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Title: Structures of Life Grade 4 Curriculum Portal Compiled by


1
Structures of Life Grade 4
Curriculum Portal Compiled by Teresa A.
Minogue, M.Ed. K-4 Science Curriculum
Coordinator Shaker Regional School
District Canterbury Elementary School June, 2009
ENTER
2
Why Study the Structures of Life in Grade 4?
  • This unit of study builds on ideas explored in
    earlier grades. In grade 1, students studied
    plants and learned about the different ways
    plants grow in the world. In grade 2, students
    explored various types of insects and followed
    their life cycles throughout the year. In grade
    3 students explored various animals in their
    habitats and began some basic investigations into
    animal classification. In grade four students
    explore the structures of living things. They
    consider the following topics classification,
    survival, interdependency, heredity, variation.
    This unit of study helps prepare them for what
    theyll encounter as they create biomes for
    animals and explore life under the microscope.

To table of contents
3
Table of Contents
Essential Questions and Big Ideas
  • Benchmarks and NH State Standards

Suggested Scope and Sequence
FOSS Website
  • Background information
  • What every adult needs
  • to know about plants and animals

Glossopedia online multimedia science encylopedia
Some ideas to consider while teaching about the
Structures of Life
Assessment
Examine the research on student learning and
misconceptions
Bibliography
Opening Slide
4
Essential Questions and Big Ideas
  • Essential Questions
  • Whats the difference between living and
    nonliving things?
  • How do we know that plants and animals are alive?
  • How are animals the same and different?
  • How are plants the same and different?
  • How does the structure of the plant/animal help
    it to survive?
  • What are all the ways that our animals offspring
    are like their parents?
  • What are the different stages of our plant and
    animals life cycle?
  • How do plants and animals depend on each other?
  • What do plants and animals need in order to grow?
  • Big Ideas
  • Animals depend on plants and/or animals for food.
  • Almost all kinds of an animals food can be
    traced back to plants.
  • Plants and Animals have characteristics that
    distinguish them for other living things.
  • Animals are grouped according to their features.
  • There are millions of different animals on the
    earth at one time-some are very similar to each
    other, some are very different.
  • Some likenesses between children and parents are
    inherited, some are learned.
  • Changes in an animals habitat are sometimes
    beneficial and sometimes harmful.
  • Not all plants and animals survive in their
    environment. If they dont have the adaptations
    to survive- they die.

Back to table of contents
5
Suggested Scope and Sequence
Term 1 Theme Structures of Life and Green Down
Investigation through GLOBE
Term 2 Theme Force and Motion Heat and
Light, Magnets and Electricity
Term 3 Theme Earth as a System
Back to Table of Contents
6
Benchmarks Identifying Concepts and Specific
Ideas
Benchmarks for Science Literacy (Life Science )
Benchmarks for Science Literacy ( Inquiry)
NH State Frameworks and Standards
Back to Table of Contents
7
New Hampshire Frameworks and Standards
NH State Frameworks for Science Literacy (Life
Science) Grades 3-4
NH State Frameworks for Science Literacy (Science
Process Skills) Grades 3-4
Philosophy behind the NH state standards
K-12 Broad Goals of Science Education
  • Click Here to go to the NH Dept. of Education
    website to download the Entire NH State Science
    Frameworks as well as other resources connected
    to the NECAP. (Youll have to scroll down the
    page)

