Science curriculum

  • First Grade Science

    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

    1-PS4 Waves and their Applications in Technologies for Information Transfer

    General Concept:  Light and sound transmit through waves.  Objects produce a greater sound when a force that acts on them creates a greater vibration.  Objects are best seen when some degree of light is able to be transmitted through the object.  Waves of any kind can be used to transmit information.

    -        Sound is created through vibrations.

    o   key words: tuning forks, vocal cord, vibrations,

    -        Light allows objects to be seen.  Some objects can be seen due to an internal light source, and some objects require an outside light source to be seen.

    o   key words:  transmit, absorb, shadows, light

    -        The amount of light that transmits through an object determines the properties of the object that can be seen.

    o   key words: properties, object, transmit. light

    -        Technology can be used to communicate over long distances.

    o   key words:  telephone, radar, computer

    1-LS1 From Molecules to Organisms:  Structures and Processes

    General Concepts: Animals and plants need to constantly change to adjust to the changing environment.  Many organisms possess body parts that allow them to process incoming information so that they can adequately adjust to these changes.  Offspring often do not have the ability to process information as well as adults do, so in some species parents often play a role in protecting their young from the changing conditions until they are ready to process it independently.  Some changes that need to be made occur on a daily basis and others occur on a seasonal basis.  In addition, some changes are predictable over the course of seasons, and some changes are not.

    -        All organisms are made up of body parts that work together for a variety of purposes.

    o   key words: body part, organ, roots, stems, leaves, flowers, fruits, eyes, ears, legs, arms, tongue, fingers

    -        Parents may or may not have an active role in protecting their young.

    o   key words:  offspring, young, parent, mammal, reptiles, amphibians, birds, fish

    -        Animals and plants have the ability to process incoming information and make needed adjustments to survive in their environment.

    o   Key words: camouflage, insulation, hibernation, migration, dormancy

    1-LS3 Heredity: Inheritance and Variation of Traits

    General Concepts: All plants and animals are similar to their parents because they contain similar traits, but may contain variations.

    -        Young plants and animals are very much, but not exactly, like their parents. 

    o   key words:  trait, gene, plant, animal, parent, young, offspring

    -        Traits are ways to describe the properties of a living thing.

    o   key words: properties, traits, living

    -        Different versions of a given trait are known as variations.

    o   key words:  trait, variations, tall, short, dark, light, spots, stripes, colors, length

    1-ESS1 Earth’s Place in the Universe

    General Concepts: The sun is the center of our solar system.  Planets rotate and revolve following predictable patterns.  The earth’s rotation is the cause of day and night and takes 24 hours.  The earth revolves around the sun once every year,  and in combination with the tilt of the earth, is the cause of the seasons.

    -        The motion of objects in space follow a predictable pattern.

    o   key words: rotate, revolve, moon, sun, planets, axis, spin

    -        Motions of objects in space are the cause of day/night and the seasons.

    o   key words:  day, night, light, dark, seasons, sunrise, sunset, winter, spring, summer, fall

    -        The cause of sunrise and sunset on earth is the rotation.

    o   key words: sunrise, sunset, rotation