Science curriculum

  • Kindergarten

    Inquiry and the Scientific Method  (year long)

    General Concept:  Students will understand that scientists learn by observing the world around them.  Observations can be done using any of the five senses and can help scientists make conclusions.  Scientists follow procedures using various materials and various strategies.  Strategies may include following a formal scientific method, or an informal investigation.  Through either strategy, students start with a problem and end with a conclusion that will lead to learning.

    -        Using the five senses to make observations of the world around them.

    o   key words:  sight, hear, touch, smell, taste, observations

    -        Making  qualitative and quantitative observations.

    o   key words: property, trait, weight, length, balance, units, unifix cubes, compare, greater, less, fewer, more, tall, short, long, dark, light, smooth, rough, bumpy, texture, color, size, shape, measure

    -        Recording observations and making verbal conclusions.

    o   key words:  write, speak, share, predict, conclude

    -        Following the scientific method for some investigations.

    o   key words: question, problem, chart, graph

    -        Categorizing like scientists do.

    o   key words: sorting, classifying


    K-PS2 Motion and Stability:  Forces and  Interactions

    General Concept:  Students will understand that all motion is due to a combination of forces.  When a force acts on an object in one direction, the object moves in the direction of the force.  When objects are acted upon by forces in opposing directions, motion can be stopped because of balanced forces.  Sometimes motion can be caused by forces that can be seen, as well as forces that cannot be seen.  In kindergarten, the focus is on investigating only those forces that can be seen.

    -        Pushing and pulling are examples of forces that we can observe.

    o   key words:  push, pull, slow, fast, force, movement

    -        Forces can cause motion and greater forces cause greater motion.

    o   key words:  change, energy

    -        Creating a model where students can influence the degree of force placed upon an object.

    o   key words:  ramp, steep



     K-PS3 Energy

    General Concepts:  Sunlight warms earth’s surface based upon the intensity of the sun’s rays.  When the sun rays strike a surface, the surface will warm.  Different materials on earth’s surface will influence the ability of the sun’s warming effects.  Some objects are more easily able to be warmed than others.

    -        Sunlight warms earth’s surface .

    o   key words:  strong, weak, overhead, rays, seasons, temperature, heat, absorb ,energy

    K-LS From Molecules to Organisms:  Structures and Processes

    General Concepts: All living things are interdependent upon other living things and/or nonliving things in their environment.  This is particularly important as it pertains to how each organism gets the energy for day to day survival.

    -        Animals and plants both require water to live and grow.

    o   key words:  roots, stem, branch, trunk, leaves, animals, plants, live

    -        Plants need light so that they can make their own food in leaves.

    o   key words:  stored food

    -        Animals do not have the ability to use light to make their own food, so they need to consume food.

    o   key words:  light, hunt, consume, eat, grow, food

    K-ESS Earth’s Systems

    General Concepts: Weather is driven by the energy provided from the sun.  Weather can change the landscape of the land through processes driven by water and wind.  We can learn more about these impacts by educating ourselves about weather patterns.  Humans can also change the landscape through activities, but can reduce the negative impacts through conscious efforts.

    -        Earth’s weather is driven by the energy provided from the sun.

    o   key words: sunlight, wind, snow, rain, air, energy

    -        Weather is a combination of sunlight, temperature, and precipitation.

    o   key words: precipitation, evaporation, hot, cold, warmer, colder, cool, wet, dry

    -        Weather includes both qualitative and quantitative observations.

    o   key words: inches, degrees, greater, less, gentle, blustery, windy

    -        Tools are used to measure weather quantitatively.

    o   key words: thermometer, ruler

    -        Living things can impact the environment around them.

    o   key words: use, recycle, reduce, reuse, shade, clear, build


    K-ESS3 Earth and Human Activity

    General Concepts: Plants and animals rely on their environment in order to survive.  Environments are constantly changing due to factors beyond our control, but there are some factors that we as humans have the ability to influence. 

    -        Living things are different from nonliving things.  Living things have one or more life functions.

    o   key words:  breathing, eating, growing, reproducing, babies, young, parent, food, living, nonliving, moving

    -        Living things need water, air and resources that can be found in their environments.

    o   key words: water, air, habitat, trees, shelter, caves, dens, nests

    -        Weather can change the landscape of environments and certain regions are more likely to be impacted more frequently.

    o   key words:  strong, windy, rain, downpours, erosion

    -        Humans impact on their environments can be both negative and positive.

    o   key words: recycle, clear

    -        Creating models that show how humans can limit the negative impact on the environment of everyday activities.

    o   key words: protect, cover, change, force, energy, erosion