SCIENCE/GRADE 6                                                                                                                                                     Page  of

Unit Title

Unit 1: Growth, Development, and Reproduction of Organisms

Timeframe 

Instructional Days:  25

Unit Summary

What influences the growth and development of an organism?

Students use data and conceptual models to understand how the environment and genetic factors determine the growth of an individual organism. They connect this idea to the role of animal behaviors in animal reproduction and to the dependence of some plants on animal behaviors for their reproduction. Students provide evidence to support their understanding of the structures and behaviors that increase the likelihood of successful reproduction by organisms. The crosscutting concepts of cause and effect and structure and function provide a framework for understanding the disciplinary core ideas. Students demonstrate grade-appropriate proficiency in analyzing and interpreting data, using models, conducting investigations, and communicating information. Students are also expected to use these practices to demonstrate understanding of the core ideas.

This unit is based on MS-LS1-4 and MS-LS1-5.

Learning Targets

Essential Questions

How do characteristic animal behaviors and specialized plant structures affect the probability of

successful reproduction of animals and plants, respectively?

How do environmental and genetic factors influence the growth of organisms?

Enduring Understandings

Students will understand:

  • The influences on the growth and development of an organism.

Know

By the end of this unit, students will know:

  • Plants reproduce in a variety of ways, sometimes depending on animal behavior and specialized features for reproduction.
  •  There are a variety of ways that plants reproduce
  • Specialized structures for plants affect their probability of successful reproduction.
  • Some characteristic animal behaviors affect the probability of successful reproduction in plants.
  • Animals engage in characteristic behaviors that affect the probability of successful reproduction.
  • There are a variety of characteristic animal behaviors that affect their probability of successful reproduction.
  • There are a variety of animal behaviors that attract a mate.
  • Successful reproduction of animals and plants may have more than one cause, and some cause-and-effect relationships in systems can only be described using probability.
  • Genetic factors as well as local conditions affect the growth of organisms.
  •  A variety of local environmental conditions affect the growth of organisms.
  • Genetic factors affect the growth of organisms (plant and animal).
  • The factors that influence the growth of organisms may have more than one cause.
  • Some cause-and-effect relationships in plant and animal systems can only be described using probability.

Do

By the end of this unit, students will be able to:

  • Investigate the variety of ways plants reproduce within an environment.
  • Collect and analyze data regarding the factors that influence reproduction
  • Make observations regarding plant structure and the impact on reproduction.
  • Investigate how animal behaviors affect plant reproduction.
  • Observe a variety of habitats for the impact of animal behaviors and how they affect reproduction.
  • Investigate cause, and some cause-and-effect relationships as it relates to reproduction of animals and plants.
  • Make predictions regarding the factors that affect the growth of organisms.
  • Investigate genetic and environmental conditions that affect the growth of organisms.
  • Collect and analyze data and identity cause & effect relationships that influence growth on orgaisms.

Evidence of Learning

Formative

Students who understand the concepts are able to:

  • Collect empirical evidence about animal behaviors that affect the animals’ probability of successful reproduction and also affect the probability of plant reproduction.
  • Collect empirical evidence about plant structures that are specialized for reproductive success.
  • Use empirical evidence from experiments and other scientific reasoning to support oral and written arguments that explain the relationship among plant structure, animal behavior, and the reproductive success of plants.
  •  Identify and describe possible cause-and effect relationships affecting the reproductive success of plants and animals using probability
  • Support or refute an explanation of how characteristic animal behaviors and specialized plant structures affect the probability of successful plant reproduction using oral and written arguments.
  • Conduct experiments, collect evidence, and analyze empirical data.
  • Use evidence from experiments and other scientific reasoning to support oral and written explanations of how environmental and genetic factors influence the growth of organisms.
  • Identify and describe possible causes and effects of local environmental conditions on the growth of organisms.
  • Identify and describe possible causes and effects of genetic conditions on the growth of organisms.

Summative/ Benchmark

Alternative Assessments

Learning Activities

Summary of Key Learning Events and Instruction w/ Integration of Technology/CRP

Students will:

  • Observe examples of plant structures that could affect the probability of plant reproduction.  
  • Count the number of butterflies on brightly colored plants vs. the number of butterflies on other types of plants.  
  • Record data and create graphs to support observations.
  • Use microscopes to view plant structures.
  • View habitats  virtually to observe and collect data.
  • Virtual and actual observations of  animals within a habitat and their impact on plant reproduction.  
  • Observe examples of animal behaviors that could affect the probability of successful animal reproduction.
  • Conduct experiments, collect evidence, and research the environmental and genetic factors influencing the growth of organisms.
  • Examine genetic factors that influence the growth of organisms. 

Materials / Equipment / Resources

Core Instructional

Materials and Texts

Equipment

Supplemental Resources

Students may not believe food is a scarce resource in ecosystems, thinking that organisms can change their food at will according to the availability of particular sources. Students of all ages think that some populations of organisms are numerous in order to fulfill a demand for food by another population.

Students may believe that organisms are able to effect changes in bodily structure to exploit particular habitats or that they respond to a changed environment by seeking a more favorable environment. It has been suggested that the language about adaptation used by teachers or textbooks to make biology more accessible to students may cause or reinforce these beliefs (NSDL, 2015).

Standards

Content Statement

Use argument based on empirical evidence and scientific reasoning to support an explanation for how characteristic animal behaviors and specialized plant structures affect the probability of successful reproduction of animals and plants respectively. [Clarification Statement: Examples of behaviors that affect the probability of animal reproduction could include nest building to protect young from cold, herding of animals to protect young from predators, and vocalization of animals and colorful plumage to attract mates for breeding. Examples of animal behaviors that affect the probability of plant reproduction could include transferring pollen or seeds, and creating conditions for seed germination and growth. Examples of plant structures could include bright flowers attracting butterflies that transfer pollen, flower nectar and odors that attract insects that transfer pollen, and hard shells on nuts that squirrels bury.] (MS-LS1-4)

Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence for how environmental and genetic factors influence the growth of organisms. [Clarification Statement: Examples of local environmental conditions could include availability of food, light, space, and water. Examples of genetic factors could include large breed cattle and species of grass affecting growth of organisms. Examples of evidence could include drought decreasing plant growth, fertilizer increasing plant growth, different varieties of plant seeds growing at different rates in different conditions, and fish growing larger in large ponds than they do in small ponds.] [Assessment Boundary: Assessment does not include genetic mechanisms, gene regulation, or biochemical processes.] (MS-LS1-5)

21st Century Skills and Themes

Interdisciplinary Connections

Career Ready Practices

9.2 Career Awareness, Exploration, and Preparation  

English Language Arts

Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts. (MS-LS1-4),(MS-LS1-5) RST.6-8.1

Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a text; provide an accurate summary of the text distinct from prior knowledge or opinions. (MS-LS1-5) RST.6-8.2

Trace and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, distinguishing claims that are supported by reasons and evidence from claims that are not. (MS-LS1-4) RI.6.8

Write arguments focused on discipline content. (MS-LS1-4) WHST.6-8.1

Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content. (MS-LS1-5) WHST.6-8.2

Draw evidence from informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research. (MS-LS1-5) WHST.6-8.9

Mathematics

Understand that a set of data collected to answer a statistical question has a distribution which can be described by its center, spread, and overall shape. (MS-LS1-4),(MS-LS1-5) 6.SP.A.2

Summarize numerical data sets in relation to their context. (M

S-LS1-4),(MS-LS1-5) 6.SP.B.4

  • CRP1. Act as a responsible and contributing citizen and employee.
  • CRP2. Apply appropriate academic and technical skills.
  • CRP3. Attend to personal health and financial well-being.
  • CRP4.Communicate clearly and effectively and with reason.
  • CRP5.Consider the environmental, social and economic impacts of decisions.
  • CRP6.Demonstrate creativity and innovation.
  • CRP7.Employ valid and reliable research strategies.
  • CRP8.Utilize critical thinking to make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.
  • CRP9.Model integrity, ethical leadership and effective management.
  • CRP10. Plan education and career paths aligned to personal goals.
  • CRP11. Use technology to enhance productivity.
  • CRP12.Work productively in teams while using cultural global competence.

By the end of 8th grade,

  • 9.2.8.B.1 Research careers within the 16 Career Clusters and determine attributes of career success.
  • 9.2.8.B.2 Develop a Personalized Student Learning Plan with the assistance of an adult mentor that includes information about career areas of interest, goals and an educational plan.
  • 9.2.8.B.3 Evaluate communication, collaboration, and leadership skills that can be developed through school, home, work, and extracurricular activities for use in a career.
  • 9.2.8.B.4 Evaluate how traditional and nontraditional careers have evolved regionally, nationally, and globally.
  • 9.2.8.B.5 Analyze labor market trends using state and federal labor market information and other resources available online.
  • 9.2.8.B.6 Demonstrate understanding of the necessary preparation and legal requirements to enter the workforce.
  • 9.2.8.B.7 Evaluate the impact of online activities and social media on employer decisions.

Technology Standards - 8.1

6-8th Grade

A. Technology Operations and Concepts: Students demonstrate a sound understanding of technology concepts, systems and operations.

  • Understand and use technology systems.

8.1.8.A.1 Demonstrate knowledge of a real world problem using digital tools.

 

  • Select and use applications effectively and productively.

8.1.8.A.2 Create a document (e.g. newsletter, reports, personalized learning plan, business letters or flyers) using one or more digital applications to be critiqued by professionals for usability.

8.1.8.A.3 Use and/or develop a simulation that provides an environment to solve a real world problem or theory.

8.1.8.A.4 Graph and calculate data within a spreadsheet and present a summary of the results

8.1.8.A.5 Create a database query, sort and create a report and describe the process, and explain the report results.

B. Creativity and Innovation: Students demonstrate creative thinking, construct knowledge and develop innovative products and process using technology.

  • Apply existing knowledge to generate new ideas, products, or processes.
  • Create original works as a means of personal or group expression.

8.1.8.B.1 Synthesize and publish information about a local or global issue or event (ex. telecollaborative project, blog, school web).

C. Communication and Collaboration: Students use digital media and environments to communicate and work collaboratively, including at a distance, to support individual learning and contribute to the learning of others.

  • Interact, collaborate, and publish with peers, experts, or others by employing a variety of digital environments and media.
  • Communicate information and ideas to multiple audiences using a variety of media and formats.
  • Develop cultural understanding and global awareness by engaging with learners of other cultures.
  • Contribute to project teams to produce original works or solve problems.

8.1.8.C.1 Collaborate to develop and publish work that provides perspectives on a global problem for discussions with learners from other countries.

D. Digital Citizenship: Students understand human, cultural, and societal issues related to technology and practice legal and ethical behavior.

  • Advocate and practice safe, legal, and responsible use of information and technology.

8.1.8.D.1 Understand and model appropriate online behaviors related to cyber safety, cyber bullying, cyber security, and cyber ethics including appropriate use of social media.

  • Demonstrate personal responsibility for lifelong learning.

8.1.8.D.2 Demonstrate the application of appropriate citations to digital content.

8.1.8.D.3 Demonstrate an understanding of fair use and Creative Commons to intellectual property.

  • Exhibit leadership for digital citizenship.

8.1.8.D.4 Assess the credibility and accuracy of digital content.

 

8.1.8.D.5 Understand appropriate uses for social media and the negative consequences of misuse.

E: Research and Information Fluency: Students apply digital tools to gather, evaluate, and use information.

  • Plan strategies to guide inquiry.
  • Locate, organize, analyze, evaluate, synthesize, and ethically use information from a variety of sources and media.
  • Evaluate and select information sources and digital tools based on the appropriateness for specific tasks.
  • Process data and report results.

8.1.8.E.1 Effectively use a variety of search tools and filters in professional public databases to find information to solve a real world problem.

 

F: Critical thinking, problem solving, and decision making: Students use critical thinking skills to plan and conduct research, manage projects, solve problems, and make informed decisions using appropriate digital tools and resources.

  • Identify and define authentic problems and significant questions for investigation.
  • Plan and manage activities to develop a solution or complete a project.
  • Collect and analyze data to identify solutions and/or make informed decisions.
  • Use multiple processes and diverse perspectives to explore alternative solutions.

8.1.8.F.1 Explore a local issue, by using digital tools to collect and analyze data to identify a solution and make an informed decision.

Future Learning

  • Systems of specialized cells within organisms help perform essential functions of life.
  • Any one system in an organism is made up of numerous parts. • Feedback mechanisms maintain an organism’s internal condition within certain limits and mediate behaviors.
  • Growth and division of cells in organisms occur by mitosis and differentiation for specific cell types.

Life Science 

  • Multicellular organisms individual cells grow and then divide via a process called mitosis, thereby allowing the organism to grow.
  • The organism begins as a single cell (fertilized egg) that divides successively to produce many cells, with each parent cell passing identical genetic material (two variants of each chromosome pair) to both daughter cells.
  • As successive subdivisions of an embryo’s cells occur, programmed genetic instructions and small differences in their immediate environments activate or inactivate different genes, which cause the cells to develop differently—a process called differentiation.
  • Cellular division and differentiation produce and maintain a complex organism, composed of systems of tissues and organs that work together to meet the needs of the whole organism.
  • In sexual reproduction, a specialized type of cell division called meiosis occurs that results in the production of sex cells, such as gametes in animals (sperm and Graded Six Unit 1: Growth, Development, and Reproduction of Organisms (date 1.6.16) Instructional Days: 25 7 eggs), which contain only one member from each chromosome pair in the parent cell.

Modifications/Accommodations

(IEPs, ELLs, 504s, G/T & BASIC SKILLS)

(Note: Teachers identify the modifications that they will use in the unit. See NGSS Appendix D: All Standards, All Students/Case Studies for vignettes and explanations of the modifications.)

  • Structure lessons around questions that are authentic, relate to students’ interests, social/family background and knowledge of their community.
  • Provide students with multiple choices for how they can represent their understandings (e.g. multisensory techniques-auditory/visual aids; pictures, illustrations, graphs, charts, data tables, multimedia, modeling).
  • Provide opportunities for students to connect with people of similar backgrounds (e.g. conversations via digital tool such as SKYPE, experts from the community helping with a project, journal articles, and biographies).
  • Provide multiple grouping opportunities for students to share their ideas and to encourage work among various backgrounds and cultures (e.g. multiple representation and multimodal experiences).
  • Engage students with a variety of Science and Engineering practices to provide students with multiple entry points and multiple ways to demonstrate their understandings.
  • Use project-based science learning to connect science with observable phenomena.
  • Structure the learning around explaining or solving a social or community-based issue.
  • Provide ELL students with multiple literacy strategies.
  • Collaborate with after-school programs or clubs to extend learning opportunities.
  • Restructure lesson using UDL principals (http://www.cast.org/our-work/about-udl.html#.VXmoXcfD_UA)  

Appendix A: NGSS and Foundations for the Unit

Use argument based on empirical evidence and scientific reasoning to support an explanation for how characteristic animal behaviors and specialized plant structures affect the probability of successful reproduction of animals and plants respectively. [Clarification Statement: Examples of behaviors that affect the probability of animal reproduction could include nest building to protect young from cold, herding of animals to protect young from predators, and vocalization of animals and colorful plumage to attract mates for breeding. Examples of animal behaviors that affect the probability of plant reproduction could include transferring pollen or seeds, and creating conditions for seed germination and growth. Examples of plant structures could include bright flowers attracting butterflies that transfer pollen, flower nectar and odors that attract insects that transfer pollen, and hard shells on nuts that squirrels bury.] (MS-LS1-4)

Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence for how environmental and genetic factors influence the growth of organisms. [Clarification Statement: Examples of local environmental conditions could include availability of food, light, space, and water. Examples of genetic factors could include large breed cattle and species of grass affecting growth of organisms. Examples of evidence could include drought decreasing plant growth, fertilizer increasing plant growth, different varieties of plant seeds growing at different rates in different conditions, and fish growing larger in large ponds than they do in small ponds.] [Assessment Boundary: Assessment does not include genetic mechanisms, gene regulation, or biochemical processes.] (MS-LS1-5)

The performance expectations above were developed using the following elements from the NRC document A Framework for K-12 Science Education:

Science and Engineering Practices

Disciplinary Core Ideas

Crosscutting Concepts

Engaging in Argument from Evidence

Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions

LS1.B: Growth and Development of Organisms

 

Cause and Effect

Structure and Function

  • Complex and microscopic structures and systems can be visualized, modeled, and used to describe how their function depends on the relationships among its parts; therefore complex natural structures/systems can be analyzed to determine how they function. (MS-LS1-4), (MS-LS1-5)

Unit Title

Unit 2: Matter and Energy in Organisms and Ecosystems 

Timeframe 

Instructional Days:  25

Unit Summary

How and why do organisms interact with their environment and what are the effects of these interactions?

Students analyze and interpret data, develop models, construct arguments, and demonstrate a deeper understanding of the cycling of matter, the flow of energy, and resources in ecosystems. They are able to study patterns of interactions among organisms within an ecosystem. They consider biotic and abiotic factors in an ecosystem and the effects these factors have on populations. They also understand that the limits of resources influence the growth of organisms and populations, which may result in competition for those limited resources. The crosscutting concepts of matter and energy, systems and system models, patterns, and cause and effect provide a framework for understanding the disciplinary core ideas. Students demonstrate grade-appropriate proficiency in analyzing and interpret data, developing models, and constructing arguments. Students are also expected to use these practices to demonstrate understanding of the core ideas.

This unit is based on MS-LS2-1, MS-LS2-2, and MS-LS2-3.

Learning Targets

Essential Questions

How do changes in the availability of matter and energy effect populations in an ecosystem?

How do relationships among organisms, in an ecosystem, effect populations?

How can you explain the stability of an ecosystem by tracing the flow of matter and energy?

Enduring Understandings

Students will understand:

Know

 

By the end of this unit, students will know:

Do

By the end of this unit, students will be able to:

Evidence of Learning

Formative

Students who understand the concepts are able to:

  • Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence for the effects of resource availability on organisms and populations of organisms in an ecosystem.
  • Use cause-and-effect relationships to predict the effect of resource availability on organisms and populations in natural systems.
  • Construct an explanation about interactions within ecosystems.
  • Include qualitative or quantitative relationships between variables as part of explanations about interactions within ecosystems.
  • Make predictions about the impact within and across ecosystems of competitive, predatory, or mutually beneficial relationships as abiotic (e.g., floods, habitat loss) or biotic (e.g., predation) components change.
  • Develop a model to describe the cycling of matter among living and nonliving parts of an ecosystem.
  • Develop a model to describe the flow of energy among living and nonliving parts of ecosystem. Track the transfer of energy as energy flows through an ecosystem.
  • Observe and measure patterns of objects and events in ecosystems.

Summative/ Benchmark

Alternative Assessments

Learning Activities

Summary of Key Learning Events and Instruction w/ Integration of Technology/CRP

Instruction should result in students being able to use arguments based on empirical evidence and scientific reasoning to support an explanation of how characteristic animal behaviors and specialized plant structures affect the probability of successful reproduction of animals and plants. Students may observe examples of plant structures that could affect the probability of plant reproduction, including bright flowers attracting butterflies that transfer pollen, flower nectar and odors that attract pollen-transferring insects, and hard shells on nuts that squirrels bury. Possible activities could include plant experiments (e.g., students could count the number of butterflies on brightly colored plants vs. the number of butterflies on other types of plants and record the data they collect in a table), using microscopes/magnifiers to view plant structures (e.g., dissecting a lily), going on field trips, both virtual and actual (e.g., butterfly garden/botanical garden).

