This is by FAR my easiest subject to teach, and it's my boys favorite! YAY. We are doing a spectrum of grades, but I'll seperate it by 7th grade (my eldest) and 5th grade (my youngest.)
Each child will have a notebook they must maintain as their Science & Experiment notebook. THat way whenever they learn something new, or try a new experiment, they have one centralized location to keep it in.
7th Grade (ish)
All living organisms are composed of cells, from just one to many trillions, whose
details usually are visible only through a microscope. As a basis for understanding
a. Students know cells function similarly in all living organisms.
b. Students know the characteristics that distinguish plant cells from animal cells,
including chloroplasts and cell walls.
c. Students know the nucleus is the repository for genetic information in plant and
d. Students know that mitochondria liberate energy for the work that cells do and
that chloroplasts capture sunlight energy for photosynthesis.
e. Students know cells divide to increase their numbers through a process of mitosis
2. A typical cell of any organism contains genetic instructions that specify its traits.
Those traits may be modified by environmental influences. As a basis for under
standing this concept:
a. Students know the differences between the life cycles and reproduction methods
of sexual and asexual organisms.
b. Students know sexual reproduction produces offspring that inherit half their
genes from each parent.
c. Students know an inherited trait can be determined by one or more genes.
d. Students know plant and animal cells contain many thousands of different genes
and typically have two copies of every gene. The two copies (or alleles) of the
gene may or may not be identical, and one may be dominant in determining the
phenotype while the other is recessive.
e. Students know DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) is the genetic material of living
organisms and is located in the chromosomes of each cell.
3. Biological evolution accounts for the diversity of species developed through gradual
processes over many generations. As a basis for understanding this concept:
a. Students know both genetic variation and environmental factors are causes of
evolution and diversity of organisms.
b. Students know the reasoning used by Charles Darwin in reaching his conclusion
that natural selection is the mechanism of evolution.
c. Students know how independent lines of evidence from geology, fossils, and
comparative anatomy provide the bases for the theory of evolution.
d. Students know how to construct a simple branching diagram to classify living
groups of organisms by shared derived characteristics and how to expand the
diagram to include fossil organisms.
e. Students know that extinction of a species occurs when the environment chang
Earth and Life History (Earth Sciences)
4. Evidence from rocks allows us to understand the evolution of life on Earth. As a
basis for understanding this concept:
a. Students know Earth processes today are similar to those that occurred in the past
and slow geologic processes have large cumulative effects over long periods of
b. Students know the history of life on Earth has been disrupted by major cata
strophic events, such as major volcanic eruptions or the impacts of asteroids.
c. Students know that the rock cycle includes the formation of new sediment and
rocks and that rocks are often found in layers, with the oldest generally on the
d. Students know that evidence from geologic layers and radioactive dating indicates
Earth is approximately 4.6 billion years old and that life on this planet has existed
for more than 3 billion years.
Students know fossils provide evidence of how life and environmental conditions
f. Students know how movements of Earth’s continental and oceanic plates through
time, with associated changes in climate and geographic connections, have af
fected the past and present distribution of organisms.
g. Students know how to explain significant developments and extinctions of plant
and animal life on the geologic time scale.
Structure and Function in Living Systems
5. The anatomy and physiology of plants and animals illustrate the complementary
nature of structure and function. As a basis for understanding this concept:
a. Students know plants and animals have levels of organization for structure and
function, including cells, tissues, organs, organ systems, and the whole organism.
b. Students know organ systems function because of the contributions of individual
organs, tissues, and cells. The failure of any part can affect the entire system.
c. Students know how bones and muscles work together to provide a structural
framework for movement.
d. Students know how the reproductive organs of the human female and male gener
ate eggs and sperm and how sexual activity may lead to fertilization and preg
e. Students know the function of the umbilicus and placenta during pregnancy.
f. Students know the structures and processes by which flowering plants generate
pollen, ovules, seeds, and fruit.
g. Students know how to relate the structures of the eye and ear to their functions.
