Core Science Curriculum Framework

For the Town of Mansfield

 

An Invitation for Students and Teachers

to Explore Science and Its Role in Society

 

Content Standards and Expected Performances

Core Science for Grades 6-8


THE STANDARDS FOR SCIENTIFIC INQUIRY, LITERACY AND NUMERACY ARE INTEGRAL PARTS

OF THE CONTENT STANDARDS FOR EACH GRADE LEVEL IN THIS CLUSTER.

Grades 6-8 Core Scientific Inquiry, Literacy and Numeracy

How is scientific knowledge created and communicated?

Content Standards

Expected Performances

SCIENTIFIC INQUIRY

¨       Scientific inquiry is a thoughtful and coordinated attempt to search out, describe, explain and predict natural phenomena.

¨       Scientific inquiry progresses through a continuous process of questioning, data collection, analysis and interpretation.

¨       Scientific inquiry requires the sharing of findings and ideas for critical review by colleagues and other scientists.

 

SCIENTIFIC LITERACY

¨       Scientific literacy includes speaking, listening, presenting, interpreting, reading and writing about science.

¨       Scientific literacy also includes the ability to search for and assess the relevance and credibility of scientific information found in various print and electronic media.

 

SCIENTIFIC NUMERACY

¨       Scientific numeracy includes the ability to use mathematical operations and procedures to calculate, analyze and present scientific data and ideas.

 

C INQ.1      Identify questions that can be answered through scientific investigation.

C INQ.2      Read, interpret and examine the credibility of scientific claims in different sources of information.

C INQ.3      Design and conduct appropriate types of scientific investigations to answer different questions.

C INQ.4      Identify independent and dependent variables, and those variables that are kept constant, when designing an experiment.

C INQ.5      Use appropriate tools and techniques to make observations and gather data.

C INQ.6      Use mathematical operations to analyze and interpret data.

C INQ.7      Identify and present relationships between variables in appropriate graphs.

C INQ.8      Draw conclusions and identify sources of error.

C INQ.9      Provide explanations to investigated problems or questions.

C INQ.10  Communicate about science in different formats, using relevant science vocabulary, supporting evidence and clear logic.

 


 

Grade 6

Core Themes, Content Standards and Expected Performances

 

Taught in Grade 5 = blue, Taught in Grade 6 = green, Taught in Grade 7 = red, Taught in Grade 8 = purple

 

Content Standards

Expected Performances

Properties of Matter – How does the structure of matter affect the properties and uses of materials?

6.1 - Materials can be classified as pure substances or mixtures, depending on their chemical and physical properties.

¨      Mixtures are made of combinations of elements and/or compounds, and they can be separated by using a variety of physical means.

¨      Pure substances can be either elements or compounds, and they cannot be broken down by physical means.

 

C 1.       Describe the properties of common elements, such as oxygen, hydrogen, carbon, iron and aluminum.

C 2.       Describe how the properties of simple compounds, such as water and table salt, are different from the properties of the elements of which they are made.

C 3.       Explain how mixtures can be separated by using the properties of the substances from which they are made, such as particle size, density, solubility and boiling point.

 

Matter and Energy in Ecosystems – How do matter and energy flow through ecosystems?

6.2 - An ecosystem is composed of all the populations that are living in a certain space and the physical factors with which they interact.

¨      Populations in ecosystems are affected by biotic factors, such as other populations, and abiotic factors, such as soil and water supply.

¨      Populations in ecosystems can be categorized as producers, consumers and decomposers of organic matter.

 

C 4.       Describe how abiotic factors, such as temperature, water and sunlight, affect the ability of plants to create their own food through photosynthesis.

C 5.       Explain how populations are affected by predator-prey relationships.

C 6.       Describe common food webs in different Connecticut ecosystems.

 

 

Energy in the Earth’s Systems – How do external and internal sources of energy affect the Earth’s systems?

6.3 - Variations in the amount of the sun’s energy hitting the Earth’s surface affect daily and seasonal weather patterns.

¨      Local and regional weather are affected by the amount of solar energy these areas receive and by their proximity to a large body of water.

This is taught in 8th grade too.

C 7.       Describe the effect of heating on the movement of molecules in solids, liquids and gases.

C 8.       Explain how local weather conditions are related to the temperature, pressure and water content of the atmosphere and the proximity to a large body of water.

C 9.       Explain how the uneven heating of the Earth’s surface causes winds.

This is taught in 8th grade too.

Science and Technology in Society – How do science and technology affect the quality of our lives?

6.4 - Water moving across and through earth materials carries with it the products of human activities.

¨      Most precipitation that falls on Connecticut eventually reaches Long Island Sound.

 

C 10.   Explain the role of septic and sewage systems on the quality of surface and ground water.

C 11.   Explain how human activity may impact water resources in Connecticut, such as ponds, rivers and the Long Island Sound ecosystem.

This is taught in 6th grade too.