 Students may observe examples of animal behaviors that affect the probability of plant reproduction, which could include observing how animals can transfer pollen or seeds and how animals can create conditions for seed germination and growth (e.g., students may conduct an experiment using rapid cycling Brassica rapa [Fast Plant] and collect data on how many plants produce seeds with and without the aid of a pollinator.

Students could then observe examples of animal behaviors (using videos, Internet resources, books, etc.) that could affect the probability of successful animal reproduction. These behaviors could include nest building to protect young from cold, herding of animals to protect young from predators, and colorful plumage and vocalizations to attract mates for breeding.

Students may be able to identify and describe possible cause-and-effect relationships in factors that contribute to the reproductive success of plants and animals by Graded Six Unit 2: Matter and Energy in Organisms and Ecosystems (date 1.25.16) Instructional Days: 25 4 using probability data from the rapid-cycling Brassica rapa (Fast Plant) experiments and drawing conclusions about one relationship between animals and plants.

At this point, students can present an oral and/or written argument supported by evidence and scientific reasoning that characteristic animal behaviors and specialized plant structures affect the probability of successful reproduction of animals and plants, respectively. Students may use evidence from experiments or other sources to identify the role of pollinators in plant reproduction.

Instruction that results in students being able to construct an evidence-based scientific explanation for how environmental and genetic factors influence the growth of organisms could begin with students conducting experiments and collecting data on the environmental conditions that effect the growth of organisms (e.g., the effect of variables such as food, light, space, and water on plant growth).

Students could then examine genetic factors (inherited traits) that influence the growth of organisms, including parental traits and selective breeding. It is important to note that at this grade level, Mendelian genetics are not a part of student learning. Mendelian genetics will be covered in future grades.

This unit of study could end with students using an oral and/or written argument, supported by evidence and scientific reasoning from their experiments, to explain how environmental conditions and genetic factors affect the growth of an organism.

Materials / Equipment / Resources

Core Instructional

Materials and Texts

Equipment

Supplemental Resources

Habitable Planet Population Simulator: This ecosystem interactive will allow the user to determine the producers and consumers (primary and secondary) in a simulated ecosystem. The user can then see the outcome of including species with particular diets, including the result of how food resources can be depleted if consumers have similar diets. The accompanying lessons do have questions to guide the development of investigations, and there are data tables that are provided to gather information as it is collected.

Modeling Marine Food Webs and Human Impact: In this two-part lesson, students develop food webs and investigate human impacts on marine ecosystems. In Part I, students explore the ecological role of organisms in an ocean habitat and use information provided on Food Web Cards to develop food chains. In Part ll, students model the interconnected feeding relationships in the open ocean ecosystem by developing food webs and then using their food webs to explore the impact that different scenarios have on the ecosystem.

 Interactive Interdependence: This article describes an interactive lesson in which the complexity of food webs and ecosystems is explored. Students generate a list of organisms in a Pacific aquatic ecosystem, assign each organism to a student, and then link the organisms together in a food web using string. Students tug on the string to identify the connections in the food web. In response to several potential changes the teacher describes, the students tug on their strings to predict patterns of interactions. Next, they investigate the limiting factors in an ecosystem. As a concluding activity, students respond to how organisms are affected with differing "Interdependence Scenarios."

Florida's Everglades: The River of Grass utilizes a video clip of a visit to the Everglades, short articles for students to read, a series of slides and a suggested project for students to complete. Students sign up for a pbsteacherline.org account (no email required) to save their notes. As they go through the lesson, they read, watch videos, and answer questions in order to investigate the Florida Everglades ecosystem. Students investigate the biodiversity in the varying ecosystems and the human impact on this biome. Students compare the Florida Everglades to their local ecosystem. An included writing prompt helps students explain patterns of interactions between organisms and ecosystems. An eight page teacher’s guide is included in support materials under "For Teachers". This guide provides lesson goals, key literacy strategies, essential background information, questions for determining students’ prior knowledge, suggestions for ways to support students as they complete the lesson and a variety of assessment ideas. This lesson is grade appropriate.

Standards

Content Statement

Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence for the effects of resource availability on organisms and populations of organisms in an ecosystem. [Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on cause and effect relationships between resources and growth of individual organisms and the numbers of organisms in ecosystems during periods of abundant and scarce resources.] (MS-LS2-1)

Construct an explanation that predicts patterns of interactions among organisms across multiple ecosystems. [Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on predicting consistent patterns of interactions in different ecosystems in terms of the relationships among and between organisms and abiotic components of ecosystems. Examples of types of interactions could include competitive, predatory, and mutually beneficial.] (MS-LS2-2)

Develop a model to describe the cycling of matter and flow of energy among living and nonliving parts of an ecosystem. [Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on describing the conservation of matter and flow of energy into and out of various ecosystems, and on defining the boundaries of the system.] [Assessment Boundary: Assessment does not include the use of chemical reactions to describe the processes.] (MS-LS2-3)

21st Century Skills and Themes

Interdisciplinary Connections

Career Ready Practices

9.2 Career Awareness, Exploration, and Preparation  

English Language Arts

Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts. (MS-LS2-1),(MS-LS2-2) RST.6-8.1

Integrate quantitative or technical information expressed in words in a text with a version of that information expressed visually (e.g., in a flowchart, diagram, model, graph, or table). (MS-LS2-1) RST.6-8.7

Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content. (MS-LS2-2) WHST.6-8.2

Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research. (MS-LS2-2) WHST.6-8.9

Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 8 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly. (MS-LS2-2) SL.8.1

Mathematics

Use variables to represent two quantities in a real-world problem that change in relationship to one another; write an equation to express one quantity, thought of as the dependent variable, in terms of the other quantity, thought of as the independent variable. Analyze the relationship between the dependent and independent variables using graphs and tables, and relate these to the equation. (MS-LS2-3) 6.EE.C.9

Summarize numerical data sets in relation to their context. (MS-LS2-2) 6.SP.B.5

  • CRP1. Act as a responsible and contributing citizen and employee.
  • CRP2. Apply appropriate academic and technical skills.
  • CRP3. Attend to personal health and financial well-being.
  • CRP4.Communicate clearly and effectively and with reason.
  • CRP5.Consider the environmental, social and economic impacts of decisions.
  • CRP6.Demonstrate creativity and innovation.
  • CRP7.Employ valid and reliable research strategies.
  • CRP8.Utilize critical thinking to make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.
  • CRP9.Model integrity, ethical leadership and effective management.
  • CRP10. Plan education and career paths aligned to personal goals.
  • CRP11. Use technology to enhance productivity.
  • CRP12.Work productively in teams while using cultural global competence.

By the end of 8th grade,

  • 9.2.8.B.1 Research careers within the 16 Career Clusters and determine attributes of career success.
  • 9.2.8.B.2 Develop a Personalized Student Learning Plan with the assistance of an adult mentor that includes information about career areas of interest, goals and an educational plan.
  • 9.2.8.B.3 Evaluate communication, collaboration, and leadership skills that can be developed through school, home, work, and extracurricular activities for use in a career.
  • 9.2.8.B.4 Evaluate how traditional and nontraditional careers have evolved regionally, nationally, and globally.
  • 9.2.8.B.5 Analyze labor market trends using state and federal labor market information and other resources available online.
  • 9.2.8.B.6 Demonstrate understanding of the necessary preparation and legal requirements to enter the workforce.
  • 9.2.8.B.7 Evaluate the impact of online activities and social media on employer decisions.

Technology Standards - 8.1

6-8th Grade

A. Technology Operations and Concepts: Students demonstrate a sound understanding of technology concepts, systems and operations.

  • Understand and use technology systems.

8.1.8.A.1 Demonstrate knowledge of a real world problem using digital tools.

 

  • Select and use applications effectively and productively.

8.1.8.A.2 Create a document (e.g. newsletter, reports, personalized learning plan, business letters or flyers) using one or more digital applications to be critiqued by professionals for usability.

8.1.8.A.3 Use and/or develop a simulation that provides an environment to solve a real world problem or theory.

8.1.8.A.4 Graph and calculate data within a spreadsheet and present a summary of the results

8.1.8.A.5 Create a database query, sort and create a report and describe the process, and explain the report results.

B. Creativity and Innovation: Students demonstrate creative thinking, construct knowledge and develop innovative products and process using technology.

  • Apply existing knowledge to generate new ideas, products, or processes.
  • Create original works as a means of personal or group expression.

8.1.8.B.1 Synthesize and publish information about a local or global issue or event (ex. telecollaborative project, blog, school web).

C. Communication and Collaboration: Students use digital media and environments to communicate and work collaboratively, including at a distance, to support individual learning and contribute to the learning of others.

  • Interact, collaborate, and publish with peers, experts, or others by employing a variety of digital environments and media.
  • Communicate information and ideas to multiple audiences using a variety of media and formats.
  • Develop cultural understanding and global awareness by engaging with learners of other cultures.
  • Contribute to project teams to produce original works or solve problems.

8.1.8.C.1 Collaborate to develop and publish work that provides perspectives on a global problem for discussions with learners from other countries.

D. Digital Citizenship: Students understand human, cultural, and societal issues related to technology and practice legal and ethical behavior.

  • Advocate and practice safe, legal, and responsible use of information and technology.

8.1.8.D.1 Understand and model appropriate online behaviors related to cyber safety, cyber bullying, cyber security, and cyber ethics including appropriate use of social media.

  • Demonstrate personal responsibility for lifelong learning.

8.1.8.D.2 Demonstrate the application of appropriate citations to digital content.

8.1.8.D.3 Demonstrate an understanding of fair use and Creative Commons to intellectual property.

  • Exhibit leadership for digital citizenship.

8.1.8.D.4 Assess the credibility and accuracy of digital content.

 

8.1.8.D.5 Understand appropriate uses for social media and the negative consequences of misuse.

E: Research and Information Fluency: Students apply digital tools to gather, evaluate, and use information.

  • Plan strategies to guide inquiry.
  • Locate, organize, analyze, evaluate, synthesize, and ethically use information from a variety of sources and media.
  • Evaluate and select information sources and digital tools based on the appropriateness for specific tasks.
  • Process data and report results.

8.1.8.E.1 Effectively use a variety of search tools and filters in professional public databases to find information to solve a real world problem.

 

F: Critical thinking, problem solving, and decision making: Students use critical thinking skills to plan and conduct research, manage projects, solve problems, and make informed decisions using appropriate digital tools and resources.

  • Identify and define authentic problems and significant questions for investigation.
  • Plan and manage activities to develop a solution or complete a project.
  • Collect and analyze data to identify solutions and/or make informed decisions.
  • Use multiple processes and diverse perspectives to explore alternative solutions.

8.1.8.F.1 Explore a local issue, by using digital tools to collect and analyze data to identify a solution and make an informed decision.

Future Learning

Life Science

  • Systems of specialized cells within organisms help perform essential functions of life.
  • Any one system in an organism is made up of numerous parts.
  • Feedback mechanisms maintain an organism’s internal condition within certain limits and mediate behaviors
  • Growth and division of cells in organisms occur by mitosis and differentiation for specific cell types.

Modifications/Accommodations

(IEPs, ELLs, 504s, G/T & BASIC SKILLS)

(Note: Teachers identify the modifications that they will use in the unit. See NGSS Appendix D: All Standards, All Students/Case Studies for vignettes and explanations of the modifications.)

  • Structure lessons around questions that are authentic, relate to students’ interests, social/family background and knowledge of their community.
  • Provide students with multiple choices for how they can represent their understandings (e.g. multisensory techniques-auditory/visual aids; pictures, illustrations, graphs, charts, data tables, multimedia, modeling).
  • Provide opportunities for students to connect with people of similar backgrounds (e.g. conversations via digital tool such as SKYPE, experts from the community helping with a project, journal articles, and biographies).
  • Provide multiple grouping opportunities for students to share their ideas and to encourage work among various backgrounds and cultures (e.g. multiple representation and multimodal experiences).
  • Engage students with a variety of Science and Engineering practices to provide students with multiple entry points and multiple ways to demonstrate their understandings.
  • Use project-based science learning to connect science with observable phenomena.
  • tructure the learning around explaining or solving a social or community-based issue.
  • Provide ELL students with multiple literacy strategies.
  • Collaborate with after-school programs or clubs to extend learning opportunities.
  • Restructure lesson using UDL principals (http://www.cast.org/our-work/about-udl.html#.VXmoXcfD_UA)  

Appendix A: NGSS and Foundations for the Unit

Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence for the effects of resource availability on organisms and populations of organisms in an ecosystem. [Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on cause and effect relationships between resources and growth of individual organisms and the numbers of organisms in ecosystems during periods of abundant and scarce resources.] (MS-LS2-1)

Construct an explanation that predicts patterns of interactions among organisms across multiple ecosystems. [Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on predicting consistent patterns of interactions in different ecosystems in terms of the relationships among and between organisms and abiotic components of ecosystems. Examples of types of interactions could include competitive, predatory, and mutually beneficial.] (MS-LS2-2)

Develop a model to describe the cycling of matter and flow of energy among living and nonliving parts of an ecosystem. [Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on describing the conservation of matter and flow of energy into and out of various ecosystems, and on defining the boundaries of the system.] [Assessment Boundary: Assessment does not include the use of chemical reactions to describe the processes.] (MS-LS2-3)

The performance expectations above were developed using the following elements from the NRC document A Framework for K-12 Science Education:

Science and Engineering Practices

Disciplinary Core Ideas

Crosscutting Concepts

Analyzing and Interpreting Data

Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions

Developing and Using Models

 

LS2.A: Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems

LS2.B: Cycle of Matter and Energy Transfer in Ecosystems

Patterns

Cause and Effect

Energy and Matter

 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

         Connections to Nature of Science 

Scientific Knowledge Assumes an Order and Consistency in Natural Systems

  • Science assumes that objects and events in natural systems occur in consistent patterns that are understandable through measurement and observation. (MS-LS2-3)

 

Unit Title

Unit 3:  Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems

Timeframe 

Instructional Days:  25

Unit Summary

What happens to ecosystems when the environment changes?

Students build on their understandings of the transfer of matter and energy as they study patterns of interactions among organisms within an ecosystem. They consider biotic and abiotic factors in an ecosystem and the effects these factors have on a population. They construct explanations for the interactions in ecosystems and the scientific, economic, political, and social justifications used in making decisions about maintaining biodiversity in ecosystems. The crosscutting concept of stability and change provide a framework for understanding the disciplinary core ideas. This unit includes a two-stage engineering design process. Students first evaluate different engineering ideas that have been proposed using a systematic method, such as a tradeoff matrix, to determine which solutions are most promising. They then test different solutions, and combine the best ideas into a new solution that may be better than any of the preliminary ideas. Students demonstrate grade appropriate proficiency in asking questions, designing solutions, engaging in argument from evidence, developing and using models, and designing solutions. Students are also expected to use these practices to demonstrate understanding of the core ideas.

 This unit is based on MS-LS2-4, MS-LS2-5, MS-ETS1-1, and MS-ETS1-3.

Learning Targets

Essential Questions

How can a single change to an ecosystem disrupt the whole system?

What limits the number and variety of living things in an ecosystem?

Enduring Understandings

Students will understand:

Know

By the end of this unit, students will know:

  • Ecosystems are dynamic in nature.
  • The characteristics of ecosystems can vary over time.
  • Disruptions to any physical or biological component of an ecosystem can lead to shifts in all the ecosystem’s populations.
  • Small changes in one part of an ecosystem might cause large changes in another part.
  • Patterns in data about ecosystems can be recognized and used to make warranted inferences about changes in populations.
  • Evaluating empirical evidence can be used to support arguments about changes to ecosystems
  • Biodiversity describes the variety of species found in Earth’s terrestrial and oceanic ecosystems.
  • The completeness, or integrity, of an ecosystem’s biodiversity is often used as a measure of its health.
  • Changes in biodiversity can influence humans’ resources, such as food, energy, and medicines.
  • Changes in biodiversity can influence ecosystem services that humans rely on.
  • There are systematic processes for evaluating solutions with respect to how well they meet the criteria and constraints of a problem.
  • A solution needs to be tested and then modified on the basis of the test results, in order to improve it.
  • Models of all kinds are important for testing solutions.
  • The iterative process of testing the most promising solutions and modifying what is proposed on the basis of the test results leads to greater refinement and ultimately to an optimal solution.
  • Small changes in one part of a system might cause large changes in another part.
  • Scientific knowledge can describe the consequences of actions but does not necessarily prescribe the decisions that society takes

Do

By the end of this unit, students will be able to:

  • Construct an argument
  • Collect data
  • Collect and analyze data
  • Use evidence to support arguments
  • Make observations and collect and analyze data
  • Construct arguments using evidence to support recognized patterns of change in factors
  • Compare competing design solutions to determine the optimal solution
  • Use models to investigate given solutions for a problem and evaluate design solutions
  • Compare competing design solutions to determine the optimal solution
  • Construct arguments using evidence to support solutions

Evidence of Learning

Formative

Students who understand the concepts are able to:

  • Construct an argument to support or refute an explanation for the changes to populations in an ecosystem caused by disruptions to a physical or biological component of that ecosystem. Empirical evidence and scientific reasoning must support the argument.
  • Use scientific rules for obtaining and evaluating empirical evidence.
  • Recognize patterns in data and make warranted inferences about changes in populations.
  • Evaluate empirical evidence supporting arguments about changes to ecosystems.
  • Construct a convincing argument that supports or refutes claims for solutions about the natural and designed world(s).
  •  Develop a model to generate data to test ideas about designed systems, including those representing inputs and outputs.
  • Create design criteria for design solutions for maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem services.
  • Evaluate competing design solutions based on jointly developed and agreed-upon design criteria.

Summative/ Benchmark

Alternative Assessments

Learning Activities

Summary of Key Learning Events and Instruction w/ Integration of Technology/CRP

Students will:

  • Study a local aquatic ecosystem.  They will visit the aquatic ecosystem on a field trip.  They will observe biotic and abiotic factors in the ecosystem.    They will observe things in “their” organism’s environment and genetic factors that aid its survival.  They will tally how many times it and supporting organisms are observed in the environment.
  • As years pass, the students will record and compare/contrast their data with that of students of previous years.  Each “organism group’s” data will be saved on a Google spreadsheet and added to over the years.  Water quality testing results will be analyzed.  Using their observations of the organism, abiotic and biotic factors in the ecosystem,  their tally of sightings of the organism and supporting organisms in the environment, and water quality testing, the students will create a product (presentation, proposal, argument, etc.)
  • In the aquatic organism experience described above, students will observe a variety of species in the water and surrounding land.  Data about the organisms and supporting organisms will be analyzed.  For example, they may search for organisms which share a common food web.  Also, organisms such as dragonfly larvae may be noted as an indicator of water quality.
  • Using their observations and water quality test data as evidence, and comparisons to past data, students will establish a statement of water quality.  
  • Students will then research solutions  to any problems noted.  They will recognize patterns in data about changes to components in ecosystems and make inferences about how these changes contribute to changes in the biodiversity of populations.
  • Students should recognize patterns in data about changes to components in ecosystems and make inferences about how these changes contribute to changes in the biodiversity of populations.  An argument may then be created.
  • Resources: Pondwater Tour Kit An Americorp representative may be contacted and will provide valuable resources, such as coming to the classroom to teach a pre-trip lesson and attending the field trip to aid in teaching the hands-on lesson.

