Home Link Sitemap Link FAQ Link Contact Us Link

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

INQUIRY (Questions, Hypotheses): Students ask questions in a way that leads to a testable hypothesis.

EXPERIMENTATION (Experimental Design, Data Collection & Analysis): Students are able to design increasingly complex experiments. They are able to choose sophisticated tools for investigation and apply scientific knowledge and processes to real world situations. At this level, students still struggle with accepting data that go against prior assumptions.

EXPLANATION (Application, Explanation and Conclusions): Students are able to manipulate data to show trends and provide explanations. They are able to use statistics and probability and modeling in explaining results. They are able to find anomalous data, analyze accuracy of data and sample size, and improve experimental design. They are able to communicate the results of their own investigations in the light of broader scientific theories. Students understand the limits of scientific methods in terms of making broad conclusions. Students write formal reports using established conventions. Finally, students are able to integrate scientific knowledge with other fields of knowledge.


Recommended Scope and Sequence:

Space, Time, Matter

Structure of Matter

Energy and Entropy

Motion and Forces

Energy and Matter

The Living World

The Cell




The Human Body



Human Health and Disease

Human Development

Earth, Universe & Environment

Shaping Earth

Energy and Earth Systems

Astronomy and Space

Environmental Studies


 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.)

Research 1.18: Use computers, telecommunications and other tools of technology to research and represent information.

Planning/ Organization 2.14: Have students plan research and write a mini-text on different aspects of human health, physiology and development in Human Body units.

Decisions 3.7: Describe and explain their decisions (re: personal health choices) based on logical argument.


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: Critically evaluate the validity of interpretations of experimental results.

Investigation 7.2: Have students plan and carry out their own fieldwork in Ecology unit.

Systems Analysis 7.11: Demonstrate understanding that analysis of systems (ecosystems, for example) is important to defining and controlling inputs and outputs.


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.)

Geometric and Measurement Concepts 7.7: Understand and use SI measurement system in laboratories examining energy transfers.

Function and Algebra Concepts 7.8: Use graphing calculators to quantitatively describe the motion of a ball rolling down a ramp in the Motion unit.

Statistics and Probability 7.9: Compute population statistics for samples taken during the Ecology 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

Matter is composed of minute particles called atoms, and atoms are composed of even smaller components.

Forces at work at the atomic and subatomic levels determine how the atom behaves.

Bonds between atoms are created when electrons are transferred or shared.

Physical properties of compounds are determined by the interactions of component molecules.

Chemical reactions may release or consume energy and often involve the transfer of either electrons (oxidation/reduction) or hydrogen ions (acid - base reactions).

Catalysts can accelerate chemical processes.

Mass is conserved in chemical reactions.

Structure, Properties and Reactions of Matter

aaa.Observe and measure characteristic properties of, and chemical reactions between, one substance and another to distinguish between them; explain the structure of matter using the periodic properties of elements.

bbb. Demonstrate an understanding of the atomic structure of matter in relationship to the periodic table, bonding, elements and compounds. demonstrate an understanding of the conservation of matter; understand how radioactive elements decay (e.g., half life, alpha and beta emissions).

ccc.Quantitatively apply ideal gas laws; understand the concept of gas density.

How do we know that matter is made of atoms?

How are atoms put together?

What is the nature of light?

Why do certain chemicals interact in dramatic ways and others do not?

Why do some acids burn?

How does the flame of a candle differ from that of a Bunsen burner?

How was Iron purified in early civilizations?

Compare the flame color, temperature, amount of soot, oxygen used, etc. between a candle and Bunsen burner flame.

Perform a laboratory separation of Iron from iron oxide.

Create different models of atomic and subatomic structure.

Perform a play demonstrating the properties of different families in the periodic table.

Diagram the arrangement of electrons in different atoms.

Practice balancing equations.

Use manometers to measure pressure changes.

Make a battery.

Build molecular models.

Split water using electrolysis.

Determine the density of salt vs. fresh water.

The total energy in the universe is constant, but energy can be transferred.

All energy is either kinetic, potential or contained by a field.

Things tend to become less orderly over time.

Waves have energy and can transfer energy when they interact with matter.

Energy and Entropy

eee. Provide examples of transformations of energy from one form to another; provide examples of conservation of energy; and understand that light and some particles have wave and particle properties.

How can one quantify the transfer of energy?

What are some examples of potential, kinetic and field energy?

What are the different kinds of electromagnetic waves?

Investigate energy transfer quantitatively to confirm the principle of conservation.

Determine the amount of heat lost when the school's front door is opened.

›Determine if solar panels on the roof of the school building could provide sufficient power for a computer lab.

Laws of motion determine the effects of forces on the motion of objects.

Motion and Forces

ddd. Use Newton's laws to explain quantitatively the effects of applied forces; observe, explain, and model object motion in a plane; qualitatively investigate conservation of momentum as it relates to collisions, and investigate the mechanics of rolling motion.

What is free fall?

How can we measure acceleration?

What are vectors?

How do amusement park rides work?

Explain how a simple toy works.

Explore the ballistics of a desktop catapult.

