meet their needs for life. They watch as animals grow from the young forms to the adult forms. They compare the young and the adults to see if they have similar characteristics, such as kind of teeth or fur. And they examine how an environment can provide what animals need to live.  
  The 6 benchmarks in this unit represent ideas that are portions of 3 more encompassing Michigan Curriculum Framework science standards, as described in these MI-BIG narratives: III.2 Organization of Living Things
III.3 Heredity
III.5 Ecosystems
 
           

MCF 2000 Code and Benchmark*

Main Ideas and Connections

Essential^ Tools (T) for Students in Real-world Contexts (R)

Notes for Teachers

III.2.e.1

Explain characteristics and functions of observable body parts in a variety of animals.

MI-CLiMB Benchmark Clarification

Animals have body parts that we can observe. These parts — such as legs, beaks, claws, fur, and quills — may help them move, support their bodies in position, get their food, keep warm, or defend themselves from other animals.

T:   Science journals for recording observations of animals and their body parts.

R:   Animals with backbones, such as humans, cows, sparrows, and goldfish. Animals without backbones, such as spiders, crayfish, and insects.

Children may attribute human-like intentions and desires to animals, for example, birds have beaks because they "want to" eat seeds. Use of terms like "vertebrate" and "invertebrate" are left for middle school grade levels.

III.2.e.2

Compare and contrast (K-2) and classify (3-5) familiar organisms on the basis of observable physical characteristics.

MI-CLiMB Benchmark Clarification

Some animals are alike in their body parts, like feathers and shells, and some are different. We can compare them and group them together by looking at the body parts that are similar or different.

T:   Use of classroom charts and Venn diagrams to show groupings of animals that are similar or not.

R:   Animals that look similar — for example, snakes, worms, and millipedes. Animals that look different — for example, birds and snakes.

Children may have a narrow view of "animals" and believe that those that do not resemble mammals (for example, having fur and four legs) are not animals. For example, they may not believe that birds and insects are animals. They may believe that only large, common mammals such as cows and elephants are animals.

III.2.e.3

Describe life cycles of familiar organisms.

MI-CLiMB Benchmark Clarification

Animals may start life as an egg or young animal, then grow into an adult animal. As an adult, animals can lay more eggs or have more young. They may go through several stages, such as a larva and pupa, and look quite different in each stage.

T:   Hand lenses.

R:   Common animals such as butterflies, grasshoppers, frogs, and chickens.

Children may believe that inside the egg is a complete miniature adult, instead of an immature form. They may believe that an egg is not alive, because it does not move around.

III.2.e.4

Compare and contrast food, energy, and environmental needs of selected organisms.

MI-CLiMB Benchmark Clarification

In second grade, we focus on food and environmental needs of animals. Animals need food, air, water and space in a habitat. Some animals eat the same kinds of food (for example, fruits), and others eat other kinds of food (for example, insects).

By the fourth grade and fifth grades, children will understand that animals obtain their energy from food.

T:   Use of classroom charts to compare animals on several common needs for life, such as food or shelter.

R:   Aquarium or terrarium life, such as guppy, goldfish, and snail. Local woods or ponds.

Energy is a fairly difficult concept to understand, even for high school students. So, we do not expect children in second grade to understand animals’ needs for energy or their uses of energy.

See LEC-III.5.

III.3.e.1

Give evidence that characteristics are passed from parents to young.

MI-CLiMB Benchmark Clarification

Young animals often look like their parents. They may have the same hair or eye color, the same color feathers, the same shape beak, the same kind of feet.

T:   Classroom charts with children’s drawings showing how young animals change as they grow older.

R:   Examples of mature and immature organisms, such as dogs/puppies, cats/kittens, mealworms/beetles, caterpillars/butterflies, and chicks/hen.

Young children may think that male parents pass on characteristics to male young, and female parents to female young. Explanations of how characteristics are passed from adults to young are addressed in high school grades.

III.5.e.3

Design systems that encourage growing of particular animals.

MI-CLiMB Benchmark Clarification

We can design spaces that have what animals need to live. We need to make sure that in this habitat, they have food, water, shelter, and air that they can use to meet their needs for life.

T:   Aquarium, terrarium for observing animals. Bottle biology systems.

R:   Ecosystems managed by humans, including farms, ranches, gardens, lawns, potted plants.

Children sometimes think that humans take care of all animals and plants.

 


 

Lansing School District Elementary Science
Pacing Guides for Grades 2-5

DRAFT

[ Go back to previous unit. ]         [ Return to "scope and sequence" chart at top of page. ]         [ Go forward to next unit. ]

           
  Grade:     Third     Science Area:     Earth and Space      
  Quarter:     First     Unit Title:     Earth Materials and Their Uses      
  Unit overview:   Children investigate earth materials, and their uses in our lives. They explore the ways in which people get earth materials and how this affects the land and water. They consider ways that people can reduce, reuse and recycle materials, so that remaining earth materials can be conserved.  
  The 5 benchmarks in this unit represent ideas that are portions of 3 more encompassing Michigan Curriculum Framework science standards, as described in these MI-BIG narratives: III.5 Ecosystems
V.1 The Geosphere
V.2 The Hydrosphere
 
           

MCF 2000 Code and Benchmark*

Main Ideas and Connections

Essential^ Tools (T) for Students in Real-world Contexts (R)

Notes for Teachers

V.1.e.2

Recognize and describe different types of earth materials.

MI-CLiMB Benchmark Clarification

We can describe earth materials by observing their size and composition. Earth materials come from different places and include sand, soil, clay, rocks, gravel, boulders, and minerals.

T:   Hand lens, journals for describing earth materials.

R:   Samples of earth materials such as rock, gravel, sand, clay, soil, and ores. Places in Michigan where we get different earth materials.

Children view "materials" as any kind of stuff, rather than specific substances that are used to make things. They often use terms such as boulder, rock, and soil in everyday ways, and may need help applying the scientific meanings. They may distinguish between "soil" and "dirt. " They may think that gravel is loose rock on the roadside, and that sand only occurs at the beach.

V.1.e.5

Describe uses of materials taken from the earth.

MI-CLiMB Benchmark Clarification

We use natural materials taken from the earth every day in our lives. For transportation, oil from the earth is converted to gasoline. In building, sand is used to make glass, ores are converted to metals, and gravel is used to concrete and asphalt. We make electricity from burning coal or water running over dams. Water is used for drinking, cleaning, cooking, and in industry.

T:   Videos showing how earth materials are used, Internet investigations about earth materials.

R:   The production of concrete walls, playground pads, glass windows, metal chairs, concrete sidewalks.

 

V.1.e.6

Demonstrate ways to conserve natural resources and reduce pollution through reduction, reuse, and recycling of manufactured materials.

MI-CLiMB Benchmark Clarification

Taking materials from the earth can make changes that are harmful to the environment. Therefore, reducing, reusing and recycling are important habits to save resources. Paper, glass, metal, and plastic are all materials that are useful to us every day; conserving and recycling these materials is important, especially for reducing pollution of the land and water.

T:   Recycling bins in the classroom.

R:   Collections of recyclable materials, plans for recycling at home and school, composting, ways of reusing or reducing the use of paper.

Children commonly think that some materials just "disappear" or "go away" when we throw them into the trash. They may need help observing and recording what happens in a compost pile, or what happens in a landfill.

V.2.e.3

Identify sources of water and its uses.

MI-CLiMB Benchmark Clarification

Water is used for sanitation, drinking, cleaning, food preparation, and recreation. Public uses include generating electricity, irrigation, transportation, and industry. Almost all human activity requires the use of some water, for example, irrigating crops, transporting barges on rivers, generating electricity.

Drinking water is obtained from below the surface by digging wells, and from surface sources such as rivers or lakes.

T:   None.

R:   Examples of local sources of drinking water including wells, rivers, and lakes. Examples of local occasions when water is used including, car wash, swimming, fire hydrants, drinking, food preparation, cleaning, watering lawn, bathing, fishing, boating, shipping on the Great Lakes.

In this unit, we review what children have learned about water and its sources in second grade and connect that to other earth resources from the land.

III.5.e.4

Describe positive and negative effects of humans on the environment.

MI-CLiMB Benchmark Clarification

Humans have effects on the environment — they produce and dispose of garbage; remove large quantities of earth materials and often do not restore the habitats in those areas; burn earth materials like coal and oil that produce pollution in the air and water; and build factories that may pollute the land, air and water, and disrupt ecosystems. Humans can also restore areas where earth materials have been mined or drilled, recycle materials so that they can be reused, and compost some components of garbage.

T:   Maps of the school’s neighborhood or Lansing, showing green spaces, trees, sidewalks, ponds, housing, roads. Balances or scales to weigh classroom trash; graphs of the weight of classroom trash across time.

R:   Classroom, household, and school trash; waste water treatment; habitat destruction due to building; reforestation projects; landfills; establishing parks or other green spaces; recycling.

Children may think that oceans are a limitless resource, solid wastes in dumps are safe, and/or that anything "natural" is not pollution.

They may believe that earth materials are in limitless supply, and will always be there for our use.

 


 

Lansing School District Elementary Science
Pacing Guides for Grades 2-5

DRAFT

[ Go back to previous unit. ]         [ Return to "scope and sequence" chart at top of page. ]         [ Go forward to next unit. ]

           
  Grade:     Third     Science Area:     Physical      
  Quarter:     Second     Unit Title:     Shadows and Light      
  Unit overview:   Students learn about the nature of light by studying the formation of shadows and using color filters and prisms. They manipulate light sources, objects that make shadows, and the surfaces on which shadows are cast. Students gather evidence to support a model of light that is emitted by a light source, spreads out from its source in all directions, and travels in straight lines unless it is blocked by an object. By using "solar nature print paper" to record the shadows cast by objects, students also observe evidence that light can cause changes, thus supporting the claim that light is a kind of energy. Students also use prisms and color filters with light sources to observe various colors of light.  
  The 4 benchmarks in this unit represent ideas that are portions of 2 more encompassing Michigan Curriculum Framework science standards, as described in these MI-BIG narratives: IV.1 Matter and Energy
IV.4 Waves and Vibrations
 
           

MCF 2000 Code and Benchmark*

Main Ideas and Connections

Essential^ Tools (T) for Students in Real-world Contexts (R)

Notes for Teachers

IV.1.e.2

Identify properties of materials which make them useful.

