In third grade, students will learn that scientists record patterns of the weather across different times and areas so that they can make predictions about what kind of weather might happen next. Students will analyze data to determine how the motion of an object is changed by an applied force or the mass of an object. Starting with computer-free activities and progressing to programming in a blocks-based language on a tablet, students learn how to think computationally about a problem. Students make observations of plants and animals to compare the diversity of life in different habitats.
Grade Level(s): Third Grade
- How do we learn about the world around us?
- How do we design solutions to problems?
- How can I learn about something I wonder about or solve a problem that is important/interesting to me?
- What is engineering?
- How do people design solutions to problems?
- How can patterns be used to classify and explain events in nature?
- How do forces cause motion?
- How can understanding cause/effect relationships be used to design solutions to problems?
- What patterns exist over generations of living organisms?
- How do variations of inherited traits affect an organism's survival?
- How does change move its way through a system?
- What is the relationship between short-term conditions and long-term patterns?
Enduring Understandings/Big Ideas
- Learning about the world and solving problems begins with wonder, observations and questions.
- Science is both a body of knowledge that can be learned and a process of discovery of the natural world.
- Engineering is the process of identifying problems and using scientific knowledge to design solutions.
- Learning about and engaging in the practice of science and engineering requires curiosity, hard work, and persistence.
- People’s needs and wants change over time, as do their demands for new and improved technologies.
- Engineers improve existing technologies or develop new ones to increase their benefits, decrease known risks, and meet societal demands.
- Patterns of change can be used to make predictions.
- Cause and effect relationships are routinely identified, tested, and used to explain change.
- Similarities and differences in patterns can be used to sort and classify natural phenomena.
- Observable phenomena exist from very short to very long time periods.
- A system can be described in terms of its components and their interactions.
Course-Level Scope & Sequence (Units &/or Skills)
Unit 1: Weather and Climate
In this unit, students will learn that scientists record patterns of the weather across different times and areas so that they can make predictions about what kind of weather might happen next. They will understand that climate describes the range of an area's typical weather conditions and the extent to which those conditions vary over years. They will study how a variety of natural hazards result from natural processes. They will examine how, although humans cannot eliminate natural hazards, they can take steps to reduce their impact. Students will:
- Extend K-2 learning about weather and climate to locations around the world, using websites, webcams, and connections with third grade classes in other locations.
- Find and use patterns in temperature data, weather conditions/climate data, and patterns of change can be used to make predictions.
- Represent data in tables and various graphical displays (bar graphs and pictographs) to reveal patterns that indicate relationships.
- Obtain and combine information to describe climates in different regions of the world.
- Follow an engineering/design process to generate a solution that reduces the impact of a weather-related hazard.
- Make a claim about the merit of a design solution that reduces the impact of a weather-related hazard.
Unit 2: Forces and Interactions
Students will analyze data to determine how the motion of an object is changed by an applied force or the mass of an object. They will make observations and/or measurements of an object’s motion to provide evidence that a pattern can be used to predict future motion. They will plan and conduct an investigation to provide evidence of the effects of balanced and unbalanced forces on the motion of an object. Students will plan and conduct investigations to determine the cause and effect relationship of electric or magnetic interactions between two objects not in contact with each other. Students will:
- Ask questions that can be investigated based on patterns such as cause and effect relationships.
- Define a simple problem that can be solved through the development of a new or improved object or tool.
- Explore the cause and effect relationship between forces and motion.
- Apply their understanding of the cause/effect relationship between forces and motion to solve a problem.
- Plan and conduct an investigation collaboratively to produce data to serve as the basis for evidence, using fair tests in which
variables are controlled and the number of trials considered.
- Make observations and/or measurements to produce data to serve as the basis for evidence for an explanation of a phenomenon or test a design solution.
Unit 3: Programming Patterns
This module introduces students to the power of modularity and abstraction. Starting with computer-free activities and progressing to programming in a blocks-based language on a tablet, students learn how to think computationally about a problem. Students will create a tablet game using modular functions and branching logic.
Unit 4: Plants and Animals - Life Cycles, Variation, and Ecosystems
In this unit, students make observations of plants and animals to compare the diversity of life in different habitats. They will construct an argument with evidence that in a particular ecosystem some organisms, based on structural adaptations or behaviors, can survive well, some survive less well, and some cannot survive at all. Students will construct scientific arguments to support claims that some characteristics of organisms are inherited from parents and some are influenced by the environment. They will use evidence to construct an explanation of how the variations in characteristics among individuals of the same species may provide advantages in surviving and finding mates. Students will make a claim about the merit of a solution to a problem caused when the environment changes and the types of plants and animals that live there may change. Students will:
- Investigate patterns in the life cycles of various organisms.
- Explore concepts of inheritance, variation, and survival as they study the similarities and differences between parents and offspring.
- Develop models to describe how organisms have unique and diverse life cycles but all have in common birth, growth, reproduction, and death.
- Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence that plants and animals have traits inherited from their parents and that variations in these traits exist in a group of similar organisms.
- Use evidence to support the explanation that traits can be influenced by the environment.
- Use evidence to construct an explanation of how the variations in characteristics among individuals of the same species may provide
advantages in surviving, finding mates, and reproducing.
- Explore the relationship between an organism's survival and the characteristics of its habitat, including the impact that changes in its environment have on an organism's ability to survive.
- Construct an argument that some animals form groups that help members survive.
- Analyze and interpret data from fossils to provide evidence of the organisms and the environments in which they lived long ago.
- Construct an argument, with evidence, to explain why some organisms may survive well in a particular habit while others may survive less well, and some could not survive at all.
Date Last Revised/Approved: 2015