Back to Table of Contents
Back to Benchmarks
8
NH Life Science 3-4 Grade Span Expectations
part 1
Return to NH Standards
Return to Table of Contents
continue to Life Science part 2
9
NH Life Science 3-4 Grade Span Expectations part 2
Return to Benchmarks
to Table of Contents
continue to part 3
To part 1
10
NH Life Science 3-4 Grade Span Expectations part 3
Return to Benchmarks
to Table of Contents
continue to part 4
To part 2
11
NH Life Science 3-4 Grade Span Expectations
part 4
Return to Benchmarks
Table of Contents
Back to part 3
Go to part 5
12
NH Life Science 3-4 Grade Span Expectations
part 5
Return to Benchmarks
Table of Contents
Back to part 4
13
Content and teaching standards based on the
National Science Education Standards
  • SCIENCE AS INQUIRY
  • Develop students' abilities to do and understand
    scientific inquiry.
  • Ask and answer questions.
  • Plan and conduct simple investigations.
  • Employ tools and techniques to gather data.
  • Use data to construct reasonable explanations.
  • Communicate investigations and explanations.
  • Understand that scientists use different kinds of
    investigations and tools to develop explanations
    using evidence and knowledge.
  • CONTENT PHYSICAL SCIENCE
  • Develop students' understanding of the properties
    of materials.
  • Objects can have many properties, including size,
    weight, shape, color, and texture.
  • CONTENT EARTH SCIENCE
  • Develop students' understanding of the properties
    of earth materials.
  • Solid rocks and soils are earth materials. The
    physical properties of earth materials make them
    useful in different ways, such as for building
    materials or for growing plants.
  • Develop students' understandings about changes in
    the earth.
  • Natural forces such as ice, rain, wind,
    landslides, and volcanoes can break apart or
    smooth the surfaces of rocks.
  • SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
  • Develop students' understandings about science
    and technology.
  • Scientists use tools and scientific techniques to
    make better observations.

Back to Table of Contents
Back to FOSS-Pebbles, Sand, and Silt
14
What is FOSS?
  • FOSS is a research-based science curriculum for
    grades K8 developed at the Lawrence Hall of
    Science, University of California at Berkeley.
    FOSS is also an ongoing research project
    dedicated to improving the learning and teaching
    of science. The FOSS project began over 20 years
    ago during a time of growing concern that our
    nation was not providing young students with an
    adequate science education. The FOSS program
    materials are designed to meet the challenge of
    providing meaningful science education for all
    students in diverse American classrooms and to
    prepare them for life in the 21st century.
    Development of the FOSS program was, and
    continues to be, guided by advances in the
    understanding of how youngsters think and learn.
  • Science is an active enterprise, made active by
    our human capacity to think. Scientific knowledge
    advances when scientists observe objects and
    events, think about how they relate to what is
    known, test their ideas in logical ways, and
    generate explanations that integrate the new
    information into the established order. Thus the
    scientific enterprise is both what we know
    (content) and how we come to know it (process).
    The best way for students to appreciate the
    scientific enterprise, learn important scientific
    concepts, and develop the ability to think
    critically is to actively construct ideas through
    their own inquiries, investigations, and
    analyses. The FOSS program was created to engage
    students in these processes as they explore the
    natural world. (http//www.lawrencehallofscience.o
    rg/foss/introduction/index.html)

Back to FOSS-Pebbles, Sand, and Silt
Back to Table of Contents
15
NH Frameworks Science Process Skills 3-4 part 1
continue on to part 2
Return to Ideas to Consider
NH State Standards
16
NH Frameworks Science Process Skills 3-4 part 2
continue on to process part 3
Return to Ideas to Consider
NH State Standards
17
NH Frameworks Science Process Skills 3-4 part 3
continue on to process part 4
Return to Ideas to Consider
NH State Standards
18
NH Frameworks Science Process Skills 3-4 part 4
continue on to process part 5
Return to Ideas to Consider
NH State Standards
19
NH Frameworks Science Process Skills 3-4 part 5
Return to Ideas to Consider
NH State Standards
20
National Science Education Standards (Earth Space
Science K-4)
  • PROPERTIES OF EARTH MATERIALS
  • Earth materials are solid rocks and soils, water,
    and the gases of the atmosphere. The varied
    materials have different physical and chemical
    properties, which make them useful in different
    ways, for example, as building materials, as
    sources of fuel, or for growing the plants we use
    as food. Earth materials provide many of the
    resources that humans use.
  • Soils have properties of color and texture,
    capacity to retain water, and ability to support
    the growth of many kinds of plants, including
    those in our food supply.
  • CHANGES IN THE EARTH AND SKY
  • The surface of the earth changes. Some changes
    are due to slow processes, such as erosion and
    weathering, and some changes are due to rapid
    processes, such as landslides, volcanic
    eruptions, and earthquakes.