MI-CLiMB Benchmark Clarification

In this unit, we explore different materials can affect the travel of light in different ways. We use many different objects that are made from a variety of materials. Certain properties make some materials better suited for certain uses than others. Many materials block light, thus casting a shadow. Some materials — like air, water, and glass — are "clear" and allow light to pass through them, often with little change. However, sometimes the shape of a clear object and the way in which the light strikes it result in the light separating into colors, as can happen with a prism. Some materials, such as color filters, can be used to allow only certain colors of light to pass through them. Some materials, such as photographic film, are changed by light.

T:   Light sources, water, flat panes of glass, prisms, various objects that can block or filter light, solar nature print paper.

      Venn diagrams, tables, journals to record findings with words and pictures.

R:   Windows, making and using shadow puppets, decorative crystals that display the colors of light, filtered or colored lights used in a stage production, using solar nature print paper to record shadows.

In this unit, the properties of materials that are of interest are those related to light. For example, some materials like air, water, and glass usually allow most light to pass through them with little change. Thus, glass can be a useful material for making windows. Some materials block light from passing through them. Such materials may be useful for making walls, clothing, or casting shadows. Some materials cause white light to split into colors or allow only one color to pass through them. Some materials, like photographic film and solar nature print paper, react to light by changing color. This can make them useful for recording pictures or shadows of objects.

Terms such as transparent, opaque, and translucent are not included as key concepts or vocabulary in the MCF (2000) science benchmarks for the elementary grades.

IV.1.e.3

Identify forms of energy associated with common phenomena.

MI-CLiMB Benchmark Clarification

In this unit, we focus on light as a kind of energy, and the changes it can make. Energy is needed to cause changes.

By fifth grade, children will understand that we have a variety of names for the different kinds of energy, for example:   sound, light, motion, electricity, heat, and food energy. The name we use depends on the contexts in which and the senses by which we experience them. For example, we hear sound, we see light, and we feel heat. However, scientists use the concept of energy for all these events because they each involve some kind of change.

T:   Flashlights, solar nature print paper.

R:   Selected examples of things that are sources of light, such as the sun, flashlights, street lamps, car headlights, fluorescent tubes in classroom light fixtures, candle flames, and fireflies.

The variety of changes caused by energy is so diverse that they often appear unrelated. This makes the abstract scientific notion of energy difficult for students to learn. Students need multiple opportunities to experience and investigate each of the forms of energy before they can be expected to see what they share in common. In this unit, students focus their attention on light.

For information about student learning experiences with other kinds of energy in grades 2-5, see the following science units (and benchmarks):

• grade 2 "Sound" (IV.4.e.1-2 about sound),

• grade 3 "Motion, Force, and Simple Machines" (IV.3.e.1 about energy of motion),

• grade 4 "Simple Electric Circuits" (IV.1.e.4 about electricity),

• grade 4 "Interdependence of Plants and Animals" (III.2.e.4 and III.5.e.2 about energy from food), and

• grade 5 "Matter, Energy, and Changes" (IV.2.e.1 about heat).

IV.4.e.3

Use prisms and filters with light sources to produce various colors of light.

MI-CLiMB Benchmark Clarification

White light is composed of different colors. We can see these colors when we send light through a prism or color filters.

T:   Light sources such as the sun or flashlights; prisms, color filters, colored lights.

      Tables and journals to record findings with words and pictures.

R:   Light from common sources, such as the sun, stars, light bulbs, colored lights, a firefly, candles, flashlights; light passing through materials that reveal its colors, such as color filters (as might be used in lighting a stage production) and various prisms.

While children use prisms and filters in this unit, we do not expect them to explain what happens to the light when it passes through those materials. We expect students only to use prisms and color filters to produce various colors of light and to observe and describe these outcomes. Explaining the composition of white light and the effects of filters and prisms is addressed in the middle school benchmarks.

For your information, what we experience as "white light" is actually a combination of light of different colors. When white light enters a prism, each color is redirected in a slightly different direction. Thus, on exiting a prism, the white light has been split into its component colors. Color filters block all but one or a few colors of light from passing through them. In contrast, many students (even in middle school) believe that prisms and color filters add colors to light when it passes through them.

 

IV.4.e.4

Explain how shadows are made.

MI-CLiMB Benchmark Clarification

When light leaves a light source, the light moves outward or spreads out in all directions very quickly, traveling in straight lines, unless it runs into an object. Many objects — including both living things like people, animals, and plants, and nonliving things like pencils, cars, and buildings — block the light from continuing. Beyond the object along the blocked path there will be an area of no light, which we call a shadow. If a surface is placed beyond the object on the side opposite the light source, the shadow will be visible as a dark area on the surface. Changing the relative position of the light source, the object, or the surface can change the location, shape, or size of a shadow.

T:   Light sources (such as the sun, electric lamps or flashlights), various objects that can block light or allow light through (including some with holes in them, like a colander, which will let some light pass through the holes while blocking light at other locations), flat surfaces on which to cast and trace shadows.

      Journals to record findings and ideas with words and pictures.

R:   Shadows made on surfaces by putting objects in the path of light from common light sources, including sunlight, light bulbs, and projectors; using solar nature print paper to record shadows; recording and graphing data about changes in the size of shadows due to changes in the distance from the light source to the object or the distance of the object to the surface on which the shadow is cast; making repeated tracings of a playground object’s changing shadow size and location during the day.

Many students believe that light is found only in or around its sources, or that it just "hangs" in the air. They will need help gathering evidence that light travels from a source to other (sometimes far distant) places. Similarly, prior to instruction, many students share a variety of common ideas about shadows. For example, some students believe that shadows are separate entities that exist independent of the presence or absence of light. Some students believe that shadows only appear in front of their bodies, or that only living things or moving objects can have shadows. Other children describe shadows as being formed by light "bouncing" or "reflecting off" of an object to create the shadow (which also leads to the prediction that the shadow appears on the same side of the object as is the light source). By studying shadows and manipulating the objects that make them, students gather evidence both about the nature of shadows and the behaviors of light. They can then use this evidence to support a model of light that is emitted by a light source, spreads out from its source in all directions, and travels in straight lines unless it is blocked by an object.

Note that "patterns of change" and "models" are two of the seven "connecting themes" identified for attention by Michigan Essential Goals and Objectives for Science Education (pp. 145-146) that can receive emphasis in this unit.

 


 

Lansing School District Elementary Science
Pacing Guides for Grades 2-5

DRAFT

[ Go back to previous unit. ]         [ Return to "scope and sequence" chart at top of page. ]         [ Go forward to next unit. ]

           
  Grade:     Third     Science Area:     Physical      
  Quarter:     Third     Unit Title:     Motion, Force, and Simple Machines      
  Unit overview:   In the primary grades, students learned to describe location and motion. In this unit, students extend their abilities to describe a wider variety of motions. They learn that forces can cause changes in the motions of objects. Students also learn that energy is always associated with instances of motion. They examine ways of changing the direction of a force or multiplying a force using various simple machines. Students then analyze devices such as a bicycle and a hand-crank can opener. They determine which simple machines make up these more complex devices, as well as how these parts interact to accomplish a task.  
  The 6 benchmarks in this unit represent ideas that are portions of 2 more encompassing Michigan Curriculum Framework science standards, as described in these MI-BIG narratives: IV.1 Matter and Energy
IV.3 Motion of Objects
 
           

MCF 2000 Code and Benchmark*

Main Ideas and Connections

Essential^ Tools (T) for Students in Real-world Contexts (R)

Notes for Teachers

IV.1.e.3

Identify forms of energy associated with common phenomena.

MI-CLiMB Benchmark Clarification

In this unit, we focus on energy of motion. Energy is needed to cause changes. This can involve changing the shape of matter, or changing the speed or direction of an object’s motion.

By the fifth grade, children will be able to describe a variety of the different kinds of energy, for example:   sound, light, motion, electricity, heat, and food energy. The name we use depends on the contexts in which and the senses by which we experience them. For example, we hear sound, we see light, and we feel heat. However, scientists use the concept of energy for all these events because they each involve some kind of change.

T:   A motion detection probe connected to a computer, stopwatch.

R:   Examples associated with energy of motion, such as walking and running, water wheels, wind-up toys, windmills, toy cars and trucks, rolling or thrown balls, motors, vibrating devices (like a doorbell or buzzer), vibrating strings on a guitar or other musical instruments.

The variety of changes caused by energy is so diverse that they often appear unrelated. This makes the abstract scientific notion of energy difficult for students to learn. Students need multiple opportunities to experience and investigate each of the forms of energy before they can be expected to see what they share in common. Likewise, students will need experiences beyond elementary school in order to learn that some of the phenomena that they believe to be energy (such as temperature, force, momentum, and power) are not.

In this unit, students focus their attention on energy of motion — which in more advanced grades is often called kinetic or mechanical energy. Students can observe events in which energy changes forms. For example, people and other animals change some of the energy from the food they eat into energy of motion when walking. A fan changes electricity into the motion of its blades and air. The reverse occurs when the energy of moving water is used to spin a turbine and generator, resulting in electricity. A more extensive study of "energy transformations" occurs in the middle school science curricula (see for example benchmark IV.2.m.4).

