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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 are able to make predictions and develop multiple hypotheses based on their own observations.

EXPERIMENTATION (Experimental Design, Data Collection & Analysis): Students are increasingly able to conduct their own investigations. They can identify and control variables, choose appropriate tools and methods and conduct investigations of increasing duration.

EXPLANATION (Application, Explanation and Conclusions): Students can identify trends in experimental data and represent them in a variety of graphical formats. They can recognize the relationship between explanation and evidence. They are able to identify sources of error in 'fair-test' experimental results. Students at this level rely on formal knowledge, techniques and conventions as they write formal reports and use quantitative data.


Recommended Scope and Sequence:



Space, Time, Matter

Laws of Motion and Common Forms of Energy

Electricity and Magnetism, Gas Laws

The Living World

Five Kingdoms

Ecology and Evolution

The Human Body

Human Inheritance

Nature vs. Nurture

Earth, Universe & Environment

Global Weather Systems, Natural Resources and Conservation

The Universe

 Embedding Other Standards

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


Communication of Data 1.20: Use graphs and charts to present data gathered during investigation of objects in motion in Laws of Motion unit.

Writing Reports 1.8: Organize information so that a reader can easily understand in report on the Five Kingdoms of Living Things.

Continuity and Change 4.5: Compare and Contrast change in human and in evolutionary time scales in Evolution unit.


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


Scientific Method 7.1: Conduct a controlled experiment to determine the best heat insulator during the unit on Energy.

Investigation 7.2: In the unit on the Laws of Motion, design and conduct a controlled experiment on the effect of fin shape on how high a model rocket goes.

Theory 7.4: Explain how the theory of evolution by natural selection was developed.

Natural Resources 7.16: Identify the steps followed in extracting a natural resource.


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.)


Arithmetic, Number and Operation 7.6: Determine rates of acceleration in Motion unit. Use exponents to describe cosmic distances in the Universe unit.

Function and Algebra 7.8: Make use of formulas for Force (F=M*A) and Work (W=F*D) in Motion unit. Model 'epidemic growth' pattern using exponents in Nature/Nurture unit.

Mathematical Problem Solving and Reasoning 7.10: Calculate the amount of energy in a hamburger in Energy 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


Laws govern the behavior of masses when net forces are applied.

Laws of Motion (Grade 7)

dd. Observe and demonstrate a qualitative understanding of the relationship between mass, the magnitude of an applied net force, and the resulting change in speed and direction.

How do rockets work?

Why do we need seatbelts?

Perform experiments using model rockets

›Build a device that will keep an egg from breaking when dropped from a height.

Graph the position, direction of motion, and speed of an object over time.

Recapitulate Gallileo's rolling ball experiments.

Experiment with pendulums.

Laws of Motion resources


Energy exists in a variety of forms.

Energy is neither lost nor gained but can change form.

Forms of Energy (Grade 7)

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).

Where does energy eventually go?

How much energy do I use up while running to school?

How much energy does the sun put out?

Will we ever run out of energy?


Calculate the amount of energy in a hamburger.

›Design a 'Rube Goldberg' machine that shows at least 10 energy transformations.

Conduct a contest to find the best insulator, conductor.

Forms of Energy resources


There is a relationship between electricity and magnetism.

Electricity and Magnetism (Grade 8)

ff. Investigate the relationship between electricity and magnetism (e.g., in electric motors).

How does a battery work?

Why do magnets attract?

How does a motor work?

›Build an electric motor, a wet cell battery, an electrostat.

Investigate the operation of a Van der Graff generator.

Electricity and Magnetism resources


The number of molecules of a gas per unit of volume determines its pressure. As the amount of a gas increases or the volume decreases, the pressure increases.

Gas Laws (Grade 8)

cc. Explain the relationships between pressure, volume, and the amount of gas (e.g., soda bottles, auto tires).

Why does soda lose its fizz?

Why do spray cans get cold when they are used?

Investigate how a refrigerator works.

Experiment with soda bottle 'water' rockets.

Gas Laws 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


There are five kingdoms of living things: Monera, Protista, Fungi, Plants and Animals.

Living things show tremendous diversity in appearance and behavior.

The Five Kingdoms (anatomy and classification) (Grade 7)

bb. Identify and use anatomical structures to classify organisms (e.g., plants, animals, fungi).

How are members of each of the five kingdoms similar to others in their kingdom? different?

When did the different kingdoms evolve?

How is each kingdom distinct?

Construct your own classification system for living things.

Create a field guide for each of the five kingdoms.

