In 6th grade, we explore many areas of science - chemistry, biology, physics, processes, energy, ecology/ecosystems and earth science. Our study of science includes conducting field and laboratory investigations to better understand interactions and patterns. Students will participate in projects and presentations using investigations, methods, models and observations to constantly develop scientific processes and skills. This year we are continuing research from an integrated National Service Learning Grant about the Houston Watershed and the Health of Buffalo Bayou. Throughout the year the students will visit Buffalo Bayou along Quail Trail investigating water quality, erosion, flood control, wildlife, plant life, the diverse ecosystems, and the impact of man upon the environment.
Fall Semester (Eighteen Weeks)Our focus is on science processes, safety, chemistry, variables, energy, evaluating commercial products, and physics.
Scientific processes include using scientific inquiry methods; using critical thinking and scientific problem solving strategies; and knowledge of how to use a variety of tools to conduct science inquiry. (6.1, 6.2, 6.3, and 6.4)
Students will demonstrate safe practices during laboratory and field investigations. They will make wise choices in the use and conservation of resources and the disposal of recycling materials. (6.1 A, B) The students will learn and explore properties of variables using the FOSS Variables curriculum. In chemistry, knowledge that substances have physical and chemical properties is developed. The students demonstrate that new substances can be made when two or more substances are chemically combined. Then, they compare the properties of the new substances to the original substances. Students will classify substances by their physical and chemical properties. They will learn the structure of the atom and begin understanding the structure of the periodic table of elements. (6.7 A, B) Includes Bohrs model, 8.8A, and reading of elements symbols to support 7th grade, 7.7. B & 8.9.B, and IPC. The next focus is on energy and physics. In our study of energy, the student will know that obtaining, transforming, and distributing energy affects the environment. Students identify energy transformations occurring during the production of energy for human use. They will compare methods used for transforming energy in devices such as water heaters or hydroelectric plants. They will research and describe energy types from the source to the use and determine if the type is renewable, nonrenewable, or inexhaustible. (6.9 A, B, C) This will utilize materials from the NEED curriculum. This is integrated with the knowledge that systems may combine with any other system to form a larger system. (6.5 A, B) Then students will define matter and energy. (6.8 A) Through studying physics, students will know there is a relationship between force and motion. Students will identify and describe changes in position, direction of motion, and speed of an object when acted upon by a force; and demonstrate that changes in motion can be measured and graphically represented. (6.6 A,B) They will learn about levers and pulleys (FOSS Levers and Pulleys). Includes 7.6.A, B; 7.8.A; 8.7.A, B potential and kinetic energy; and unbalanced/ balanced motion 8.7.A.
Spring Semester (Eighteen Weeks)
Our focus is on life science, ecosystems, earth cycles, and space. This is integrated with the knowledge that systems may combine with any other system to form a larger system. (6.5 A, B) During the study of life science, students explore the relationship between structure and function in living systems. There is a strong focus on cell structures and basic genetics. They learn that traits of species can change through generations and that the instructions for traits are contained in the genetic material of organisms. They will understand that responses of organisms are caused by internal or external stimuli. (6.10 A, B, C; 6.11 A, B, C; and 6.12 A, B) Students will use the HEADS UP Sixth Grade Curriculum that includes studies on nutrition and physical fitness. They will explore and learn about the circulatory system and respiratory system (7.9.A, B; 7.6.C). As we study ecosystems and the ecology, students see the complex interactions that occur between matter and energy. They will describe the energy flow in living systems including food chains and food webs. Students will identify components of an ecosystem to which organisms may respond. (6.8 C; 6.12 C) The maintenance and observation of natural areas and classroom creatures (ongoing throughout year) support the following T.E.K.S.: 6.8.C.; 6.12.A, B, C; 7.11.B; 7.12.A, B, C; 7.6.C; and 7.9.B. Earth science which looks at earth cycles develops the structures and functions of earth systems. Students will summarize the rock cycle (includes 8.12.A). They will identify forces that shape features of the earth including uplifting, movement of water, and volcanic activity. (6.14 A, B, C; 6.8 B; 6.6 C) Includes 8.10; 8.14.A land features from erosion, subsidence, mountain building, subsidence, continental drift; 8.14.C human activities have modified soil, water, and air quality; 8.7.B waves are generated and can travel through different media. Our focus is on integrated studies. This time for study will involve use of the Fruitvale Story, includes 7.14.C; 8.14C; an investigation of pollution and its impact on groundwater and the water cycle. Students identify relationships in a water shed; and describe components of the atmosphere, including the role of atmospheric movement in weather changes. They will explain and illustrate the interactions between matter and energy in the water cycle. This will include the Weather and Water FOSS curriculum, includes 8.10; 8.12.B; 8.14.A. The year ends with investigations about space travel, components of the solar system, moon cycles and the impact of space exploration on mankind. Each six week period, we integrate science history and the contributions of various scientists into the units. Language Arts reading, writing and speaking T.E.K.S. will be reinforced and integrated.