At the beginning of this unit of study, students will begin to collect empirical evidence that will be used to argue that physical or biological components of an ecosystem affect populations. Students will evaluate existing solutions for maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem services to determine which solutions are most promising. As part of their evaluation, students will develop a probability and use it to determine the probability that designed systems, including those representing inputs and outputs, will maintain biodiversity and ecosystem services. They will develop mathematical model(s) to generate data to test the designed systems and compare probabilities from the models to observe frequencies. If the agreement is not good, they will explain possible sources of the discrepancy.

Distinguish among facts, reasoned judgment based on research findings, and speculation During this process, students will distinguish among facts reasoned judgment based on research findings, and speculation while reading text about maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem services. Examples of ecosystem services could include water purification, nutrient recycling, and prevention of soil erosion.

After determining that ecosystems are dynamic in nature, students may construct an argument to support an explanation for how shifts (large and/or small) in populations are caused by change to physical or biological components in ecosystems (e.g., gas explosions, tornados, mining, oil spills, clear cutting, hurricanes, volcanoes, etc.).

Students will study the variety of species found in terrestrial and oceanic ecosystems and use the data they gather to make decisions about the health of the ecosystem. Students may compare, through observations and data analysis, the biodiversity before and after events affecting a specific area—for examples, the Pinelands, that were lost due to the creation of the reservoir; the underground coal fires in Centralia, PA, that caused people to abandon the town; the volcanic eruption in Mt. St. Helen’s, WA; the nuclear reactor meltdown in Chernobyl, Ukraine.

Students should recognize patterns in data about changes to components in ecosystems and make inferences about how these changes contribute to changes in the biodiversity of populations. Students should investigate and design investigations to test their ideas and develop possible solutions to problems caused when changes in the biodiversity of an ecosystem affect resources (food, energy, and medicine) as well as ecosystem services (water purification, nutrient recycling, soil erosion prevention) available to humans. Students can then construct arguments using evidence to support recognized patterns of change in factors such as global temperatures and their effect on populations and the environment. As part of their argument, students need to note how small changes in one part of an ecosystem might cause large changes in another part. While collecting evidence for their arguments about maintaining biodiversity, students will trace and evaluate specific claims in a text, distinguishing claims that are supported by reasons and evidence from claims that are not. Students will evaluate the argument and claims in text, assess whether the reasoning is sound and the evidence is relevant and sufficient to support the claims.

As a culmination of this unit of study, students will take the evidence they have collected and their understanding of how changes in the biodiversity of populations can impact ecosystem services and use that evidence and understanding to evaluate competing design solutions. Students will include multimedia components and visual displays as part of their argument about competing design solutions based on jointly developed and agreed-upon design criteria to clarify evidence used in their arguments. The multimedia component and visual displays should clarify claims and findings and emphasize salient points in their argument.

Students will use a systematic process for evaluating their design solutions with respect to how well they meet the criteria and constraints. Students may determine the systematic process they will use, or the teacher can determine a process for students to use to evaluate ecosystem services. Any process used should include mathematical models that generates data for the iterative testing of competing design solutions involving a proposed object, tool, or process maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem services and quantitative reasoning (with amounts, numbers, sizes) and abstract reasoning (with variables). Ecosystem services could include water purification, nutrient recycling, and prevention of soil erosion. For this unit of study, design solution constraints could include scientific, economic, and social considerations. After determining the process for evaluating the design solutions and establishing the criteria and constraints, students will compare competing design solutions to determine the optimal solution.

Materials / Equipment / Resources

Core Instructional

Materials and Texts

Equipment

Supplemental Resources

In Exploring the “Systems” in Ecosystems, students are introduced to the concept of an ecosystem, and explore how to analyze ecosystems using a systems thinking approach. A class discussion brings out students' ideas about ecosystems and introduces basic information about the components and processes of ecosystems. Next, students encounter a hypothetical ecosystem and gain experience analyzing it the way scientists do. Students then select a local ecosystem and apply what they have learned to analyze it. Finally, students extend their understanding by characterizing three different types of ecosystems and describing their components and processes.

The Flow of Matter and Energy in Ecosystems SciPack explores the systemic interplay and flow of matter and energy throughout ecosystems, populations and organisms. Energy from the sun is the direct or indirect source of energy for nearly all organisms, it can flow only in one direction through ecosystems: from the sun to producers, to consumers, and finally to decomposers. Unlike the unidirectional transformation of energy, matter cycles among ecosystem components. One key ecosystem function, the cycling of carbon from non-living to living components and back, serves as a primary example in this SciPack for how all nutrients cycle on Earth. Webs and pyramids are used to model and communicate about the transfer of energy and cycling of matter within an ecosystem, representing how the total living biomass stays roughly constant—cycling materials from old to new life—accompanied by an irreversible flow of energy from captured sunlight into dissipated heat.

Problem Based Learning Scenario 

You are a cargo inspection agent working in Guam to prevent the introduction of non-native species to your island. People coming into your territory often do not understand why you must spend so much time checking their cargo. Working in small groups, develop a public service announcement and media campaign to explain to the public how devastating the introduction of non-native species can be to an island ecosystem. Research how the region has been affected by invasive species. Connect with experts in the field to further your understandings. Use video clips, podcasts, and other authentic media to help explain the impact. Focus your message on how non-native species can become invasive and affect the biodiversity of the island.

Resources

• Annenberg Media’s Teachers’ Resources offer short video courses covering essential science content for teachers. http://www.learner.org/resources/series179.html

• National Invasive Species Information Center (NISIC) provides data and information regarding invasive species, including covering Federal, State, local, and international sources. This site supports the performance assessment associated with the CPI.  http://www.invasivespeciesinfo.gov/

Standards

Content Statement

Construct an argument supported by empirical evidence that changes to physical or biological components of an ecosystem affect populations. [Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on recognizing patterns in data and making warranted inferences about changes in populations, and on evaluating empirical evidence supporting arguments about changes to ecosystems.] (MS-LS2-4)

Evaluate competing design solutions for maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem services. * [Clarification Statement: Examples of ecosystem services could include water purification, nutrient recycling, and prevention of soil erosion. Examples of design solution constraints could include scientific, economic, and social considerations.] (MS-LS2-5)

Define the criteria and constraints of a design problem with sufficient precision to ensure a successful solution, taking into account relevant scientific principles and potential impacts on people and the natural environment that may limit possible solutions. (MS-ETS1-1)

Analyze data from tests to determine similarities and differences among several design solutions to identify the best characteristics of each that can be combined into a new solution to better meet the criteria for success. (MS-ETS1-3)

21st Century Skills and Themes

Interdisciplinary Connections

Career Ready Practices

9.2 Career Awareness, Exploration, and  

       Preparation  

English Language Arts

Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts. (MS-LS2-4) RST.6-8.1

Distinguish among facts, reasoned judgment based on research findings, and speculation in a text. (MS-LS2-5) RST.6-8.8

Trace and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, assessing whether the reasoning is sound and the evidence is relevant and sufficient to support the claims. (MS-LS2-5) RI.8.8

Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence. (MS-LS2-4),(MS-ETS1-1),(MS-ETS1-3) WHST.6-8.1

Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content. (MS-LS2-2) WHST.6-8.2

Integrate quantitative or technical information expressed in words in a text with a version of that information expressed visually (e.g., in a flowchart, diagram, model, graph, or table). (MS-ETS1-3) RST.6-8.7

Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, using search terms effectively; assess the credibility and accuracy of each source; and quote or paraphrase the data and conclusions of others while avoiding plagiarism and following a standard format for citation. (MS-ETS1-1) WHST.6-8.8

Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research. (MS-LS2-2),(MS-LS2-4),(MS-ETS1-3), (MS-ETS1-2) WHST.6-8.9

Integrate multimedia and visual displays into presentations to clarify information, strengthen claims and evidence, and add interest. (MS-ETS1-4) SL.8.5

Mathematics

Reason abstractly and quantitatively. (MS-ETS1-1),(MS-ETS1-3) MP.2

Model with mathematics. (MS-LS2-5) MP.4

Solve multi-step real-life and mathematical problems posed with positive and negative rational numbers in any form (whole numbers, fractions, and decimals), using tools strategically. Apply properties of operations to calculate with numbers in any form; convert between forms as appropriate; and assess the reasonableness of answers using mental computation and estimation strategies. (MS-ETS1-1),(MS-ETS1-3) 7.EE.3

Use ratio and rate reasoning to solve real-world and mathematical problems. (MS-LS2-5) 6.RP.A.3

  • CRP1. Act as a responsible and contributing citizen and employee.
  • CRP2. Apply appropriate academic and technical skills.
  • CRP3. Attend to personal health and financial well-being.
  • CRP4.Communicate clearly and effectively and with reason.
  • CRP5.Consider the environmental, social and economic impacts of decisions.
  • CRP6.Demonstrate creativity and innovation.
  • CRP7.Employ valid and reliable research strategies.
  • CRP8.Utilize critical thinking to make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.
  • CRP9.Model integrity, ethical leadership and effective management.
  • CRP10. Plan education and career paths aligned to personal goals.
  • CRP11. Use technology to enhance productivity.
  • CRP12.Work productively in teams while using cultural global competence.

By the end of 8th grade,

  • 9.2.8.B.1 Research careers within the 16 Career Clusters and determine attributes of career success.
  • 9.2.8.B.2 Develop a Personalized Student Learning Plan with the assistance of an adult mentor that includes information about career areas of interest, goals and an educational plan.
  • 9.2.8.B.3 Evaluate communication, collaboration, and leadership skills that can be developed through school, home, work, and extracurricular activities for use in a career.
  • 9.2.8.B.4 Evaluate how traditional and nontraditional careers have evolved regionally, nationally, and globally.
  • 9.2.8.B.5 Analyze labor market trends using state and federal labor market information and other resources available online.
  • 9.2.8.B.6 Demonstrate understanding of the necessary preparation and legal requirements to enter the workforce.
  • 9.2.8.B.7 Evaluate the impact of online activities and social media on employer decisions.

Technology Standards - 8.1

6-8th Grade

A. Technology Operations and Concepts: Students demonstrate a sound understanding of technology concepts, systems and operations.

  • Understand and use technology systems.

8.1.8.A.1 Demonstrate knowledge of a real world problem using digital tools.

 

  • Select and use applications effectively and productively.

8.1.8.A.2 Create a document (e.g. newsletter, reports, personalized learning plan, business letters or flyers) using one or more digital applications to be critiqued by professionals for usability.

8.1.8.A.3 Use and/or develop a simulation that provides an environment to solve a real world problem or theory.

8.1.8.A.4 Graph and calculate data within a spreadsheet and present a summary of the results

8.1.8.A.5 Create a database query, sort and create a report and describe the process, and explain the report results.

B. Creativity and Innovation: Students demonstrate creative thinking, construct knowledge and develop innovative products and process using technology.

  • Apply existing knowledge to generate new ideas, products, or processes.
  • Create original works as a means of personal or group expression.

8.1.8.B.1 Synthesize and publish information about a local or global issue or event (ex. telecollaborative project, blog, school web).

C. Communication and Collaboration: Students use digital media and environments to communicate and work collaboratively, including at a distance, to support individual learning and contribute to the learning of others.

  • Interact, collaborate, and publish with peers, experts, or others by employing a variety of digital environments and media.
  • Communicate information and ideas to multiple audiences using a variety of media and formats.
  • Develop cultural understanding and global awareness by engaging with learners of other cultures.
  • Contribute to project teams to produce original works or solve problems.

8.1.8.C.1 Collaborate to develop and publish work that provides perspectives on a global problem for discussions with learners from other countries.

D. Digital Citizenship: Students understand human, cultural, and societal issues related to technology and practice legal and ethical behavior.

  • Advocate and practice safe, legal, and responsible use of information and technology.

8.1.8.D.1 Understand and model appropriate online behaviors related to cyber safety, cyber bullying, cyber security, and cyber ethics including appropriate use of social media.

  • Demonstrate personal responsibility for lifelong learning.

8.1.8.D.2 Demonstrate the application of appropriate citations to digital content.

8.1.8.D.3 Demonstrate an understanding of fair use and Creative Commons to intellectual property.

  • Exhibit leadership for digital citizenship.

8.1.8.D.4 Assess the credibility and accuracy of digital content.

 

8.1.8.D.5 Understand appropriate uses for social media and the negative consequences of misuse.

E: Research and Information Fluency: Students apply digital tools to gather, evaluate, and use information.

  • Plan strategies to guide inquiry.
  • Locate, organize, analyze, evaluate, synthesize, and ethically use information from a variety of sources and media.
  • Evaluate and select information sources and digital tools based on the appropriateness for specific tasks.
  • Process data and report results.

8.1.8.E.1 Effectively use a variety of search tools and filters in professional public databases to find information to solve a real world problem.

 

F: Critical thinking, problem solving, and decision making: Students use critical thinking skills to plan and conduct research, manage projects, solve problems, and make informed decisions using appropriate digital tools and resources.

  • Identify and define authentic problems and significant questions for investigation.
  • Plan and manage activities to develop a solution or complete a project.
  • Collect and analyze data to identify solutions and/or make informed decisions.
  • Use multiple processes and diverse perspectives to explore alternative solutions.

8.1.8.F.1 Explore a local issue, by using digital tools to collect and analyze data to identify a solution and make an informed decision.

Future Learning

Life Science

  • If a biological or physical disturbance to an ecosystem occurs, including one induced by human activity, the ecosystem may return to its more or less original state or become a very different ecosystem, depending on the complex set of interactions within the ecosystem.
  • Biodiversity is increased by the formation of new species and reduced by extinction. Humans depend on biodiversity but also have adverse impacts on it.
  • Sustaining biodiversity is essential to supporting life on earth.

Modifications/Accommodations

(IEPs, ELLs, 504s, G/T & BASIC SKILLS)

(Note: Teachers identify the modifications that they will use in the unit. See NGSS Appendix D: All Standards, All Students/Case Studies for vignettes and explanations of the modifications.)

  •  Structure lessons around questions that are authentic, relate to students’ interests, social/family background and knowledge of their community.
  • Provide students with multiple choices for how they can represent their understandings (e.g. multisensory techniques-auditory/visual aids; pictures, illustrations, graphs, charts, data tables, multimedia, modeling).
  • Provide opportunities for students to connect with people of similar backgrounds (e.g. conversations via digital tool such as SKYPE, experts from the community helping with a project, journal articles, and biographies).
  • Provide multiple grouping opportunities for students to share their ideas and to encourage work among various backgrounds and cultures (e.g. multiple representation and multimodal experiences).
  • Engage students with a variety of Science and Engineering practices to provide students with multiple entry points and multiple ways to demonstrate their understandings.
  • Use project-based science learning to connect science with observable phenomena.
  • Structure the learning around explaining or solving a social or community-based issue.
  • Provide ELL students with multiple literacy strategies.
  • Collaborate with after-school programs or clubs to extend learning opportunities.
  • Restructure lesson using UDL principals (http://www.cast.org/our-work/about-udl.html#.VXmoXcfD_UA)

Appendix A: NGSS and Foundations for the Unit

Construct an argument supported by empirical evidence that changes to physical or biological components of an ecosystem affect populations. [Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on recognizing patterns in data and making warranted inferences about changes in populations, and on evaluating empirical evidence supporting arguments about changes to ecosystems.] (MS-LS2-4)

Evaluate competing design solutions for maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem services. * [Clarification Statement: Examples of ecosystem services could include water purification, nutrient recycling, and prevention of soil erosion. Examples of design solution constraints could include scientific, economic, and social considerations.] (MS-LS2-5)

Define the criteria and constraints of a design problem with sufficient precision to ensure a successful solution, taking into account relevant scientific principles and potential impacts on people and the natural environment that may limit possible solutions. (MS-ETS1-1)

Analyze data from tests to determine similarities and differences among several design solutions to identify the best characteristics of each that can be combined into a new solution to better meet the criteria for success. (MS-ETS1-3)

The Student Learning Objectives above were developed using the following elements from the NRC document A Framework for K-12 Science Education:

Science and Engineering Practices

Disciplinary Core Ideas

Crosscutting Concepts

Engaging in Argument from Evidence

Asking Questions and Defining Problems

Developing and Using Models

Analyzing and Interpreting Data

 

LS2.C: Ecosystem Dynamics, Functioning, and Resilience

LS4.D: Biodiversity and Humans

ETS1.B: Developing Possible Solutions

ETS1.A: Defining and Delimiting Engineering Problems

ETS1.B: Developing Possible Solutions

ETS1.C: Optimizing the Design Solution

Stability and Change

  • Small changes in one part of a system might cause large changes in another part. (MS-LS2-4),(MS-LS2-5)

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

  Connections to Engineering, Technology, and                      Applications of Science 

Influence of Science, Engineering, and Technology on Society and the Natural World

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

         Connections to Nature of Science 

Scientific Knowledge Assumes an Order and Consistency in Natural Systems

  • Science assumes that objects and events in natural systems occur in consistent patterns that are understandable through measurement and observation. (MS-LS2-3)

Scientific Knowledge is Based on Empirical Evidence

  • Science disciplines share common rules of obtaining and evaluating empirical evidence. (MS-LS2-4)

Science Addresses Questions About the Natural and Material World

  • Scientific knowledge can describe the consequences of actions but does not necessarily prescribe the decisions that society takes. (MS-LS2-5)

 

Unit Title

Unit 4:  Forces and Motion

Timeframe 

Instructional Days:  25

Unit Summary

How can we predict the motion of an object?

Students use system and system models and stability and change to understanding ideas related to why some objects will keep moving and why objects fall to the ground. Students apply Newton’s third law of motion to related forces to explain the motion of objects. Students also apply an engineering practice and concept to solve a problem caused when objects collide. The crosscutting concepts of system and system models and stability and change provide a framework for understanding the disciplinary core ideas. Students demonstrate proficiency in asking questions, planning and carrying out investigations, designing solutions, engaging in argument from evidence, developing and using models, and constructing explanations and designing solutions. Students are also expected to use these practices to demonstrate understanding of the core ideas.

This unit is based on MS-PS2-1, MS-PS2-2, MS-ETS1-1, MS-ETS1-2, MS-ETS1-3, and MS-ETS1-4.

Learning Targets

Essential Questions

How does a sailboat work?

Who can build the fastest sailboat?

Enduring Understandings

Students will understand:

Know

.