Return to Table of Contents
Return to Benchmarks
21
Assessment
  • The following formative assessments will help you
    to assess your students level of understanding
    before you begin your investigations. (Look for
    them in your folder. If you need another copy,
    ask Terry.)
  • Is it Living?
  • Is it An Animal?
  • Does It Have a Life Cycle?
  • Functions of Living Things (You may want to
    revise this to change the language)
  • Summative Assessments
  • FOSS end of the Unit assessment (soon to be on
    Performance Tracker)

Back to Table of Contents
Go back to opening slide
22
K-12 Broad Goals of Science Education
  • Students will use inquiry strategies to
    investigate and understand the natural world.
  • Students will demonstrate an understanding of key
    concepts and principles central to the
    biological, physical, and earth sciences, and
    engineering, while recognizing the
    interrelationship of all the sciences.
  • Students will demonstrate an understanding of the
    basic laws which govern and explain phenomena
    observed in the natural world
  • Students will demonstrate an understanding of,
    and be able to practice, the basic processes
    which scientists use to obtain and continually
    revise knowledge about the natural world.
  • Students will perceive that scientific and
    technological knowledge is the result of the
    cumulative efforts of people, past and present,
    who have attempted to explain the world through
    an objective, peer-tested, rational approach to
    understanding natural phenomena and occurrences.
  • Students will display a sense of curiosity and
    wonder about the natural world, and demonstrate
    an increasing awareness of the interdependence
    between all living things and the environment.
  • Students will demonstrate their abilities to
    identify human needs and concerns and to engage
    in problem-solving processes to define the
    problem, research and generate solutions, and
    develop simulations and prototypes to test their
    ideas before implementation.
  • Students will be able to apply rational,
    creative-thinking, and investigative skills and
    use scientific and technical knowledge in their
    roles as citizens, workers, family members, and
    consumers in an increasingly technological
    society.
  • Students will use oral and written communication,
    mathematical representation, and physical and
    conceptual models to describe and explain
    scientific concepts and ideas, and will be able
    to apply scientific and technical knowledge.
  • Students will know and employ safe practices and
    techniques in the laboratory, in field work or
    any other scientific investigation, and when
    using scientific or technological materials at
    home or work.

Return to NH State Standards
Return to Benchmarks
23
Ideas to consider when teaching about The
Structure of Life
  • These essays are from Benchmarks for Science
    Literacy. Youll have to scroll down the page to
    read the essays.

Inquiry The Scientific Worldview
  • Diversity of Life General Essay and 3-5 Essay

Inquiry Scientific Inquiry
Heredity general essay and 3-5 essay
This essay is from the New Hampshire Frameworks
  • Interdependence of Life general essay and 3-5
    essay

Atlas of Science Literacy Volume 1 Heredity,
pg. 72 Flow of Energy, pg. 76, Evolution of
Life, pg. 80 Volume 2 Diversity of Life, pg. 31,
Interdependence of Life, pg. 33
  • Flow of Matter and Energy general essay and 3-5
    essay
  • Evolution of Life general essay and 3-5 essay