For information about student learning experiences with other kinds of energy in grades 2-5, see the following science units (and benchmarks):

• grade 2 "Sound" (IV.4.e.1-2 about sound),

• grade 3 "Shadows and Light" (IV.4.e.3-4 about light),

• grade 4 "Simple Electric Circuits" (IV.1.e.4 about electricity),

• grade 4 "Interdependence of Plants and Animals" (III.2.e.4 and III.5.e.2 about energy from food), and

• grade 5 "Matter, Energy, and Changes" (IV.2.e.1 about heat).

IV.3.e.1

Describe or compare motions of common objects in terms of speed and direction.

MI-CLiMB Benchmark Clarification

In order to describe or compare the motions of common objects, two aspects of motion need to be considered:   speed and direction. The speed with which an object moves can be described using words like fast, faster, slow, or slower. The direction in which an object moves can be described as east, west, north, south, up, down, left, or right. Continuous or repeating patterns of motion can also be noted. For example, a moving object’s path may be described as being in a straight line, curved or turning, zigzag, round and round, or vibrating (e.g., moving repeatedly up and down or back and forth).

T:   A compass for determining direction; rulers, meter sticks, or tape measures for measuring distances and stop watches for measuring times (in order to quantify and compare speeds); a motion detection probe connected to a computer.

      Tables, graphs, journals to record findings with words and pictures.

R:   Motions of familiar objects in two dimensions, including rolling or thrown balls, wheeled vehicles, sliding objects (e.g., sleds), and instances of objects that vibrate (e.g., human vocal cords, doorbells, speakers in audio equipment, and a variety of musical instruments).

Students began describing the locations and motions of familiar objects in K-1. The study of sound in second grade provided additional opportunities to observe and describe the particular kind of motion known as vibrations. In this unit, students extend and refine their ability to describe and make comparisons among the motions both of themselves and of other familiar objects. Students can begin using more precise descriptions rather than using vague pronouns (e.g., rather than saying, "the ball rolled over there," a student can say, "the ball rolled under the table").

However, use of terms like "velocity" and "acceleration" — whose everyday meanings differ significantly from their scientific meanings — is not appropriate in third grade. Students can be introduced to using grid systems for recording locations and paths of travel. With respect to speed, students can start using comparative language (e.g., "faster than," "slower than") rather than absolutes (e.g., "fast," "slow") when appropriate. Students can also use experiences with familiar objects and motions to begin to form references for quantitative descriptions of speed. For example, we walk at approximately 1 meter per second or 3-4 kilometers per hour. We can exceed a speed of 5 meters per second or 15-20 kilometers per hour when we run. Cars typically travel in the city at about 50 kilometers per hour and over 100 kilometers per hour on interstate highways.

See also the "earth science" benchmarks V.1.e.3, which deals with describing natural changes in the earth’s surface, and V.4.e.2, which deals with the motions of the sun, earth, and moon.

IV.3.e.2

Explain how forces (pushes or pulls) are needed to speed up, slow down, stop, or change the direction of a moving object.

MI-CLiMB Benchmark Clarification

We can observe many things that are moving. We can describe both the direction of motion and the speed of these objects. We can also describe changes in the motions of objects. For example, sometimes objects move in a straight line; sometimes objects turn or change the direction of their motion. Similarly, sometimes objects move with a steady speed. Sometimes objects experience a change in the speed of their motion (e.g., stopping, starting, speeding up, or slowing down). Any time that the motion of an object changes, the cause of that change is a force. The size of the change in motion is related to the strength of the force. Forces can most simply be thought of (and we experience them as) a push or a pull. The forces we experience most commonly are gravity, magnetic effects, and friction.

T:   Force meters or other spring scales for measuring and comparing forces; compasses, grids, or other tools or methods for observing, specifying, and recording the directions and changes in direction of motions of objects; rulers, meter sticks, or tape measures for measuring distances and stop watches for measuring times (in order to quantify and compare speeds and changes in speeds of moving objects); a motion detection probe connected to a computer.

      Journals to record ideas, diagrams, and findings.

R:   Changes in motions of familiar objects in two dimensions, including rolling or thrown balls, wheeled vehicles, moving chairs and other sliding objects.

Young children often give moving objects human intentions — such as, "the ball wants to roll down the hill" — to account for the motions of objects, rather than referring to physical causes. Students need many experiences with a variety of kinds of forces — for example simple pushes and pulls that they can exert themselves, gravity, friction, and magnetic effects involving both instances of attraction and repulsion — before they can be expected to understand the principles that apply to all of these seemingly unrelated phenomena. Any force should be able to be associated both with its source and with the object on which it acts. However, understanding these ideas at the level of sophistication expressed, for example, in Newton’s three laws of motion or by his theory of universal gravitation is not appropriate in third grade.

For your information, students (and many adults) commonly believe that constant motion requires a continuous application of force. This belief is not surprising given our experiences with pushing a chair across the floor, pulling a wagon, or pedaling a bicycle. In middle school and high school, children learn that we must continue to apply force in order to maintain a steady speed in these examples because we continually have to overcome some ongoing resisting force — most typically friction. If there were no resistance to its motion, a moving object would continue moving in the same direction and with a steady speed without need for a continually applied force. Satellites continuing to fly through the vacuum of outer space without need of a continually burning rocket engine are one example of such motion.

Note that "constancy" and "patterns of change" are two of the seven "connecting themes" identified for attention by Michigan Essential Goals and Objectives for Science Education (pp. 145-146) that can receive emphasis in this unit.

IV.3.e.3

Describe patterns of interaction of magnetic materials with other magnetic and non-magnetic materials.

MI-CLiMB Benchmark Clarification

Magnets can attract a limited variety of materials, most notably those containing iron. Magnetic attraction occurs between a magnet and magnetic materials, and can do so even when the magnet is not in direct contact with those materials. Magnets can also attract or repel other magnets depending upon their positions. Since magnetic repulsion only occurs between magnets, this fact can be used to distinguish magnets and magnetic materials. This behavior also leads to assigning two "poles" to magnets. Each magnet has one "north" pole and one "south" pole. When two magnets are brought near each other, unlike magnetic poles will attract each other and like magnetic poles will repel each other.

T:   Magnets — including a variety of strengths, shapes (e.g., bar, horseshoe), and applications (e.g., refrigerator magnets, cupboard-door holders, motors); a variety of magnetic and non-magnetic materials; magnetic compass.

      Journals to record diagrams and findings.

R:   Common magnets, using a magnetic compass to find direction.

Students may have begun learning about magnets in the primary grades in the context of studying properties of materials and ways to sort them. Some students are likely to think of magnets as being "sticky" and working only if in contact with a magnetic material. Experiences in which magnets cause effects at a distance or through other materials (e.g., a sheet of paper) can be useful for challenging these common ideas. In this unit, students extend their understanding of magnetism by recognizing it as one kind of force that has effects on a limited set of materials. Students observe and describe situations in which magnets exhibit magnetic attraction (i.e., both for magnetic materials — which we simply define as those materials that are attracted to a magnet — and for the opposite poles of other magnets) or magnetic repulsion (i.e., only for the like poles of other magnets). However, the concept of a "magnetic field" is not introduced in third grade and is addressed later, in middle school (see for example benchmark IV.3.m.4).

IV.3.e.4

Identify and use simple machines and describe how they change effort.

MI-CLiMB Benchmark Clarification

A simple machine is any device that changes the direction of or multiplies the force you put in — called the "effort" — when moving an object. In those cases where the effort is changed, you trade off how much you have to push or pull with how far in distance you have to push or pull. Also, since no device can be entirely free of friction, some additional effort is required to overcome any friction involved in using a simple machine. Examples of the various kinds of simple machines include:   levers, inclined planes, wedges, wheels and axles, and pulleys.

T:   Force meters or other spring scales for measuring and comparing the "effort" you put in with the amount of force you get out of a simple machine; rulers, meter sticks, or tape measures for measuring distances (in order to quantify and compare the distances through which you apply the "effort" with the distance the object gets moved with the simple machine).

      Journals to record ideas, diagrams, and findings.

R:   Examples of devices that either are or include easily identifiable simple machines such as balances for weighing, see-saws, mobiles, ramps, screwdrivers and screws, block and tackles, can openers.

In this unit, we only ask children to identify and use simple machines. More sophisticated ideas like "work" are addressed in middle and high school grades.

IV.3.e.5

Manipulate simple mechanical devices and explain how their parts work together.

MI-CLiMB Benchmark Clarification

Many relatively simple mechanical devices either are examples of simple machines or are made from simpler parts which may act as simple machines. We can view a mechanical device as a "system" and then analyze it and its behavior in order to name the parts of which it is made, the uses or functions of the parts, and how those parts interact to complete the task for which the device was designed to be used. Such simpler parts and simple machines include levers, inclined planes, wedges, gears, screws, wheels and axles, and pulleys.

T:   Screwdrivers, pliers, and hammers for disassembling simple mechanical devices.

      Journals to record ideas, diagrams, and findings.

R:   Simple mechanical devices, such as bicycles, bicycle pumps, faucets, clothespins, block and tackles, and can openers — within which students can identify simpler parts or simple machines such as levers, inclined planes, wedges, gears, screws, wheels and axles, and pulleys.

Note that "systems" is one of the seven "connecting themes" identified for attention by Michigan Essential Goals and Objectives for Science Education (pp. 145-146) that can receive emphasis in this unit.

 


 

Lansing School District Elementary Science
Pacing Guides for Grades 2-5

DRAFT

[ Go back to previous unit. ]         [ Return to "scope and sequence" chart at top of page. ]         [ Go forward to next unit. ]

           
  Grade:     Third     Science Area:     Life      
  Quarter:     Fourth     Unit Title:     Plant Parts (and Who Eats Them)      
  Unit overview:   Children investigate the parts of plants and their functions in meeting the plant’s needs for life and growth. They compare and classify plant parts, using their physical characteristics. They describe plants’ basic needs for life. They examine the role of plants in a simple food chain. They explore the effects humans have on plants in our environment.  
  The 5 benchmarks in this unit represent ideas that are portions of 2 more encompassing Michigan Curriculum Framework science standards, as described in these MI-BIG narratives: III.2 Organization of Living Things
III.5 Ecosystems
 
           

MCF 2000 Code and Benchmark*

Main Ideas and Connections

Essential^ Tools (T) for Students in Real-world Contexts (R)

Notes for Teachers

III.2.e.5

Explain functions of selected seed plant parts.