By the end of this unit, students will know:

  • For any pair of interacting objects, the force exerted by the first object on  the second object is equal in strength to the force that the second object  exerts on the first, but in the opposite direction (Newton’s third law).
  • Models can be used to represent the motion of objects in colliding systems  and their interactions, such as inputs, processes, and outputs, as well as  energy and matter flows within systems.
  • The uses of technologies and any  limitations on their use are driven by  individual or societal needs, desires, and values, by the findings of scientific research and by differences in such factors as climate, natural resources,  and economic conditions.
  • The more precisely a design task’s criteria and constraints can be defined,  the more likely it is that the designed solution will be successful.
  • The change in an object’s motion depends on balanced (Newton’s first law)  and unbalanced forces in a system Evidence that the change in an object’s  motion depends on the sum of the forces on the object and the mass of the  object includes qualitative comparisons of forces, mass, and changes in  motion (Newton’s second law); frame of reference; and specification of units
  • The motion of an object is determined by the sum of the forces acting on it;  if the total force on the object is not zero, its motion will change.
  • The greater the mass of the object, the greater the force needed to achieve  the same change in motion.
  • For any given object, a larger force causes a larger change in motion.
  • Explanations of stability and change in natural or designed systems can be constructed by examining the changes over time and forces at different  scales

Do

By the end of this unit, students will be able to:

  • Apply Newton’s Laws to solve a problem
  • Design, create and test a model.
  • Engineer  and design  a problem that will require them to design a solution to a problem involving the motion of two colliding objects.
  • Participate in a short research project where they will gather background information that will help them come up with possible design solutions (i.e. modification to vehicle or roadways).
  • Identify the constraints and criteria for a successful design solution
  • Design, create and test a model. Re-design when needed
  • Test and collect data
  • Analyze data and interpret results

Evidence of Learning

Formative

Students who understand the concepts are able to:

  • Apply Newton’s third law to design a solution to a problem involving the motion of two colliding objects
  • Define a design problem involving the motion of two colliding objects that can be solved through the development of an object, tool, process, or system and that includes multiple criteria and constraints, including scientific knowledge that may limit possible solutions
  • Evaluate competing design solutions involving the motion of two colliding objects based on jointly developed and agreed-upon design criteria.
  • Develop a model to generate data to test ideas about designed systems, including those representing inputs and outputs
  • Analyze and interpret data to determine similarities and differences in findings.
  • Plan an investigation individually and collaboratively to provide evidence that the change in an object’s motion depends on the sum of the forces on the object and the mass of the object
  • Design an investigation and identify independent and dependent variables and controls, what tools are needed to do the gathering, how measurements will be recorded, and how many data are needed to support a claim.
  • Make logical and conceptual connections between evidence and explanations.
  • Examine the changes over time and forces at different scales to explain the stability and change in designed systems.

Summative/ Benchmark

Alternative Assessments

Learning Activities

Summary of Key Learning Events and Instruction w/ Integration of Technology/CRP

  • STC Motion & Design Unit Kit (modifications needed to incorporate principles of force and collision)
  • Students will continue their investigation of Newton’s third law by participating in an engineering and design problem that will require them to design a solution to a problem involving the motion of two colliding objects.
  • Students will need to document their findings, making sure that they cite the resources they use.
  • After students have collected evidence, they can then begin to brainstorm possible solutions.
  • Design and test solutions
  • STC Motion & Design Unit Kit (modifications needed to incorporate principles of force and collision)
  • Resources: STC for Children, Motion and Designs Kit

Throughout this unit of study, students will be examining and interacting with objects in motion. They will begin this unit by investigating Newton’s third law of motion by observing the action/reaction forces involved during a collision. Students will expand their idea of collisions beyond the narrow view of collisions as being an accident in which two or more objects crash into each other. They will learn that scientists’ use of the word collision does not refer to the size of the force; instead it describes any interaction between two objects. We want students to understand that a collision can be as small as an ant walking on a blade of grass—that is, that a collision is any touch between two objects, no matter how small or how large the force.

Some possible observations may include the action/reaction forces involved in roller skating, skateboarding, moving boxes of different masses, etc. Students will then apply Newton’s third law to possible problems and solutions. Some possible investigations could include designing and launching rockets or protecting eggs in a collision.

Students then investigate Newton’s first and second laws of motion through hands-on activities in which they observe the result of balanced and unbalanced forces on an object’s motion. Some examples may include using a seesaw or kicking a ball. In addition, students will observe how an object’s motion will change depending upon the mass of the object and the amount of force applied. Activities could include pushing objects of different masses and comparing the forces needed to accelerate the objects.

Students will continue their investigation of Newton’s third law by participating in an engineering and design problem that will require them to design a solution to a problem involving the motion of two colliding objects.

Students could begin by observing collisions. An example of a collision could be an egg in a cart rolling down an incline and colliding with a barrier. Based on their observations of collisions, students will jointly develop and agree upon the design problem that they will focus on. Students will begin by making a clear statement of the problem they are going to attempt to solve. Once students have a clearly stated problem, the teacher will need to provide them with time and opportunity to participate in a short research project where they will gather background information that will help them come up with possible design solutions. Students will need to document their findings, making sure that they cite the resources they use.

After students have collected evidence, they can then begin to brainstorm possible solutions. To begin this process, students will need to identify the constraints and criteria for a successful design solution. This would involve them identifying the limits of the design. For example, time, materials, and resources could be some constraints. Students will next identify the criteria for a successful design. For example, one criterion could be that the egg in the collision does not break at all, or that it may crack as long as the contents do not spill out.

After the constraints and criteria have been identified, students can them generate possible solutions. Multiple solutions could be generated. Using the evidence collected during their research, as well as information they have learned as a part of their classroom experience, students can eliminate the solutions that seem least likely to be successful and focus on those that are more likely to be successful.

Materials / Equipment / Resources

Core Instructional

Materials and Texts

Equipment

Supplemental Resources

Standards

Content Statement

Apply Newton’s Third Law to design a solution to a problem involving the motion of two colliding objects. * [Clarification Statement: Examples of practical problems could include the impact of collisions between two cars, between a car and stationary objects, and between a meteor and a space vehicle.] [Assessment Boundary: Assessment is limited to vertical or horizontal interactions in one dimension.] (MS-PS2-1)

Plan an investigation to provide evidence that the change in an object’s motion depends on the sum of the forces on the object and the mass of the object. [Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on balanced (Newton’s First Law) and unbalanced forces in a system, qualitative comparisons of forces, mass and changes in motion (Newton’s Second Law), frame of reference, and specification of units.] [Assessment Boundary: Assessment is limited to forces and changes in motion in one-dimension in an inertial reference frame and to change in one variable at a time. Assessment does not include the use of trigonometry.] (MS-PS2-2)

Define the criteria and constraints of a design problem with sufficient precision to ensure a successful solution, taking into account relevant scientific principles and potential impacts on people and the natural environment that may limit possible solutions. (MS-ETS1-1)

Evaluate competing design solutions using a systematic process to determine how well they meet the criteria and constraints of the problem. (MS-ETS1-2)

Analyze data from tests to determine similarities and differences among several design solutions to identify the best characteristics of each that can be combined into a new solution to better meet the criteria for success. (MS-ETS1-3)

Develop a model to generate data for iterative testing and modification of a proposed object, tool, or process such that an optimal design can be achieved. (MS-ETS1-4)

21st Century Skills and Themes

Interdisciplinary Connections

Career Ready Practices

9.2 Career Awareness, Exploration, and Preparation  

English Language Arts

Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts, attending to the precise details of explanations or descriptions. (MS-PS2-1),(MS-ETS1-1),(MS-ETS1-2) RST.6-8.1

Follow precisely a multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks. (MS-PS2-1),(MS-PS2-2) RST.6-8.3

Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, using search terms effectively; assess the credibility and accuracy of each source; and quote or paraphrase the data and conclusions of others while avoiding plagiarism and following a standard format for citation. (MS-ETS1-1) WHST.6-8.8

Draw evidence from informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research. (MS-ETS1-2) WHST.6-8.9

Compare and contrast the information gained from experiments, simulations, video, or multimedia sources with that gained from reading a text on the same topic. (MS-ETS1-2),(MS-ETS1-3) RST.6-8.9

Conduct short research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question), drawing on several sources and generating additional related, focused questions that allow for multiple avenues of exploration. (MS-ETS1-2) 

WHST.6-8.7

Mathematics

Reason abstractly and quantitatively. (MS-PS2-1),(MS-PS2-2),(MS-PS2-3),(MS-ETS1-1),

(MS-ETS1-2) MP.2

Understand that positive and negative numbers are used together to describe quantities having opposite directions or values; use positive and negative numbers to represent quantities in real-world contexts, explaining the meaning of 0 in each situation. (MS-PS2-1) 6.NS.C.5

Write, read, and evaluate expressions in which letters stand for numbers. (MS-PS2-1),(MS-PS2-2) 6.EE.A.2

Solve multi-step real-life and mathematical problems posed with positive and negative rational numbers in any form, using tools strategically. Apply properties of operations to calculate with numbers in any form; convert between forms as appropriate; and assess the reasonableness of answers using mental computation and estimation strategies. (MS-PS2-1),(MS-PS2-2) 7.EE.B.3

Use variables to represent quantities in a real-world or mathematical problem, and construct simple equations and inequalities to solve problems by reasoning about the quantities. (MS-PS2-1),(MS-PS2-2) 7.EE.B.4

Solve multi-step real-life and mathematical problems posed with positive and negative rational numbers in any form (whole numbers, fractions, and decimals), using tools strategically. Apply properties of operations to calculate with numbers in any form; convert between forms as appropriate; and assess the reasonableness of answers using mental computation and estimation strategies. (MS-ETS1-1),(MS-ETS1-2) 7.EE.3

  • CRP1. Act as a responsible and contributing citizen and employee.
  • CRP2. Apply appropriate academic and technical skills.
  • CRP3. Attend to personal health and financial well-being.
  • CRP4.Communicate clearly and effectively and with reason.
  • CRP5.Consider the environmental, social and economic impacts of decisions.
  • CRP6.Demonstrate creativity and innovation.
  • CRP7.Employ valid and reliable research strategies.
  • CRP8.Utilize critical thinking to make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.
  • CRP9.Model integrity, ethical leadership and effective management.
  • CRP10. Plan education and career paths aligned to personal goals.
  • CRP11. Use technology to enhance productivity.
  • CRP12.Work productively in teams while using cultural global competence.

By the end of 8th grade,

  • 9.2.8.B.1 Research careers within the 16 Career Clusters and determine attributes of career success.
  • 9.2.8.B.2 Develop a Personalized Student Learning Plan with the assistance of an adult mentor that includes information about career areas of interest, goals and an educational plan.
  • 9.2.8.B.3 Evaluate communication, collaboration, and leadership skills that can be developed through school, home, work, and extracurricular activities for use in a career.
  • 9.2.8.B.4 Evaluate how traditional and nontraditional careers have evolved regionally, nationally, and globally.
  • 9.2.8.B.5 Analyze labor market trends using state and federal labor market information and other resources available online.
  • 9.2.8.B.6 Demonstrate understanding of the necessary preparation and legal requirements to enter the workforce.
  • 9.2.8.B.7 Evaluate the impact of online activities and social media on employer decisions.

Technology Standards - 8.1

6-8th Grade

A. Technology Operations and Concepts: Students demonstrate a sound understanding of technology concepts, systems and operations.

  • Understand and use technology systems.

8.1.8.A.1 Demonstrate knowledge of a real world problem using digital tools.

 

  • Select and use applications effectively and productively.

8.1.8.A.2 Create a document (e.g. newsletter, reports, personalized learning plan, business letters or flyers) using one or more digital applications to be critiqued by professionals for usability.

8.1.8.A.3 Use and/or develop a simulation that provides an environment to solve a real world problem or theory.

8.1.8.A.4 Graph and calculate data within a spreadsheet and present a summary of the results

8.1.8.A.5 Create a database query, sort and create a report and describe the process, and explain the report results.

B. Creativity and Innovation: Students demonstrate creative thinking, construct knowledge and develop innovative products and process using technology.

  • Apply existing knowledge to generate new ideas, products, or processes.
  • Create original works as a means of personal or group expression.

8.1.8.B.1 Synthesize and publish information about a local or global issue or event (ex. telecollaborative project, blog, school web).

C. Communication and Collaboration: Students use digital media and environments to communicate and work collaboratively, including at a distance, to support individual learning and contribute to the learning of others.

  • Interact, collaborate, and publish with peers, experts, or others by employing a variety of digital environments and media.
  • Communicate information and ideas to multiple audiences using a variety of media and formats.
  • Develop cultural understanding and global awareness by engaging with learners of other cultures.
  • Contribute to project teams to produce original works or solve problems.

8.1.8.C.1 Collaborate to develop and publish work that provides perspectives on a global problem for discussions with learners from other countries.

D. Digital Citizenship: Students understand human, cultural, and societal issues related to technology and practice legal and ethical behavior.

  • Advocate and practice safe, legal, and responsible use of information and technology.

8.1.8.D.1 Understand and model appropriate online behaviors related to cyber safety, cyber bullying, cyber security, and cyber ethics including appropriate use of social media.

  • Demonstrate personal responsibility for lifelong learning.

8.1.8.D.2 Demonstrate the application of appropriate citations to digital content.

8.1.8.D.3 Demonstrate an understanding of fair use and Creative Commons to intellectual property.

  • Exhibit leadership for digital citizenship.

8.1.8.D.4 Assess the credibility and accuracy of digital content.

 

8.1.8.D.5 Understand appropriate uses for social media and the negative consequences of misuse.

E: Research and Information Fluency: Students apply digital tools to gather, evaluate, and use information.

  • Plan strategies to guide inquiry.
  • Locate, organize, analyze, evaluate, synthesize, and ethically use information from a variety of sources and media.
  • Evaluate and select information sources and digital tools based on the appropriateness for specific tasks.
  • Process data and report results.

8.1.8.E.1 Effectively use a variety of search tools and filters in professional public databases to find information to solve a real world problem.

 

F: Critical thinking, problem solving, and decision making: Students use critical thinking skills to plan and conduct research, manage projects, solve problems, and make informed decisions using appropriate digital tools and resources.

  • Identify and define authentic problems and significant questions for investigation.
  • Plan and manage activities to develop a solution or complete a project.
  • Collect and analyze data to identify solutions and/or make informed decisions.
  • Use multiple processes and diverse perspectives to explore alternative solutions.

8.1.8.F.1 Explore a local issue, by using digital tools to collect and analyze data to identify a solution and make an informed decision.

Future Learning

Physics

  • Newton’s second law accurately predicts changes in the motion of macroscopic objects.
  • Momentum is defined for a particular frame of reference; it is the mass times the velocity of the object
  •  If a system interacts with objects outside itself, the total momentum of the system can change; however, any such change is balanced by changes in the  momentum of objects outside the system
  • Conservation of energy means that the total change of energy in any system is always equal to the total energy transferred into or out of the system.
  • Energy cannot be created or destroyed, but it can be transported from one place to another and transferred between systems.
  • Mathematical expressions, which quantify how the stored energy in a system depends on its configuration (e.g., relative positions of charged particles, compression of a spring) and how kinetic energy depends on mass and speed, allow the concept of conservation of energy to be used to predict and describe system behavior
  • The availability of energy limits what can occur in any system.
  • Uncontrolled systems always evolve toward more stable states—that is, toward more uniform energy distribution (e.g., water flows downhill, objects hotter than their surrounding environment cool down).
  • Kepler’s laws describe common features of the motions of orbiting objects, including their elliptical paths around the sun. Orbits may change due to the gravitational effects from, or collisions with, other objects in the solar system.

Modifications/Accommodations

(IEPs, ELLs, 504s, G/T & BASIC SKILLS)

(Note: Teachers identify the modifications that they will use in the unit. See NGSS Appendix D: All Standards, All Students/Case Studies for vignettes and explanations of the modifications.)

  • Structure lessons around questions that are authentic, relate to students’ interests, social/family background and knowledge of their community.
  • Provide students with multiple choices for how they can represent their understandings (e.g. multisensory techniques-auditory/visual aids; pictures, illustrations, graphs, charts, data tables, multimedia, modeling). Provide opportunities for students to connect with people of similar backgrounds (e.g. conversations via digital tool such as SKYPE, experts from the community helping with a project, journal articles, and biographies).
  • Provide multiple grouping opportunities for students to share their ideas and to encourage work among various backgrounds and cultures (e.g. multiple representation and multimodal experiences).
  • Engage students with a variety of Science and Engineering practices to provide students with multiple entry points and multiple ways to demonstrate their understandings.
  • Use project-based science learning to connect science with observable phenomena.
  • Structure the learning around explaining or solving a social or community-based issue.
  • Provide ELL students with multiple literacy strategies.
  • Collaborate with after-school programs or clubs to extend learning opportunities.
  • Restructure lesson using UDL principals (http://www.cast.org/our-work/about-udl.html#.VXmoXcfD_UA)  

Appendix A: NGSS and Foundations for the Unit

Apply Newton’s Third Law to design a solution to a problem involving the motion of two colliding objects. * [Clarification Statement: Examples of practical problems could include the impact of collisions between two cars, between a car and stationary objects, and between a meteor and a space vehicle.] [Assessment Boundary: Assessment is limited to vertical or horizontal interactions in one dimension.] (MS-PS2-1)

Plan an investigation to provide evidence that the change in an object’s motion depends on the sum of the forces on the object and the mass of the object. [Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on balanced (Newton’s First Law) and unbalanced forces in a system, qualitative comparisons of forces, mass and changes in motion (Newton’s Second Law), frame of reference, and specification of units.] [Assessment Boundary: Assessment is limited to forces and changes in motion in one-dimension in an inertial reference frame and to change in one variable at a time. Assessment does not include the use of trigonometry.] (MS-PS2-2)

Define the criteria and constraints of a design problem with sufficient precision to ensure a successful solution, taking into account relevant scientific principles and potential impacts on people and the natural environment that may limit possible solutions. (MS-ETS1-1)

Evaluate competing design solutions using a systematic process to determine how well they meet the criteria and constraints of the problem. (MS-ETS1-2)

Analyze data from tests to determine similarities and differences among several design solutions to identify the best characteristics of each that can be combined into a new solution to better meet the criteria for success. (MS-ETS1-3)

Develop a model to generate data for iterative testing and modification of a proposed object, tool, or process such that an optimal design can be achieved. (MS-ETS1-4)

The Student Learning Objectives above were developed using the following elements from the NRC document A Framework for K-12 Science Education:

Science and Engineering Practices

Disciplinary Core Ideas

Crosscutting Concepts

Planning and Carrying Out Investigations

  • Plan an investigation individually and collaboratively, and in the design: identify independent and dependent variables and controls, what tools are needed to do the gathering, how measurements will be recorded, and how many data are needed to support a claim. (MS-PS2-2)

Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions

Asking Questions and Defining Problems

Engaging in Argument from Evidence

PS2.A: Forces and Motion

ETS1.A: Defining and Delimiting Engineering Problems

ETS1.B: Developing Possible Solutions

ETS1.C: Optimizing the Design Solution

Systems and System Models

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

        Connections to Engineering, Technology,

                     and Applications of Science

 Influence of Science, Engineering, and Technology on Society and the Natural World

 

Unit Title

Unit 5:  Types of Interactions

Timeframe 

Instructional Days:  25

Unit Summary

Is it possible to exert on an object without touching it?

Students use cause and effect; system and system models; and stability and change to understand ideas that explain why some materials are attracted to each other while others are not. Students apply ideas about gravitational, electrical, and magnetic forces to explain a variety of phenomena including beginning ideas about why some materials attract each other while others repel. In particular, students develop understandings that gravitational interactions are always attractive but that electrical and magnetic forces can be both attractive and negative. Students also develop ideas that objects can exert forces on each other even though the objects are not in contact, through fields. Students are expected to consider the influence of science, engineering, and technology on society and the natural world. Students are expected to demonstrate proficiency in asking questions, planning and carrying out investigations, designing solutions, and engaging in argument. Students are also expected to use these practices to demonstrate understanding of the core ideas.