Return to Table of Contents
24
The Earth (page 2)
  • The motion of the earth and its position with
    regard to the sun and the moon have noticeable
    effects. The earth's one-year revolution around
    the sun, because of the tilt of the earth's axis,
    changes how directly sunlight falls on one part
    or another of the earth. This difference in
    heating different parts of the earth's surface
    produces seasonal variations in climate. The
    rotation of the planet on its axis every 24 hours
    produces the planet's night-and-day cycleand (to
    observers on earth) makes it seem as though the
    sun, planets, stars, and moon are orbiting the
    earth. The combination of the earth's motion and
    the moon's own orbit around the earth, once in
    about 28 days, results in the phases of the moon
    (on the basis of the changing angle at which we
    see the sunlit side of the moon).
  • The earth has a variety of climatic patterns,
    which consist of different conditions of
    temperature, precipitation, humidity, wind, air
    pressure, and other atmospheric phenomena. These
    patterns result from an interplay of many
    factors. The basic energy source is the heating
    of land, ocean, and air by solar radiation.
    Transfer of heat energy at the interfaces of the
    atmosphere with the land and oceans produces
    layers at different temperatures in both the air
    and the oceans. These layers rise or sink or mix,
    giving rise to winds and ocean currents that
    carry heat energy between warm and cool regions.
    The earth's rotation curves the flow of winds and
    ocean currents, which are further deflected by
    the shape of the land.
  • The cycling of water in and out of the atmosphere
    plays an important part in determining climatic
    patternsevaporating from the surface, rising and
    cooling, condensing into clouds and then into
    snow or rain, and falling again to the surface,
    where it collects in rivers, lakes, and porous
    layers of rock. There are also large areas on the
    earth's surface covered by thick ice (such as
    Antarctica), which interacts with the atmosphere
    and oceans in affecting worldwide variations in
    climate.

Back to page 1
Essay continues
Back to resources
25
Some misconceptions students have about studying
soil and how to avoid them
  • Students of all ages may hold the view that the
    world was always as it is now, or that any
    changes that have occurred must have been sudden
    and comprehensive (Freyberg, 1985). The students
    in these studies did not, however, have any
    formal instruction on the topics investigated.
    Moreover, middle-school students taught by
    traditional means are not able to construct
    coherent explanations about the causes of
    volcanoes and earthquakes (Duschl, Smith,
    Kesidou, Gitomer, Schauble, 1992).

Library Resources Please refer to Making Sense
of Secondary Science Research into Childrens
Ideas, for the following chapters based on these
topics Concept of Soil Chapter 14. page 114.
Atlas of Science Literacy Map, pages 50-51
Note the Rocks and Sediments conceptual strand
Return to Table of Contents
26
NH Frameworks Ideas to Consider Science in the
Grade Spans Elementary Grades K-4
  • Children in grades K-4 observe, describe, and
    interact with the world around them. At this
    level effective learning environments provide
    opportunities for developing awareness of and
    involvement with the world around them through
  • Playing with, exploring, collecting, handling,
    sorting, and classifying objects.
  • Using graphic organizers and other strategies to
    motivate, organize, and identify the questions
    children ask about the world. Test Guess
  • Using tools (for example non standard measures,
    rulers, and magnifiers) to enhance observations,
    collect, represent and interpret data.
  • Organizing and manipulating data in multiple
    ways, which may include tools of technology,
    e.g., calculators, and computers.
  • Communicating (through reading, writing,
    speaking, listening, movement and viewing) to
    describe their observations of the world.
  • In summary, the K-4 classroom should
    provide students opportunities to engage with
    concrete manipulative activities that will lead
    children to construct the desired concepts
    through investigation and analysis of experience.
    At this level in particular, science should be
    integrated with other curricular areas (e.g.,
    reading, writing, math, social studies,
    technology, art, music, or physical education).