MI-CLiMB Benchmark Clarification

Plants have different parts. These can include seeds, roots, stems, leaves, flowers, and fruits. Each plant part has one or more functions — such as supporting the plant, taking in water, attracting insects to pollinate the flower, or producing seeds — that help the plant obtain what it needs to survive, grow, and reproduce.

T:   Science journals for drawing and recording observations of plants.

      Hand lenses

R:   Common edible plant parts, such as peas, broccoli, carrot, apple, tomato, spinach leaves, and asparagus.

For children, the most difficult connection among the plant parts is that between the flower, which produces the fruit, and the seeds, which are in the fruit. Children may need help observing and understanding these connections.

III.2.e.2

Compare and contrast (K-2) or classify (3-5) familiar organisms on the basis of observable physical characteristics.

MI-CLiMB Benchmark Clarification

Plants have common characteristics, such as seeds, roots, stems, leaves, flowers, and fruits. They have colors, leaf shapes, and may have a scent. They may have flowers or not. We can compare plant characteristics to see if they are similar or different.

T:   Charts that compare plants by similar or different features; Venn diagrams.

R:   Plants that look similar — such as flowering plants — and plants that are very different — such as a pine tree and grass.

Simple sorting, for example, whether something is a tree or grass, is appropriate, but children at this age may need help understanding that flowers and trees both belong in the larger group, plants.

III.5.e.1

Identify familiar organisms as part of a food chain and describe their feeding relationships within the food chain.

MI-CLiMB Benchmark Clarification

Plants produce food that animals can eat. Some animals also eat other animals. Humans eat both plants and animals. In this unit, we explore simple food chains involving plants and who eats them.

T:   Science journals for writing about the food humans eat and where it comes from.

R:   Food chains involving humans, animals, and plants.

An awareness of the relationships among humans, other animals, and plants could also be taught in the 3 rd grade social studies units, while studying the different regions.

Predator, prey, producer, and consumer relationships are addressed in the fourth-grade fourth-quarter unit.

III.5.e.2

Describe the basic requirements for all living things to maintain their existence.

MI-CLiMB Benchmark Clarification

Plants need water, light, and air. Minerals play a role in the plant’s health, but are not required for the plant’s life needs.

T:   Science journals for drawings and observations.

R:   Humans grow plants for food and have to make sure that plants get water, air, and light. Exploring and observing the surrounding school grounds, and the plants and animals found there.

In this unit, children learn that light is something that plants need, but at this time they do not need to learn the scientific explanation for how plants use light to make their food. How plants make their food — using sunlight, carbon dioxide, and water — involves understanding the molecular nature of matter, and is addressed in middle school benchmarks.

III.5.e.4

Describe positive and negative effects of humans on the environment.

MI-CLiMB Benchmark Clarification

Humans have the power to change the environment in helpful or harmful ways. Humans can help plants in the environment by managing the land, i.e., making parks, preserving habitats for wild life, creating new wetlands, planting new trees. Humans can harm the environment by destroying habitats when they clear land for farming or construction, or clear cut forests so that erosion occurs.

T:   Science journals for drawings and writing about human effects on plants.

R:   Humans plant crops to grow food to eat.

 

 


 

Lansing School District Elementary Science
Pacing Guides for Grades 2-5

DRAFT

[ Go back to previous unit. ]         [ Return to "scope and sequence" chart at top of page. ]         [ Go forward to next unit. ]

           
  Grade:     Fourth     Science Area:     Earth and Space      
  Quarter:     First     Unit Title:     Earth Features and Changes      
  Unit overview:   Children use ideas from earlier units about earth materials and resources to consider whether materials are renewable or non-renewable. They investigate ways that we can conserve natural resources and ways that we can reduce the use of, or reuse, or recycle materials that we need for our daily lives. They investigate what fossils found in earth materials can tell us about plants and animals that lived in ancient times.  
  The 4 benchmarks in this unit represent ideas that are portions of 2 more encompassing Michigan Curriculum Framework science standards, as described in these MI-BIG narratives: V.1 The Geosphere
V.2 The Hydrosphere
 
           

MCF 2000 Code and Benchmark*

Main Ideas and Connections

Essential^ Tools (T) for Students in Real-world Contexts (R)

Notes for Teachers

V.1.e.1

Describe major features of the earth’s surface.

MI-CLiMB Benchmark Clarification

The earth’s surface is different at different locations in Michigan. The way the earth looks where we are may not be the way it looks in other locations. Michigan has many different surface features including mountains, waterfalls, hills, and valleys, and bodies of water such as the Great Lakes, lakes, and rivers. Deserts and plains occupy significant areas in other parts of the U.S.

T:   Maps of Lansing, and Michigan. Children’s maps of the area around the school.

R:   Michigan surface features:   hills, valleys, waterfalls, Great Lakes; pictures of global land features — mountains, deserts.

Children commonly think that the earth is flat, or that we live inside of a hollow sphere, so the idea of a rounded earth’s surface is difficult for them to understand, and taught in the 5th grade astronomy unit.

See also EH — V.2.e.2.

V.1.e.4

Explain how rocks and fossils are used to understand the history of the earth.

MI-CLiMB Benchmark Clarification

Remains of plants and animals (including extinct plants and animals) can be found in the rock layers as fossils and can give us a view into the ancient life in Michigan.

T:   Hand lens.

R:   Fossils found in gravel, mines, beaches (Petoskey stones), quarries, and museum displays; local examples of layered rocks.

(This unit could be taught during the social studies unit on Michigan.)

See LE — III.4.e.1 (ancient life).

V.1.e.3

Describe natural changes in the earth's surface.

MI-CLiMB Benchmark Clarification

Things on earth change in different ways. Earth’s surface features can change slowly, due to glaciers, the pull of gravity, or wind, waves, water, and ice causing weathering or erosion. Changes can be rapid due to landslides, volcanic eruptions and earthquakes. The results of these changes are valleys, hills, lakes, widened rivers, mountains, cracks, and the movement of earth materials.

T:   None.

R:   Places around the school where erosion has occurred, such as gullies formed in downhill gravel areas, cracks in asphalt.

      Places beyond the school where changes have occurred, such as volcanic mountains, shorelines, landslides, sand dunes, river valleys.

Earth is constantly changing and this is difficult to comprehend for two reasons:   (1) the extreme age of the earth and the long time over which the changes take place; and (2) the immense forces at work to produce the change. Children may think that the earth has always looked like it does now, or that any changes were sudden and comprehensive.

See also EH V.2.e.2 — trace the path that rain water follows after it falls.

V.2.e.2

Trace the path that rain water follows after it falls.

MI-CLiMB Benchmark Clarification

Rain, falling locally from sky, collects on the earth’s surface, runs off downhill into streams and rivers, and soaks into the ground. In cities, gutters and street drains collect the water in underground systems that eventually empty into streams, rivers, or lakes.

T:   Maps showing local surface water and watersheds, maps that children make of the areas around the school.

R:   Examples of water flowing locally including gutters, drains, streams, and wetlands.

Children may be aware that water from rain or melting snow collects in puddles and either runs down the drain (in cities), soaks into the ground, or dries up. However, where the water goes after going down the drain or soaking in is much less obvious. They may have trouble believing that the water actually gets to rivers or lakes some distance away.

 


 

Lansing School District Elementary Science
Pacing Guides for Grades 2-5

DRAFT

[ Go back to previous unit. ]         [ Return to "scope and sequence" chart at top of page. ]         [ Go forward to next unit. ]

           
  Grade:     Fourth     Science Area:     Physical      
  Quarter:     Second     Unit Title:     Simple Electric Circuits      
  Unit overview:   Building on work in previous grades with sound, motion, and light, in this unit students learn about electricity as another kind of energy. By constructing simple electrical circuits, students learn ways in which electricity can be used. Students use their simple circuits to determine properties of materials that make them useful in electrical applications (e.g., as electrical conductors). This knowledge also provides a basis for understanding possible electrical hazards and describing ways to avoid them.  
  The 4 benchmarks in this unit represent ideas that are portions of 1 more encompassing Michigan Curriculum Framework science standard, as described in this MI-BIG narrative: IV.1 Matter and Energy  
           

MCF 2000 Code and Benchmark*

Main Ideas and Connections

Essential^ Tools (T) for Students in Real-world Contexts (R)

Notes for Teachers

IV.1.e.2

Identify properties of materials which make them useful.

MI-CLiMB Benchmark Clarification

We use many different objects that are made from a variety of materials. Certain properties make some materials better suited for certain uses than others. For example, rubber is used to cover electrical wires because it is flexible and it does not conduct electricity. Several metals are inexpensive, flexible, and good conductors of electricity and therefore are used to make electrical wire.

T:   By including them as part of a simple circuit consisting of a battery, wire, and a light bulb, various materials can be tested to determine if they are good or poor conductors of electricity.

      Venn diagrams, tables, journals to record findings with words and pictures.

R:   Appropriate selection of materials for a particular use, such as copper wire to conduct electricity or rubber to prevent the flow of electricity and electric shocks.

In this unit, the properties of materials that are of interest are those related to electricity. For example, some materials like metals are good conductors of electricity. Those that are also flexible and inexpensive are useful for making electrical wire. Other materials like rubber and plastics do not conduct electricity and therefore can be used to cover the outside of electrical wire or electrical appliances to protect us from electric shocks.

IV.1.e.3

Identify forms of energy associated with common phenomena.