This unit is based on MS-PS2-3, MS-PS2-4, and MS-PS2-5.

Learning Targets

Essential Questions

Can you apply a force on something without touching it?

How does a Maglev train work?

If I were able to eliminate air resistance and dropped a feather and a hammer at the same time, which would land first?

Enduring Understandings

Students will understand:

Know

By the end of this unit, students will know:

  •  Fields exist between objects that exert forces on each other even though the objects are not in contact.
  • The interactions of magnets, electrically charged strips of tape, and electrically charged pith balls are examples of fields that exist between objects exerting forces on each other, even though the objects are not in contact.
  • Forces that act at a distance (electric, magnetic, and gravitational) can be explained by fields that extend through space and can be mapped by their effect on a test object (a charged object or a ball, respectively).
  • Cause-and-effect relationships may be used to predict phenomena in natural or designed systems.
  • Factors that affect the strength of electric and magnetic forces.
  • Devices that use electric and magnetic forces could include electromagnets, electric motors, and generators.
  • Electric and magnetic (electromagnetic) forces can be attractive or repulsive.
  • The size of an electric or magnetic (electromagnetic) force depends on the magnitudes of the charges, currents, or magnetic strengths involved and on the distances between the interacting objects
  • Cause-and-effect relationships may be used to predict the factors that affect the strength of electrical and magnetic forces in natural or designed systems
  • Gravitational interactions are always attractive and depend on the masses of interacting objects.
  • There is a gravitational force between any two masses, but it is very small except when one or both of the objects have large mass.
  • Evidence supporting the claim that gravitational interactions are attractive and depend on the masses of interacting objects could include data generated from simulations or digital tools and charts displaying mass, strength of interaction, distance from the sun, and orbital periods of objects within the solar system.

Do

By the end of this unit, students will be able to:

  • Observe and evaluate the behavior of objects and record evidence of fields that exist and are responsible for the observed behavior of the objects
  • Observe and evaluate the behavior of objects and record evidence of fields that exist and are responsible for the observed behavior of the objects
  • Students will investigate magnetic and electric forces to determine the nature of the force (repulsive, attractive, or both), and factors that affect the strength of the forces.
  • Record evidence of fields that exist and are responsible for the observed behavior of the objects.
  • Investigate the interactions between magnets, electrically charged strips of tape, and/or electrically charged pith balls (static responsive).
  • Identify cause-and-effect relationships and use their understanding of these relationships to make predictions about what would happen if a variable in the investigation were changed.
  • Determine the impact of distance on the strength of a force.
  • Analyze both numerical and symbolic data and use these data to determine the factors that affect the strength of electric and magnetic fields.
  • Cite specific textual evidence to support the analysis of information they access while reading science and technical texts or online sources about electric and magnetic forces
  • Construct and present oral and written arguments using evidence to support the claim that gravitational interactions are always attractive and depend on the masses of interacting objects.
  • Use models to represent gravitational interactions between two masses within and between systems.

Evidence of Learning

Formative

Students who understand the concepts are able to:

  • Students will conduct an investigation and evaluate an experimental design to produce data that can serve as the basis for evidence that fields exist between objects exerting forces on each other even though the objects are not in contact.
  • Students will identify the cause-and-effect relationships between fields that exist between objects and the behavior of the objects.
  • Students will ask questions about data to determine the effect of the strength of electric and magnetic forces that can be investigated within the scope of the classroom, outdoor environment, and  museums and other public facilities with available resources and, when appropriate, frame a hypothesis based on observations and scientific principles.
  • Students will perform investigations using devices that use electromagnetic forces.
  • Students will collect and analyze data that could include the effect of the number of turns of wire on the strength of an electromagnet or the effect of increasing the number or strength of magnets on the speed of an electric motor.
  • Students construct and present oral and written arguments supported by empirical evidence and scientific reasoning to support the claim that gravitational interactions are attractive and depend on the masses of interacting objects.
  • Students use models to represent the gravitational interactions between two masses.

Summative/ Benchmark

Alternative Assessments

Learning Activities

Summary of Key Learning Events and Instruction w/ Integration of Technology/CRP

  • If instruction starts with students making these observations, students could then generate questions that they could use to ask questions about the cause-and-effect relationships that could explain their observations.
  • A short research project could be conducted to provide data that students would use to help them answer their self-generated questions.
  • Before beginning the investigations, students will generate questions that will be used to guide their investigations.
  • During the investigation, students will identify cause-and-effect relationships and use their understanding of these relationships to make predictions about what would happen if a variable in the investigation were changed.
  • They will also determine the impact of distance on the strength of a force. Investigations may include the use of electromagnets, electric motors, or generators.  During these investigations, students will collect data that they will use to answer their self-generated questions.
  • Investigations may include the use of electromagnets, electric motors, or generators.  
  • During these investigations, students will collect data that they will use to answer their self-generated questions.
  • Inspector Detector Challenge:  Students use the engineering design process to design and build magnetic-field detectors, and use them to find hidden magnets. Parallels are drawn to real-world NASA missions and how NASA scientists use magnetic field data from planets and moons.
  • The website has video clips, teaching suggestions, a student handout, and a link to the pdf of the Teacher’s Guide for Mission: Solar System.
  • The Inspector Detector challenge is a series of activities that form a unit in the Mission: Solar System collection.

           * NOTE: The Teacher’s Guide does not contain the lesson plan. You will need to click on the Student Handout heading of the website to download the

             “Inspector Detector Challenge Leader’s Notes”. Or you can go to the Design Squad webpage

  • Electromagnetic Power! Students investigate the characteristics of electromagnetism and then use what they learn to plan and conduct an experiment on electromagnets.
  • Examples of investigations could include the effect of the number of turns of wire on the strength of an electromagnet or the effect of increasing the number or strength of magnets on the speed of an electric motor.
  • Students will also understand that there is gravitational force between any two masses, but it is very small except when one or both of the objects have large mass. Because of this, gravitational fields will only be observed through the observation of simulations, the use of models, or the analysis of data. These could include simulations or digital tools and charts displaying mass, strength of interactions, distance from the sun, and orbital periods of objects within the solar system.

Students will conduct investigations of fields that exist between objects exerting forces on each other, even though the objects are not in contact. Through first-hand experiences or simulations, students will observe and evaluate the behavior of objects and record evidence of fields that exist and are responsible for the observed behavior of the objects. Students can investigate the interactions between magnets, electrically charged strips of tape, and/or electrically charged pith balls. Through hands-on investigations or simulations, students will be able to observe how the motion or behavior of objects change when they are exposed to electric or magnetic fields. For example, a pith ball could be suspended from a lightweight string and students can apply a charge to a balloon, comb, or plastic rod and make observations about the motion of the pith ball when these objects are placed in close proximity to the ball. The same type of investigation could be conducted with magnets or strips of electric tape. If instruction starts with students making these observations, students could then generate questions that they could use to ask questions about the cause-and-effect relationships that could explain their observations. A short research project could be conducted to provide data that students would use to help them answer their self-generated questions.

Students will investigate magnetic and electric forces to determine the nature of the force (repulsive, attractive, or both), and factors that affect the strength of the forces. Before beginning the investigations, students will generate questions that will be used to guide their investigations. Depending on the nature of their questions, students may need to cite specific textual evidence to support the generation of a hypothesis. During the investigation, students will identify cause-and-effect relationships and use their understanding of these relationships to make predictions about what would happen if a variable in the investigation were changed. They will also determine the impact of distance on the strength of a force. Investigations may include the use of electromagnets, electric motors, or generators.  During these investigations, students will collect data that they will use to answer their self-generated questions.

Students will investigate magnetic and electric forces to determine the nature of the force (repulsive, attractive, or both), and factors that affect the strength of the forces. Before beginning the investigations, students will generate questions that will be used to guide their investigations. Depending on the nature of their questions, students may need to cite specific textual evidence to support the generation of a hypothesis. During the investigation, students will identify cause-and-effect relationships and use their understanding of these relationships to make predictions about what would happen if a variable in the investigation were changed.

They will also determine the impact of distance on the strength of a force. Investigations may include the use of electromagnets, electric motors, or generators. During these investigations, students will collect data that they will use to answer their self-generated questions. Investigations can take place in the classroom, outdoor environment, or museums and other public facilities with available resources and when appropriate. Students will frame a hypothesis based on observations and scientific principles about the behavior of electromagnetic forces and carry out investigations to collect data about the factors that affect the strength of electric and magnetic forces. Examples of investigations could include the effect of the number of turns of wire on the strength of an electromagnet or the effect of increasing the number or strength of magnets on the speed of an electric motor. Students will analyze both numerical and symbolic data and use these data to determine the factors that affect the strength of electric and magnetic fields. Students will conclude this portion of the unit by citing specific textual evidence to support the analysis of information they access while reading science and technical texts or online sources about electric and magnetic forces, attending to the precise details of explanations or descriptions.

The next portion of this unit will focus on gravitational forces. Students will construct and present oral and written arguments using evidence to support the claim that gravitational interactions are always attractive and depend on the masses of interacting objects. Students will also understand that there is gravitational force between any two masses, but it is very small except when one or both of the objects have large mass. Because of this, gravitational fields will only be observed through the observation of simulations, the use of models, or the analysis of data. These could include simulations or digital tools and charts displaying mass, strength of interactions, distance from the sun, and orbital periods of objects within the solar system. Models used need to represent gravitational interactions between two masses within and between systems.

Materials / Equipment / Resources

Core Instructional

Materials and Texts

Equipment

Supplemental Resources

Electromagnetic Power! Students investigate the characteristics of electromagnetism and then use what they learn to plan and conduct an experiment on electromagnets.

Inspector Detector Challenge: Students use the engineering design process to design and build magnetic-field detectors, and use them to find hidden magnets. Parallels are drawn to real-world NASA missions and how NASA scientists use magnetic field data from planets and moons. The website has video clips, teaching suggestions, a student handout, and a link to the pdf of the Teacher’s Guide for Mission: Solar System. The Inspector Detector challenge is a series of activities that form a unit in the Mission: Solar System collection.

* NOTE: The Teacher’s Guide does not contain the lesson plan. You will need to click on the Student Handout heading of the website to download the “Inspector Detector Challenge Leader’s Notes”. Or you can go to the Design Squad webpage

Standards

Content Statement

Conduct an investigation and evaluate the experimental design to provide evidence that fields exist between objects exerting forces on each other even though the objects are not in contact. [Clarification Statement: Examples of this phenomenon could include the interactions of magnets, electrically-charged strips of tape, and electrically-charged pith balls. Examples of investigations could include first-hand experiences or simulations.] [Assessment Boundary: Assessment is limited to electric and magnetic fields, and is limited to qualitative evidence for the existence of fields.] (MS-PS2-5)

Ask questions about data to determine the factors that affect the strength of electric and magnetic forces. [Clarification Statement: Examples of devices that use electric and magnetic forces could include electromagnets, electric motors, or generators. Examples of data could include the effect of the number of turns of wire on the strength of an electromagnet, or the effect of increasing the number or strength of magnets on the speed of an electric motor.] [Assessment Boundary: Assessment about questions that require quantitative answers is limited to proportional reasoning and algebraic thinking.] (MS-PS2-3)

Construct and present arguments using evidence to support the claim that gravitational interactions are attractive and depend on the masses of interacting objects. [Clarification Statement: Examples of evidence for arguments could include data generated from simulations or digital tools; and charts displaying mass, strength of interaction, distance from the Sun, and orbital periods of objects within the solar system.] [Assessment Boundary: Assessment does not include Newton’s Law of Gravitation or Kepler’s Laws.] (MS-PS2-4)

21st Century Skills and Themes

Interdisciplinary Connections

Career Ready Practices

9.2 Career Awareness, Exploration, and Preparation  

English Language Arts

Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem; narrow or broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize multiple sources on the subject, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.(HS-PS2-5), (HS-PS2-3) WHST.11-12.7

Gather relevant information from multiple authoritative print and digital sources, using advanced searches effectively; assess the strengths and limitations of each source in terms of the specific task, purpose, and audience; integrate information into the text selectively to maintain the flow of ideas, avoiding plagiarism and overreliance on any one source and following a standard format for citation. (HS-PS2-5) WHST.11-12.8

Draw evidence from informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research. (HS-PS2-5) WHST.11-12.9

Mathematics

Use units as a way to understand problems and to guide the solution of multi-step problems; choose and interpret units consistently in formulas; choose and interpret the scale and the origin in graphs and data displays. (HS-PS2-5),(HS-PS2-4) HSN.Q.A.1

Define appropriate quantities for the purpose of descriptive modeling. (HS-PS2-5),(HS-PS2-4) HSN.Q.A.2

Choose a level of accuracy appropriate to limitations on measurement when reporting quantities. (HS-PS2-5),(HS-PS2-4) HSN.Q.A.3

Reason abstractly and quantitatively. (HS-PS2-4) MP.2

Model with mathematics. (HS-PS2-4) MP.4

Interpret expressions that represent a quantity in terms of its context. (HS-PS2-4) HSA.SSE.A.1

Choose and produce an equivalent form of an expression to reveal and explain properties of the quantity represented by the expression. (HS-PS2-4) HSA.SSE.B.3

  • CRP1. Act as a responsible and contributing citizen and employee.
  • CRP2. Apply appropriate academic and technical skills.
  • CRP3. Attend to personal health and financial well-being.
  • CRP4.Communicate clearly and effectively and with reason.
  • CRP5.Consider the environmental, social and economic impacts of decisions.
  • CRP6.Demonstrate creativity and innovation.
  • CRP7.Employ valid and reliable research strategies.
  • CRP8.Utilize critical thinking to make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.
  • CRP9.Model integrity, ethical leadership and effective management.
  • CRP10. Plan education and career paths aligned to personal goals.
  • CRP11. Use technology to enhance productivity.
  • CRP12.Work productively in teams while using cultural global competence.

By the end of 8th grade,

  • 9.2.8.B.1 Research careers within the 16 Career Clusters and determine attributes of career success.
  • 9.2.8.B.2 Develop a Personalized Student Learning Plan with the assistance of an adult mentor that includes information about career areas of interest, goals and an educational plan.
  • 9.2.8.B.3 Evaluate communication, collaboration, and leadership skills that can be developed through school, home, work, and extracurricular activities for use in a career.
  • 9.2.8.B.4 Evaluate how traditional and nontraditional careers have evolved regionally, nationally, and globally.
  • 9.2.8.B.5 Analyze labor market trends using state and federal labor market information and other resources available online.
  • 9.2.8.B.6 Demonstrate understanding of the necessary preparation and legal requirements to enter the workforce.
  • 9.2.8.B.7 Evaluate the impact of online activities and social media on employer decisions.

Technology Standards - 8.1 

6-8th Grade

A. Technology Operations and Concepts: Students demonstrate a sound understanding of technology concepts, systems and operations.

  • Understand and use technology systems.

8.1.8.A.1 Demonstrate knowledge of a real world problem using digital tools.

 

  • Select and use applications effectively and productively.

8.1.8.A.2 Create a document (e.g. newsletter, reports, personalized learning plan, business letters or flyers) using one or more digital applications to be critiqued by professionals for usability.

8.1.8.A.3 Use and/or develop a simulation that provides an environment to solve a real world problem or theory.

8.1.8.A.4 Graph and calculate data within a spreadsheet and present a summary of the results

8.1.8.A.5 Create a database query, sort and create a report and describe the process, and explain the report results.

B. Creativity and Innovation: Students demonstrate creative thinking, construct knowledge and develop innovative products and process using technology.

  • Apply existing knowledge to generate new ideas, products, or processes.
  • Create original works as a means of personal or group expression.

8.1.8.B.1 Synthesize and publish information about a local or global issue or event (ex. telecollaborative project, blog, school web).

C. Communication and Collaboration: Students use digital media and environments to communicate and work collaboratively, including at a distance, to support individual learning and contribute to the learning of others.

  • Interact, collaborate, and publish with peers, experts, or others by employing a variety of digital environments and media.
  • Communicate information and ideas to multiple audiences using a variety of media and formats.
  • Develop cultural understanding and global awareness by engaging with learners of other cultures.
  • Contribute to project teams to produce original works or solve problems.

8.1.8.C.1 Collaborate to develop and publish work that provides perspectives on a global problem for discussions with learners from other countries.

D. Digital Citizenship: Students understand human, cultural, and societal issues related to technology and practice legal and ethical behavior.

  • Advocate and practice safe, legal, and responsible use of information and technology.

8.1.8.D.1 Understand and model appropriate online behaviors related to cyber safety, cyber bullying, cyber security, and cyber ethics including appropriate use of social media.

  • Demonstrate personal responsibility for lifelong learning.

8.1.8.D.2 Demonstrate the application of appropriate citations to digital content.

8.1.8.D.3 Demonstrate an understanding of fair use and Creative Commons to intellectual property.

  • Exhibit leadership for digital citizenship.

8.1.8.D.4 Assess the credibility and accuracy of digital content.

 

8.1.8.D.5 Understand appropriate uses for social media and the negative consequences of misuse.

E: Research and Information Fluency: Students apply digital tools to gather, evaluate, and use information.

  • Plan strategies to guide inquiry.
  • Locate, organize, analyze, evaluate, synthesize, and ethically use information from a variety of sources and media.
  • Evaluate and select information sources and digital tools based on the appropriateness for specific tasks.
  • Process data and report results.

8.1.8.E.1 Effectively use a variety of search tools and filters in professional public databases to find information to solve a real world problem.

 

F: Critical thinking, problem solving, and decision making: Students use critical thinking skills to plan and conduct research, manage projects, solve problems, and make informed decisions using appropriate digital tools and resources.

  • Identify and define authentic problems and significant questions for investigation.
  • Plan and manage activities to develop a solution or complete a project.
  • Collect and analyze data to identify solutions and/or make informed decisions.
  • Use multiple processes and diverse perspectives to explore alternative solutions.

8.1.8.F.1 Explore a local issue, by using digital tools to collect and analyze data to identify a solution and make an informed decision.

Future Learning

Physics and Chemistry

  • Newton’s second law of motion (F=ma) and the conservation of momentum can be used to predict changes in the motion of macroscopic objects
  • Newton’s law of universal gravitation and Coulomb’s law provide the mathematical models to describe and predict the effects of gravitational and electrostatic forces between distant objects
  • Forces at a distance are explained by fields (gravitational, electric, and magnetic) permeating space that can transfer energy through space. Magnets or electric currents cause magnetic fields; electric charges or changing magnetic fields cause electric fields.
  • Attraction and repulsion between electric charges at the atomic scale explain the structure, properties, and transformations of matter, as well as the contact forces between material objects
  • “Electrical energy” may mean energy stored in a battery or energy transmitted by electric currents.
  • Conservation of energy means that the total change of energy in any system is always equal to the total energy transferred into or out of the system.
  • Energy cannot be created or destroyed, but it can be transported from one place to another and transferred between systems.
  • Mathematical expressions, which quantify how the stored energy in a system depends on its configuration (e.g., relative positions of charged particles, compression of a spring) and how kinetic energy depends on mass and speed, allow the concept of conservation of energy to be used to predict and describe system behavior.
  • The availability of energy limits what can occur in any system.
  • Uncontrolled systems always evolve toward more stable states—that is, toward more uniform energy distribution (e.g., water flows downhill, objects hotter than their surrounding environment cool down).
  • When two objects interacting through a field change relative position, the energy stored in the field is changed.

