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Skills available for Utah fourth-grade science standards

Standards are in black and IXL science skills are in dark green. Hold your mouse over the name of a skill to view a sample question. Click on the name of a skill to practice that skill.

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1 Students will understand that water changes state as it moves through the water cycle.

  • 1 Describe the relationship between heat energy, evaporation and condensation of water on Earth.

  • 2 Describe the water cycle.

    • a Locate examples of evaporation and condensation in the water cycle (e.g., water evaporates when heated and clouds or dew forms when vapor is cooled).

    • b Describe the processes of evaporation, condensation, and precipitation as they relate to the water cycle.

    • c Identify locations that hold water as it passes through the water cycle (e.g., oceans, atmosphere, fresh surface water, snow, ice, and ground water).

    • d Construct a model or diagram to show how water continuously moves through the water cycle over time.

    • e Describe how the water cycle relates to the water supply in your community.

2 Students will understand that the elements of weather can be observed, measured, and recorded to make predictions and determine simple weather patterns.

  • 1 Observe, measure, and record the basic elements of weather.

    • a Identify basic cloud types (i.e., cumulus, cirrus, stratus clouds).

    • b Observe, measure, and record data on the basic elements of weather over a period of time (i.e., precipitation, air temperature, wind speed and direction, and air pressure).

    • c Investigate evidence that air is a substance (e.g., takes up space, moves as wind, temperature can be measured).

    • d Compare the components of severe weather phenomena to normal weather conditions (e.g., thunderstorm with lightning and high winds compared to rainstorm with rain showers and breezes).

  • 2 Interpret recorded weather data for simple patterns.

    • a Observe and record effects of air temperature on precipitation (e.g., below freezing results in snow, above freezing results in rain).

    • b Graph recorded data to show daily and seasonal patterns in weather.

    • c Infer relationships between wind and weather change (e.g., windy days often precede changes in the weather; south winds in Utah often precede a cold front coming from the north).

  • 3 Evaluate weather predictions based upon observational data.

    • a Identify and use the tools of a meteorologist (e.g., measure rainfall using rain gauge, measure air pressure using barometer, measure temperature using a thermometer).

    • b Describe how weather and forecasts affect people's lives.

    • c Predict weather and justify prediction with observable evidence.

    • d Evaluate the accuracy of student and professional weather forecasts.

    • e Relate weather forecast accuracy to evidence or tools used to make the forecast (e.g., feels like rain vs. barometer is dropping).

3 Students will understand the basic properties of rocks, the processes involved in the formation of soils, and the needs of plants provided by soil.

  • 1 Identify basic properties of minerals and rocks.

  • 2 Explain how the processes of weathering and erosion change and move materials that become soil.

    • a Identify the processes of physical weathering that break down rocks at Earth's surface (i.e., water movement, freezing, plant growth, wind).

    • b Distinguish between weathering (i.e., wearing down and breaking of rock surfaces) and erosion (i.e., the movement of materials).

    • c Model erosion of Earth materials and collection of these materials as part of the process that leads to soil (e.g., water moving sand in a playground area and depositing this sand in another area).

    • d Investigate layers of soil in the local area and predict the sources of the sand and rocks in the soil.

  • 3 Observe the basic components of soil and relate the components to plant growth.

    • a Observe and list the components of soil (i.e., minerals, rocks, air, water, living and dead organisms) and distinguish between the living, nonliving, and once living components of soil.

    • b Diagram or model a soil profile showing topsoil, subsoil, and bedrock, and how the layers differ in composition.

    • c Relate the components of soils to the growth of plants in soil (e.g., mineral nutrients, water).

    • d Explain how plants may help control the erosion of soil.

    • e Research and investigate ways to provide mineral nutrients for plants to grow without soil (e.g., grow plants in wet towels, grow plants in wet gravel, grow plants in water).

4 Students will understand how fossils are formed, where they may be found in Utah, and how they can be used to make inferences.

  • 1 Describe Utah fossils and explain how they were formed.

  • 2 Explain how fossils can be used to make inferences about past life, climate, geology, and environments.

    • a Explain why fossils are usually found in sedimentary rock.

    • b Based on the fossils found in various locations, infer how Utah environments have changed over time (e.g., trilobite fossils indicate that Millard County was once covered by a large shallow ocean; dinosaur fossils and coal indicate that Emery and Uintah County were once tropical and swampy).

    • c Research information on two scientific explanations for the extinction of dinosaurs and other prehistoric organisms.

    • d Formulate questions that can be answered using information gathered on the extinction of dinosaurs.

5 Students will understand the physical characteristics of Utah's wetlands, forests, and deserts and identify common organisms for each environment.

  • 1 Describe the physical characteristics of Utah's wetlands, forests, and deserts.

    • a Compare the physical characteristics (e.g., precipitation, temperature, and surface terrain) of Utah's wetlands, forests, and deserts.

    • b Describe Utah's wetlands (e.g., river, lake, stream, and marsh areas where water is a major feature of the environment) forests (e.g., oak, pine, aspen, juniper areas where trees are a major feature of the environment), and deserts (e.g., areas where the lack of water provided an environment where plants needing little water are a major feature of the environment).

    • c Locate examples of areas that have characteristics of wetlands, forests, or deserts in Utah.

    • d Based upon information gathered, classify areas of Utah that are generally identified as wetlands, forests, or deserts.

    • e Create models of wetlands, forests, and deserts.

  • 2 Describe the common plants and animals found in Utah environments and how these organisms have adapted to the environment in which they live.

  • 3 Use a simple scheme to classify Utah plants and animals.

  • 4 Observe and record the behavior of Utah animals.

    • a Observe and record the behavior of birds (e.g., caring for young, obtaining food, surviving winter).

    • b Describe how the behavior and adaptations of Utah mammals help them survive winter (e.g., obtaining food, building homes, hibernation, migration).

    • c Research and report on the behavior of a species of Utah fish (e.g., feeding on the bottom or surface, time of year and movement of fish to spawn, types of food and how it is obtained).

    • d Compare the structure and behavior of Utah amphibians and reptiles.

    • e Use simple classification schemes to sort Utah's common insects and spiders.