K – 7 Science Unit Summaries
Select a title for a brief summary of each unit.


K - 5 Units


Science Unit 1 - Senses – KPS1

The Senses unit is based on skill building of sound inquiry practices, focusing on the use of the senses to make purposeful observations and raise questions for investigation. 


Science Unit 2 - Kindergarten in Motion – KPS2

The Kindergarten in Motion unit develops students’ prior knowledge of motion and changes in motion through observation and investigation on the playground and high interest classroom investigations.


Science Unit 3 - My Earth – KES

Using students’ natural curiosity about rocks, soil, sand, water, etc. the unit develops their observation skills and recognition of the importance of earth materials in growth and living things. 


Science Unit 4 - Is It Living? – KLS

Students recognize living and nonliving things and the basic needs of organisms. They compare physical characteristics of organisms and how the organisms use the characteristics for survival.


First Grade

Science Unit 1 - Sorting Things Out – 1PS

Students sort objects by their observable properties and explore the interaction of different material and magnets. States of matter are introduced through solids keeping their shape and liquids taking the shape of the container.


Science Unit 2 & 3 - Weather Watchers – 1ES

Weather Watchers unit is taught in 2 quarters to span seasons and increase observations in changes in weather and seasons. Students collect weather data, temperature, cloud cover, wind speed and direction, and precipitation over a long period of time. They relate their weather observations to the changes in seasons. Weather observation tools are introduced, thermometer, rain gauge, and windsock.


Science Unit 4 - An Animal’s Life – 1LS

Students study the basic needs of animals for survival and the life cycle of animals. The painted lady is observed through its life cycle and common schoolyard animals are observed in a model habitat. Students observe and care for the animals.


Second Grade

Science Unit 1 - Measuring Matters – 2PS

Measuring Matters focuses on common objects and substances and their physical properties that can be observed and measured. Students describe objects and substances and identify the properties of matter through the application of measurement and material composition.


Science Unit 2 & 3 - Earth’s Land and Water – 2ES

After identifying and designing models of landforms and bodies of water, students explore how water exists on Earth in three states and the movement of water on land and through the atmosphere. Students apply their knowledge to help identify sources of water and what is usable. Lessons include identifying and keeping track of uses of water in the classroom, home, and community. Students design a plan for water conservation.


Science Unit 4 - A Plant’s Life – 2LS

Students explore the parts of a plant, what they do, and how they contribute to its survival. Through planting seeds and observing their growth, they examine the life cycle of plants and consider their importance to the survival of all living things.


Third Grade

Science Unit 1 - Changes in Motion – 3PS1

Using their everyday observations of motion and through a variety of activities, students build on their Kindergarten experiences and explore concepts of motion and forces. They compare and contrast motion in terms of direction, speed, and the relationship with gravity and friction.


Science Unit 2 - Light and Sound – 3PS2

Beginning with an exploration into the properties of light and sound, students apply their knowledge to concepts related to shadows, color, pitch, and volume. They compare and contrast the properties of light and sound and relate their ideas to observation of change and evidence of sound and light energy.


Science Unit 3 - Earth and Me – 3ES

Students identify earth materials and surface changes and apply their knowledge to natural resources and how humans use natural resources. The effect of human dependency and activity on Earth’s natural resources is applied through ways to protect, conserve, and restore the Earth’s resources and environment.


Science Unit 4 - Organisms Have Character – 3LS

Students take a deeper look into the physical and behavioral characteristics of organisms and their role in growth and survival. The function of different body parts is related to their environment and how animals survive in their environment. Students apply their knowledge of organisms to the food chain and food web.


Fourth Grade

Science Unit 1 - Energy Transfer – 4PS1

This unit concentrates on heat, magnetism and electricity as energy transfers. The interaction of magnetic materials is explored through investigation. Students explore electrical circuits and apply their knowledge to build and electromagnet.


Science Unit 2 - States of Matter – 4PS2

Previous units have laid the foundation for a more in-depth study of the states of matter. Students explore the physical properties of solids, liquids, and gases through measurement and observation and investigation into the changes of states and apply what they discover to heat transfer and energy.