Modifications/Accommodations

(IEPs, ELLs, 504s, G/T & BASIC SKILLS)

(Note: Teachers identify the modifications that they will use in the unit. See NGSS Appendix D: All Standards, All Students/Case Studies for vignettes and explanations of the modifications.)

  • Structure lessons around questions that are authentic, relate to students’ interests, social/family background and knowledge of their community.
  • Provide students with multiple choices for how they can represent their understandings (e.g. multisensory techniques-auditory/visual aids; pictures, illustrations, graphs, charts, data tables, multimedia, modeling).
  • Provide opportunities for students to connect with people of similar backgrounds (e.g. conversations via digital tool such as SKYPE, experts from the community helping with a project, journal articles, and biographies).
  • Provide multiple grouping opportunities for students to share their ideas and to encourage work among various backgrounds and cultures (e.g. multiple representation and multimodal experiences).
  • Engage students with a variety of Science and Engineering practices to provide students with multiple entry points and multiple ways to demonstrate their understandings.
  •  Use project-based science learning to connect science with observable phenomena.
  •  Structure the learning around explaining or solving a social or community-based issue.
  •  Provide ELL students with multiple literacy strategies.
  • Collaborate with after-school programs or clubs to extend learning opportunities.
  • Restructure lesson using UDL principals (http://www.cast.org/our-work/about-udl.html#.VXmoXcfD_UA)  

Appendix A: NGSS and Foundations for the Unit

Conduct an investigation and evaluate the experimental design to provide evidence that fields exist between objects exerting forces on each other even though the objects are not in contact. [Clarification Statement: Examples of this phenomenon could include the interactions of magnets, electrically-charged strips of tape, and electrically-charged pith balls. Examples of investigations could include first-hand experiences or simulations.] [Assessment Boundary: Assessment is limited to electric and magnetic fields, and is limited to qualitative evidence for the existence of fields.] (MS-PS2-5)

Ask questions about data to determine the factors that affect the strength of electric and magnetic forces. [Clarification Statement: Examples of devices that use electric and magnetic forces could include electromagnets, electric motors, or generators. Examples of data could include the effect of the number of turns of wire on the strength of an electromagnet, or the effect of increasing the number or strength of magnets on the speed of an electric motor.] [Assessment Boundary: Assessment about questions that require quantitative answers is limited to proportional reasoning and algebraic thinking.] (MS-PS2-3)

Construct and present arguments using evidence to support the claim that gravitational interactions are attractive and depend on the masses of interacting objects. [Clarification Statement: Examples of evidence for arguments could include data generated from simulations or digital tools; and charts displaying mass, strength of interaction, distance from the Sun, and orbital periods of objects within the solar system.] [Assessment Boundary: Assessment does not include Newton’s Law of Gravitation or Kepler’s Laws.] (MS-PS2-4)

The Student Learning Objectives above were developed using the following elements from the NRC document A Framework for K-12 Science Education:

Science and Engineering Practices

Disciplinary Core Ideas

Crosscutting Concepts

Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking

Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions

Planning and Carrying Out Investigations

 

 

PS2.B: Types of Interactions

PS2.A: Forces and Motion

ETS1.A: Defining and Delimiting an Engineering Problem

ETS1.C: Optimizing the Design Solution

PS2.B: Types of Interactions

PS3.A: Definitions of Energy

Patterns

Cause and Effect

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

         Connections to Nature of Science 

Science Models, Laws, Mechanisms, and Theories Explain Natural Phenomena

  • Theories and laws provide explanations in science. (HS-PS2-4)
  • Laws are statements or descriptions of the relationships among observable phenomena. (HS-PS2-4)

 

Unit Title

Unit 6:   Astronomy

Timeframe 

Instructional Days:  20

Unit Summary

This unit is broken down into three sub-ideas: the universe and its stars, Earth and the solar system, and the history of planet Earth. Students examine the Earth’s place in relation to the solar system, the Milky Way galaxy, and the universe. There is a strong emphasis on a systems approach and using models of the solar system to explain the cyclical patterns of eclipses, tides, and seasons. There is also a strong connection to engineering through the instruments and technologies that have allowed us to explore the objects in our solar system and obtain the data that support the theories explaining the formation and evolution of the universe. Students examine geosciences data in order to understand the processes and events in Earth’s history. The crosscutting concepts of patterns, scale, proportion, and quantity and systems and systems models provide a framework for understanding the disciplinary core ideas. Students are expected to demonstrate proficiency in developing and using models and analyzing and interpreting data. Students are also expected to use these practices to demonstrate understanding of the core ideas.

This unit is based on MS-ESS1-1, MS-ESS1-2, and MS-ESS1-3.

Learning Targets

Essential Questions

What pattern in the Earth–sun–moon system can be used to explain lunar phases, eclipses of the sun and moon, and seasons?

What is the role of gravity in the motions within galaxies and the solar system?

What are the scale properties of objects in the solar system?

Enduring Understandings

Students will understand:

Know

By the end of this unit, students will know:

  • Patterns in the apparent motion of the sun, moon, and stars in the sky can be observed, described, predicted, and explained with models.
  • The Earth and solar system model of the solar system can explain eclipses of the sun and the moon
  • Earth’s spin axis is fixed in direction over the short term but tilted relative to its orbit around the sun.
  • The seasons are a result of that tilt and are caused by the differential intensity of sunlight on different areas of Earth across the year.
  • Patterns can be used to identify cause-and-effect relationships that exist in the apparent motion of the sun, moon, and stars in the sky.
  • Science assumes that objects and events in the solar system systems occur in consistent patterns that are understandable through measurement and observation.
  • Gravity plays a role in the motions within galaxies and the solar system.
  • Gravity is the force that holds together the solar system and Milky Way galaxy and controls orbital motions within them
  • Earth and its solar system are part of the Milky Way galaxy, which is one of many galaxies in the universe.
  • The solar system consists of the sun and a collection of objects, including planets, their moons, and asteroids, that are held in orbit around the sun by its gravitational pull on them.
  • The solar system appears to have formed from a disk of dust and gas, drawn together by gravity.
  • Models can be used to represent the role of gravity in the motions and interactions within galaxies and the solar system.
  • Science assumes that objects and events in the solar systems occur in consistent patterns that are understandable through measurement and observation.
  • Objects in the solar system have scale properties.
  • Data from Earth-based instruments, space-based telescopes, and spacecraft can be used to determine similarities and differences among solar system objects.
  • The solar system consists of the sun and a collection of objects, including planets, their moons, and asteroids that are held in orbit around the sun by its gravitational pull on them.
  • Time, space, and energy phenomena in the solar system can be observed at various scales, using models to study systems that are too large.
  • Engineering advances have led to important discoveries in space science, and scientific discoveries have led to the development of entire industries and engineered systems.

Do

By the end of this unit, students will be able to:

  • Students will observe, describe, predict and explain models
  • Students will use models to explain eclipses of the sun and moon.
  • Student will make observations about the Earth’s spin axis both short and long term.
  • Students will investigate seasons and factors that influence different areas of the Earth across the year.
  • Students identify cause-and-effect relationships.
  • Students analyze data regarding patterns.
  • Students will develop and use models to demonstrate the force of gravity.
  • Students will use models and examine use models and examine simulations to determine how gravity holds these systems together.
  • Students will develop and understanding of galaxies.
  • Students will identify the parts of the solar system and use models to demonstrate the force of gravity within the system..
  • Students will develop understanding of theories of the formation of the Solar System
  • Students will create and evaluate models.
  • Students  can interpret  scale models of the solar system that will help them visualize patterns of objects in the system as well as distances between objects.

Evidence of Learning

Formative

Students who understand the concepts are able to:

  • Students will develop and use a physical, graphical, or conceptual model to describe patterns in the apparent motion of the sun, moon, and stars in the sky.
  • Students develop and use models to explain the relationship between the tilt of Earth’s axis and seasons.
  • Analyze and interpret data to determine similarities and differences among objects in the solar system.

Summative/ Benchmark

Alternative Assessments

Learning Activities

Summary of Key Learning Events and Instruction w/ Integration of Technology/CRP

  • Students will develop and use mathematical, physical, graphical or conceptual models to describe the cyclical patterns of lunar phases, eclipses of the sun and moon, and seasons; investigate relative distances between the planets and their orbits around the sun or to represent the distance from the sun to the Earth during different Earth seasons;  examine the phases of the moon using a light source and a moon model to view the various shapes of the moon as it orbits the earth.
  • Students examine a lunar calendar for one month and analyze the results by looking for differences and patterns. Using a model of the sun, Earth, and moon, students can view the positions of these planetary objects during a solar or lunar eclipse. To investigate seasons, students can simulate the position and tilt of the Earth as it revolves around the sun, using computer simulations, hands-on models, and videos.
  • Students will explore, through the development and use of models, the role of the force of gravity in explaining the motions within our solar system and the Milky Way Galaxy.
  • They will use models and examine simulations to determine how gravity holds these systems together.
  • Students can experiment with dropping spheres of different masses but of the same diameter as a way to determine that gravity acts on both objects and that they drop at the same rate.
  • If technology is available, students can measure the acceleration of the objects as they fall from various heights. Students will be able to determine that the objects speed up as they fall, therefore proving that a force is acting on them.
  • They should prepare multimedia visual displays the present their findings. As part of their presentation, students will use mathematical models or simulations that show the relationship between relative sizes of objects in the solar system and the size of the gravitational force that is being exerted on the object.
  • They should be able to compare and contrast the weight of an object if it were on the surface of different-sized planets that have very different masses. Students will gather evidence that every object in the solar system is attracted to every other object in the solar system with a force that is related to the mass of the objects and the distance between the objects. They should extend this understanding of gravity to explain why objects in the solar system do not simply flow away from each other. Students should also make connections between their understanding of the force of gravity and the formation of the solar system from a cloud of dust and gas. As part of their mathematical model of the solar system, students will use variables to represent numbers and write expressions when solving a problem involving the role of gravity in the motions within galaxies and within the solar system. The variable can represent an unknown number or any number in a specified set.
  • Students will also analyze and interpret data from Earth-based instruments to determine the scale properties of objects within our solar system. Examples of models that students could use include physical (such as the analogy of distance along a football field or computer visualization of elliptical orbits), conceptual (such as mathematical proportions relative to the size of familiar objects such as students’ school or state).
  • Students can construct scale models of the solar system that will help them visualize relative sizes of objects in the system as well as distances between objects. Students can use graphs or tables to make comparisons between the size and gravitational pull of the planets and their moons.

                          Seasons Interactive

                          Eclipse Interactive

At the beginning of the unit, students will develop and use mathematical, physical, graphical or conceptual models to describe the cyclical patterns of lunar phases, eclipses of the sun and moon, and seasons. Students can use mathematics to create scale models of the solar system to investigate relative distances between the planets and their orbits around the sun or to represent the distance from the sun to the Earth during different Earth seasons. Students can also use physical models to examine the phases of the moon using a light source and a moon model to view the various shapes of the moon as it orbits the earth. Students may also keep a lunar calendar for one month and analyze the results by looking for differences and patterns. Using a model of the sun, Earth, and moon, students can view the positions of these planetary objects during a solar or lunar eclipse. To investigate seasons, students can simulate the position and tilt of the Earth as it revolves around the sun, using computer simulations, hands-on models, and videos.

Students will explore, through the development and use of models, the role of the force of gravity in explaining the motions within our solar system and the Milky Way Galaxy. As part of their study of the solar system and its components, including the sun, planets and their moons, and asteroids, they will use models and examine simulations to determine how gravity holds these systems together. To visualize how gravity pulls objects down towards its center, students can experiment with dropping spheres of different masses but of the same diameter as a way to determine that gravity acts on both objects and that they drop at the same rate. If technology is available, students can measure the acceleration of the objects as they fall from various heights. Students will be able to determine that the objects speed up as they fall, therefore proving that a force is acting on them. If motion detectors are not available for student use, they could observe these using simulations.

After students have had opportunities to participate in the investigations, they should prepare multimedia visual displays the present their findings. As part of their presentation, students will use mathematical models or simulations that show the relationship between relative sizes of objects in the solar system and the size of the gravitational force that is being exerted on the object. They should be able to compare and contrast the weight of an object if it were on the surface of different-sized planets that have very different masses. Students will gather evidence that every object in the solar system is attracted to every other object in the solar system with a force that is related to the mass of the objects and the distance between the objects. They should extend this understanding of gravity to explain why objects in the solar system do not simply flow away from each other. Students should also make connections between their understanding of the force of gravity and the formation of the solar system from a cloud of dust and gas. As part of their mathematical model of the solar system, students will use variables to represent numbers and write expressions when solving a problem involving the role of gravity in the motions within galaxies and within the solar system. The variable can represent an unknown number or any number in a specified set.

Students will also analyze and interpret data from Earth-based instruments to determine the scale properties of objects within our solar system. Examples of models that students could use include physical (such as the analogy of distance along a football field or computer visualization of elliptical orbits), conceptual (such as mathematical proportions relative to the size of familiar objects such as students’ school or state). Students can construct scale models of the solar system that will help them visualize relative sizes of objects in the system as well as distances between objects. Students can use graphs or tables to make comparisons between the size and gravitational pull of the planets and their moons.

Materials / Equipment / Resources

Core Instructional

Materials and Texts

Equipment

Supplemental Resources

NASA Solar System Exploration: This link will connect you to NASA’s Solar system Exploration website. The website offers a wide variety of student activities.

Seasons Interactive provides students with the opportunity to investigate how Earth's angle of inclination affects three factors: the angle of incoming sunlight, average daily temperatures and the Sun’s ecliptic path. Three preset values for the angle of inclination are available (corresponding to the values of Earth, Venus and Uranus). Additionally, users may select an angle value from a sliding scale. Users can control the speed of the simulation or may pause it when needed. Students are able to compare the heights of the ecliptic paths during the course of the year by checking the “Trace Sun’s Path” box. From this information, students will be able to construct an explanation for the occurrence of seasons. Exercises with solutions are included, as well as a self-assessment located below the simulation. Teachers should be aware of several weaknesses in the simulation. First, the model allows students to reverse the motion of the Earth around the Sun which could lead to misconceptions. Secondly, the model overemphasizes the elliptical path of the Earth which often leads to the misconception that seasons are caused by distance from the Sun. Lastly, while the Sun is shown moving across the sky during the day (from Earth's view), the stars are left static during the night.

In Eclipse Interactive, students investigate both lunar and solar eclipses by manipulating up to three independent variables: Moon's tilt from orbit, Earth-Moon distance and size of the Moon. By viewing the effects of changes to these variables, students will be able to construct explanations for solar and lunar eclipses. The model includes both top and side views of the Earth-Moon system during the Moon's revolution. In addition, students can toggle to show outlines of the Earth and Moon. Teachers should note that the simulation has been designed as a single screen model that automatically moves between solar and lunar eclipses without any indication of time. As a result, younger students may become confused and will need to be reminded about the duration of lunar months. The simulation includes bare-bones introductory content, how-to instructions, the interactive model itself, related exercises, and solutions to the exercises. One minor inconvenience is the lack of a reset button.

The Pull of the Planets is part of a thematic series of lessons highlighting the Juno mission to Jupiter. It is a traditional hands-on activity that models how gravitational forces can keep planets and asteroids in orbit within the Solar System. Using a stretchable fabric held in place with an embroidery hoop, students work with spheres of various materials to explore how mass and sizes affect the strength of gravitational forces. Background materials, including a materials sheet, aid teachers in organizing this activity.

Standards

Content Statement

Generate and analyze evidence (through simulations or long term investigations) to explain why the Sun’s apparent motion across the sky changes over the course of a year. (ESS1.B) [Clarification Statement: This SLO is based on a disciplinary core idea found in the Framework. It is included as a scaffold to the following SLO.]

Develop and use a model of the Earth-sun-moon system to describe the cyclic patterns of lunar phases, eclipses of the sun and moon, and seasons.  [Clarification Statement: Examples of models can be physical, graphical, or conceptual.] (MS-ESS1-1)

Develop and use a model that shows how gravity causes smaller objects to orbit around larger objects at increasing scales, including the gravitational force of the sun causes the planets and other bodies to orbit around it holding together the solar system. (ESS1.A; ESS1.B) [Clarification Statement: This SLO is based on disciplinary core ideas found in the Framework. It is included as a scaffold to the following SLO.]

Analyze and interpret data to determine scale properties of objects in the solar system. [Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on the analysis of data from Earth-based instruments, space-based telescopes, and spacecraft to determine similarities and differences among solar system objects. Examples of scale properties include the sizes of an object’s layers (such as crust and atmosphere), surface features (such as volcanoes), and orbital radius. Examples of data include statistical information, drawings and photographs, and models.]  [Assessment Boundary: Assessment does not include recalling facts about properties of the planets and other solar system bodies.] (MS-ESS1-3)

Develop and use a model to describe the role of gravity in the motions within galaxies and the solar system. [Clarification Statement: Emphasis for the model is on gravity as the force that holds together the solar system and Milky Way galaxy and controls orbital motions within them. Examples of models can be physical (such as the analogy of distance along a football field or computer visualizations of elliptical orbits) or conceptual (such as mathematical proportions relative to the size of familiar objects such as students' school or state).] [Assessment Boundary: Assessment does not include Kepler’s Laws of orbital motion or the apparent retrograde motion of the planets as viewed from Earth.] (MS-ESS1-2)

21st Century Skills and Themes

Interdisciplinary Connections

Career Ready Practices

9.2 Career Awareness, Exploration, and Preparation  

English Language Arts

Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts. (MS-ESS1-3) RST.6-8.1

Integrate quantitative or technical information expressed in words in a text with a version of that information expressed visually (e.g., in a flowchart, diagram, model, graph, or table). (MS-ESS1-3) RST.6-8.7

Integrate multimedia and visual displays into presentations to clarify information, strengthen claims and evidence, and add interest. (MS-ESS1-1),(MS-ESS1-2) SL.8.5

Mathematics

Reason abstractly and quantitatively. (MS-ESS1-3) MP.2

Model with mathematics. (MS-ESS1-1),(MS-ESS1-2) MP.4

Understand the concept of a ratio and use ratio language to describe a ratio relationship between two quantities. (MS-ESS1-1),(MS-ESS1-2),(MS-ESS1-3) 6.RP.A.1

Recognize and represent proportional relationships between quantities. (MS-ESS1-1),(MS-ESS1-2),(MS-ESS1-3) 7.RP.A.2

Use variables to represent numbers and write expressions when solving a real-world or mathematical problem; understand that a variable can represent an unknown number, or, depending on the purpose at hand, any number in a specified set. (MS-ESS1-2) 6.EE.B.6

Use variables to represent quantities in a real-world or mathematical problem, and construct simple equations and inequalities to solve problems by reasoning about the quantities. (MS-ESS1-2) 7.EE.B.6

  • CRP1. Act as a responsible and contributing citizen and employee.
  • CRP2. Apply appropriate academic and technical skills.
  • CRP3. Attend to personal health and financial well-being.
  • CRP4.Communicate clearly and effectively and with reason.
  • CRP5.Consider the environmental, social and economic impacts of decisions.
  • CRP6.Demonstrate creativity and innovation.
  • CRP7.Employ valid and reliable research strategies.
  • CRP8.Utilize critical thinking to make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.
  • CRP9.Model integrity, ethical leadership and effective management.
  • CRP10. Plan education and career paths aligned to personal goals.
  • CRP11. Use technology to enhance productivity.
  • CRP12.Work productively in teams while using cultural global competence.