Quantitatively describe the acceleration of a ball rolling down a ramp.

Describe safe driving practices in terms of the laws of motion.

There are fundamental forces, such as gravitation and the electromagnetic force, that operate on objects in the world.

Each kind of atom or molecule can gain or lose energy only in particular discrete amounts and thus can absorb and emit light only at wavelengths corresponding to these amounts.

Interactions of Energy and Matter

fff. Understand that alternating magnetic fields generate electric fields, and vice versa (e.g. generators); discuss electromagnetic waves (e.g. radio waves, x-rays).


What is centripetal force?

What is gravity?

How do radios work?

Why do stars have certain spectra?

How does sound propagate?

How are electric fields generated?

›Design complex circuits (series and parallel).

›Make a toy demonstrating centripetal force.

›Create a communication device using both sound and electromagnetic waves.

Describe in detail how a hydroelectric dam works.

›Make an electromagnet.



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

Cells have structures that relate to their functions.

Most cell functions involve chemical reactions.

Cell functions are internally regulated.

Plant and animal cells have different characteristics that relate to functions.

Cells have organelles with different functions.

Cells have membranes that are semi-permeable.

Cells aggregate into higher systems (tissues, organs, etc.).

Cell division occurs through the process of mitosis.

Organisms exhibit homeostasis.

There are certain important biomolecules, such as DNA, that play critical roles in the metabolism and reproduction of organisms.

Formation of reproductive cells occurs through the process of meiosis.

Organisms undergo cellular processes - photosynthesis, respiration - to obtain energy.

The Cell

aaa.Demonstrate understanding of the uniqueness of the cell in different organisms (plants, animals, microorganisms) and the structures and functions of the cell (e.g., chemical reactions, diffusion of materials, direction by DNA of the synthesis of proteins, regulation, differentiation).

How does a cell work?

How do organisms get their energy?

What is DNA and why is it important?

What is the function of the nucleus? ...mitochondrion? ...ribosome?

How does diffusion work? ...osmosis? ...active transport?

How do plants get their energy through Photosynthesis?

How do cells reproduce?

Demonstrate osmosis using dialysis tubing.

Collect, observe and describe unicellular organisms

Make ginger ale and sauerkraut to demonstrate fermentation.

Extract chlorophyll and determine its absorption properties.

Use pipe cleaners to demonstrate mitosis and meiosis.

Make a model of a cell.

Organisms can be classified according to evolutionary relationships.

There is a system of classification and nomenclature that includes Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus and Species.



bbb.Demonstrate understanding of how biological organisms are classified into a hierarchy of groups and subgroups based upon similarities that reflect their evolutionary relationships (e.g., plants, animals, microorganisms.

Why do we need scientific nomenclature?

What are the distinguishing characteristics of each of the five kingdoms?

Examine representatives of each of the five kingdoms.

Go on a walk covering different habitats - identify members of each of the five kingdoms to phylum.

Create different classification schemes for a set of objects.

Organisms aggregate into populations that are part of communities that are, in turn, part of larger ecosystems.

Cooperation and competition between organisms occurs within these ecosystems.

Energy and materials flow through ecosystems in recognizable patterns.

Organisms have unique life cycles.


ccc. Describe, model, and explain the principles of the interdependence of all systems that support life (e.g., flow of energy, ecosystems, life cycles, cooperation and competition, human population impacts on the world ecological system), and apply them to local, regional, and global systems

What is the Greenhouse Effect?

How do nutrients cycle through ecosystems?

Create a mini-greenhouse in a bottle.

Collect, prepare and identify specimens from 25 local tree species.

Determine the dominant species in a local forest plot.

Collect land cover data from various local habitats.

Write a paper discussing the pros and cons of hunting deer.

Identify animal tracks.

Determine the effect of pH on seed germination.

Organisms evolve through the process of natural selection acting upon inherited traits.

The genetics of populations plays a critical role in evolutionary processes.

Evidence for evolution by natural selection can be found in the fossil record representing a vast geological time scale.

Extinction is a part of the evolutionary process.

Organisms can co-evolve.


ddd. Explain and justify how natural selection and its evolutionary consequences provide a scientific explanation for the fossil record of ancient life forms.

Where do events in the evolution of living things occur on the geological time scale?

What evidence do we have for evolution?

What theories of the origin of life are testable? ... non-testable?

What are some common patterns of evolution?

Make a model showing the geologic time scale.

Examine fossils.

Write a creative short story describing the evolution of an organism.


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

DNA contains a code based on the order of base pairs.

Human proteins are synthesized in a process regulated by RNA and DNA. In general, one gene codes for the synthesis of one polypeptide.

Proteins control the biochemical reactions of the cell.

Human health can be affected by both hereditary and environmental factors.


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


What is the structure of DNA?

How does DNA and RNA code for the production of proteins?

What is DNA fingerprinting?

How does DNA replicate?

Using different materials, demonstrate the structure of DNA and the process of protein synthesis.

Solve one- and two-factor genetic cross problems.

Make a pedigree chart.

Human beings have complex biochemical systems that enable them to function and reproduce.