MI-CLiMB Benchmark Clarification

In this unit, we focus on electricity as a kind of energy. Energy is needed to cause changes.

By fifth grade, children will understand that we have a variety of names for the different kinds of energy, for example:   sound, light, motion, electricity, heat, and food energy. The name we use depends on the contexts in which and the senses by which we experience them. For example, we hear sound, we see light, and we feel heat. However, scientists use the concept of energy for all these events because they each involve some kind of change.

T:   Batteries, other sources of electricity.

R:   Selected examples of electrical appliances that use and change electricity into other kinds of energy like:   sound (e.g., radio, television, CD- player, electric doorbell), light (e.g., light bulbs, television, toaster), motion (e.g., fan, hair dryer, washing machine), or heat (e.g. toaster, iron, hair dryer, electric hot plate).

In this unit, students focus their attention on electricity. Students can observe events in which energy changes forms. For example, a fan changes electricity into the motion of its blades and air. The reverse of this last change occurs when the energy of moving water is used to spin a turbine and generator, resulting in electricity. A more extensive study of "energy transformations" occurs in the middle school science curricula (see for example IV.2.m.4).

The variety of changes caused by energy is so diverse that they often appear unrelated. This makes the abstract scientific notion of energy difficult for students to learn. Students need multiple opportunities to experience and investigate each of the forms of energy before they can be expected to see what they share in common. Likewise, students will need experiences beyond elementary school in order to learn that some of the phenomena that they believe to be energy (such as temperature, force, electric current, voltage, and power) are not.

For information about student learning experiences with other kinds of energy in grades 2-5, see the following science units (and benchmarks):

• grade 2 "Sound" (IV.4.e.1-2 about sound),

• grade 3 "Shadows and Light" (IV.4.e.3-4 about light),

• grade 3 "Motion, Force, and Simple Machines" (IV.3.e.1 about energy of motion),

• grade 4 "Interdependence of Plants and Animals" (III.2.e.4 and III.5.e.2 about energy from food), and

• grade 5 "Matter, Energy, and Changes" (IV.2.e.1 about heat).

IV.1.e.4

Construct simple, useful electrical circuits.

MI-CLiMB Benchmark Clarification

An electrical circuit must form a complete loop for electricity to flow. Simple electrical circuits include a battery as the source of electricity, a device that uses electricity (e.g., a light bulb, an electric door bell or buzzer, an electric motor), and wire to connect the battery with the device in a loop. An electrical switch can be added to an electrical circuit to make it easier to "close" or "open" the circuit and thus turn on or off the included electrical device.

T:   Batteries, flashlight bulbs, wire, electrical switches, electric motors, door bells, buzzers.

      Journals to record designs for simple circuits.

R:   Flashlights and battery powered toys.

Kits that contain switches, wires, rechargeable batteries, and battery and bulb holders are available in the Lansing School District’s Science Anytime materials.

IV.1.e.5

Describe possible electrical hazards to be avoided at home and at school.

MI-CLiMB Benchmark Clarification

Some common electrical hazards include possible electric shocks from sticking objects that conduct electricity into wall outlets, using electrical devices in or near water, or using frayed cords in the house or school building. Outdoor hazards that may be found in neighborhoods include power stations, generators, transformers, or downed wires (for example, as may occur after a severe storm). Lightning is a natural form of electricity that can cause severe injury or death.

T:   None.

R:   Electrical outlets, power lines, frayed electrical cords, electric appliances, lightning, and hair dryers or radios in sinks and tubs.

Students probably were introduced to electrical hazards and safety precautions in the primary grades through experiences like the Lansing Board of Water and Light’s "Louie the Lightning Bug" program. In this unit students expand their understanding of electrical hazards and ways to avoid them by using their knowledge of materials that do or do not conduct electricity and what makes a complete electric circuit.

See also the "earth science" benchmark V.3.e.3, which deals with safety precautions associated with severe weather.

 


 

Lansing School District Elementary Science
Pacing Guides for Grades 2-5

DRAFT

[ Go back to previous unit. ]         [ Return to "scope and sequence" chart at top of page. ]         [ Go forward to next unit. ]

           
  Grade:     Fourth     Science Area:     Life      
  Quarter:     Third     Unit Title:     Plant Growth      
  Unit overview:   Children may have grown seeds and watched them mature into plants before. However, they may not have grown the plants long enough to observe the pollination of the flowers, the growth of the seed pod, and the new seeds inside the pod. In this unit, they investigate at least two generations of the same plant, follow the seed-to-seed cycle each time, and compare the plants in each generation to see how alike or different they are.  
  The 5 benchmarks in this unit represent ideas that are portions of 3 more encompassing Michigan Curriculum Framework science standards, as described in these MI-BIG narratives: III.2 Organization of Living Things
III.3 Heredity
III.5 Ecosystems
 
           

MCF 2000 Code and Benchmark*

Main Ideas and Connections

Essential^ Tools (T) for Students in Real-world Contexts (R)

Notes for Teachers

III.5.e.2

Describe the basic requirements for all living things to maintain their existence.

MI-CLiMB Benchmark Clarification

Plants need water, air, and light, to grow and stay alive. Minerals are important for the plant’s health, but are not a requirement for life.

T:   Science journals for recording descriptions of plants and their responses to water, light, air and minerals.

R:   Needs of life for plants — like water, air, and light, — can be observed in selected ecosystems like a terrarium, backyard, playground, wetland, or wood lot.

See LO-III.2 e.4:   Compare and contrast food, energy, and environmental needs of selected organisms.

III.2.e.3

Describe life cycles of familiar organisms.

MI-CLiMB Benchmark Clarification

Plants start life as seeds. The seeds grow into seedlings, then into mature plants. Most plants produce flowers, fruits, and then new seeds inside the fruit. These new seeds can grow into new plants, if we plant the seeds.

T:   Science journals for recording descriptions of plants growing from seeds to mature plants.

R:   Common plants — such as the bean plant, apple or maple trees — found in our local area are good examples for the parts of the life cycle. Germinating seeds such as beans or corn.

Students may have trouble sequencing the distinct stages of an organism’s life cycle and relating to life cycles in plants. Children sometimes think that seeds and plants are not alive, because they do not move around as humans and other animals do.

III.2.e.5

Explain functions of selected seed plant parts.

MI-CLiMB Benchmark Clarification

Plants have parts that help them get what they need to live. Roots, stems, leaves, flowers, fruits, and seeds have important functions, such as taking in water, supporting the plant, gathering sunlight, attracting insects, or making new seeds.

T:   Diagrams, charts with label the parts. Pictures of plants and their parts.

R:   Common edible plant parts, such as bean, cauliflower, carrot, apple, tomato, spinach.

Students can understand that typical plants are made up of several parts, such as leaves, roots, and stems, but may need help identifying the job that each part has. Students of all ages think that plants take in their food from the environment, as humans do, rather than make it internally. For this reason, the functions of leaves are identified as gathering sunlight, rather than making food (which is included in the middle school benchmarks).

III.3.e.1

Give evidence that characteristics are passed from parents to young.

MI-CLiMB Benchmark Clarification

New seeds grow into plants that often look a lot like the parent plants that made the seeds. We can compare the characteristics of plants, like flower color and bark texture, leaf shape, seed and fruit shape, and flower structure, to see if the new plants look like the parent plants.

T:   Science journals for recording descriptions and drawings.

R:   Examples of mature and immature organisms, such as maple trees/saplings, beans/seedlings.

Children sometimes need help identifying ways that a second generation of plants, grown from seeds from the first generation, resembles the original plants.

III.2.e.2

Compare and contrast or classify familiar organisms on the basis of observable physical characteristics.

MI-CLiMB Benchmark Clarification

Plant parts like roots, leaves, stems, flowers, fruit, and seeds are some of the observable characteristics that can be compared, to see if they are alike or different.

T:   Science journals for recording descriptions, Venn diagrams.

R:   Germinating seeds, such as beans or corn; terrarium life.

When asked to sort by features, even 12-16 year olds may have difficulty using more than one level of classification. For example, they may be able to sort flowers by color, or sort leaves by shape, but have difficulty understanding that flowers, grass and trees are all plants.

 


 

Lansing School District Elementary Science
Pacing Guides for Grades 2-5

DRAFT

[ Go back to previous unit. ]         [ Return to "scope and sequence" chart at top of page. ]         [ Go forward to next unit. ]

           
  Grade:     Fourth     Science Area:     Life      
  Quarter:     Fourth     Unit Title:     Interdependence of Animals and Plants      
  Unit overview:   Children investigate relationships among a variety of plants and animals in different habitats and learn how their structures and behaviors help them survive. They consider fossil remains of plants and animals that have not survived. They explore the positive and negative effects that humans have on habitats, and design a habitat to support a variety of plants and animals.  
  The 6 benchmarks in this unit represent ideas that are portions of 3 more encompassing Michigan Curriculum Framework science standards, as described in these MI-BIG narratives: III.2 Organization of Living Things
III.4 Evolution
III.5 Ecosystems
 
           

MCF 2000 Code and Benchmark*

Main Ideas and Connections

Essential^ Tools (T) for Students in Real-world Contexts (R)

Notes for Teachers

III.2.e.4

Compare and contrast food, energy, and environmental needs of selected organisms.

MI-CLiMB Benchmark Clarification

Animals and plants need air, water, and space in a habitat. Animals take in food for energy. Plants need light energy. Minerals help plants to stay healthy.

T:   Classroom charts comparing different animals and plants and how they meet their needs for food, energy, and environmental features, such as shelter.

R:   The variety of plants and animals in a terrarium or aquarium, in a woods or pond near the school.

Energy is a difficult concept even for high school students. We can help children identify the sources of energy that plants and animals use to stay alive, but not expect them to explain how food is converted to energy. Plants’ use of light energy to make their food is addressed in middle school benchmarks.

III.4.e.1

Explain how fossils provide evidence about the nature of ancient life.