 

Grade 7

Core Themes, Content Standards and Expected Performances

 

Taught in Grade 5 = blue, Taught in Grade 6 = green, Taught in Grade 7 = red, Taught in Grade 8 = purple

 

Content Standards

Expected Performances

Energy Transfer and Transformations – What is the role of energy in our world? Click here to learn more.

7.1 - Energy provides the ability to do work and can exist in many forms.

¨      Work is the process of making objects move through the application of force.

¨      Energy can be stored in many forms and can be transformed into the energy of motion.

This is taught in 8th Grade too. Click here to learn more.

 

C 12.   Explain the relationship among force, distance and work, and use the relationship (W=F x D) to calculate work done in lifting heavy objects.

C 13.   Explain how simple machines, such as inclined planes, pulleys and levers, are used to create mechanical advantage.

C 14.   Describe how different types of stored (potential) energy can be used to make objects move.

This is taught in 8th Grade too. Click here to learn more.

Structure and Function – How are organisms structured to ensure efficiency and survival? Click here to learn more.

7.2 - Many organisms, including humans, have specialized organ systems that interact with each other to maintain dynamic internal balance.

¨      All organisms are composed of one or more cells; each cell carries on life-sustaining functions.

¨      Multicellular organisms need specialized structures and systems to perform basic life functions.

This is introduced in grade 5.

 

C 15.   Describe the basic structures of an animal cell, including nucleus, cytoplasm, mitochondria and cell membrane, and how they function to support life.

C 16.   Describe the structures of the human digestive, respiratory and circulatory systems, and explain how they function to bring oxygen and nutrients to the cells and expel waste materials.

C 17.   Explain how the human musculo-skeletal system supports the body and allows movement.

This is introduced in grade 5.

Energy in the Earth’s Systems – How do external and internal sources of energy affect the Earth’s systems? Click here to learn more.

7.3 - Landforms are the result of the interaction of constructive and destructive forces over time.

¨      Volcanic activity and the folding and faulting of rock layers during the shifting of the Earth’s crust affect the formation of mountains, ridges and valleys.

¨      Glaciation, weathering and erosion change the Earth’s surface by moving earth materials from place to place.

 

C 18.   Describe how folded and faulted rock layers provide evidence of the gradual up and down motion of the Earth’s crust.

C 19.   Explain how glaciation, weathering and erosion create and shape valleys and floodplains.

C 20.   Explain how the boundaries of tectonic plates can be inferred from the location of earthquakes and volcanoes.

 

Science and Technology in Society – How do science and technology affect the quality of our lives? Click here to learn more.

7.4 - Technology allows us to improve food production and preservation, thus improving our ability to meet the nutritional needs of growing populations.

¨      Various microbes compete with humans for the same sources of food.

 

C 21.   Describe how freezing, dehydration, pickling and irradiation prevent food spoilage caused by microbes.

 

 

Grade 8

Core Themes, Content Standards and Expected Performances

 

Taught in Grade 5 = blue, Taught in Grade 6 = green, Taught in Grade 7 = red, Taught in Grade 8 = purple

 

Content Standards

Expected Performances

Forces and Motion – What makes objects move the way they do? Click here to learn more.

8.1 - An object’s inertia causes it to continue moving the way it is moving unless it is acted upon by a force to change its motion.

¨      The motion of an object can be described by its position, direction of motion and speed.

¨      An unbalanced (net) force acting on an object changes its speed and/or direction of motion.

¨      Objects moving in circles must experience force acting toward the center.

 

C 22.   Calculate the average speed of a moving object and illustrate the motion of objects in graphs of distance over time.

C 23.   Describe the qualitative relationships among force, mass and changes in motion.

C 24.   Describe the forces acting on an object moving in a circular path.

Heredity and Evolution – What processes are responsible for life’s unity and diversity?

8.2 - Reproduction is a characteristic of living systems and it is essential for the continuation of every species.

¨      Heredity is the passage of genetic information from one generation to another.

¨      Some of the characteristics of an organism are inherited and some result from interactions with the environment.

 

C 25.   Explain the similarities and differences in cell division in somatic and germ cells.

C 26.   Describe the structure and function of the male and female human reproductive systems, including the process of egg and sperm production.

C 27.   Describe how genetic information is organized in genes on chromosomes, and explain sex determination in humans.

 

Earth in the Solar System – How does the position of Earth in the solar system affect conditions on our planet?

8.3 - The solar system is composed of planets and other objects that orbit the sun.

¨      Gravity is the force that governs the motions of objects in the solar system.

¨      The motion of the Earth and moon relative to the sun causes daily, monthly and yearly cycles on Earth.

C 28.   Explain the effect of gravity on the orbital movement of planets in the solar system.

C 29.   Explain how the regular motion and relative position of the sun, Earth and moon affect the seasons, phases of the moon and eclipses.

 

Science and Technology in Society – How do science and technology affect the quality of our lives?

8.4 - In the design of structures there is a need to consider factors such as function, materials, safety, cost and appearance.

¨      Bridges can be designed in different ways to withstand certain loads and potentially destructive forces.

C 30.   Explain how beam, truss and suspension bridges are designed to withstand the forces that act on them.