Physical Principles in Living Systems (Physical Sciences)
6. Physical principles underlie biological structures and functions. As a basis for un
derstanding this concept:
a. Students know visible light is a small band within a very broad electromagnetic
b. Students know that for an object to be seen, light emitted by or scattered from it
must be detected by the eye.
c. Students know light travels in straight lines if the medium it travels through does
d. Students know how simple lenses are used in a magnifying glass, the eye,
a camera, a telescope, and a microscope.
e. Students know that white light is a mixture of many wavelengths (colors) and that
retinal cells react differently to different wavelengths.
f. Students know light can be reflected, refracted, transmitted, and absorbed by
g. Students know the angle of reflection of a light beam is equal to the angle of inci
h. Students know how to compare joints in the body (wrist, shoulder, thigh) with
structures used in machines and simple devices (hinge, ball-and-socket, and
i. Students know how levers confer mechanical advantage and how the application
of this principle applies to the musculoskeletal system.
j. Students know that contractions of the heart generate blood pressure and that
heart valves prevent backflow of blood in the circulatory system.
Investigation and Experimentation
7. Scientific progress is made by asking meaningful questions and conducting careful
investigations. As a basis for understanding this concept and addressing the content
in the other three strands, students should develop their own questions and perform
investigations. Students will:
a. Select and use appropriate tools and technology (including calculators, comput
ers, balances, spring scales, microscopes, and binoculars) to perform tests, collect
data, and display data.
b. Use a variety of print and electronic resources (including the World Wide Web)
to collect information and evidence as part of a research project.
c. Communicate the logical connection among hypotheses, science concepts, tests
conducted, data collected, and conclusions drawn from the scientific evidence.
d. Construct scale models, maps, and appropriately labeled diagrams to communi
cate scientific knowledge (e.g., motion of Earth’s plates and cell structure).
e. Communicate the steps and results from an investigation in written reports and
1. The velocity of an object is the rate of change of its position. As a basis for under
standing this concept:
a. Students know position is defined in relation to some choice of a standard refer
ence point and a set of reference directions.
b. Students know that average speed is the total distance traveled divided by the
total time elapsed and that the speed of an object along the path traveled can
c. Students know how to solve problems involving distance, time, and average
d. Students know the velocity of an object must be described by specifying both the
direction and the speed of the object.
e. Students know changes in velocity may be due to changes in speed, direction, or
f. Students know how to interpret graphs of position versus time and graphs of
speed versus time for motion in a single direction.
2. Unbalanced forces cause changes in velocity. As a basis for understanding this
a. Students know a force has both direction and magnitude.
b. Students know when an object is subject to two or more forces at once, the result is
the cumulative effect of all the forces.
c. Students know when the forces on an object are balanced, the motion of the object
does not change.
d. Students know how to identify separately the two or more forces that are acting
on�a single static object, including gravity, elastic forces due to tension or com
pression in matter, and friction.
e. Students know that when the forces on an object are unbalanced, the object will
change its velocity (that is, it will speed up, slow down, or change direction).
f. Students know the greater the mass of an object, the more force is needed to
achieve the same rate of change in motion.
g. Students know the role of gravity in forming and maintaining the shapes of
planets, stars, and the solar system.
Structure of Matter
3. Each of the more than 100 elements of matter has distinct properties and a distinct
atomic structure. All forms of matter are composed of one or more of the elements.
As a basis for understanding this concept:
a. Students know the structure of the atom and know it is composed of protons,
neutrons, and electrons.
b. Students know that compounds are formed by combining two or more different
elements and that compounds have properties that are different from their
c. Students know atoms and molecules form solids by building up repeating
patterns, such as the crystal structure of NaCl or long-chain polymers.
d. Students know the states of matter (solid, liquid, gas) depend on molecular motion.
e. Students know that in solids the atoms are closely locked in position and can only
vibrate; in liquids the atoms and molecules are more loosely connected and can
collide with and move past one another; and in gases the atoms and molecules are
free to move independently, colliding frequently.
