Grade 6 - Science
Science in 6th Grade
Westerly students in 6th grade focus on Earth Science. Each of the three branches of science—physical, life and Earth—will be integrated under the Earth Science umbrella. It is our goal that each student will gain a deep understanding of the content standards of their grade level, develop a curiosity about the natural world through hands-on, inquiry-based instruction, and apply scientific learning to their own experiences and the world around us.
Lesson 1: Movement in Space
- Identify objects and constellations visible without a telescope.
- Develop models to explain the apparent motions of stars and planets throughout the year.
- Explain the motion of Earth, other planets, and the sun through space.
- Watching the Skies- Model Earth’s movement around the sun to demonstrate the change of position of stars
Lesson 2: Earth’s Movement in Space
- Explain what causes the cycle of seasons on Earth.
- Describe how the moon affects the amount of daylight.
- Made models to describe factors that keep the moon and Earth in orbit.
- Patterns of Day and Night
- Earth rotation and revolution models
- Sunlight and Temperature (Tilt of Earth causes seasons and temperature change.)
- Lighten Up! (Weight, mass, gravity)
- The Great Gravity Escape (gravity and orbit)
Lesson 3: Phases and Eclipses
- Explain why the moon appears to change shape.
- Describe what causes solar and lunar eclipses.
- Predict the position of the Earth, sun, and moon during a given type of eclipse.
- Describe how the sun and moon affect tides.
- STEM-Design and Build Tidal Turbine
- Why do we only see one side of the moon?
- Phases of moon model
- Eclipse model
- Solar and Lunar eclipse trifold
- Graph and examine tidal cycles
Lesson 1: Solar System Objects
- Interpret data to compare and contrast solar system objects based on their characteristics.
- Describe the role of gravity in the motions of the planets and other objects in the solar system.
- Describe the role of gravity in the sun’s function.
- Describe the relationships between solar system objects.
Lesson 2: Learning About the Universe
- Identify and describe how scientists use electromagnetic radiation to learn about the universe.
- Describe the role of technology in outer space, collecting, analyzing, and communicating data.
Lesson 3: Stars and Galaxies
- Analyze the distances between objects in the universe and the methods used to measure those distances.
- Explain the hierarchical relationships between the various bodies in the universe.
Essential Question 3: Earth's Surface Systems: What processes change Earth’s surface?
Lesson 1: Weathering and Soil
- Describe and give examples of ways in which Earth’s surface is torn down by mechanical and chemical weathering
- Understand how Earth’s surface is built up by the formation of soil
- Describe and give examples of ways in which Earth’s surface is torn down by the process of erosion
Lesson 2: Erosion and Deposition
- Describe and give examples of processes that cause erosion and deposition
- Describe how mass movement of rock and soil change the surface
- Describe how wind contributes to erosion and deposition
Lesson 3: Water Erosion
- Understand how Earth’s surface is built up and torn down by water erosion.
- Give examples of landforms that form from water erosion and deposition.
- Explain how groundwater affects and changes Earth’s surface.
Lesson 4: Glacial and Wave Erosion
- Describe and give examples of ways in which Earth’s surface is changed by glaciers and wave erosion
Essential Question 4: Plate Tectonics: How do geological processes change Earth’s surface?
Lesson 1: Evidence of Plate Motions
- Identify and describe evidence that:
- Continents were once fused together in a supercontinent called Pangaea
- Land masses drifted apart over time into the continents known today
- Continental coastlines appear to fit together and mountain ranges on different continents line up
- Similar plant and animal fossils are found on continents that are separated by oceans
- Analyze cause and effect relationships to describe how mid ocean ridges and deep-sea trenches provide evidence for plate movement
Lesson 2: Plate Tectonics and Earth’s Surface
- Analyze and interpret data to describe evidence that Earth’s plates are in slow constant motion due to forces within the mantle and convection current
- Use models to demonstrate that some features on Earth’s surface coincide with plate boundaries
Lesson 3: Earthquakes and Tsunami Hazards
- Use and develop models to explain how plate movement and stress produce new landforms
- Analyze and interpret data:
- as evidence that energy released from interacting plates result in earthquakes
- to compare the magnitude of earthquakes
- to relate the energy of an earthquake to the formation of a tsunami
Lesson 4: Volcanoes and Earth’s Surface
- Identify patterns to explain how plate tectonics is connected to volcanic eruptions
Lesson 1: Matter and Energy in Earth’s Systems
- Analyze and interpret data to describe evidence that Earth has four major subsystems, or spheres, that cycle matter and energy and shape Earth’s surface (atmosphere, geosphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere).
- Understand that the Earth system involves flows of matter and energy through different components.
- Understand that Earth’s system has two main sources of energy: heat from the sun and heat from Earth’s interior.
- Demonstrate how a system returns information about itself, and that information results in change.
Lesson 2: Surface Features in the Geosphere
- Demonstrate how there are a variety of landforms on Earth because Earth’s surface is different from place to place.
- Describe evidence that the topography of the land is constantly being created and destroyed by competing constructive and destructive forces.
- Understand that the geosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere interact with each other to affect Earth.
- Demonstrate how computers create topographic and other maps from aerial photography and satellite imagery to model Earth’s landforms.
Lesson 3: The Hydrosphere
- Analyze and interpret data to describe evidence that:
- the majority of Earth’s freshwater is frozen into glaciers and thickened ice masses.
- the remaining fresh water is found underground, in lakes and rivers, and the atmosphere.
- oceans, rivers, lakes, and ponds are all part of the surface water in the hydrosphere.
- Develop and use models to demonstrate how the process of evaporation, condensation, transpiration, and precipitation continually cycle water from Earth’s surface to the atmosphere and back again.
Lesson 1: The Atmosphere Around You
- Understand the layers of Earth’s atmosphere
Lesson 2: Water in the Atmosphere
- Analyze and interpret data to describe evidence that:
- water vapor enters the atmosphere through a number of processes
- water is continually evaporating and condensing in the atmosphere and this process forms clouds
- precipitation is a vital part of the water cycle
- Develop and use models to demonstrate water is always moving between the surface of Earth and the atmosphere
- Understand that temperature determines the type of precipitation for an area
Lesson 3: Air Masses
- Describe evidence that air masses are moved by the prevailing winds and jet streams
- Use models to demonstrate how air masses of different temperatures and humidity collide, resulting in a front
- Understand that storms and changeable weather often develop along fronts
- Understand that the type of front that develops depends on the characteristics of the air masses and the direction in which they move
Lesson 4: Predicting Weather Changes
- Develop and use models to demonstrate how meteorologists use tools to predict weather and determine the effect of global patterns on local weather
Lesson 5: Severe Weather and Floods
Essential Question 7: Climate: How have natural processes and human activities changed Earth’s climate?
Lesson 1: Climate Factors
Lesson 2: Climate Change
Lesson 3: Effects of a Changing Climate
Essential Question 8: Human Impact on the Environment: How does human activity impact Earth’s systems?