• Middle School Science Grade 6 Unit 3

    Subject: Science
    Timeline: 18 weeks
    Title: Matter and Interactions

    Unit Overview : In this unit, students will expand on their abilities to understand scientific inquiry.  They will think critically to make connections between claims and evidence.  Students will gain an understanding of properties of matter including physical and chemical changes.  They will experience the transfer of energy with studies of heating and cooling.

    Unit Objectives: The objectives of this unit are to apply the Next Generation Science Standard (NGSS) Crosscutting Concepts that bridge disciplinary boundaries, uniting core ideas throughout the fields of science and engineering.
    1. Patterns Macroscopic patterns are related to the nature of microscopic and atomic-level structure.
    2. Cause and Effect. Cause and effect relationships may be used to predict phenomena in natural or designed systems.
    3. Scale, Proportion, and Quantity. Time, space and energy phenomena can be observed at various scales using models to study systems that are too large or too small.
    4. Energy and Matter. Matter is conserved because atoms are conserved in physical and chemical processes.  The transfer of energy can be tracked as energy flows through a designed or natural system
    5. Structure and Function. Structures can be designed to serve particular functions by taking into account properties of different materials, and how materials can be shaped and used.
    6. Systems and System Models. Models can be used to represent systems and their interactions-such as inputs, processes and outputs-can energy and matter flows within systems.

    Focus Standards:
    PSSA Eligible Content
    S8.C.1.1.1:  Explain the differences among elements, compounds, and mixtures.
    S8.C.1.1.2:  Use characteristic physical or chemical properties to distinguish one substance from another (e.g., density, thermal expansion/contraction, freezing/melting points, streak test).
    S8.C.1.1.3:  Identify and describe reactants and products of simple chemical reactions.
    S8.C.2.1.2:  Explain how energy is transferred from one place to another through convection, conduction, or radiation.
    S8.A.2.1.1:  Use evidence, observations, or a variety of scales (e.g., mass, distance, volume, temperature) to describe relationships.
    S8.A.2.1.3:  Design a controlled experiment by specifying how the independent variables will be manipulated, how the dependent variable will be measured, and which variables will be held constant.
    NGSS Disciplinary Core Ideas
           PS1.A:  Structure and Properties of matter.
    • Stubstances are made from different types of atoms, which combine with one another in various ways.  Atoms form molecules that range in size from two to thousands of atoms.
    • Each pure substance has characteristic physical and chemical properties (for any bulk quantity under given conditions) that can be used to identify it.
    • Gases and liquids are made of molecules or inert atoms that are moving about relative to each other.
    • In a liquid, the molecules are constantly in contact with others; in a gas, they are widely spaced except when they happen to collide.  In a solid, atoms are closely spaced and may vibrate in position but do not change relative locations.
    • Solids may be formed from molecules, or they may be extended structures with repeating subunits (e.g., crystals).
    • The changes of state that occur with variations in temperature or pressure can be described and predicted using these models of matter.
          PS1.B: Chemical Interactions
    • Substances react chemically in characteristic ways.  In a chemical process, the atoms that make up the original substances are regrouped into different molecules, and these new substances have different properties from those of the reactants.
    • The total number of each type of atom is conserved, and thus the mass does not change.
    • Some chemical reactions release energy, others store energy.
         PS3.A:  Definitions of Energy
    • The term "heat" as used in everyday language refers both to thermal energy (the motion of atoms or molecules within a substance) and the transfer of that thermal energy from one object to another.  In science, heat is used only for this second meaning; it refers to the energy transferred due to the temperature difference between two objects.
    • The temperature of a system is proportional to the average internal kinetic energy and potential energy per atom or molecule (whichever is the appropriate building block for the system's material).  The details of that relationship depend on the type of atom of molecule and the interactions among the atoms in the material.
    • Temperature is not a direct measure of a system's total thermal energy.  The total thermal energy (sometimes called the total internal energy) of a system depends jointly on the temperature, the total number of atoms in the system, and the state of the material. 