By the end of 8th grade,

  • 9.2.8.B.1 Research careers within the 16 Career Clusters and determine attributes of career success.
  • 9.2.8.B.2 Develop a Personalized Student Learning Plan with the assistance of an adult mentor that includes information about career areas of interest, goals and an educational plan.
  • 9.2.8.B.3 Evaluate communication, collaboration, and leadership skills that can be developed through school, home, work, and extracurricular activities for use in a career.
  • 9.2.8.B.4 Evaluate how traditional and nontraditional careers have evolved regionally, nationally, and globally.
  • 9.2.8.B.5 Analyze labor market trends using state and federal labor market information and other resources available online.
  • 9.2.8.B.6 Demonstrate understanding of the necessary preparation and legal requirements to enter the workforce.
  • 9.2.8.B.7 Evaluate the impact of online activities and social media on employer decisions.

Technology Standards - 8.1

6-8th Grade

A. Technology Operations and Concepts: Students demonstrate a sound understanding of technology concepts, systems and operations.

  • Understand and use technology systems.

8.1.8.A.1 Demonstrate knowledge of a real world problem using digital tools.

 

  • Select and use applications effectively and productively.

8.1.8.A.2 Create a document (e.g. newsletter, reports, personalized learning plan, business letters or flyers) using one or more digital applications to be critiqued by professionals for usability.

8.1.8.A.3 Use and/or develop a simulation that provides an environment to solve a real world problem or theory.

8.1.8.A.4 Graph and calculate data within a spreadsheet and present a summary of the results

8.1.8.A.5 Create a database query, sort and create a report and describe the process, and explain the report results.

B. Creativity and Innovation: Students demonstrate creative thinking, construct knowledge and develop innovative products and process using technology.

  • Apply existing knowledge to generate new ideas, products, or processes.
  • Create original works as a means of personal or group expression.

8.1.8.B.1 Synthesize and publish information about a local or global issue or event (ex. telecollaborative project, blog, school web).

C. Communication and Collaboration: Students use digital media and environments to communicate and work collaboratively, including at a distance, to support individual learning and contribute to the learning of others.

  • Interact, collaborate, and publish with peers, experts, or others by employing a variety of digital environments and media.
  • Communicate information and ideas to multiple audiences using a variety of media and formats.
  • Develop cultural understanding and global awareness by engaging with learners of other cultures.
  • Contribute to project teams to produce original works or solve problems.

8.1.8.C.1 Collaborate to develop and publish work that provides perspectives on a global problem for discussions with learners from other countries.

D. Digital Citizenship: Students understand human, cultural, and societal issues related to technology and practice legal and ethical behavior.

  • Advocate and practice safe, legal, and responsible use of information and technology.

8.1.8.D.1 Understand and model appropriate online behaviors related to cyber safety, cyber bullying, cyber security, and cyber ethics including appropriate use of social media.

  • Demonstrate personal responsibility for lifelong learning.

8.1.8.D.2 Demonstrate the application of appropriate citations to digital content.

8.1.8.D.3 Demonstrate an understanding of fair use and Creative Commons to intellectual property.

  • Exhibit leadership for digital citizenship.

8.1.8.D.4 Assess the credibility and accuracy of digital content.

 

8.1.8.D.5 Understand appropriate uses for social media and the negative consequences of misuse.

E: Research and Information Fluency: Students apply digital tools to gather, evaluate, and use information.

  • Plan strategies to guide inquiry.
  • Locate, organize, analyze, evaluate, synthesize, and ethically use information from a variety of sources and media.
  • Evaluate and select information sources and digital tools based on the appropriateness for specific tasks.
  • Process data and report results.

8.1.8.E.1 Effectively use a variety of search tools and filters in professional public databases to find information to solve a real world problem.

 

F: Critical thinking, problem solving, and decision making: Students use critical thinking skills to plan and conduct research, manage projects, solve problems, and make informed decisions using appropriate digital tools and resources.

  • Identify and define authentic problems and significant questions for investigation.
  • Plan and manage activities to develop a solution or complete a project.
  • Collect and analyze data to identify solutions and/or make informed decisions.
  • Use multiple processes and diverse perspectives to explore alternative solutions.

8.1.8.F.1 Explore a local issue, by using digital tools to collect and analyze data to identify a solution and make an informed decision.

Future Learning

  • Light spectra from stars are used to determine their characteristics, processes, and life cycles.
  • Solar activity creates the elements through nuclear fusion.
  • The development of technologies has provided astronomical data that provide empirical evidence for the Big Bang theory.
  • Kepler’s Laws describe common features of the motions of orbiting objects
  • Observations from astronomy and space probes provide evidence for explanations of solar system formation.
  • Changes in Earth’s tilt and orbit cause climate changes such as ice ages.

Modifications/Accommodations

(IEPs, ELLs, 504s, G/T & BASIC SKILLS)

(Note: Teachers identify the modifications that they will use in the unit. See NGSS Appendix D: All Standards, All Students/Case Studies for vignettes and explanations of the modifications.)

  • Structure lessons around questions that are authentic, relate to students’ interests, social/family background and knowledge of their community.
  • Provide students with multiple choices for how they can represent their understandings (e.g. multisensory techniques-auditory/visual aids; pictures, illustrations, graphs, charts, data tables, multimedia, modeling).
  • Provide opportunities for students to connect with people of similar backgrounds (e.g. conversations via digital tool such as SKYPE, experts from the community helping with a project, journal articles, and biographies).
  • Provide multiple grouping opportunities for students to share their ideas and to encourage work among various backgrounds and cultures (e.g. multiple representation and multimodal experiences).
  • Engage students with a variety of Science and Engineering practices to provide students with multiple entry points and multiple ways to demonstrate their understandings.
  • Use project-based science learning to connect science with observable phenomena.
  • Structure the learning around explaining or solving a social or community-based issue.
  • Provide ELL students with multiple literacy strategies.
  •  Collaborate with after-school programs or clubs to extend learning opportunities
  • Restructure lesson using UDL principals (http://www.cast.org/our-work/about-udl.html#.VXmoXcfD_UA)  

Appendix A: NGSS and Foundations for the Unit

Generate and analyze evidence (through simulations or long term investigations) to explain why the Sun’s apparent motion across the sky changes over the course of a year. (ESS1.B)

Develop and use a model of the Earth-sun-moon system to describe the cyclic patterns of lunar phases, eclipses of the sun and moon, and seasons.  [Clarification Statement: Examples of models can be physical, graphical, or conceptual.] (MS-ESS1-1)

Develop and use a model that shows how gravity causes smaller objects to orbit around larger objects at increasing scales, including the gravitational force of the sun causes the planets and other bodies to orbit around it holding together the solar system. (ESS1.A; ESS1.B)

Analyze and interpret data to determine scale properties of objects in the solar system. [Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on the analysis of data from Earth-based instruments, space-based telescopes, and spacecraft to determine similarities and differences among solar system objects. Examples of scale properties include the sizes of an object’s layers (such as crust and atmosphere), surface features (such as volcanoes), and orbital radius. Examples of data include statistical information, drawings and photographs, and models.]  [Assessment Boundary: Assessment does not include recalling facts about properties of the planets and other solar system bodies.] (MS-ESS1-3)

Develop and use a model to describe the role of gravity in the motions within galaxies and the solar system. [Clarification Statement: Emphasis for the model is on gravity as the force that holds together the solar system and Milky Way galaxy and controls orbital motions within them. Examples of models can be physical (such as the analogy of distance along a football field or computer visualizations of elliptical orbits) or conceptual (such as mathematical proportions relative to the size of familiar objects such as students' school or state).] [Assessment Boundary: Assessment does not include Kepler’s Laws of orbital motion or the apparent retrograde motion of the planets as viewed from Earth.] (MS-ESS1-2)

The Student Learning Objectives above were developed using the following elements from the NRC document A Framework for K-12 Science Education:

Science and Engineering Practices

Disciplinary Core Ideas

Crosscutting Concepts

Developing and Using Models

Analyzing and Interpreting Data

ESS1.A: The Universe and Its Stars

ESS1.B: Earth and the Solar System

Patterns

Scale, Proportion, and Quantity

Systems and System Models

   - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Connections to Engineering, Technology, and Applications of Science

 Interdependence of Science, Engineering, and Technology

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

         Connections to Nature of Science

Scientific Knowledge Assumes an Order and Consistency in Natural Systems

  • Science assumes that objects and events in natural systems occur in consistent patterns that are understandable through measurement and observation. (MS-ESS1-1),(MS-ESS1-2)

Unit Title

Unit 7:  Weather and Climate

Timeframe 

Instructional Days:  20

Unit Summary

What factors interact and influence weather and climate?

This unit is broken down into three sub-ideas: Earth's large-scale systems interactions, the roles of water in Earth's surface processes, and weather and climate. Students make sense of how Earth's geosystems operate by modeling the flow of energy and cycling of matter within and among different systems. A systems approach is also important here, examining the feedbacks between systems as energy from the Sun is transferred between systems and circulates though the ocean and atmosphere. The crosscutting concepts of cause and effect, systems and system models, and energy and matter are called out as frameworks for understanding the disciplinary core ideas. In this unit, students are expected to demonstrate proficiency in developing and using models and planning and carrying out investigations as they make sense of the disciplinary core ideas. Students are also expected to use these practices to demonstrate understanding of the core ideas.

This unit is based on MS-ESS2-4, MS-ESS2-5, and MS-ESS2-6.

Learning Targets

Essential Questions

What are the processes involved in the cycling of water through Earth’s systems?

What is the relationship between the complex interactions of air masses and changes in weather conditions?

What are the major factors that determine regional climates?

Enduring Understandings

Students will understand:

Know

By the end of this unit, students will know:

  • Water continually cycles among land, ocean, and atmosphere via transpiration, evaporation, condensation and crystallization, and precipitation, as well as downhill flows on land
  • Global movements of water and its changes in form are propelled by sunlight and gravity.
  • The cycling of water through Earth’s systems is driven by energy from the sun and the force of gravity.
  • Within Earth’s systems, the transfer of energy drives the motion and/or cycling of water.
  • The motions and complex interactions of air masses result in changes in weather conditions.
  • The complex patterns of the changes in and movement of water in the atmosphere, determined by winds, landforms, and ocean temperatures and currents, are major determinants of local weather patterns.
  • Examples of data that can be used to provide evidence for how the motions and complex interactions of air masses result in changes in weather conditions include weather maps, diagrams, and visualizations; other examples can be obtained through laboratory experiments.
  • Air masses flow from regions of high pressure to regions of low pressure, causing weather (defined by temperature, pressure, humidity, precipitation, and wind) at a fixed location to change over time.
  • Because patterns of the changes and the movement of water in the atmosphere are so complex, weather can only be predicted probabilistically
  • Sudden changes in weather can result when different air masses collide.
  • Weather can be predicted within probabilistic ranges.
  • Unequal heating and rotation of the Earth cause patterns of atmospheric and oceanic circulation that determine regional climates.
  • Patterns of atmospheric and oceanic circulation that determine regional climates vary by latitude, altitude, and geographic land distribution.
  • Determines regional climates is the result of sunlight-driven latitudinal banding, the Coriolis effect, and resulting prevailing winds
  • Ocean circulation that, in part, determines regional climates is the result of the transfer of heat by the global ocean convection cycle, which is constrained by the Coriolis effect and the outlines of continents.
  • Models that can be used to describe how unequal heating and rotation of the Earth cause patterns of atmospheric and oceanic circulation that determine regional climates can be diagrams, maps and globes, or digital representations.

Do

By the end of this unit, students will be able to:

  • Develop a model to describe the cycling of water through Earth’s systems driven by energy from the sun and the force of gravity.
  • Model the ways water changes its state as it moves through the multiple pathways of the hydrologic cycle
  • Develop a model to describe the cycling of water through Earth’s systems driven by energy from the sun and the force of gravity.
  • Model the ways water changes its state as it moves through the multiple pathways of the hydrologic cycle.
  • Develop a model to describe the cycling of water through Earth’s systems driven by energy from the sun and the force of gravity.
  • Model the ways water changes its state as it moves through the multiple pathways of the hydrologic cycle
  • Develop a model to describe the cycling of water through Earth’s systems driven by energy from the sun and the force of gravity.
  • Model the ways water changes its state as it moves through the multiple pathways of the hydrologic cycle.
  • Collect data to serve as the basis for evidence for how the motions and complex interactions of air masses result in changes in weather conditions.
  • Collect data to serve as the basis for evidence for how the motions and complex interactions of air masses result in changes in weather conditions.
  • Collect data to serve as the basis for evidence for how the motions and complex interactions of air masses result in changes in weather conditions.
  • Collect data to serve as the basis for evidence for how the motions and complex interactions of air masses result in changes in weather conditions.
  • Collect data to serve as the basis for evidence for how the motions and complex interactions of air masses result in changes in weather conditions.
  • Collect data to serve as the basis for evidence for how the motions and complex interactions of air masses result in changes in weather conditions.
  • Collect data to serve as the basis for evidence for how the motions and complex interactions of air masses result in changes in weather conditions.
  • Develop and use a model to describe how unequal heating and rotation of the Earth cause patterns of atmospheric and oceanic circulation that determine regional climates.
  • Students use models to show and describe the  patterns of atmospheric and oceanic circulation that determine regional climates.
  • Students use models to show and describe that  atmospheric circulation is the result of sunlight-driven latitudinal banding, the Coriolis effect, and resulting prevailing winds.
  • Students use models to show and describe that the transfer of heat by the global ocean convection cycle impacts ocean circulation, determining regional climates.
  • Students use models to show and describe the effects of unequal heating and rotation of the Earth.

Evidence of Learning

Formative

Students who understand the concepts are able to:

  • Develop a model to describe the cycling of water through Earth’s systems driven by energy from the sun and the force of gravity.
  • Model the ways water changes its state as it moves through the multiple pathways of the hydrologic cycle.
  • Collect data to serve as the basis for evidence for how the motions and complex interactions of air masses result in changes in weather conditions.
  • Develop and use a model to describe how unequal heating and rotation of the Earth cause patterns of atmospheric and oceanic circulation that determine regional climates.

Summative/ Benchmark

Alternative Assessments

Learning Activities

Summary of Key Learning Events and Instruction w/ Integration of Technology/CRP

  • During this unit, students will answer the question “What factors interact and influence weather and climate?” beginning with the cycling of water in Earth’s systems.
  • Models will be created and emphasis will be on the ways water changes its state as it moves through the multiple pathways of the hydrologic cycle.
  • Students will model the continuous movement of water from land, ocean, and atmosphere via transpiration, evaporation, condensation and crystallization, and precipitation.
  • Students will focus on the global movement of water and its changes in form that are driven by sunlight as it heats the Earth’s surface water.
  • Air Masses        Ocean Currents and Sea Surface Temperature        Adopt a Drifter: Do Ocean Surface Currents Influence Climate?
  • The motions and complex interactions of air masses result in changes in weather conditions. The patterns of the changes and the movement of water in the atmosphere, determined by winds, landforms, and ocean temperatures and currents, are major determinants of local weather patterns. Students will collect data from weather maps, diagrams, visualizations, and laboratory experiments to explain how the movements of air masses from regions of high pressure to regions of low pressure cause weather at a fixed location. For example, students can observe the movement of colored water that simulates the movement of hot and cold the warmer area and equate this with wind being created from the uneven air masses. Students can observe the cooler water flowing in the direction of heating of the Earth. Students will compare data collected from sources
  • Digital models like NOAA videos can be used to help students visualize how variations in density due to temperature and salinity drive a global pattern of interconnected ocean currents.
  • This can be demonstrated in the classroom using models in which colored water with different temperatures or water with different densities is added to clear tubs of water.
  • Students can observe that the warmer water is pushed upwards by the colder water.
  • This same demonstration can be used with water that has different salinities. Using a turntable and drawing a straight line from the middle to the edge can model the Coriolis effect. If a turntable is not available, a Lazy Susan is a great substitute.
  • The turntable or Lazy Susan can be painted with chalk paint, and the students can draw the line using chalk. Using chalk paint and chalk will enable the teacher to use them over and over.
  • After the turntable is stopped, students will see that the motion of the turntable resulted in a curved line, and they will then be able to correlate how the rotation of Earth results in the movement of air.

During this unit, students will answer the question “What factors interact and influence weather and climate?” beginning with the cycling of water in Earth’s systems. Models will be created and emphasis will be on the ways water changes its state as it moves through the multiple pathways of the hydrologic cycle. Students will model the continuous movement of water from land, ocean, and atmosphere via transpiration, evaporation, condensation and crystallization, and precipitation. Students will focus on the global movement of water and its changes in form that are driven by sunlight as it heats the Earth’s surface water.

The motions and complex interactions of air masses result in changes in weather conditions. The patterns of the changes and the movement of water in the atmosphere, determined by winds, landforms, and ocean temperatures and currents, are major determinants of local weather patterns. Students will collect data from weather maps, diagrams, visualizations, and laboratory experiments to explain how the movements of air masses from regions of high pressure to regions of low pressure cause weather at a fixed location. For example, students can observe the movement of colored water that simulates the movement of hot and cold air masses. Students can observe the cooler water flowing in the direction of the warmer area and equate this with wind being created from the uneven heating of the Earth. Students will compare data collected from sources such as simulations, video, or experiments to identify the patterns of change in the movement of water in the atmosphere that are used to make weather predictions, understanding that any predictions are reported within probability ranges. Students will also make predictions about the conditions that result in sudden changes in weather.

Students will use models, diagrams, maps, and globes to understand atmospheric and ocean circulation patterns. Since the ocean exerts a major influence on weather and climate by absorbing energy from the sun, releasing it over time, and globally redistributing it through ocean currents, the ocean will be studied as a system with interactions such as inputs, outputs, processes, energy, and matter. Students will model how the unequal heating and rotation of the Earth cause patterns of atmospheric and oceanic circulation that determine regional climates. They will describe how the unequal heating of the global ocean produces convection currents. By examining maps, globes and digital representations of the movement of ocean currents, students will model the patterns by latitude, altitude, and geographic distribution. They will show that these patterns vary as a result of sunlight-driven latitudinal banding, the Coriolis effect, and resulting prevailing wines.

Digital models like NOAA videos can be used to help students visualize how variations in density due to temperature and salinity drive a global pattern of interconnected ocean currents. This can be demonstrated in the classroom using models in which colored water with different temperatures or water with different densities is added to clear tubs of water. Students can observe that the warmer water is pushed upwards by the colder water. This same demonstration can be used with water that has different salinities. Using a turntable and drawing a straight line from the middle to the edge can model the Coriolis effect. If a turntable is not available, a Lazy Susan is a great substitute. The turntable or Lazy Susan can be painted with chalk paint, and the students can draw the line using chalk. Using chalk paint and chalk will enable the teacher to use them over and over. After the turntable is stopped, students will see that the motion of the turntable resulted in a curved line, and they will then be able to correlate how the rotation of Earth results in the movement of air.

