• Elementary Science Grade 2 Unit 1

    Subject:  Science
    Grade: 2
    Timeline: 12 weeks
    Unit Title:  Earth Materials
    Unit Overview: 
    In this unit students develop a curiosity and interest in the physical world by observing, describing, and sorting earth materials based on their properties.  They observe similarities and differences in the materials in a river rock mixture: small and large pebbles, silt, sand, and gravel. Students also explore places where earth materials are found.  They compare ingredients in different soils, organize and communicate observations through drawing and writing, and acquire vocabulary associated with earth materials.

    Unit Objectives:
    The objectives of this unit are to apply the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) Crosscutting Concepts that bridge disciplinary boundaries and unite core ideas throughout the fields of science and engineering.
    • Patterns:  Patterns in the natural world can be observed.
    • Stability and Change:  Things change slowly or rapidly.
    • Cause and Effect:  Events have causes that generate observable patterns.
    • Energy and Matter:  Objects may break into smaller pieces and be put together into larger pieces, or change shapes.
    • Influence of Engineering, Technology, and Science on Society and the Natural World:  Human-made product is designed by applying some knowledge of the natural world and is built by using natural materials.
    • Science Addresses Questions About the Natural and Material World:  Scientists study the natural and material world.

    Focus Standards:
    Eligible Content:
    S4.A.2.1.1:  Generate questions about objects, organisms or events that can be answered through scientific investigations.
    S4.A.2.2.1:  Use appropriate tools or instruments for specific tasks and describe the information they can provide.
    S4.A.3.2.3:  Use appropriate, simple modeling tools and techniques to describe or illustrate a system.
    S4.D.1.1.3:  Describe the composition of soil as weathered rock and decomposed organic remains.
    S4.D.1.2.2:  Identify the types and uses of earth materials for renewable, nonrenewable, and reusable products.


    NGSS Disciplinary Core Ideas:

    ESS1.C:  The History of Planet Earth: Some events happen very quickly, others occur very slowly, over a time period much longer than one can observe.
    ESS2.A:  Earth Materials and Systems: Wind and water can change the shape of the land.
    PS1.A:  Structure and Properties of Matter: Matter can be described and classified by its observable properties.

    Concepts - Students will know:
    • the composition, properties, and uses of rocks and minerals.
    • the properties of soils.
    • how plant growth is related to soil properties.
    Competencies - Students will be able to:
    • identify the properties of rocks.
    • observe the changes in rocks.
    • classify rocks based on properties.
    • categorize rocks based on properties.
    • identify ways that earth's materials are used as building materials.
    • describe the composition of soil as weathered rock and decomposed organic remains.
    • compare and contrast the properties of different soil types (e.g. sand, clay, compost).
    • compare soil samples from different locations.
    • compare plant growth in different soils.
    • compare root growth in different soils.


    Formative Assessments:
    • Teacher observation
    • Note-booking
    • Sorting activities
    • Student sheets
    • Pre-assessment
    • Discusson: whole and small group
    Summative Assessments: 
    • Note-booking with rubric
    • Post-assessment

    Elements of Instruction:

    The NGSS identifies eight Science and Engineering Practices that all students in all grades must participate in to effectively investigate the natural world through the practices of science inquiry, or solve meaningful problems through the practices of engineering design.

    Asking Questions and Defining Problems:

    Students ask questions and define problems in grades K-2 by building on prior experiences. They progress to simple descriptive questions.

    • Students ask questions based on observations to find more information about the natural and/or designed world.
    • Students define a simple problem that is solved through the development of a new or improved object or tool.


    Developing and Using Models:

    Modeling in grades K-2 builds on the students' prior experiences. Students use and develop models that represent concrete events and design solutions.

    • Students develop a model to represent patterns in the natural world.


    Planning and Carrying Out Investigations:
    Students in grades K-2 build on prior experiences to plan and carry out investigations. They answer questions and test solutions to problems. They conduct simple investigations based on fair tests, which provide data to support explanations or design solutions.
    • Students make observations to collect data which can be used to make comparisons.
    Analyzing and Interpreting Data:

    Students in grades K-2 analyze data which builds on prior experiences and progresses to collecting, recording, and sharing observations.

    • Students analyze data from tests to determine if the tool works as intended.


    Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions:

    Students in grades K-2 construct explanations and design solutions. They use their prior experiences and progress to using evidence and ideas to construct evidence-based accounts of natural phenomena and design solutions.

    • Students make observations (first hand or from media) to construct an evidence-based account for natural phenonema.
    Engaging in Argument from Evidence:
    Students in grades K-2 engage in logical arguments from evidence-based experiences. They compare ideas and representations about the natural and design world.   
    • Students construct an argument with evidence to support a claim.
    Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information:

    Students in grades K-2 obtain, evaluate and communicate new information based on their prior experiences, observations and text.

    • Students obtain information using various texts, test features, and other media that will be useful in answering scientific questions.

    Each lesson has differentiation options for each portion of the lesson.  Options may be found in each lesson.
    • Word walls and flip charts
    • Structured notebooks

    Interdisciplinary Connections:

    Science Literacy Resources:
    What is the World Made Of? Class set
    Let's Go Rock Climbing Class book

    Additional Resources / Games:
    Science/Literacy Kit
    Science Stories: Pebbles, Sand, and Silt