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Emerging Science Process Skills: Those skills which we expect students to be developmentally prepared to practice at this level.

INQUIRY (Questions, Hypotheses): Students formulate detailed questions, including cause and effect, that arise from a study. They note very specific detailed information and bring prior knowledge to observations. They make predictions and hypotheses based on their observations.

EXPERIMENTATION (Experimental Design, Data Collection & Analysis): Students design "fair"tests with a control and one or two variables. By the end of this level, students can apply the scientific method independently. Students use tools with increased accuracy as part of their scientific investigations. Students continue to gather, organize and display data that shows the process of their thinking.

EXPLANATION (Application, Explanation and Conclusions): Students use several sources to explain their thinking (eg. graphs, diagrams, models, tables). Students are able to make general statements about the validity of the results of their experimentation. After drawing a conclusion, they are able to ask further questions connecting to new investigations.


Recommended Scope and Sequence:



Space, Time, Matter

Forms of Energy

Matter: Physical and Chemical Change, States and Properties

The Living World



The Human Body

Nervous and Endocrine Systems

Reproductive System

Earth, Universe & Environment

Solar System and Cyclic Events

Geology (Rock Cycle, Plates etc.)


 Embedding Other Standards

Examples of how other standards could be utilized in units covered in this grade-level section

Embedding Vital Results Standards:(These are examples of how a teacher might include Vital Results / Cross Disciplinary Standards in units of study presented in this section.)


Problem Solving/ Product / Service 2.13: In the Energy unit, design a product - such as a solar oven - to meet an identified need.

Healthy Choices 3.5: Explain the relationship between positive health behaviors and and prevention of illness, drug abuse, etc.

Service 4.1: In the Geology unit, develop and implement a plan to identify and stop soil erosion in the community.


Embedding Other Science Standards: (These are examples of how a teacher might include Other science standards from the Vt Framework and WSESU Framework in units of study presented in this section.)


History of Science 7.4: Examine the contributions made by Mendel, Edison, Hubbel, Wegener etc.

Outputs and Impacts 7.18: In Solar System unit, demonstrate how people have created and used tools to observe and measure celestial bodies.

Theory 7.3: Explain the development of the Cell Theory in Cells unit.


Embedding Mathematics Standards: (These are examples of how a teacher might include mathematics standards from the Vt Framework and WSESU Framework in units of study presented in this section.)


Geometry and Measurement 7.7: Measure angles of light reflection in Energy unit.

Arithmetic, Number and Operation 7.6: Calculate the energy use (in Kilowatts) of various household appliances.

Statistics and Probability 7.9 Use a variety of sampling methods to investigate local ecosystems. Determine the probability of inheriting certain characteristics in the Genetics unit.



SPACE TIME & MATTER 7.12 Students understand forces and motion, the properties and composition of matter, and energy sources and transformations.

Concepts / Big ideas

Topics / Skills

Focusing Questions

Sample Activities / Resources


Energy has many forms (heat, light, electrical, mechanical, sound, nuclear, chemical) and is transferred in many ways.

The sun is a major source of energy for changes on the earth's surface.

Heat can be transmitted by conduction, convection or radiation

Forms of Energy (Grade 5)

ee. Identify and describe commons forms of energy (e.g., light, heat, sound, electricity, electromagnetic waves) and their attributes, sources, and transmission characteristics (e.g., radiation, convection, conduction of heat).

What is light?

What are some sources of light?

Where does glare come from? How can it be reduced?

How does light travel?

What are some different forms of energy?

How does the energy of the sun affect life on earth?

How is energy produced?


Examine light being refracted through a prism

›Build a telescope, kaleidoscope or pinhole camera

›Build a solar oven

Visit a power generation station.

›Hold an ice cube melt race

Research the life of Edison, ....

Forms of Energy resources


Substances have characteristic properties, such as density, a boiling point, and solubility, all of which are independent of the amount of the sample.

Substances react chemically in characteristic ways with other substances to form new substances with different properties.

Substances can be classified into groups that react in similar ways (eg. metals).

There are more than 100 known chemical elements.

Matter: Physical and Chemical Change, States and Properties (Grade 6)

aa. Observe and measure characteristic properties of matter (e.g., boiling point, melting point, density, buoyancy, simple chemical reactions), and use them to distinguish one substance from another.

bb. Provide examples of substances reacting chemically to form new substances with different characteristics, and describe and model the phenomenon with reference to elements and compounds.

What is density?

What is the density of various objects?

Why does combining vinegar and baking soda create a reaction?

What are some of those chemicals that you see on food ingredient labels?

What are some common elements?

Why do some substances contract when they freeze?

What happens in a pressure cooker?

Practice layering liquids of different density on top of one another.

Examine various chemical reactions (acid and aluminum, water and calcium chloride / snow melt, etc).

Classify common elements.

Record and graph temperature changes as ice is melted and brought to a boil.

›Invent a way to separate a sand, salt and water mixture.

Matter: Physical and Chemical Change, States and Properties resources




The Living World 7.13 Students understand the characteristics of organisms, see patterns of similarity and differences among living organisms, understand the role of evolution, and recognize the interdependence of all systems that support life.

Concepts / Big ideas

Topics / Skills

Focusing Questions

Sample Activities / Resources


Organisms develop relationships (such as predator-prey relationships) that lead to establishment of food chains and webs within communities.

Organisms adapt to their environment and change over time.

Organisms are important components of the Oxygen-carbon dioxide cycle.

Different ecosystems exist in different regions of earth (forest, ocean, desert, wetland, rainforest, etc.)