f. Students know how to use the periodic table to identify elements in simple
Earth in the Solar System (Earth Sciences)
4. The structure and composition of the universe can be learned from studying stars
and galaxies and their evolution. As a basis for understanding this concept:
a. Students know galaxies are clusters of billions of stars and may have different
b. Students know that the Sun is one of many stars in the Milky Way galaxy and that
stars may differ in size, temperature, and color.
c. Students know how to use astronomical units and light years as measures of
distances between the Sun, stars, and Earth.
d. Students know that stars are the source of light for all bright objects in outer space
and that the Moon and planets shine by reflected sunlight, not by their own light.
e. Students know the appearance, general composition, relative position and size,
and motion of objects in the solar system, including planets, planetary satellites,
comets, and asteroids.
5. Chemical reactions are processes in which atoms are rearranged into different
combinations of molecules. As a basis for understanding this concept:
a. Students know reactant atoms and molecules interact to form products with
different chemical properties.
b. Students know the idea of atoms explains the conservation of matter: In chemical
reactions the number of atoms stays the same no matter how they are arranged,
so their total mass stays the same.
c. Students know chemical reactions usually liberate heat or absorb heat.
d. Students know physical processes include freezing and boiling, in which a
material changes form with no chemical reaction.
e. Students know how to determine whether a solution is acidic, basic, or neutral.
Chemistry of Living Systems (Life Sciences)
6. Principles of chemistry underlie the functioning of biological systems. As a basis for
understanding this concept:
a. Students know that carbon, because of its ability to combine in many ways with
itself and other elements, has a central role in the chemistry of living organisms.
b. Students know that living organisms are made of molecules consisting largely of
carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus, and sulfur.
c. Students know that living organisms have many different kinds of molecules,
including small ones, such as water and salt, and very large ones, such as carbo
hydrates, fats, proteins, and DNA.
7. The organization of the periodic table is based on the properties of the elements
and reflects the structure of atoms. As a basis for understanding this concept:
a. Students know how to identify regions corresponding to metals, nonmetals,
and inert gases.
b. Students know each element has a specific number of protons in the nucleus (the
atomic number) and each isotope of the element has a different but specific
number of neutrons in the nucleus.
c. Students know substances can be classified by their properties, including their
melting temperature, density, hardness, and thermal and electrical conductivity.
Density and Buoyancy
8. All objects experience a buoyant force when immersed in a fluid. As a basis for
understanding this concept:
a. Students know density is mass per unit volume.
b. Students know how to calculate the density of substances (regular and irregular
solids and liquids) from measurements of mass and volume.
c. Students know the buoyant force on an object in a fluid is an upward force equal
to the weight of the fluid the object has displaced.
d. Students know how to predict whether an object will float or sink.
Grade 7 (ish) Interactive Websites & Other Resources
5th Grade (ish) Sciences
1. Elements and their combinations account for all the varied types of matter in the
world. As a basis for understanding this concept:
a. Students know that during chemical reactions the atoms in the reactants rearrange
to form products with different properties.
b. Students know all matter is made of atoms, which may combine to form mol
c. Students know metals have properties in common, such as high electrical and
thermal conductivity. Some metals, such as aluminum (Al), iron (Fe), nickel (Ni),
copper (Cu), silver (Ag), and gold (Au), are pure elements; others, such as steel
and brass, are composed of a combination of elemental metals.
d. Students know that each element is made of one kind of atom and that the ele
ments are organized in the periodic table by their chemical properties.
e. Students know scientists have developed instruments that can create discrete
images of atoms and molecules that show that the atoms and molecules often
occur in well-ordered arrays.
f. Students know differences in chemical and physical properties of substances are
used to separate mixtures and identify compounds.
g. Students know properties of solid, liquid, and gaseous substances, such as sugar
), water (H2
O), helium (He), oxygen (O2
), nitrogen (N2
), and carbon 12
h. Students know living organisms and most materials are composed of just a few
i. Students know the common properties of salts, such as sodium chloride (NaCl).