3.1 The student will demonstrate an understanding of scientific reasoning, logic, and the nature of science by planning and conducting investigations in which a) observations are made and are repeated to ensure accuracy; b) predictions are formulated using a variety of sources of information; c) objects with similar characteristics or properties are classified into at least two sets and two subsets; d) natural events are sequenced chronologically; e) length, volume, mass, and temperature are estimated and measured in metric and standard English units using proper tools and techniques; f) time is measured to the nearest minute using proper tools and techniques; g) questions are developed to formulate hypotheses; h) data are gathered, charted, graphed, and analyzed; i) unexpected or unusual quantitative data are recognized; j) inferences are made and conclusions are drawn; k) data are communicated; l) models are designed and built; and m) current applications are used to reinforce science concepts.
measure length to the nearest centimeter, mass to the nearest gram, volume to the nearest milliliter, temperature to the nearest degree Celsius, and time to the nearest minute, using the appropriate instruments.
develop hypotheses from simple questions. These questions should be related to the concepts in the third-grade standards. Hypotheses should be stated in terms such as: "If an object is cut into smaller pieces, then the physical properties of the object and its smaller pieces will remain the same."
analyze data that have been gathered and organized.
communicate results of investigations by displaying data in the form of tables, charts, and graphs. Students will construct bar and picture graphs and line plots to display data (Example: 3.7 — comparison of types of soil and their effect on plant growth).
design and build a model to show experimental results.
Force, Motion, and Energy
3.2 The student will investigate and understand simple machines and their uses. Key concepts include a) purpose and function of simple machines; b) types of simple machines; c) compound machines; and d) examples of simple and compound machines found in the school, home, and work environments.
identify and differentiate the six types of simple machines: lever, screw, pulley, wheel and axle, inclined plane, and wedge.
differentiate and classify specific examples of simple machines found in school and household items. These include a screwdriver, nutcracker, screw, flagpole pulley, ramp, and seesaw.
analyze the application of and explain the function of each of the six types of simple machines. An example would be that an inclined plane is a ramp to make it easier for a heavy object to be moved up or down.
identify and classify the simple machines which compose a compound machine, such as scissors, wheelbarrow, and bicycle.
design and construct an apparatus that contains a simple machine.
3.3 The student will investigate and understand that objects are made of materials that can be described by their physical properties. Key concepts include a) objects are made of one or more materials; b) physical properties remain the same as the material is changed in visible size; and c) visible physical changes are identified.
explain that physical properties are observable characteristics that enable one to differentiate objects.
design an investigation to determine if the physical properties of a material will remain the same if the material is reduced in size.
3.4 The student will investigate and understand that adaptations allow animals to satisfy life needs and respond to the environment. Key concepts include a) behavioral adaptations; and b) physical adaptations.
give examples of methods that animals use to gather and store food, find shelter, defend themselves, and rear young.
compare and contrast instinct and learned behavior.
create (model) a camouflage pattern for an animal living in a specific dry-land or water-related environment.
design and construct a model of a habitat for an animal with a specific adaptation.
3.5 The student will investigate and understand relationships among organisms in aquatic and terrestrial food chains. Key concepts include a) producer, consumer, decomposer; b) herbivore, carnivore, omnivore; and c) predator and prey.
explain how a change in one part of a food chain might affect the rest of the food chain.
create and interpret a model of a food chain showing producers and consumers.
3.6 The student will investigate and understand that ecosystems support a diversity of plants and animals that share limited resources. Key concepts include a) aquatic ecosystems; b) terrestrial ecosystems; c) populations and communities; and d) the human role in conserving limited resources.
describe major water-related ecosystems and examples of animals and plants that live in each.
list ways that humans can help conserve limited resources.
Interrelationships in Earth/Space Systems
3.7 The student will investigate and understand the major components of soil, its origin, and its importance to plants and animals including humans. Key concepts include a) soil provides the support and nutrients necessary for plant growth; b) topsoil is a natural product of subsoil and bedrock; c) rock, clay, silt, sand, and humus are components of soils; and d) soil is a natural resource and should be conserved.
observe and recognize that soil, as a natural resource, provides the support and nutrients necessary for plant growth.
understand the key terminology related to soil, including humus, nutrients, topsoil, and bedrock.
interpret and illustrate a basic diagram showing major soil layers, including bedrock, subsoil, and topsoil.
analyze and describe the different components of soil, including rock fragments, clay, silt, sand, and humus.
explain how soil forms over time.
design an investigation to compare how different types of soil affect plant growth. This includes organizing data in tables and constructing simple graphs.
collect, chart, and analyze data on soil conservation on the school grounds.
evaluate the importance of soil to people.
describe how soil can be conserved.
Earth Patterns, Cycles, and Change
3.8 The student will investigate and understand basic patterns and cycles occurring in nature. Key concepts include a) patterns of natural events such as day and night, seasonal changes, simple phases of the moon, and tides; b) animal life cycles; and c) plant life cycles.
explain how some events in nature occur in a pattern or cycle, such as the seasons, day and night, phases of the moon (first quarter, full, last [third] quarter, new), tides, and life cycles.
3.9 The student will investigate and understand the water cycle and its relationship to life on Earth. Key concepts include a) there are many sources of water on Earth; b) the energy from the sun drives the water cycle; c) the water cycle involves several processes; d) water is essential for living things; and e) water on Earth is limited and needs to be conserved.
identify the sun as the origin of energy that drives the water cycle.
describe the processes of evaporation, condensation, and precipitation as they relate to the water cycle.
construct and interpret a model of the water cycle.
identify the different ways that organisms get water from the environment.
identify major water sources for a community, including rivers, reservoirs, and wells. Describe the major water sources for the local community.
explain methods of water conservation in the home and school.
identify and communicate the importance of water to people and to other living organisms.
analyze possible sources of water pollution in their neighborhoods, at school, and in the local community. This includes runoff from over-fertilized lawns and fields, oil from parking lots, eroding soil, and animal waste.
3.10 The student will investigate and understand that natural events and human influences can affect the survival of species. Key concepts include a) the interdependency of plants and animals; b) the effects of human activity on the quality of air, water, and habitat; c) the effects of fire, flood, disease, and erosion on organisms; and d) conservation and resource renewal.
explain how organisms in an area are dependent on each other.