first-fourth grade science Curriculum

CCS Faculty EmilyRoberts 001

Our elementary science curriculum is organized into a two-year rotating cycle that focuses primarily on teaching the scientific method/process through investigations and experimentation, with specific attention given to life and earth sciences. Physical science concepts and themes are also woven into the two years of study to help students further understand, appreciate, and evaluate the scientific and natural world around them.

Where possible, science is taught in its historical and environmental contexts.

At every level, the scientific method will be used as a means for asking meaningful questions and conducting careful investigations. As the students progress from first to fourth grade, predictions will become based more on observed patterns and interpretation of observations rather than on random guessing. By the end of fourth grade, students will be able to develop their own questions and perform independent investigations. In addition, students will grow to understand the role science plays in understanding and protecting the Earth's fragile ecosystems.

Science Grades 1-2

Units of Study

"Year A" (Physical and Earth Science)

States of Matter
Students will explore the various states of matter (solid, liquid, gas) and learn about the properties associated with each state. They will investigate how the properties change as substances as mixed, cooled, or heated.

Weather
We will explore weather (how it is observed, measured, and described). Through hands-on exploration, students will use thermometers and weather vanes to track local weather and graph their results. Students will also use bar graphs to record data and draw conclusions about local weather patterns.

Force and Motion
We will explore properties of motion and how it can be observed and measured. Students will conduct experiments to learn about applying force (push and pull) and the force of gravity. We will investigate how sound is made and described.

Properties of Rocks
Our final unit will cover earth science and the physical properties of rocks. Students will learn about weathering and erosion. An exploration of soil and fossils will conclude this unit.

Scientific Process (Throughout the Year)

We will spend time learning about the scientific process. Students will be encouraged to develop their own questions and carry out investigations and experiments to seek answers. Through the scientific process students will be able to: make predictions based on patterns, describe properties, state the position of objects, and sort based on physical attributes. Students will share their observations through graphs, recorded data, and written observations.

"Year B" (Life Science)

Meeting Their Needs: Plants and Animals
Students will explore how plants and animals meet their needs in various ways. Through picture books, exploring natural surroundings, and environmental education trips, students will explore how different environments have different features that help plants and animals survive. Plants and animals have similar needs (both need water, plants need light and animals need food).

Animal Characteristics
Students will make inferences about what different animals eat based on the shape of their teeth. We will explore how animals eat plants or other animals for nutrients but may also use plants of other animals for shelter or nesting.

Life Cycles
Students create an understanding that organisms reproduce their own offspring and that characteristics of an offspring may be inherited from their parents. We will explore different life cycles: butterflies, frogs, and mice. Through investigations and experiments students will explore how the development of plants can be affected by light, touch, and gravity.

Scientific Process (Throughout the Year)
We will spend time learning about the scientific process. Students will be encouraged to develop their own questions and carry out investigations and experiments to seek answers. Through the scientific process students will be able to: make predictions based on patterns, describe properties, state the position of objects, and sort based on physical attributes. Students will share their observations through graphs, recorded data, and written observations.

Supporting Materials:

The Full Option Science System (FOSS), a research-based science curriculum for grades K-8 developed at the Lawrence Hall of Science, University of California, Berkeley

Third and Fourth Grade Science

Overview: We have a two-year curriculum rotation in third and fourth grade science. In our "A" year of our curriculum, students will focus on physical and earth science. In our "B" year of our curriculum, students will focus on life sciences. Common to both years of study is an emphasis on guiding the students to ask meaningful questions and conduct careful investigations.

Materials: FOSS Science curriculum (Full Option Science System), a research-based curriculum developed by the Lawrence Hall of Science at UC Berkeley.

Units of Study

"Year A"

Unit 1: Rocks and Minerals

Unit 2: Energy and Matter

Unit 3: Light

Unit 4: Motion

Unit 5: Solar System

Unit 6: Investigating and the Scientific Process

Unit 7: Gardening

"Year B"

Unit 1: Habitat and Ecosystems

Unit 2: Adaptations

Unit 3: Animal and Plant life cycle

Unit 4: The human Body

Unit 5: Light and Physical Science

Unit 6: Science Fair (Investigating and the Scientific Process)

Unit 7: Gardening