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Unit Practices and Concepts

Unit Practices and Concepts

Science and Engineering Practices and Crosscutting Concepts

Unit : Weather for Kindergarten

Grade Level: Kindergarten
Instructional Days: 20 days and ongoing throughout the year

Description
In this unit of study, students apply an understanding of the effects of the sun on the Earth's surface. Students develop an understanding of patterns and variations in local weather and the use of weather forecasting to prepare for and respond to severe weather.

Science and Engineering Practices
  • asking questions
  • analyzing and interpreting data
  • developing and using models
  • planning and carrying out investigations
  • designing solutions
  • obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information
Crosscutting Concepts
  • patterns
  • cause and effect
  • structure and function
  • interdependence and influence of engineering, technology and science on society and the natural world

Unit: Sending Messages with Sight and Sound - Gr. 1

Grade Level: 1st
Instructional Days: 32 days

Description
In this unit, young students behave as scientists as they plan and carry out investigations to provide evidence that vibrating materials make sound. Students realize the cause and effect relationship between light and our ability to see.

Through a series of activities, students conduct investigations, make observations, and communicate information on how light interacts with different materials. Students look for patterns in their data focusing on how we use sound and light to communicate non-verbally. The unit culminates in an engineering project in which students work collaboratively to design and build a device that solves the problem of communicating over a distance.

Science and Engineering Practices
  • asking questions
  • analyzing and interpreting data
  • developing and using models
  • planning and carrying out investigations
  • designing solutions
  • obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information

Crosscutting Concepts
  • patterns
  • cause and effect
  • influence of engineering, technology and science on society and the natural world 

Unit: Save the Bees - Gr. 2

Grade Level: 2nd
Instructional Days: 35 days

Description
This unit provides experiences to help students develop an understanding of the relationships within an ecosystem. Using Dr. Seuss’ famous environmental book, The Lorax, as a theme of the instruction, students investigate the real world environmental issue of the global loss of the bee population and how it is affecting our world. The lessons in the unit help students develop an understanding of the needs of plants and animals and how plants and animals depend on each other for survival. Students also compare the diversity of life in different habitats. As students become more knowledgeable about the issue of bee population decline, they are able to present the issue to others as a culminating activity of the unit. An engineering project involving the design of a hand pollinator allows students to devise a solution to the decline in bee pollination.

Science and Engineering Practices
  • analyzing and interpreting data
  • developing and using models
  • planning and carrying out investigations
  • constructing explanations and designing solutions
  • obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information
Crosscutting Concepts
  • patterns
  • structure and function
  • cause and effect
  • influence of science, engineering, technology and science on society and the natural world

Unit : Investigating Weather and Climate - Gr. 3

Grade Level: 3rd
Instructional Days: 25 days  

Description
In this unit of study, students collect, organize and use data from a school weather station. They access information to describe climates in different regions around the world. They use a mini- museum exhibit to describe typical climate conditions expected at a global location. Students collaboratively plan and conduct an investigation to help them determine the connections between weather and the water cycle. By applying their understanding of weather-related hazards, students are able to make a claim about the merit of a design solution that reduces the impacts of such hazards.

Science and Engineering Practices
  • planning and carrying out investigations
  • analyzing and interpreting data
  • engaging in argument from evidence
  • obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information
Crosscutting Concepts
  • patterns
  • cause and effect
  • influence of engineering, technology and science on society and the natural world

Unit: Riding the Waves of Information - Gr. 4

Grade Level: 4th
Instructional Days: 16 days  

Description
In this unit, students will understand that a sound wave, light wave or a wave in water all have similar characteristics. Students will describe patterns of waves in terms of amplitude and wavelength in addition to showing that waves can cause objects to move. Students will also understand that waves, which transfer energy, can travel over long distances. This energy can have coded information that can be converted or digitized into pictures (video) or sound (audio). Students will develop and use models, construct explanations and design a solution to transfer information using waves.

Science and Engineering Practices
  • asking questions
  • analyzing and interpreting data
  • developing and using models
  • planning and carrying out investigations
  • constructing explanations and designing solutions
  • obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information
Crosscutting Concepts
  • patterns
  • cause and effect
  • interdependence of science, engineering, technology and science on society and the natural world

Unit: Deer, Deer Everywhere! - Gr. 5

Grade Level: 5th
Instructional Days: 25 days   

Description
This unit provides students with opportunities to actively engage in doing science by experimenting with practices, ideas, and concepts related to ecosystems and explored through the focused lens of a relevant, real world environmental issue: deer overpopulation. Each lesson in this unit is designed to provide students with the background needed to develop a scientific response to this environmental issue. At the end of this unit, students will participate in a performance task to communicate their knowledge about the deer overpopulation issue, to include a scientifically sound solution.

Science and Engineering Practices
  • developing and using models
  • engaging in argument from evidence
  • constructing explanations and designing solutions
  • obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information
Crosscutting Concepts
  • systems and system models
  • energy and matter

Unit: Waves and Electromagnetic Radiation - MS

Grade Level: Middle School
Instructional Days:
25 days    

Description
Students create and revise their own models of how light travels, is reflected, absorbed and transmitted. Students contrast white light with the light from a laser pointer. Students learn about frequency , wavelength and the energy of a wave by contrasting the properties of light from a laser with those of the light from a flashlight or a light bulb. Students also integrate qualitative scientific and technical information to support the claim that digitized signals are a more reliable way to encode and transmit information than analog signals.

Science and Engineering Practices
  • developing and using models
  • using mathematics and computational thinking
  • obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information
Crosscutting Concepts
  • patterns
  • structure and function
  • influence of engineering, technology and science on society and the natural world
BOCES 4 Science is a collaborative science program service developed through a partnership among the BOCES in the Mid-Western New York State region. 
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