MI-CLiMB Benchmark Clarification

We can find fossil remains of ancient plants and animals in layers of the earth. These plants and animals died or became extinct for different reasons. We can compare them with modern life forms and imagine what they might have looked like. Fossils that are found together provide evidence about plants and animals that lived in the same location and time.

T:   Hand lenses.

R:   Plant and animal fossils, museum dioramas, and paintings/drawings of ancient life and/or habitats. Petoskey stones.

Children have difficulty understanding the long stretch of time between their lives and those of fossilized plants and animals. However, they can understand comparisons between now and "long ago" or "ancient times."

See EG-V.1 e.4 (rocks and fossils provide evidence of history of the earth).

III.4.e.2

Explain how physical and behavioral characteristics of animals help them to survive in their environments.

MI-CLiMB Benchmark Clarification

Animals have different body parts that help them survive. These traits are adaptations that may help predators catch their prey, help prey escape or hide from their predators, or help plant-eaters gather and chew plants. Animals also show patterns of behavior that help them to survive. They may have instincts that lead them to some beneficial behaviors, or be able to learn from what older animals do. They may migrate to different locations or hibernate during the winter.

T:   Venn diagrams for representing groups of animals with similar or contrasting characteristics.

R:   Common vertebrate features, such as sharp claws and sharp canines for predators; colors of flowers that attract insects for pollination; a chameleon’s changing colors for camouflage; behaviors such as bird migration, bluejays’ warning calls of danger.

Even high school students have difficulty understanding the mechanisms that produce adaptations in animal populations. We can talk about how the body parts help the animal survive, without expecting children to explain how those parts became adapted over long periods of time.

III.5.e.1

Identify familiar organisms as part of a food chain or food web and describe their feeding relationships within the web.

MI-CLiMB Benchmark Clarification

Within a physical habitat, animals and plants depend on each other for their survival. Plants are producers because they provide food either directly or indirectly for all animals. Animals may be consumers of plants or of other animals that eat plants. Animals may be both predators and prey in the same habitat. Decomposers break down dead plant and animal remains. Animals and plants that live in the same habitat make up a community. Their relationships with each other and with the environment make up an ecosystem.

T:   Charts of food webs showing animals and plants and producer/consumer relationships.

R:   Food chains and food webs involving organisms such as rabbits, birds, snakes, grasshoppers, plants. Classroom terraria; bottle biology. School yard and backyard animals and plants

Most students interpret food webs in a limited way, focusing on isolated food chains. They may need help connecting food chains to larger webs.

Children commonly think of a "community" of animals as similar to a group of people living together with similar ideas.

Children may believe that dead animals and plants just "disappear" rather than decay.

The idea that plants make their own food is addressed in middle school, because it requires an understanding of the molecular structure of matter.

III.5.e.4

Describe positive and negative effects of humans on the environment.

MI-CLiMB Benchmark Clarification

Humans have effects on the environment — they produce and dispose of garbage, build new roads and buildings that destroy plants’ and animals’ habitats, and build factories that may pollute the land, air, and water, and disrupt ecosystems.

Humans can also take good care of the environment, through planning for land management, recognizing and conserving renewable and non-renewable resources, making national, state and county parks, and protecting natural areas from development.

T:   Maps of the school’s neighborhood or Lansing, showing green spaces, trees, sidewalks, ponds, housing, roads. For example, balances or scales to weigh classroom trash; graphs of the weight of classroom trash across time.

R:   Classroom, household, and school trash, waste water treatment, habitat destruction due to building, reforestation projects, landfills, establishing parks or other green spaces, recycling.

Children may think that oceans are a limitless resource, solid wastes in dumps are safe, and/or that anything "natural" is not pollution.

III.5.e.3

Design systems that encourage growing of particular plants or animals.

MI-CLiMB Benchmark Clarification

Plants and animals both need to take in water and air, and animals need to take in food. Plants also need light. A habitat provides places to live, and sources of food, water, light, air, and minerals. Humans can design natural areas so that animals and plants have what they need to survive. In the natural world, animals and plants and the physical environment make up an ecosystem.

T:   Terraria, aquaria in the classroom, environments for mealworms, butterflies, and fish.

R:   Ecosystems managed by humans, including farms, ranches, gardens, state and county parks, lawns, classroom terraria and aquaria, housing and caring for classroom pets.

Children may believe that plants don’t use air, or that plants and animals use air in opposite ways.

Children often think that humans feed and take care of all organisms in the environment, and that plants and animals cannot survive without human help.

See III.5.3.2.

 


 

Lansing School District Elementary Science
Pacing Guides for Grades 2-5

DRAFT

[ Go back to previous unit. ]         [ Return to "scope and sequence" chart at top of page. ]         [ Go forward to next unit. ]

           
  Grade:     Fifth     Science Area:     Earth and Space      
  Quarter:     First     Unit Title:     Astronomy (the Earth, Sun, and Moon)      
  Unit overview:   Children explain their own ideas about the earth, its shape, and its relationships with the sun and the moon. They gather evidence and use models to consider whether the earth, moon and sun are spherical in shape; whether the sun and moon really move across the sky, or whether the earth spins so that they appear to move; and whether the earth orbits the sun or the sun orbits the earth. These ideas are given the entire nine weeks in the quarter, because they are so difficult for children to understand, and because they are the basis for later work in the middle school and high school.  
  The 2 benchmarks in this unit represent ideas that are portions of 1 more encompassing Michigan Curriculum Framework science standard, as described in this MI-BIG narrative: V.4 The Solar System, Galaxy & Universe  
           

MCF 2000 Code and Benchmark*

Main Ideas and Connections

Essential^ Tools (T) for Students in Real-world Contexts (R)

Notes for Teachers

V.4.e.1

Compare and contrast characteristics of the sun, moon, and earth.

MI-CLiMB Benchmark Clarification

Both the sun and moon are spheres and appear round to our eyes, but the moon appears to change its shape from one time to another. The sun always appears round. Both change positions in the sky every day. We can usually see the sun during the daytime, and the moon sometimes during the day and sometimes during the night. The sun’s light feels warm while the moon’s does not.

The sun is much, much farther away than the moon, but appears about the same size because it is much, much larger. Unlike the planets, the sun (a star) is a glowing ball of extremely hot gases, giving off great amounts of heat and light into space.

T:   Journals for recording observations of the sun and moon over time.

R:   Observations of the moon’s and earth’s positions in the sky. Safe observations of the sun. Role playing of the motions of the earth, moon, and sun.

It is common for children, even in middle school, to think that we live on a flat earth, or on a round flat plate, or on the inside of a round earth, so we don’t fall off. They sometimes think that the moon and sun are "companions" of some sort — the sun is visible in the day; the moon is visible at night. The "birds eye view" of the earth that students need to develop is difficult for them to put together, but necessary for understanding the earth in space. Students can't feel the earth move as it spins or moves around the sun, so it is difficult for them to believe that the earth is moving.

V.4.e.2

Describe the motion of the earth around the sun and the moon around the earth.

MI-CLiMB Benchmark Clarification

The earth is one of several planets that orbit the sun in our solar system. The moon orbits around the earth. The earth and moon spin around as they move through space. It takes the earth one full day to spin completely around. The earth orbits around the sun in one year. The moon orbits around the earth in one month. Even though the sun and moon appear to move across the sky, it is really the earth that is spinning. We have daytime when the earth is facing the sun, and have nighttime when we are facing away from it.

T:   Scale models of the earth, sun and moon in relation to each other.

R:   Observations of the sun’s changing position during the day, and stars’ changing positions during the night. Observations of the moon’s changing position in the sky.

Even in middle school and high school, some children may still believe that we have day and night because the clouds cover the sun, or the sun moves up and down in the sky, or the sun goes around the earth each day.

Common models of the earth’s orbit around the sun and the moon’s orbit around the earth are not to scale, and may only confirm children’s misunderstanding of the relative sizes and distances involved.

 


 

Lansing School District Elementary Science
Pacing Guides for Grades 2-5

DRAFT

[ Go back to previous unit. ]         [ Return to "scope and sequence" chart at top of page. ]         [ Go forward to next unit. ]

           
  Grade:     Fifth     Science Area:     Physical      
  Quarter:     Second     Unit Title:     Matter, Energy, and Changes      
  Unit overview:   Students classify objects and substances by a variety of observable or measurable properties, including states of matter. They identify which properties may make a material useful for a particular task. They practice using precise and descriptive language in their work, both oral and written. In addition, they explore how different kinds of matter respond to being mixed, heated, or cooled. They review their earlier learning about weather and relate their understanding of the three states of water to weather phenomena such as rain, ice, and water vapor in the air.  
  The 6 benchmarks in this unit represent ideas that are portions of 3 more encompassing Michigan Curriculum Framework science standards, as described in these MI-BIG narratives: IV.1 Matter and Energy
IV.2 Changes in Matter
V.2 The Hydrosphere
 
           

MCF 2000 Code and Benchmark*

Main Ideas and Connections

Essential^ Tools (T) for Students in Real-world Contexts (R)

Notes for Teachers

IV.1.e.1

Classify common objects and substances according to observable attributes/properties.

MI-CLiMB Benchmark Clarification

We classify objects or the substances of which they are made by properties such as:   color, shape, size, smell, weight, texture, state of matter, flexibility, hardness, magnetic properties, ability to conduct electricity, ability to block light or let light pass through, and ability to sink or float. Some properties can be observed directly, for example by sight or touch. Determining some properties requires the use of measuring devices.

T:   Hands lenses; rulers or measuring tapes; balances or scales for weighing; magnets; batteries, wires, and bulbs for testing electrical conductivity.

      Venn diagrams, charts, tables, journals to record properties and classifications.

R:   Common objects such as desks, coins, pencils, buildings, and snowflakes. Common substances including instances of solids (such as copper, iron, wood, plastic, magnetic and non-magnetic materials, Styrofoam), liquids (such as water, alcohol, milk, juice, vegetable oil) and gases (such as helium, air, and water vapor).