Science Unit 3 - The View From the Earth – 4ES

Students make long-term observations of the position of the sun and moon in the sky to develop an understanding of relative distances, the appearance of movement across the sky, and relate it to day and night, Earth’s orbit, the spin of the Earth, and the visible shape of the moon. The unit concludes with a look into fossils and evidence of environment and changes in the history of the Earth.


Science Unit 4 - Organisms in Their Environment – 4LS

Students take a deeper look into the requirements of plants and animals to survive, the roles animals play in their environments, and how some animals and plants have variations that give them an advantage for survival. Students apply what they know and explore the effect of change on the environment.


Fifth Grade

Science Unit 1 & 2 - Forces and Motion – 5PS

Students continue to learn about how things move and participate in an exploration into force and motion as related to distance, time, speed, balanced and unbalanced forces, contact and non-contact forces. Students collect data and describe force and motion in qualitative and quantitative terms. Students illustrate how motion can be measured and represented on a graph.


Science Unit 3 - Objects in the Sky – 5ES

This unit builds on the concepts of the 4th grade unit, The View from Earth, and students demonstrate using models rotation on axis and orbits due to gravity of Earth and other planets. They relate the relative position of the sun, moon, and Earth to seasons, moon phases, eclipses, tides and day and night.


Science Unit 4 - Systems and Survival – 5LS

Students examine three different “systems” in their lives, classification system, ecosystems, and human body systems. They use the characteristics of organisms to build model ecosystems, classify organisms by physical traits, and research human body systems and how they work together.


Sixth Grade

Science Unit 1 - Energetic Connections – 6PS

Sixth graders deepen their understanding of energy in its multiple forms through investigations into kinetic and potential energy and begin to understand the scientific reasoning that energy is not created or destroyed. Students explore changes in states of matter that mass is conserved during changes in states.


Science Unit 2 - The Planet Rock – 6ES1

The Planet Rock unit explores the rock cycle, weathering and glacier movement and leads to a study of soil and a comparison of soil samples.


Science Unit 3 - Earth: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow – 6ES2

Sixth graders gain an understanding of the Earth’s history and future through the study of plate tectonics and major geological events. They build their knowledge from the unit, Planet Rock to include tectonic movement, layers of the Earth, the magnetic properties of the Earth, and how rocks, rock layers, and fossils tell the history of the Earth. 


Science Unit 4 - Energy in an Ecosystem – 6LS

Students explore ecosystems with relation to the energy flow in a balanced ecosystem and the roles organisms play to maintain the balance. They investigate patterns of relationships, predict changes in populations, and examine populations, communities and ecosystems to apply their knowledge to the Great Lakes region.


Seventh Grade

Science Unit 1 - Energy Effects – 7PS1

The exploration into energy continues with investigations into the effects of light energy and solar energy. Students gain a greater understanding of the sun’s warming and lighting of the Earth, and apply their knowledge to the process of photosynthesis. They investigate energy transfer through waves and the interaction with matter.

Science Unit 2 - Chemical Properties – 7PS2

This unit provides a more in-depth study of physical properties (boiling point, density, and color) and chemical properties (pH, reactivity, and flammability). Students draw on their knowledge of properties and use evidence to describe physical and chemical change. Seventh grade students are introduced to the Periodic Table of the Elements as they explore compounds and elements.

Science Unit 3 - Weather, Climate, and Me – 7ES

Weather, Climate, and Me provides a means for students to apply their understanding of solar energy to phenomena they observe, hear, and read about. They explore the relationship between solar warming and the water cycle, warming of the atmosphere, land, and oceans, and the effect on weather and climate. Seventh grade students explain how human activities have changed the land, oceans, and atmosphere and the consequences that humans face today.

Science Unit 4 - Cells, Cell Division, and Photosynthesis –7LS

This unit takes a microscopic look at how organisms function, grow, and reproduce. Students’ investigations into living things include the study of cells, how cells make up human body tissues, organs, and organ systems that have specialized functions. They compare the cellular structure and function of plant cells and the process of photosynthesis. Students explore how genetic information is carried from one generation to the next, both asexually and sexually.  

*Note: All Grade Level Content Expectations, science content and inquiry, are incorporated into the units. To facilitate teaching to depth, the Content Expectations have been analyzed and arranged to provide sufficient time at each content. Some units are meant to be taught over 2 quarters or 16 weeks. Science is intended to be taught throughout the entire school year.  

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