    Concepts - Students will know
    • The fundamental understanding about scientific inquiry, and be able to demonstrate the abilities to do scientific inquiry.
    • Atoms are the basic building block of matter.
    • All atoms and molecules are constantly moving.
    • Simple reactions of atoms and molecules.
    • Elements, compounds, mixtures and solutions have characteristic properties.
    • A loss of gain of heat energy affects molecular motion.
    • Types of phase change.

    Competencies -Students will be able to:

    • Explain current scientific knowledge, models and understanding that guide scientific investigations.
    • Use appropriate tools and techniques to gather, analyze and interpret data.
    • Provide evidence for the existence of atoms.
    • Describe how atoms combine to form molecules or crystal lattices.
    • Describe the structure of atoms using electrons, protons, and neutrons.
    • Relate atoms and molecules to the characteristics of elements and compounds.
    • Describe phase change in terms of the motion and arrangement of atoms and molecules.
    • Observe and describe the characteristic properties of solids, liquids, and gases in terms of atoms and molecules.
    • Explain the roles of electrons in various types of chemical reactions.
    • Determine the density of various substances.
    • Describe physical and chemical properties of matter.
    • Differentiate between mixtures and compounds.
    • Classify substances as acid, base, or neutral.
    • Describe evidence of simple chemical reactions.
    • Relate chemical reactions to conservation of mass.
    • Define heat in terms of kinetic energy.
    • Differentiate between heat and temperature.
    • Describe melting.
    • Describe freezing.
    • Describe types of vaporization (boiling, evaporation).
    • Describe condensation.
    • Investigate the relationship between temperature and phase change.

    Formative assessments
    •  Informal notes
    • Teacher observation
    • Quick writes
    • Response sheets
    Summative Assessments
    • Mid-summative Assessments; Investigations 1-2; 3,4,5,6,7,8,9
    • Final Summative Assessment
    • 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.
    Science and Engineering Practices
    Practice 1 Asking Questions and Defining Problems
    Students should be able to ask questions of each other about the texts they read, the features of the phenomena they observe, and the conclusions they draw from their models or scientific investigations. For engineering, they should ask questions to define the problem to be solved and to elicit ideas that lead to the constraints and specifications for its solution.
    Practice 2 Developing and Using Models
    Modeling can begin with students’ models progressing from concrete “pictures” and/or physical scale models  to more abstract representations of relevant relationships in later grades, such as a diagram representing forces on a particular object in a system.
    Practice 3 Planning and Carrying Out Investigations
    Students should have opportunities to plan and carry out several different kinds of investigations. They should engage in investigations that range from those structured  by the teacher—in order to expose  an issue or question that they
    would be unlikely to explore on their own—to those that emerge from students’ own questions 
    Practice 4 Analyzing and Interpreting Data
    Once collected, data must be presented in a form that can reveal any patterns and relationships and that allows results to be communicated to others. Because raw data as such have little meaning, a major practice of scientists is to organize and interpret data through tabulating, graphing, or statistical analysis. Such analysis can bring out the meaning of data—and their relevance—so that they may be used as evidence.
    Practice 5 Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking
    Although there are differences in how mathematics and computational thinking are applied in science and in engineering, mathematics often brings these two fields together by enabling engineers to apply the mathematical form of scientific theories and by enabling scientists to use powerful information technologies designed by engineers. Both can thereby accomplish investigations and analyses and build complex models, which might otherwise be out of the question. Students will practice these computations.
    Practice 6 Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions
    The goal of science is to construct explanations for the causes of phenomena. Students are expected to construct their
    own explanations, as well as apply standard explanations they learn about from their teachers or reading.
    Practice 7 Engaging in Argument from Evidence
    The study of science and engineering should produce a sense of the process of argument necessary for advancing and defending a new idea or an explanation of a phenomenon and the norms for conducting such arguments. In that spirit, students should argue for the explanations they construct, defend their interpretations of the associated data, and advocate
    for the designs they propose.
    Practice 8 Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information
    Any education in science and engineering needs to develop students’ ability to read and produce domain-specific text. As such, every science or engineering lesson is in part a language lesson, particularly reading and producing the genres of texts that are intrinsic to science and engineering. 

    Selected lessons may have optional investigations for portions of the lesson.
    Investigation 6 is an optional investigation.

    Interdisciplinary Connections:

    Additional Resources / Games: