Engineering and Technology
In this unit, students will begin by exploring, identifying and naming simple problems and continue exploring how engineers make and use technology to solve everyday problems. Students will use what they have learned to define a problem, gather information about it and build something to solve the problem. Students will also focus on the design process that engineers use to solve problems. Students will explore simple problems in the natural world and how they can be solved through the development of a new or improved object or tool. As they explore a design process, they will compare and test the shape and stability of objects to determine if they work as intended and are related to their function(s). Lastly, students will develop and test simple models to solve problems through a design process and communicate their solutions.
In this unit, students will begin by observing that sound can cause materials to move and that vibrating materials can make sound. Students will ask questions and explore the concepts of vibration, pitch and volume. They will also plan and conduct investigations to produce data about the relationship between sound and vibrations. Students will use the results of their observations from their investigation to make claims about the cause-and-effect relationship between sound and vibration. They will also explore the different ways people communicate with sound, including devices that allow people to communicate over long distances. Students will use tools and materials provided to build and modify a tool for making sound and communicating over a distance. They will investigate technologies people use to communicate with one another and how sound engineers and people in other careers make use of technology to study and modify sound.
Students will begin the unit by observing how light is necessary to see an object. They will explore how the amount of light affects how much can be seen. As the unit progresses, they will observe objects that give off their own light. During a hands-on activity, students will record observations and compare how much they can see in different amounts of light. Students will also discuss how Thomas Edison’s invention of the light bulb helped bring electricity to people’s homes. Next, students will observe how light passes through objects. They will develop an understanding of transparent, translucent and opaque objects and will explore how shadows are made, how light travels and how light can be reflected or redirected. Students will also explore how people use light to communicate. They will carry out an investigation to test how smooth, shiny surfaces affect a beam of light and then design a way to communicate with light.
Plant and Animal Structure
In the beginning of the unit, students will explore how the external parts of plants allow them to survive and grow. They will also explore how people design solutions by mimicking how plant parts function. As the unit progresses, the students will mimic animal parts to construct a solution to a human problem and explore how the structure of the animal parts is related to their function. Students will explore how the body parts of animals allow them to meet their needs and how people design solutions to problems by mimicking those parts. Students will then mimic animal body parts to create a solution to a problem. At the end of the unit, students will explore how plants and animals respond to their environments, they will carry out an investigation about the effects of light on plant growth and will explore how animal senses help them process information.
Living Things and Their Young
In the beginning of the unit, students will focus on the similarities and differences between adult plants and their young. They will classify plants based on seed traits and they will discuss how the transfer of traits from parent plants to their young result in plants that look alike. Students will observe, illustrate and discuss variation among plants of the same kind and, during a hands on activity, will make observations about how plants of the same kind grow. As the unit progresses, students will focus on the similarities and differences between animals and their offspring. They will explore how animals change as they grow and will observe patterns in these changes. Students will compare parts of young animals and their parents and will compare and contrast coverings of young and adult animals. They will also explore variations among animals of the same kind. At the end of the unit, students will focus on patterns in behavior of parents and offspring that help them survive and they will explore how animals take care of their young. Students will describe the behavioral patterns of parents and offspring that help the offspring get food and they will discover how animals teach their offspring to get food and stay safe.
Objects and Patterns in the Sky
In the beginning of the unit, students will focus on observing, describing and predicting patterns in the way the sun, moon and stars appear to move across the sky. They will make observations of objects in the daytime sky and nighttime sky and use those observations to answer questions about the motion of the objects they see in the sky. Students will explore the motion of these objects as examples of natural events that are repeated through time and will learn to make assumptions about phenomena using observed repetitions as evidence. As the unit progresses, students will focus on how the amount of daylight in a day is related to the time of year. After an introduction to the seasons, students will observe, describe and predict seasonal patterns of sunrise and sunset. They will observe how seasonal changes affect plants and animals. They will also explore these patterns through a variety of interactions and one hands-on activity.