Materials / Equipment / Resources

Core Instructional

Materials and Texts

Equipment

Supplemental Resources

Air Masses of a set of Level 1 activities designed by the Science Center for Teaching, Outreach, and Research on Meteorology (STORM) Project. The authors suggest that previous activities in the unit be completed before Activity 12: Air Masses, including those that address pressure systems and dew point temperature. In Activity 12, the students learn about the four main types of air masses that affect weather in the United States, their characteristic temperatures, and humidity levels as it relates to dew point temperatures. The lesson plan follows the 5E format. Initially, students discuss local weather and then examine surface temperature and dew point data on maps to determine patterns and possible locations of air masses. They learn about the source regions of air masses and compare their maps to a forecast weather map with fronts and pressure systems drawn in. During the Extension phase, students access current maps with surface and dew point temperatures at http://www.uni.edu/storm/activities/level1 and try to identify locations of air masses. They sketch in fronts and compare their results to the fronts map. Evaluation consists of collection of student papers.

 Ocean Currents and Sea Surface Temperature allows students to gather data using My NASA Data microsets to investigate how differential heating of Earth results in circulation patterns in the oceans and the atmosphere that globally distribute the heat. They examine the relationship between the rotation of Earth and the circular motions of ocean currents and air. Students also make predictions based on the data to concerns about global climate change. They begin by examining the temperature of ocean’s surface currents and ocean surface winds. These currents, driven by the wind, mark the movement of surface heating as monitored by satellites. Students explore the link between 1) ocean temperatures and currents, 2) uneven heating and rotation of Earth, 3) resulting climate and weather patterns, and 4) projected impacts of climate change (global warming). Using the Live Access Server, students can select data sets for various elements for different regions of the globe, at different times of the year, and for multiple years. The information is provided in maps or graphs which can be saved for future reference. Some of the data sets accessed for this lesson include Sea Surface Temperature, Cloud Coverage, and Sea Level Height for this lesson. The lesson provides directions for accessing the data as well as questions to guide discussion and learning. The estimated time for completing the activity is 50 minutes. Inclusion of the Extension activities could broaden the scope of the lesson to several days in length. Links to informative maps and text such as the deep ocean conveyor belt, upwelling, and coastal fog as needed to answer questions in the extension activities are included.

Adopt a Drifter: Do Ocean Surface Currents Influence Climate? Students construct climographs showing both precipitation and temperature for 3 coastal cities and describe how ocean surface currents affect climate on nearby land. They are provided with the research question, “Do ocean currents influence climate?” and are asked to construct a hypothesis. The students are asked to read an introductory paragraph explaining the relationship between the temperature of the ocean current and temperature and precipitation on adjacent land and examine a map of major ocean currents. They construct 3 climographs using data provided. The labels on the graphs are not directly on the lines, so the teacher would need to instruct students on the placement of their data points. Conclusion and analysis questions are provided asking students to examine the direction of flow of ocean currents, temperature of the water, source regions of the current, and impact on both temperature and precipitation on coastal regions. Extension activities include researching additional information on vegetation, culture and physical geography of the 3 cities studied, plus comparing data for 2 additional cities. The activity should take 2 class periods

Standards

Content Statement

Develop a model to describe the cycling of water through Earth's systems driven by energy from the sun and the force of gravity. [Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on the ways water changes its state as it moves through the multiple pathways of the hydrologic cycle. Examples of models can be conceptual or physical.] [Assessment Boundary: A quantitative understanding of the latent heats of vaporization and fusion is not assessed.]  (MS-ESS2-4)

Collect data to provide evidence for how the motions and complex interactions of air masses results in changes in weather conditions. [Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on how air masses flow from regions of high pressure to low pressure, causing weather (defined by temperature, pressure, humidity, precipitation, and wind) at a fixed location to change over time, and how sudden changes in weather can result when different air masses collide. Emphasis is on how weather can be predicted within probabilistic ranges. Examples of data can be provided to students (such as weather maps, diagrams, and visualizations) or obtained through laboratory experiments (such as with condensation).] [Assessment Boundary: Assessment does not include recalling the names of cloud types or weather symbols used on weather maps or the reported diagrams from weather stations.] (MS-ESS2-5)

Explain how variations in density result from variations in temperature and salinity drive a global pattern of interconnected ocean currents. [Note: This SLO is based on a disciplinary core idea found in the Framework. It is included as a scaffold to the following SLO.] (ESS2.C)

Use a model to explain the mechanisms that cause varying daily temperature ranges in a coastal community and in a community located in the interior of the country. [Note: This SLO is based disciplinary core ideas found in the Framework. It is included as a scaffold to the following SLO.]  (ESS2.C; ESS2.D)

Develop and use a model to describe how unequal heating and rotation of the Earth cause patterns of atmospheric and oceanic circulation that determine regional climates. [Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on how patterns vary by latitude, altitude, and geographic land distribution. Emphasis of atmospheric circulation is on the sunlight-driven latitudinal banding, the Coriolis effect, and resulting prevailing winds; emphasis of ocean circulation is on the transfer of heat by the global ocean convection cycle, which is constrained by the Coriolis effect and the outlines of continents. Examples of models can be diagrams, maps and globes, or digital representations.] [Assessment Boundary: Assessment does not include the dynamics of the Coriolis effect.] (MS-ESS2-6)

21st Century Skills and Themes

Interdisciplinary Connections

Career Ready Practices

9.2 Career Awareness, Exploration, and Preparation  

English Language Arts

Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts. (MS-ESS2-5),(MS-ESS3-5) RST.6-8.1

Compare and contrast the information gained from experiments, simulations, video, or multimedia sources with that gained from reading a text on the same topic. (MS-ESS2-5) RST.6-8.9

Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, using search terms effectively; assess the credibility and accuracy of each source; and quote or paraphrase the data and conclusions of others while avoiding plagiarism and following a standard format for citation. (MS-ESS2-5) WHST.6-8.8

Integrate multimedia and visual displays into presentations to clarify information, strengthen claims and evidence, and add interest. (MS-ESS2-6) SL.8.5

Mathematics

Reason abstractly and quantitatively. (MS-ESS2-5),(MS-ESS3-5) MP.2

Understand that positive and negative numbers are used together to describe quantities having opposite directions or values (e.g., temperature above/below zero, elevation above/below sea level, credits/debits, positive/negative electric charge); use positive and negative numbers to represent quantities in real-world contexts, explaining the meaning of 0 in each situation. (MS-ESS2-5) 6.NS.C.5

Use variables to represent numbers and write expressions when solving a real-world or mathematical problem; understand that a variable can represent an unknown number, or, depending on the purpose at hand, any number in a specified set. (MS-ESS3-5) 6.EE.B.6

  • CRP1. Act as a responsible and contributing citizen and employee.
  • CRP2. Apply appropriate academic and technical skills.
  • CRP3. Attend to personal health and financial well-being.
  • CRP4.Communicate clearly and effectively and with reason.
  • CRP5.Consider the environmental, social and economic impacts of decisions.
  • CRP6.Demonstrate creativity and innovation.
  • CRP7.Employ valid and reliable research strategies.
  • CRP8.Utilize critical thinking to make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.
  • CRP9.Model integrity, ethical leadership and effective management.
  • CRP10. Plan education and career paths aligned to personal goals.
  • CRP11. Use technology to enhance productivity.
  • CRP12.Work productively in teams while using cultural global competence.

By the end of 8th grade,

  • 9.2.8.B.1 Research careers within the 16 Career Clusters and determine attributes of career success.
  • 9.2.8.B.2 Develop a Personalized Student Learning Plan with the assistance of an adult mentor that includes information about career areas of interest, goals and an educational plan.
  • 9.2.8.B.3 Evaluate communication, collaboration, and leadership skills that can be developed through school, home, work, and extracurricular activities for use in a career.
  • 9.2.8.B.4 Evaluate how traditional and nontraditional careers have evolved regionally, nationally, and globally.
  • 9.2.8.B.5 Analyze labor market trends using state and federal labor market information and other resources available online.
  • 9.2.8.B.6 Demonstrate understanding of the necessary preparation and legal requirements to enter the workforce.
  • 9.2.8.B.7 Evaluate the impact of online activities and social media on employer decisions.

Technology Standards - 8.1

6-8th Grade

A. Technology Operations and Concepts: Students demonstrate a sound understanding of technology concepts, systems and operations.

  • Understand and use technology systems.

8.1.8.A.1 Demonstrate knowledge of a real world problem using digital tools.

 

  • Select and use applications effectively and productively.

8.1.8.A.2 Create a document (e.g. newsletter, reports, personalized learning plan, business letters or flyers) using one or more digital applications to be critiqued by professionals for usability.

8.1.8.A.3 Use and/or develop a simulation that provides an environment to solve a real world problem or theory.

8.1.8.A.4 Graph and calculate data within a spreadsheet and present a summary of the results

8.1.8.A.5 Create a database query, sort and create a report and describe the process, and explain the report results.

B. Creativity and Innovation: Students demonstrate creative thinking, construct knowledge and develop innovative products and process using technology.

  • Apply existing knowledge to generate new ideas, products, or processes.
  • Create original works as a means of personal or group expression.

8.1.8.B.1 Synthesize and publish information about a local or global issue or event (ex. telecollaborative project, blog, school web).

C. Communication and Collaboration: Students use digital media and environments to communicate and work collaboratively, including at a distance, to support individual learning and contribute to the learning of others.

  • Interact, collaborate, and publish with peers, experts, or others by employing a variety of digital environments and media.
  • Communicate information and ideas to multiple audiences using a variety of media and formats.
  • Develop cultural understanding and global awareness by engaging with learners of other cultures.
  • Contribute to project teams to produce original works or solve problems.

8.1.8.C.1 Collaborate to develop and publish work that provides perspectives on a global problem for discussions with learners from other countries.

D. Digital Citizenship: Students understand human, cultural, and societal issues related to technology and practice legal and ethical behavior.

  • Advocate and practice safe, legal, and responsible use of information and technology.

8.1.8.D.1 Understand and model appropriate online behaviors related to cyber safety, cyber bullying, cyber security, and cyber ethics including appropriate use of social media.

  • Demonstrate personal responsibility for lifelong learning.

8.1.8.D.2 Demonstrate the application of appropriate citations to digital content.

8.1.8.D.3 Demonstrate an understanding of fair use and Creative Commons to intellectual property.

  • Exhibit leadership for digital citizenship.

8.1.8.D.4 Assess the credibility and accuracy of digital content.

 

8.1.8.D.5 Understand appropriate uses for social media and the negative consequences of misuse.

E: Research and Information Fluency: Students apply digital tools to gather, evaluate, and use information.

  • Plan strategies to guide inquiry.
  • Locate, organize, analyze, evaluate, synthesize, and ethically use information from a variety of sources and media.
  • Evaluate and select information sources and digital tools based on the appropriateness for specific tasks.
  • Process data and report results.

8.1.8.E.1 Effectively use a variety of search tools and filters in professional public databases to find information to solve a real world problem.

 

F: Critical thinking, problem solving, and decision making: Students use critical thinking skills to plan and conduct research, manage projects, solve problems, and make informed decisions using appropriate digital tools and resources.

  • Identify and define authentic problems and significant questions for investigation.
  • Plan and manage activities to develop a solution or complete a project.
  • Collect and analyze data to identify solutions and/or make informed decisions.
  • Use multiple processes and diverse perspectives to explore alternative solutions.

8.1.8.F.1 Explore a local issue, by using digital tools to collect and analyze data to identify a solution and make an informed decision.

Future Learning

Physical Science

  • Newton’s law of universal gravitation and Coulomb’s law provide the mathematical models to describe and predict the effects of gravitational and electrostatic forces between distant objects.
  • Forces at a distance are explained by fields (gravitational, electric, and magnetic) permeating space that can transfer energy through space. Magnets or electric currents cause magnetic fields; electric charges or changing magnetic fields cause electric fields.
  • Attraction and repulsion between electric charges at the atomic scale explain the structure, properties, and transformations of matter, as well as the contact forces between material objects.
  •  Conservation of energy means that the total change of energy in any system is always equal to the total energy transferred into or out of the system.
  • Energy cannot be created or destroyed, but it can be transported from one place to another and transferred between systems.
  • Mathematical expressions, which quantify how the stored energy in a system depends on its configuration (e.g., relative positions of charged particles, compression of a spring) and how kinetic energy depends on mass and speed, allow the concept of conservation of energy to be used to predict and describe system behavior.
  • The availability of energy limits what can occur in any system.
  • Uncontrolled systems always evolve toward more stable states—that is, toward more uniform energy distribution (e.g., water flows downhill, objects hotter than their surrounding environment cool down)
  • Although energy cannot be destroyed, it can be converted to less useful forms—for example, to thermal energy in the surrounding environment.
  • Electromagnetic radiation (e.g., radio, microwaves, light) can be modeled as a wave of changing electric and magnetic fields or as particles called photons. The wave model is useful for explaining many features of electromagnetic radiation, and the particle model explains other features.
  • When light or longer wavelength electromagnetic radiation is absorbed in matter, it is generally converted into thermal energy (heat). Shorter wavelength electromagnetic radiation (ultraviolet, X-rays, gamma rays) can ionize atoms and cause damage to living cells. Photoelectric materials emit electrons when they absorb light of a high-enough frequency.

Earth and Space Science

  • All Earth processes are the result of energy flowing and matter cycling within and among the planet’s systems. This energy is derived from the sun and Earth’s hot interior. The energy that flows and matter that cycles produce chemical and physical changes in Earth’s materials and living organisms.
  • The planet’s systems interact over scales that range from microscopic to global in size, and they operate over fractions of a second to billions of years. These interactions have shaped Earth’s history and will determine its future.
  • Water continually cycles among land, ocean, and atmosphere via transpiration, evaporation, condensation and crystallization, and precipitation, as well as downhill flows on land.
  • The complex patterns of the changes and movement of water in the atmosphere, determined by winds, landforms, and ocean temperatures and currents, are major determinants of local weather patterns.
  • Global movements of water and its changes in form are propelled by sunlight and gravity. Variations in density due to variations in temperature and salinity drive a global pattern of interconnected ocean currents.
  • Water’s movements—both on the land and underground—cause weathering and erosion, which change the land’s surface features and create underground formations.
  • Weather and climate are influenced by interactions involving sunlight, the ocean, the atmosphere, ice, landforms, and living things. These interactions vary with latitude, altitude, and local and regional geography, all of which can affect oceanic and atmospheric flow patterns.
  • Because these patterns are so complex, weather can only be predicted probabilistically.
  • The ocean exerts a major influence on weather and climate by absorbing energy from the sun, releasing it over time, and globally redistributing it through ocean currents.
  • The solar system consists of the sun and a collection of objects, including planets, their moons, and asteroids that are held in orbit around the sun by its gravitational pull on them.
  • This model of the solar system can explain eclipses of the sun and the moon. Earth’s spin axis is fixed in direction over the short term but tilted relative to its orbit around the sun. The seasons are a result of that tilt and are caused by the differential intensity of sunlight on different areas of Earth across the year.
  • The solar system appears to have formed from a disk of dust and gas, drawn together by gravity.

Modifications/Accommodations

(IEPs, ELLs, 504s, G/T & BASIC SKILLS)

(Note: Teachers identify the modifications that they will use in the unit. See NGSS Appendix D: All Standards, All Students/Case Studies for vignettes and explanations of the modifications.)

  • Structure lessons around questions that are authentic, relate to students’ interests, social/family background and knowledge of their community
  • Provide students with multiple choices for how they can represent their understandings (e.g. multisensory techniques-auditory/visual aids; pictures, illustrations, graphs, charts, data tables, multimedia, modeling).
  • Provide opportunities for students to connect with people of similar backgrounds (e.g. conversations via digital tool such as SKYPE, experts from the community helping with a project, journal articles, and biographies).
  • Provide multiple grouping opportunities for students to share their ideas and to encourage work among various backgrounds and cultures (e.g. multiple representation and multimodal experiences).
  • Engage students with a variety of Science and Engineering practices to provide students with multiple entry points and multiple ways to demonstrate their understandings.
  • Use project-based science learning to connect science with observable phenomena.
  • Structure the learning around explaining or solving a social or community-based issue.
  • Provide ELL students with multiple literacy strategies.
  • Collaborate with after-school programs or clubs to extend learning opportunities.
  • Restructure lesson using UDL principals (http://www.cast.org/our-work/about-udl.html#.VXmoXcfD_UA)  

Appendix A: NGSS and Foundations for the Unit

Develop a model to describe the cycling of water through Earth's systems driven by energy from the sun and the force of gravity. [Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on the ways water changes its state as it moves through the multiple pathways of the hydrologic cycle. Examples of models can be conceptual or physical.] [Assessment Boundary: A quantitative understanding of the latent heats of vaporization and fusion is not assessed.]  (MS-ESS2-4)

Collect data to provide evidence for how the motions and complex interactions of air masses results in changes in weather conditions. [Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on how air masses flow from regions of high pressure to low pressure, causing weather (defined by temperature, pressure, humidity, precipitation, and wind) at a fixed location to change over time, and how sudden changes in weather can result when different air masses collide. Emphasis is on how weather can be predicted within probabilistic ranges. Examples of data can be provided to students (such as weather maps, diagrams, and visualizations) or obtained through laboratory experiments (such as with condensation).] [Assessment Boundary: Assessment does not include recalling the names of cloud types or weather symbols used on weather maps or the reported diagrams from weather stations.] (MS-ESS2-5)

Explain how variations in density result from variations in temperature and salinity drive a global pattern of interconnected ocean currents. (ESS2.C)

Use a model to explain the mechanisms that cause varying daily temperature ranges in a coastal community and in a community located in the interior of the country. (ESS2.C; ESS2.D)

Develop and use a model to describe how unequal heating and rotation of the Earth cause patterns of atmospheric and oceanic circulation that determine regional climates. [Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on how patterns vary by latitude, altitude, and geographic land distribution. Emphasis of atmospheric circulation is on the sunlight-driven latitudinal banding, the Coriolis effect, and resulting prevailing winds; emphasis of ocean circulation is on the transfer of heat by the global ocean convection cycle, which is constrained by the Coriolis effect and the outlines of continents. Examples of models can be diagrams, maps and globes, or digital representations.] [Assessment Boundary: Assessment does not include the dynamics of the Coriolis effect.] (MS-ESS2-6)

Develop a model to describe the cycling of water through Earth's systems driven by energy from the sun and the force of gravity. [Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on the ways water changes its state as it moves through the multiple pathways of the hydrologic cycle. Examples of models can be conceptual or physical.] [Assessment Boundary: A quantitative understanding of the latent heats of vaporization and fusion is not assessed.]  (MS-ESS2-4)

Science and Engineering Practices

Disciplinary Core Ideas

Crosscutting Concepts

Developing and Using Models

Planning and Carrying Out Investigations

 

ESS2.C: The Roles of Water in Earth's Surface Processes

ESS2.D: Weather and Climate

Cause and Effect

Systems and System Model

Energy and Matter