Return to Ideas to Consider
NH State Standards
Return to Table of Contents
27
The following is a list of resources for you to
gain some background information.
Science For All Americans, Chapter 5 The Living
Environment. This chapter discusses the
following topics Diversity of
Life Heredity Cells Interdependence of Life Flow
of Matter and Energy Evolution of Life
Library Resource Science Matters Achieving
Scientific Literacy. This book explains basic
science principles in laymens terms. There are
several chapters that you may find useful.
Atlas of Science Literacy Volume 1 Heredity,
pg. 72 Flow of Energy, pg. 76, Evolution of
Life, pg. 80 Volume 2 Diversity of Life, pg. 31,
Interdependence of Life, pg. 33
Video sources
Back to table of Contents
NSTA Learning Center
28
NH Frameworks Earth Space Science K-2
Return to Benchmarks
Return to Table of Contents
continue to part 2
29
.
Video Resources for Grade 4 Annenberg Media is
a wonderful resource for you to use. Not only
will you be able to watch a video to gain general
background information, youll also see how some
teachers are teaching science in their classrooms
using exemplary practices. The following
resources are from their website. The videos are
free to view via your computer. You just have to
set up a login and password. When you get to the
webpage, just scroll down the page and youll see
the different videos.
  • Essential Science for teachers Life Science
    These video lessons are an excellent resource.
    They include background information, panel
    discussions, and examples of how the basic
    principles are taught in the classroom.
  • Life Science link http//www.learner.org/resource
    s/series179.html
  • Case Studies http//www.learner.org/resources/seri
    es21.html
  • (These are just a a few samples of what
    Annenberg Media offers. There are many more free
    videos about exemplary teaching of science and
    other curricular areas.)

Back to table of contents
Back to resources
30
What is the philosophy behind the frameworks?
  • How do the new frameworks differ from the old
    ones?
  • Science should not be approached as a collection
    of isolated abilities and bits of information,
    but as a rich fabric of mutually supported ideas
    and skills that must develop overtime. From
    primary school to high school what students learn
    should build on what they learned before, makes
    sense in terms of what else they are learning,
    and prepare them for what they will learn
    next1.This framework looks at how kids perceive
    and interact with the world.
  • One of the major changes from the earlier
    framework can be seen the structure of the new
    frameworks reflecting the developmental stages of
    children. To help districts develop curricula for
    all grade levels, the new Frameworks for Science
    Literacy includes Grade Span Expectations (GSEs)
    that break down the content into specific grade
    spans (K-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8, 9-12). Each span lists
    proficiencies which indicate what all students
    should know and be able to do by the end of that
    grade span.
  • The old framework had six strands 1) Inquiry 2)
    Science, Technology and Society 3) Life Science
    4) Earth Space Science 5) Physical Science and
    6) Unifying Themes. Many district curricula had
    little to no emphasis on strands 1, 2, and 6. In
    the new edition, Science is divided into three
    content domains (Earth Space Science, Life
    Science, and Physical Science) and one Science
    Process Skills domain. Ideas and objectives which
    correspond to the 1995 Science Framework strands
    1, 2, and 6 have been rolled into each of the new
    strands.
  • Science Process Skills (SPS) is a new addition to
    the Frameworks. It reflects the need to make sure
    that in the early years students develop specific
    skill sets that will help them be successful in
    future science experiences. The last section of
    the skills strand, SPS4, looks at goals for
    Information and Computer Technology standards in
    Science. This was included to help districts meet
    the needs of all students and to meet the new ICT
    requirements for K-8 and 9-12 digital portfolios.
  • Everything in the old framework could be the
    subject of the state assessment in science. In
    the new framework, only specific proficiencies
    will be part of the NECAP Science Assessment.
    These NECAP Science Targets are clearly marked
    in bold boxes throughout the GSEs for each grade
    span. They are also referenced in the Science
    Process Skills documents as they connect to
    Inquiry and the Unifying themes of science. The
    other proficiencies should become part of each
    districts local science assessment system.
  • 1 Atlas of Science Literacy, American
    Association for the Advancement of Science, 2001,
    page 3

