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Skills available for Connecticut third-grade science standards

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3.1 Materials have properties that can be identified and described through the use of simple tests.

3.2 Organisms can survive and reproduce only in environments that meet their basic needs.

3.3 Earth materials have different physical and chemical properties.

  • 1 Differentiate between rocks and minerals.

  • 2 Use the senses and simple measuring tools to gather data about various rocks and classify them based on observable properties (e.g., shape, size, color, weight, visible markings).

  • 3 Conduct simple tests to determine properties of different minerals (e.g. color, odor, streak, luster, hardness, magnetism), organize data in a table, and use the data and other resources to identify unknown mineral specimens.

  • 4 Summarize nonfiction text to compare and contrast the conditions under which igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary rocks are formed.

  • 5 Observe and analyze rock properties (e.g., crystal size or layers) to infer the conditions under which the rock was formed.

  • 6 Evaluate the usefulness of different rock types for specific applications (e.g., buildings, sidewalks, stone walls, statues or monuments).

3.4 Earth materials provide resources for all living things, but these resources are limited and should be conserved.

  • 1 Describe ways people use earth materials, such as fossil fuels, trees, water, soils and rocks as natural resources to improve their lives.

  • 2 Summarize nonfiction text to explain how humans use technology to access and use natural resources to produce electricity or other products (e.g., paper or concrete).

  • 3 Explain advantages and disadvantages of renewable and nonrenewable energy sources that can be used for making electricity, fueling cars or heating homes.

  • 4 Design and conduct experiments to evaluate the effectiveness of different insulating materials for keeping a substance (or space) warm or cold (i.e., conducting heat).

  • 5 Use mathematics to estimate, measure and graph the quantity of a natural resource (e.g., water, paper) used by an individual (or group) in a certain time period.

  • 6 Evaluate the environmental advantages and disadvantages of reducing, reusing, recycling and replacing as conservation methods.

3.1 Materials have properties that can be identified and described through the use of simple tests.

3.2 Organisms can survive and reproduce only in environments that meet their basic needs.

  • 3.2.a Plants and animals have structures and behaviors that help them survive in different environments.

3.3 Earth materials have different physical and chemical properties.

  • 3.3.a Rocks and minerals have properties that may be identified through observation and testing; these properties determine how earth materials are used.

    • 1 Earth is mainly made of rock. Rocks on the earth's surface are constantly being broken down into smaller and smaller pieces, from mountains to boulders, stones, pebbles and small particles that make up soil.

    • 2 Rocks can be sorted based on properties, such as shape, size, color, weight or texture.

    • 3 Properties of rocks can be used to identify the conditions under which they were formed.

    • 4 Igneous rocks are formed when melted rock cools, hardens and forms crystals. Melted rock that cools slowly inside a volcano forms large crystals as it cools. Melted rock that cools rapidly on the earth's surface forms small crystals (or none at all).

    • 5 Sedimentary rocks are formed underwater when small particles of sand, mud, silt or ancient shells/skeletons settle to the bottom in layers that are buried and cemented together over a long period of time. They often have visible layers or fossils.

    • 6 Metamorphic rocks are formed when igneous or sedimentary rocks are reheated and cooled or pressed into new forms. They often have bands, streaks or clumps of materials.

    • 7 Rock properties make them useful for different purposes. Rocks that can be cut into regular shapes are useful for buildings and statues; rocks that crumble easily are useful for making mixtures such as concrete and sheetrock.

    • 8 All rocks are made of materials called minerals that have properties that may be identified by testing. Mineral properties include color, odor, streak, luster, hardness and magnetism.

    • 9 Minerals are used in many ways, depending on their properties. For example, gold is a mineral that is easily shaped to make jewelry; talc is a mineral that breaks into tiny grains useful for making powders.

3.4 Earth materials provide resources for all living things, but these resources are limited and should be conserved.

  • 3.4.a Decisions made by individuals can affect the global supply of many resources.

    • 1 Earth materials that occur in nature include rocks, minerals, soils, water and the gases of the atmosphere. Earth materials are natural resources that provide us with things we need to live, including food, clothing, water, air, shelter, land and energy.

    • 2 Some natural resources are useful to people in their raw form (for example, fresh water, soil or air); other natural resources must be modified to meet human needs (for example, petroleum must be extracted from rocks and refined into gasoline, heating oil or plastics; wood from trees must be processed to make paper).

    • 3 The supply of many natural resources such as fossil fuels, metals, fresh water and fertile soil is limited; once they are used up or contaminated they are difficult or impossible to replace.

    • 4 Human actions can affect the survival of plants and animals. The products of the fuels people burn affect the quality of the air. Waste and chemicals from factories, farms, lawns and streets affect the quality of the water and soil.

    • 5 Humans can extend the use of some natural resources by reducing the amounts they use (for example, driving less to reduce the amount of gasoline used; turning off faucets when not in use).

    • 6 Humans can extend the use of some natural resources by recycling, or collecting used materials and processing them into new materials (for example, collecting waste paper or plastic bottles and making them into new products).

    • 7 Humans can extend the use of some natural resources by reusing products instead of buying new ones (for example, washing containers that food is packaged in and using them again to store different foods or objects).

    • 8 Humans can extend the use of some natural resources by replacing what they use (for example, planting new trees to replace those that are cut for lumber or paper; purifying dirty water from storm drains and discharging clean water back into a river).