In the primary grades, students began describing and sorting objects based on easily observable properties (e.g., color, shape, size, and texture). Nonetheless, students may still tend to label an object by name rather than analyze the object in terms of the substances of which it is made or the properties of those substances. In this unit, students extend their knowledge of properties of matter and their ability to test and classify substances using both familiar and some less readily apparent properties (e.g., weight, flexibility, response to a magnet, ability to conduct electricity).

For examples of the descriptive vocabulary students can be expected to use for each property listed at left, see the "key concepts" section of benchmark IV.1.e.1 in the Michigan Curriculum Framework (2000) science benchmarks.

See also the "earth science" benchmark V.1.e.2, which deals with describing different types of earth materials.

IV.1.e.2

Identify properties of materials which make them useful.

MI-CLiMB Benchmark Clarification

We use many different objects that are made from a variety of materials. Certain properties make some materials better suited for certain uses than others. By identifying the properties that may make materials useful we can select the best material for a given task. For example, clay is useful because it can easily be shaped when wet but then becomes rigid and holds its shape once dried and baked. Other properties that may make a material useful include:   unbreakable, waterproof, lightweight, conducts electricity, conducts heat, attracted to a magnet, clear.

T:   Thermometers, heat sources (e.g., a hot plate).

      Venn diagrams, charts, tables, journals to record findings with words and pictures.

R:   Examples of common materials and the properties that make them useful, for example:   many plastics are flexible, rubber is waterproof, wool holds in heat, copper conducts both electricity and heat, glass is "clear" (i.e., it allows light to pass through it).

In this unit, the properties of materials that are of interest are those related to physical changes that matter can undergo (especially those like "changes of state" that result from heating and cooling) and mixing and separating substances. For example, magnets attract some materials (like iron and steel). Many materials (like aluminum, glass, and plastic) are not affected by magnets. Using this information we can design a recycling method of separating "tin" cans (which contain steel) from other kinds of trash by using a magnet to attract items containing iron or steel.

See also the "earth science" benchmark V.1.e.4, which deals with uses of earth materials.

IV.1.e.3

Identify forms of energy associated with common phenomena.

MI-CLiMB Benchmark Clarification

Children will have learned about sound, light, motion, and electricity as kinds of energy, in earlier grades. In this unit, students focus their attention on heat and the physical changes it can cause. Energy is needed to cause changes. This can involve changing the shape or state of matter, or changing the speed or direction of an object’s motion. We have a variety of names for the different kinds of energy, for example:   sound, light, motion, electricity, heat, and food energy. The name we use depends on the contexts in which and the senses by which we experience them. For example, we hear sound, we see light, and we feel heat. However, scientists use the concept of energy for all these events because they each involve some kind of change.

T:   Thermometers, a variety of heat sources.

R:   Selected examples of phenomena associated with physical changes, especially those caused by heating or cooling, such as melting, freezing, and evaporation.

      Selected examples of phenomena associated with heat, such as heat from the sun melting a chocolate bar, using appliances like toasters and irons, feeling the warmth from the sun or a campfire on our skin, using a stove to boil water.

In this unit, students focus their attention on heat and the physical changes it can cause. The variety of changes caused by energy is so diverse that they often appear unrelated. This makes the abstract scientific notion of energy difficult for students to learn. Students need multiple opportunities to experience and investigate each of the forms of energy before they can be expected to see what they share in common. Likewise, students will need experiences beyond elementary school in order to learn that some of the phenomena that they believe to be energy (such as temperature, force, and power) are not.

For information about student learning experiences with other kinds of energy in grades 2-5, see the following science units (and benchmarks):

• grade 2 "Sound" (IV.4.e.1-2 about sound),

• grade 3 "Shadows and Light" (IV.4.e.3-4 about light),

• grade 3 "Motion, Force, and Simple Machines" (IV.3.e.1 about energy of motion),

• grade 4 "Simple Electric Circuits" (IV.1.e.4 about electricity), and

• grade 4 "Interdependence of Plants and Animals" (III.2.e.4 and III.5.e.2 about energy from food).

IV.2.e.1

Describe common physical changes in matter including size, shape, state (e.g., melting, freezing, evaporating), and dissolving.

MI-CLiMB Benchmark Clarification

Everything we experience that takes up space and has mass is called matter. We typically find matter in one of three states:   solid, liquid, or gas. Matter can be changed in a number of ways using a variety of processes. For example we can change the size (e.g., by compressing), shape (e.g., by bending, tearing, breaking), or state of matter (e.g., by heating — to cause melting or evaporating — or cooling — to cause freezing). All of these kinds of change are "physical changes" because — even though the matter may change size, shape, or state — it is still the same substance. For example, the glass in a windowpane is the same substance before and after the pane is broken; only the size and shape of the glass has changed. Dissolving is another kind of physical change.

T:   Heating devices (e.g., stoves, hot plates, and hair dryers).

      Cooling devices (e.g., freezers, refrigerators, proximity with ice in a closed container).

      Journals to record findings with words and pictures.

R:   Changes in size or shape of familiar objects, such as making snowballs, breaking glass, crumbling cookies, making clay models, carving wood, breaking bones; changes in the state of water or other substances, such as freezing of ice cream, or ponds, melting wax, chocolate, or steel, puddles drying.

Note that "patterns of change" is one of the seven "connecting themes" identified for attention by Michigan Essential Goals and Objectives for Science Education (pp. 145-146) that can receive emphasis in this unit.

In this unit, the focus is with observable examples of more familiar, physical changes. Determining whether or not a change is a "physical change" depends on whether or not you have the same substance before and after the change. Students have learned that substances are identified by their properties (see benchmark IV.1.e.1 above). However, some properties of substances (e.g., the state of matter) can be changed by physical changes, and so students might reasonably argue (and often do say) that because the state of matter has changed (e.g., when liquid water freezes to become solid ice) it has become a new substance. Understanding which properties scientists use to distinguish physical changes from other kinds of changes will have to wait to middle school when students begin to consider matter at the particle level. Thus, molecular level accounts of physical changes, along with chemical and nuclear changes should be reserved for study in middle and high school (see for example benchmarks IV.2.m.1-3, IV.2.h.1-5). In the meantime, we will need to explain to our students that "by definition" physical changes are those that involve only changes in the size, the shape, or the state of matter, and that dissolving is also a kind of physical change.

See also the "earth science" benchmark V.2.e.1, which deals specifically with the three states of water.

FYI, scientists recognize at least four states of matter:   solid, liquid, gas, and plasma. However, consideration of plasma is not required for students to achieve benchmark-level understanding.

IV.2.e.2

Prepare mixtures and separate them into their component parts.

MI-CLiMB Benchmark Clarification

A mixture is created when two or more different substances are mixed together but the component substances do not combine or lose their identity. For example, mixing salt and sugar together creates a mixture that is made up of separate grains of salt and sugar. Since each substance in a mixture keeps its own properties, differences in the properties of substances in a mixture can be used to separate the mixture into its component parts. For example, a mixture a powdered drink mix and iron filings could be separated either by using a magnet to pull out the iron filings or by placing the mixture in water, which would dissolve the drink mix but not the iron filings, and then pouring the mixture through filter paper would separate the iron filings from the dissolved drink mix and water solution.

Choosing which separation technique to use to separate a mixture into its component parts will depend on the properties of the substances in the mixture. Some common separation techniques include:   filtration, using sieves, using magnets, floating versus sinking, dissolving soluble substances, and evaporating.

T:   Filter paper, funnels, magnets, sieves, beakers, solar stills.

      Journals to record ideas for separating mixtures.

R:   Mixtures of various kinds, including:   salt and pepper, iron filings and sand, sand and sugar, rocks and wood chips, sand and gravel, sugar or salt solutions.

Students may be able to use the term "dissolve" to identify correctly instances of this kind of physical change. However, they may still believe that because the dissolved substance has become invisible it no longer exists. Weighing the components before mixing and then weighing the resulting solution to show that there has been no change in total weight can provide evidence that the dissolved substance has not completely "disappeared" or "gone away." Allowing the solution to evaporate so that the dissolved substance is recovered can also illustrate the reversible nature of these physical changes.

V.2.e.1

Describe how water exists on earth in three states.

MI-CLiMB Benchmark Clarification

Water is an earth material that can exist as a solid, a liquid, or a gas. We can observe liquid water flowing, melting, raining, or collecting as dew. We can observe solid water as ice, snow, hail, sleet, or freezing rain. Water as a gas is harder to observe, because it is invisible in the air. We can observe evidence of water in its gaseous state as water vapor, or as it evaporates from puddles or other containers.

T:   None.

R:   Examples of water in each state, including dew, rain snow, ice, evidence of moisture in the air, such as "fog" on cold bathroom mirrors; examples of melting, freezing and evaporating.

In fifth grade, the focus is on children describing the three states of water. Explaining the molecular arrangements of water molecules in its three states is addressed in middle school benchmarks. Children (and some adults), even in fifth grade, middle school, high school and beyond, often have difficulty understanding the composition of air, including water vapor, because it is invisible. Evaporation and condensation at the molecular level are difficult ideas and are addressed in the middle school benchmarks. The mechanism of condensation is often not understood until high school or beyond, because of the need for a molecular model of matter for understanding.