Essay Continues
Table of Contents
NH Frameworks
31
What is the philosophy behind the frameworks
(cont.)
  • Why include Design Technology in Science?
  • Science comprises our knowledge about the natural
    world and the processes by which that knowledge
    is acquired, synthesized, evaluated, and applied.
    Therefore, science education must emphasize
    hands-on exploration and direct experience with
    the natural world. Students should be engaged in
    the observation of these phenomena whenever
    possible. Science is, above all, an inquiry
    activity that seeks answers to questions by
    collecting and analyzing data in an attempt to
    offer a rational explanation of
    naturally-occurring events. The knowledge that
    results from scientific problem solving is most
    useful when it is organized into concepts,
    generalizations, and unifying principles, which
    lead to further investigation of objects and
    events in the environment.
  • Science and technology are practiced in the
    context of human culture, and therefore, dynamic
    interactions occur among science, technology, and
    society. Each component-- inquiry and problem
    solving, and how these relate to each other and
    to society-- is critically important to
    instruction at every grade level.
  • Technology concerns the human-made world.
    Technology is much older than science, and has
    its roots in the very early use of tools by our
    human-like ancestors. Enabling our children to
    understand how humans modify the natural world to
    solve problems and to meet human needs and
    desires is equally as important as teaching them
    how to inquire about the natural world. And of
    course, these two endeavors are related. The
    reason for including technology along with
    science in the curriculum is stated in the
    National Science Education Standards Although
    these are science education standards, the
    relationship between science and technology is so
    close that any presentation of science without
    developing an understanding of technology would
    portray an inaccurate picture of science. 1
    The National Standards goes on to define
    technology and its relationship to science as
    follows
  • As used in the Standards, the central
    distinguishing characteristic between science and
    technology is a difference in goal The goal of
    science is to understand the natural world, and
    the goal of technology is to make modifications
    in the world to meet human needs. Technology as
    design is included in the Standards as parallel
    to science as inquiry. 2
  • In order to broaden our students career
    opportunities and awareness it is also important
    that they learn distinction between the
    occupations of scientist and engineer
    Scientists propose explanations for questions
    about the natural world, and engineers propose
    solutions relating to human problems, needs, and
    aspirations. Scientists and engineers frequently
    work together in teams, along with people from
    other fields, to tackle the essential issues
    facing our society.
  • 1 National Science Education Standards,
    National Research Council, Washington, D.C.
    National Academy Press, 1996, page 190.
  • 2 Ibid. page 24.
  • Return to Benchmarks
  • Table of Contents
  • NH Frameworks

32
References The following sources were used in the
development of this curriculum.
  • Books with online tools
  • American Association for the Advancement of
    Science. (2009). Benchmarks On-line. NY, NY
    Oxford University Press. Retrieved June 29, 2009
    from http//www.project2061.org/publications/tool
    Web.htm
  • American Association for the Advancement of
    Science. (1990). Science for all Americans. NY,
    NY Oxford University Press. http//www.project206
    1.org/publications/toolWeb.htm Books without
    online tools
  • American Association for the Advancement of
    Science/Project 2061. (2001). Atlas of Science
    Literacy, AAAS and National Science Teachers
    Association, Washington, D.C.
  • Driver, R., et. al (1994). Making sense of
    secondary science Research into children's
    ideas.pp.23, NY, NY Routledge Press.. Hazen,
    R. and Trefil, J. (1991). Science matters
    Achieving scientific literacy. NY. NY Anchor
    Books.
  • Keeley, Page (2005) Uncovering Student Ideas in
    Science 25 Formative Assessment Probes. Vo. 1.
    Arlington,VA NSTA Press
  • Keeley, Page. (2005). Science Curriculum Topic
    Study. Arlington, VA NSTA Press.
  • Websites
  • NH Dept. of Education, (2006). NHEON. Retrieved
    June 29, 2009, from Curriculum Frameworks
    Website http//www.ed.state.nh.us/education/doe/o
    rganization/curriculum/CurriculumFrameworks/Curric
    ulumFrameworks.htm

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