Humans need a balance of nutrients (lipids, carbohydrates, proteins etc.) to maintain good health.


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

How is human growth regulated?

How does the circulatory system operate and regulate itself?

What nutrients are necessary for good health? Why are they necessary?

Dissect a sheep's heart.

Determine individual blood types.

Examine changes in blood pressure under different conditions (rest, exercise, stress...)

Measure lung capacity.

Determine the caloric content of different foods.

Human health is affected by a variety of influences.

Some changes in DNA (mutations) can have drastic effects on human health.

Humans are increasingly modifying ecosystems as a result of population growth.

Human pollution and destruction of habitats is beginning to have a direct effect on human health.

Individual lifestyle choices directly affect health.

Human Health and Disease

ccc. Analyze and describe how the health of human beings is affected by diseases passed through DNA, environmental factors, and activities that deliberately or inadvertently alter the equilibrium in ecosystems.

What hereditary diseases am I at risk for?

How does my lifestyle affect my chances for getting certain diseases?

How does pollution affect my health?

.Practice stress reduction techniques.

Perform blood tests for inherited traits.

Take political action related to an environmental health risk.


Human development has identifiable stages.

Human development is regulated by cellular processes.

Differentiation of cells is regulated through the expression of different genes.

Human cells contain two copies of each of 22 different chromosomes as well as an X and Y chromosome.

Human Development

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

How do birth defects arise?

How do genes control development?

How can one test for birth defects?

Does development continue in adults?

Examine models of embryonic development

Test for inherited characteristics (PTC tasting, tongue rolling and relate to inheritance of deleterious genes.

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 has changed over time and continues to change.

Fossils represent evidence for change in earth over time.

Interactions among the solid earth, the oceans, the atmosphere and organisms have resulted in the ongoing evolution of earth systems.

Earth systems have internal and external sources of energy, both of which create heat.

Movement of crustal plates has a major effect on earth's surface features.

Shaping Earth

aaa. Identify, record, model, and explain evidence of change over time (e.g., origin and evolution of the earth's biological, ecological, geological systems).

bbb. Identify evidence of, model, and explain the patterns and forces that shape the earth (e.g., geological and meteorological processes).


How did earth come into being?

What was primordial earth like?

What factors are at work changing earth now?

What caused the geological features seen locally? ... in other places?

Keep a fossil collection.

Make a model showing heat flow within earth's layers.

Model the geological time scale.

Use stream tables to model erosion.

Identify local glacial features and deposits.

Plot the occurrence of recent earthquakes to determine the boundaries of crustal plates.

Make a model of a subduction zone.

Geochemical cycles exist in earth wherein stable atoms and elements move among reservoirs in the solid earth, oceans, atmosphere and organisms (eg. the carbon cycle, rock cycle).

Movement in these geochemical cycles is driven by earth's internal and external energy sources.

Earth's atmosphere has characteristic properties.

Energy and Earth Systems

ccc. Identify, model, explain, and analyze the interrelated parts and connections between earth systems (e.g., sun, radioactive decay, weather and climate).

Why is there now a net gain in Carbon Dioxide in our atmosphere?

How do the rock, water, carbon and nitrogen cycles interact?

Where are there major reservoirs of resources?

Observe many rock samples; simulate the rock cycle with crayons or clay.

Observe the effect of solar energy on samples of atmospheric gasses.

Simulate the hydrologic cycle in a closed container.

Use field data (eg. from petroleum exploration) to plot world reserves.

Use soda bottles and thermometer strips to investigate relationships between temperature and pressure in closed systems.

Our solar system formed from a cloud of dust and gas about 4.5 billion years ago.

The universe originated between 10 and 20 billion years ago in a 'Big Bang'.

The early universe was a very different place.

The universe is expanding.

Objects in the sky can be systematically observed and described.

Astronomy and Space

ddd. Identify, model, and explain the position of our solar system in the universe relative to distance and time (stars and star systems, fusion, instrumentation, and simulations; the universe as a hierarchy of interrelated systems).

ff. Explain the emergence of modern views of the universe (past, present, and future scientific theories).

Will the universe continue to expand forever?

What is a black hole?

When will earth cease to exist?

On what evidence are current cosmological theories based?

.Examine images of moons of other planets to determine histories based on crater studies.

Build a mini-planetarium.

Observe the night sky.

Download data on the motion and velocity of distant galaxies. Use this data to model expansion of the universe.

Modern human society is placing increasing demands on the environment.

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

Human activities affect the environment in two ways; consumption of resources and disposal of waste.

Many of earth's resources are limited.

Environmental Studies

eee. 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., production, consumption).

Where does gold come from?

Why does burning fossil fuels affect the climate?

Are there better ways to dispose of waste?

How long will the resources we are currently using last?

Redesign packaging to reduce waste.

Make a plan for the clean-up of a local waste site.

Inventory a single individual's use of resources for a single day.

Identify all items in the classroom that are made from petroleum.

Start a recycling program where the need exists.


Comments or Questions? e-mail the webminder

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

Updated: March 9, 2011