 


 

Lansing School District Elementary Science
Pacing Guides for Grades 2-5

DRAFT

[ Go back to previous unit. ]         [ Return to "scope and sequence" chart at top of page. ]         [ Go forward to next unit. ]

           
  Grade:     Fifth     Science Area:     Earth and Space      
  Quarter:     Third     Unit Title:     Weather Systems      
  Unit overview:   Students investigate the causes of changes in the weather using information from their observations, weather maps, graphs, and charts. They learn about large "air masses" that move from one place to another, and how the front edge of an air mass that is moving to another place can bring precipitation with it. Students begin to develop explanations of weather events using parts of the water cycle, based on real world examples such as water evaporating from a puddle, etc. They describe kinds of pollution in the air and the harmful effects of that pollution.  
  The 3 benchmarks in this unit represent ideas that are portions of 1 more encompassing Michigan Curriculum Framework science standard, as described in this MI-BIG narrative: V.3 The Atmosphere and Weather  
           

MCF 2000 Code and Benchmark*

Main Ideas and Connections

Essential^ Tools (T) for Students in Real-world Contexts (R)

Notes for Teachers

V.3.m.1

Explain patterns of changing weather and how they are measured.

MI-CLiMB Benchmark Clarification

We can describe patterns in the weather such as temperature changes, changes in cloud cover, or the development of storms. We can explain these changes in terms of the movement of air masses and fronts (e.g., warm front, cold front, and stationary front). We use common weather instruments, satellite images, and weather maps to help us measure and record weather conditions.

T:   Thermometer, rain gauge, wind direction indicator, anemometer, weather maps, satellite weather images.

R:   Sudden temperature and cloud formation changes; records, charts, and graphs of weather changes over periods of days; lake-effect snow.

Explanations of weather should be based on a model of the atmosphere as a dynamic blanket of air completely covering an extremely large spherical earth, with regions of air (i.e., air masses) that move and interact.

Some of these ideas may still be difficult for fifth graders. For example, children sometimes interpret the idea of a "spherical Earth" as meaning that we live on the inside of the sphere, because otherwise, we might all fall off. Some students may believe that air exists only around them and other living things that breathe it, but is not a substance existing all around the Earth. They may not realize that air masses move from place to place, causing changes in local weather.

V.3.m.3

Explain the behavior of water in the atmosphere.

MI-CLiMB Benchmark Clarification

The air around us and around the Earth usually has water in it. Some water from the Earth’s surface is always evaporating into the air, where it exists as water vapor, which is invisible to us. As the air is warmed, it rises higher above the Earth. As the air rises, it becomes cooler and the water vapor in it condenses to form tiny droplets of liquid water (or sublimes to form solid ice crystals). If these tiny droplets then combine to form large enough drops (or the ice crystals grow large enough to form snow flakes) to fall to Earth, we call this precipitation (e.g., rain, freezing rain, sleet, snow, hail). This process — when water changes from a liquid into water vapor in the air, and then back into liquid or solid water — is what we call the water cycle.

T:   None.

R:   Aspects of the water cycle in weather, including clouds or fog, precipitation, evaporating puddles, flooding, droughts.

Evaporation and condensation at the molecular level are difficult ideas and will be taught later in middle school. By fifth grade, some students can identify the air as the final location of evaporating water, but they must first accept air as a permanent substance. The mechanism of condensation is often not understood until high school, because children need a molecular model of matter to understand what is happening.

V.3.m.4

Describe health effects of polluted air.

MI-CLiMB Benchmark Clarification

The same air masses that carry water vapor from one place to another can also carry pollutants, such as exhaust from cars and smoke from factories. People can suffer harmful effects from polluted air such as breathing difficulties, irritated eyes, etc. Sources of pollution can be car exhaust and industrial emissions. Acid rain is the result of some kinds of pollution in the air that have been dissolved into the water that falls to Earth. Acid rain has serious effects on the Earth and on animal and plant life.

T:   None.

R:   Locations and times when air quality is poor; local sources of potential air pollution; ozone warnings.

Earth's resources–such as fresh air–can be polluted intentionally or inadvertently. The atmosphere has a limited capacity to absorb wastes and recycle materials naturally. Cleaning up polluted air can be very difficult and costly.

 


 

Lansing School District Elementary Science
Pacing Guides for Grades 2-5

DRAFT

[ Go back to previous unit. ]         [ Return to "scope and sequence" chart at top of page. ]

           
  Grade:     Fifth     Science Area:     Physical      
  Quarter:     Fourth     Unit Title:     Electricity (including "current")      
  Unit overview:   Students review earlier work on electrical circuits and construct simple electrical circuits using batteries, conductors (like copper wire), electrical switches, and various electrical devices (e.g., light bulbs, motors, doorbells). Students explain how their electrical circuits work in terms of the flow of electric current through the components of the circuit. Students also describe the energy transformations that occur when using electrical circuits and devices.  
  The 3 benchmarks in this unit represent ideas that are portions of 2 more encompassing Michigan Curriculum Framework science standards, as described in these MI-BIG narratives: IV.1 Matter and Energy
IV.2 Changes in Matter
 
           

MCF 2000 Code and Benchmark*

Main Ideas and Connections

Essential^ Tools (T) for Students in Real-world Contexts (R)

Notes for Teachers

IV.1.m.5

Construct simple circuits and explain how they work in terms of the flow of current.

MI-CLiMB Benchmark Clarification

An electrical circuit must form a complete loop for current to flow. Simple electrical circuits include a battery as the source of electricity, a device that uses electricity (e.g., a light bulb, an electric door bell or buzzer, an electric motor), and wire (or some other conductor) to connect the battery with the device in a loop. Such a loop is called a complete circuit. An incomplete circuit is any wiring arrangement that fails to make a complete loop; no current flows in an incomplete circuit. If a loop is made that includes the battery but not an electrical device, then a short circuit has been made. An electrical switch can be added to an electrical circuit to make it easier to "close" or "open" the circuit and thus turn on or off the included electrical device. A simple electrical circuit can be used to investigate which kinds of materials conduct electric current and which do not — that is, electrical conductors and non-conductors, respectively. The amount of current in a simple circuit made with a flashlight battery is relatively small and harmless. In contrast, household current can cause severe shock, injury, and even death. Students should not use household current for constructing electrical circuits.

T:   Batteries, electric door bells, light bulbs, motors, conductors, non-conductors, electrical switches.

R:   Electrical appliances, household wiring, electrical conductivity testing.

In the fourth-grade "Simple Electric Circuits" unit, students constructed useful, simple circuits. They noted kinds of materials that can be used as conductors in electrical circuits and that electrical devices can change electricity into other forms of energy. In this unit, students build upon those experiences and learn how electric current behaves in an electrical circuit.

Students (even in high school and college) commonly share several mistaken models of what happens — especially with respect to current — in an electrical circuit. For example, some think that a bulb lights up because current leaves both ends of the battery and meets in the filament of the bulb, where the resulting "clashing currents" create the light. Others think that current leaves one end of a battery, travels through the wire to the bulb, and then gets "used up" by the bulb to make the light, so that no current returns to the battery through the wire on the other side of the bulb. Still others think that some of the current is used up, and a lesser amount flows back to the battery. It is important to help students distinguish between the "electric current" (which does not get "used up") flowing through the complete electrical circuit and the "energy" that is transformed from electrical energy to other forms of energy by devices in the circuit (e.g., heat and light in a light bulb).

[ NOTE:   While not part of the focus for this unit, benchmark IV.3.m.3 — which involves describing several forms of non-contact forces (e.g., from magnets, gravity, and electrically charged objects) — is the basis for understanding where the "push" comes from that results in an electric current. Some attention to like charges repelling each other may help students understand how electric currents arise, and in turn allow them to distinguish "current" — as a measure of the rate at which these charges flow — from measuring the "energy" that they carry.]

IV.1.m.6

Investigate electrical devices and explain how they work, using instructions and appropriate safety precautions.

MI-CLiMB Benchmark Clarification

Electrical circuits and devices can be used to transfer energy (by the flow of electricity) or information from one location to another. We can read and use the written instructions or other documentation (e.g., wiring diagrams) that accompany electrical toys and appliances to better understand how they work. These written instructions also provide safety precautions — such as how to provide proper grounding for using electrical appliances — that we can study and use.

T:   None.

R:   Situations requiring assembly, use, or repair of electrical toys, radios, or simple appliances, such as replacing batteries and bulbs; connecting electrical appliances, such as stereo systems, televisions and videocassette recorders, computers and computer components.

IV.2.m.4

Describe common energy transformations in everyday situations.

MI-CLiMB Benchmark Clarification

While benchmark IV.2.m.4 is concerned with a wide range of energy transformations, in this unit students focus only on those transformations that involve electricity. Energy is needed to cause changes. We have a variety of names for the different forms of energy that we use, for example:   sound, light, mechanical, electrical, magnetic, heat, chemical, and food energy. In many everyday situations, we transform energy from one form to another. For example, we often transform electrical energy into other forms of energy. A fan transforms electrical energy into the mechanical energy of its moving blades. A light bulb transforms electrical energy into heat and light. In all of these situations, the total amount of energy before the transformation is the same as the total amount of energy after the transformation. Therefore, we say that the total amount of energy remains constant in all transformations.

T:   None.

R:   Motors, generators, power plants, light bulbs, appliances, cars, radios, televisions, walking, playing a musical instrument, cooking food, batteries, body heat, photosynthesis.

While benchmark IV.2.m.4 is concerned with a wide range of energy transformations, in this unit students focus only on those transformations that involve electricity. In this context, it is important to help students learn to distinguish between the electric "current" that flows through an electrical circuit and the electrical "energy" that gets transformed by an electrical device (e.g., a light bulb or a doorbell) into other forms of energy.

 


 

*   You can download your own copy of the Michigan Curriculum Framework (2000) science benchmarks -- either as a MS-Word or a PDF file -- at:   http://cdp.mde.state.mi.us/Science/default.html#Benchmarks

 


 

^   A number of "tools" with which children should become familiar as part of their science education and general life experiences are listed in our 2-5 science pacing guides. Several of these are italicized, which indicates that they are also designated within the Michigan Curriculum Framework (2000) science benchmarks as "tools" that it is essential that all students have opportunities to use. Reference to such "tools" and their use therefore can also be expected to be included in some MEAP questions.

 


 

Last updated:   2/26/2002 by RTSmith