Examine and draw members of each kingdom.

Create a key to the five kingdoms.

Experiment (humanely) with the behavior of a variety of animals - crickets, snails, mealworms, sow bugs, etc.).

The Five Kingdoms resources


Biological diversity is a result of evolution by natural selection.

Living things form webs of interrelationships. Within these webs, different organisms serve different roles.

Energy moves through ecosystems.

The number of organisms an ecosystem can support depends on available resources and abiotic factors.

Ecology and Evolution (Grade 8)

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.

dd. Describe evolution in terms of diversity and adaptation, variation, extinction, and natural selection.

How did living things evolve?

Why do some species become extinct?

How did humans evolve?

What are some different ecosystems?

How do humans affect other organisms?

Model adaptive coloration by collecting colored paper dots using tweezers.Vary the background color and compare amounts of a single color collected on different backgrounds.

Ecology and Evolution resources





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


Concepts / Big ideas

Topics / Skills

Focusing Questions

Sample Activities / Resources


Reproduction is a characteristic of all living systems.

Hereditary information is contained on genes, located on the chromosomes of each cell

Human reproduction is governed by cellular processes involving genes and chromosomes.

There are characteristic stages in human growth and development.

Organisms have certain traits which are passed on to their offspring through reproduction.

Traits are associated with genes on chromosomes.

Human Inheritance (Grade 7)

aa. Explain and model how information passed from parents to offspring is coded in DNA molecules (e.g., gene mutations, gene combinations).

bb. Demonstrate an understanding that human beings have complex biochemical systems that enable them to function and reproduce (e.g., immunity).

dd. Identify, explain, and analyze the pattern of human development.

What is puberty?

Why am I like others in my family in some ways and not in other ways?

When will I reach my full growth?

Model the transfer of a sexually transmitted infection.

Use coin tossing to model inheritance patterns.

Analyze families for simple inherited traits (eye color, hair color, tongue rolling, earlobe attachment).

Experiment with breeding fruit flies, corn or Wisconsin Fast Plants.

Human Inheritance resources


How I am is in part determined by my genetic make-up and in part determined by my environment.

Human health is affected by both genetic and environmental factors.

Nature vs. Nurture (Grade 8)

cc. Provide examples of how the health of human beings is affected by their genetic makeup and environmental factors (e.g., exposure to microbes, pollution).

Why do I get sick?

How can I stay healthy?

How do genetic risk factors get determined?

What environmental factors affect my health?


Examine X-rays of healthy and diseased lungs.

Investigate the fat content of various foods.

Analyze product ingredient lists.

Use a model to examine the flow of contaminants into a watershed.

Nature vs. Nurture 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


The atmosphere is a mixture of gasses.

Global patterns of atmospheric movement influence local weather.

Oceans have a major effect on climate.

Global Weather Systems (Grade 7)

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 can we predict the weather?

How do hurricanes form?

What is El Nino?

Monitor global weather using Internet video-cams.

›Make a thermometer, anemometer, or barometer.

Use weather maps to predict the weather.

Demonstrate crushing a soda can with air pressure.

Global Weather resources


Humans use earth's resources in various ways some of which can be detrimental to ourselves and to other occupants of the planet.

Many of earth's resources are limited.

Natural Resources and Conservation

(Grade 7)

ee. Analyze and explain natural resource management and demonstrate an understanding of the ecological interactions and interdependence between humans and their resource demands on environmental systems (e.g., waste disposal, energy resources, recycling, pollution reduction).

Where does oil come from?

How do we obtain and refine metals?

Analyze one day's activity with respect to natural resources used.

Visit a landfill, wastewater treatment plant, forestry site, mine or sand pit.

Draw or model a house site using municipal guidelines.

Natural Resources and Conservation resources


Space is truly huge.

It contains many objects including our solar system.

Earth and all objects in space are systems that change over time.

Change in these objects is often predictable (length of day, year, seasons, moon cycles).

The Universe (Grade 8)

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).

ff.Explain how modern views of the universe emerged (e.g., scientific theories, improved instrumentation).

Where did the universe, the galaxy, the solar system, the moon earth come from?

How big is space?

What else might be out there?

What are black holes, quasars, neutron stars, etc.?

What are constellations? Why do they 'move' in the sky?

Observe the night sky.

Make 3-D models of constellations.

Input spectral data on different stars into a spreadsheet to recreate a Hertsprung-Russel diagram.

The Universe resources


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© 2001 Windham Southeast Supervisory Union
53 Green Street, Brattleboro, VT. 05301

Updated: March 9, 2011