Curriculum and Instruction

Science Learning Standard
Physical Setting

Standard 4:

Students will understand and apply scientific concepts, principles, and theories pertaining to the physical setting and living environment and recognize the historical development of ideas in science.

Key Ideas & Performance Indicators:

Key Idea 1: The Earth and celestial phenomena can be described by principles of relative motion and perspective.

  • Elementary --
    • describe patterns of daily, monthly, and seasonal changes in their environment
  • Intermediate --
    • explain daily, monthly, and seasonal changes on earth
  • Commencement --
    • explain complex phenomena, such as tides, variations in day length, solar insolation, apparent motion of the planets, and annual traverse of the constellations
    • describe current theories about the origin of the universe and solar system

Key Idea 2: Many of the phenomena that we observe on Earth involve interactions among components of air, water, and land.

  • Elementary --
    • describe the relationships among air, water, and land on Earth
  • Intermediate --
    • explain how the atmosphere (air), hydrosphere (water), and lithosphere (land) interact, evolve, and change
    • describe volcano and earthquake patterns, the rock cycle, and weather and climate changes
  • Commencement --
    • use the concepts of density and heat energy to explain observations of weather patterns, seasonal changes, and the movements of the Earth’s plates
    • explain how incoming solar radiations, ocean currents, and land masses affect weather and climate

Key Idea 3: Matter is made up of particles whose properties determine the observable characteristics of matter and its reactivity.

  • Elementary --
    • observe and describe properties of materials using appropriate tools
    • describe chemical and physical changes, including changes in states of matter
  • Intermediate --
    • observe and describe properties of materials, such as density, conductivity, and solubility
    • distinguish between chemical and physical changes
    • develop their own mental models to explain common chemical reactions and changes in states of matter
  • Commencement --
    • explain the properties of materials in terms of the arrangement and properties of the atoms that compose them
    • use atomic and molecular models to explain common chemical reactions
    • apply the principle of conservation of mass to chemical reactions
    • use kinetic molecular theory to explain rates of reactions and the relationships among temperature, pressure, and volume of a substance

Key Idea 4: Energy exists in many forms, and when these forms change energy is conserved.

  • Elementary --
    • describe a variety of forms of energy (e.g., heat, chemical, light) and the changes that occur in objects when they interact with those forms of energy
    • observe the way one form of energy can be transformed into another form of energy present in common situations (e.g., mechanical to heat energy, mechanical to electrical energy, chemical to heat energy)
  • Intermediate --
    • describe the sources and identify the transformations of energy observed in everyday life
    • observe and describe heating and cooling events
    • observe and describe energy changes as related to chemical reactions
    • observe and describe the properties of sound, light, magnetism, and electricity
    • describe situations that support the principle of conservation of energy
  • Commencement --
    • observe and describe transmission of various forms of energy
    • explain heat in terms of kinetic molecular theory
    • explain variations in wavelength and frequency in terms of the source of the vibrations that produce them, e.g., molecules, electrons, and nuclear particles
    • explain the uses and hazards of radioactivity

Key Idea 5: Energy and matter interact through forces that result in changes in motion.

  • Elementary --
    • describe the effects of common forces (pushes and pulls) on objects, such as those caused by gravity, magnetism, and mechanical forces
    • describe how forces can operate across distances
  • Intermediate --
    • describe different patterns of motion of objects
    • observe, describe, and compare effects of forces (gravity, electric current, and magnetism) on the motion of objects
  • Commencement --
    • explain and predict different patterns of motion of objects (e.g., linear and angular motion, velocity and acceleration, momentum and inertia)
    • explain chemical bonding in terms of the motion of electrons
    • compare energy relationships within an atom’s nucleus to those outside the nucleus
Last Updated: May 8, 2009