Ecosystems (Grade 5)

cc. Describe, model, and explain the principles of the interdependence of all systems that support life (e.g., food chains, webs, life cycles, energy levels, populations, oxygen-carbon dioxide cycles), and apply them to local, regional, and global systems.

Why are there so few top predators and so many producers and primary consumers?

How does loss of one member of a food chain affect other parts of the food chain?

What are some examples of organism's adaptations?

How do organisms contribute to the Oxygen / Carbon Dioxide cycle?

What are the characteristics of different ecosystems?

Why do different ecosystems exist?


Examine the components of a local community.

Create a model of a food web.

Examine local organisms for interesting adaptations.

›Build a terrarium.

Grow plants in different levels of nutrients to demonstrate factors that limit growth.

Ecosystems resources


Living things are made of cells.

Cells are made up of organelles such as the nucleus and chloroplasts.

Groups of cells come together to perform certain functions.

Organisms are made up of organs and organ systems that function in particular ways that help them survive.

Cells (Grade 6)

aa. Identify, model, and explain the structure and function (e.g., cells, tissues, organs, systems) of organisms (e.g. plants, animals, microbes), both as individual entities and as components of larger systems.

What do cells look like?

How many different kinds of cells are there?

What is inside cells?

What do cells do in different organs?

What cell parts do all organisms have in common?

...plants? ...fungi? ... protists?

Examine different cells (onion skin, Elodea, cheek) under the microscope.

Examine preserved animal organs.

›Build a model of a cell.

Collect pond water and observe micro-organisms.

Experiment with yeast growth in water vs. sugar water.

Cells resources




The Human Body 7.14 Students demonstrate understanding of the human body heredity, body systems, and individual development and understand the impact of the environment on the human body.


Concepts / Big ideas

Topics / Skills

Focusing Questions

Sample Activities / Resources


Human bodies are composed of interdependent organs and organ systems, each of which has a specific function.

The nervous system serves as the control center for body functions and is the seat of thought and learning.

The endocrine system serves a regulator of human body functions through hormones.

Many drugs (including illegal drugs) have a primary effect on the nervous system.

Nervous and Endocrine Systems (Grade 5)

bb. Demonstrate an understanding of the human body systems for obtaining and providing energy, defense, reproduction, hormones, immunity, and coordination of physical functions.

What effects do drugs have on human body systems?

How do hormones affect human body systems?

How quickly do messages travel in the nervous system?


Test reaction times by dropping a meter stick positioned between the thumb and forefinger of the person being tested.

Map the sweet, salty, bitter and sour regions of the tongue.

Map the sense receptors on the back of the hand.

Nervous and Endocrine Systems resources


Human bodies are composed of interdependent organs and organ systems, each of which has a specific function.

The reproductive system becomes fully functional in humans through a process of maturation to puberty.

Males and females have specialized reproductive systems.

Reproductive System (Grade 6)

bb. Demonstrate an understanding of the human body systems for obtaining and providing energy, defense, reproduction, hormones, immunity, and coordination of physical functions.

What is normal in terms of adolescent development?

How do humans mature into adulthood?

How are male and female reproductive systems similar? ...different?

Create diagrams, overlays and models of internal and external human reproductive anatomy.

Reproductive System resources



The Universe, Earth and the Environment 7.15 Students demonstrate understanding of the earth and its environment, the solar system, and the universe in terms of the systems that characterize them, the forces that affect and shape them over time, and the theories that currently explain their evolution.

Concepts / Big ideas

Topics / Skills

Focusing Questions

Sample Activities / Resources


Earth is part of the solar system.

Objects in the solar system move in regular and predictable ways.

Gravity is the force that keeps planets in orbit around the sun.

Cyclic events on earth (day, year, season, tides) are a result of the motion of the sun, earth, moon system

Solar System and Cyclic Events (Grade 5)

dd. Identify, record, model, and explain the relationship of our solar system to the universe (day, year, season; sun, stars, galaxies; gravity, energy, orbits; planet characteristics).

Why do satellites have to orbit earth, why can't they just stay in one place?

How are the nine planets and their moons different from each other?

How did the solar system originate?


Plot the position and shape of the visible portion of the moon at the same time each night over a two week period.

Use the tide tables to investigate the relationship between the relative position of the sun, moon and earth and the tides.

Develop a planetary database.

Make a travel brochure for each of the planets.

Solar System and Cyclic Events resources


Earth is made of layers.

Earth's surface is covered by 'plates' that move and change the surface.

Soil consists of weathered rock and decomposed organic material.

Water circulates through earth and atmosphere in a closed system.

Earth is quite old and has been affected by the same processes that we see at work today.

Geology (Grade 6)

aa. Identify, record, and model evidence of change over time (e.g., earth's history: biological, geological).

bb. Identify evidence of, model, and explain the patterns and forces that shape the earth (e.g., atmospheric, geological).

cc. Identify, record, model, and explain the interrelated parts and connections between earth systems (e.g., crustal plates and land forms; atmosphere, water cycle, weather, and oceans).

How do rocks form?

Why do tectonic plates move around?

Why don't we have more earthquakes in New England?

How old are the Green Mountains?

What fossils can we find locally?

Did dinosaurs ever live in this area?

›Make a seismograph.

Access earthquake data on the Internet. Map the location of plate boundaries.

Make a clay-mation video of crustal plate movement.

›Design a solution to an authentic local erosion problem

Develop a rocks database.

Geology resources



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53 Green Street, Brattleboro, VT. 05301

Updated: March 9, 2011