Core Curriculum Content Standards

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Science Standards Learning Progressions

5.4 Earth Systems Science All students will understand that Earth operates as a set of complex, dynamic, and interconnected systems, and is a part of the all-encompassing system of the universe.
G. Biogeochemical Cycles: The biogeochemical cycles in the Earth systems include the flow of microscopic and macroscopic resources from one reservoir in the hydrosphere, geosphere, atmosphere, or biosphere to another, are driven by Earth's internal and external sources of energy, and are impacted by human activity.
Preschool By the end of Grade 2 By the end of Grade 4 By the end of Grade 6 By the end of Grade 8 By the end of Grade 12
Content: Investigations in environmental awareness activities form a basis for young learners’ understanding of biogeochemical changes.

5.4.P.G.1 Demonstrate emergent awareness for conservation, recycling, and respect for the environment (e.g., turning off water faucets, using paper from a classroom scrap box when whole sheets are not needed, keeping the playground neat and clean).
Content: Water can disappear (evaporate) and collect (condense) on surfaces.

5.4.2.G.1 Observe and discuss evaporation and condensation.
Content: Clouds and fog are made of tiny droplets of water and, at times, tiny particles of ice.

5.4.4.G.1 Explain how clouds form.
Content: Circulation of water in marine environments is dependent on factors such as the composition of water masses and energy from the Sun or wind.

5.4.6.G.1 Illustrate global winds and surface currents through the creation of a world map of global winds and currents that explains the relationship between the two factors.
Content: Water in the oceans holds a large amount of heat, and therefore significantly affects the global climate system.

5.4.8.G.1 Represent and explain, using sea surface temperature maps, how ocean currents impact the climate of coastal communities.
Content: Natural and human-made chemicals circulate with water in the hydrologic cycle.

5.4.12.G.1 Analyze and explain the sources and impact of a specific industry on a large body of water (e.g., Delaware or Chesapeake Bay).
Content: There are many sources and uses of water.

5.4.2.G.2 Identify and use water conservation practices.
Content: Rain, snow, and other forms of precipitation come from clouds; not all clouds produce precipitation.

5.4.4.G.2 Observe daily cloud patterns, types of precipitation, and temperature, and categorize the clouds by the conditions that form precipitation.
Content: An ecosystem includes all of the plant and animal populations and nonliving resources in a given area. Organisms interact with each other and with other components of an ecosystem.

5.4.6.G.2 Create a model of ecosystems in two different locations, and compare and contrast the living and nonliving components.
Content: Investigations of environmental issues address underlying scientific causes and may inform possible solutions.

5.4.8.G.2 Investigate a local or global environmental issue by defining the problem, researching possible causative factors, understanding the underlying science, and evaluating the benefits and risks of alternative solutions.
Content: Natural ecosystems provide an array of basic functions that affect humans. These functions include maintenance of the quality of the atmosphere, generation of soils, control of the hydrologic cycle, disposal of wastes, and recycling of nutrients.

5.4.12.G.2 Explain the unintended consequences of harvesting natural resources from an ecosystem.
Content: Organisms have basic needs and they meet those needs within their environment.

5.4.2.G.3 Identify and categorize the basic needs of living organisms as they relate to the environment.
Content: Most of Earth’s surface is covered by water. Water circulates through the crust, oceans, and atmosphere in what is known as the water cycle.

5.4.4.G.3 Trace a path a drop of water might follow through the water cycle.
Content: Personal activities impact the local and global environment.

5.4.6.G.3 Describe ways that humans can improve the health of ecosystems around the world.
Content: Movement of matter through Earth’s system is driven by Earth’s internal and external sources of energy and results in changes in the physical and chemical properties of the matter.

5.4.12.G.3 Demonstrate, using models, how internal and external sources of energy drive the hydrologic, carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, sulfur, and oxygen cycles.
Content: The origin of everyday manufactured products such as paper and cans can be traced back to natural resources.

5.4.2.G.4 Identify the natural resources used in the process of making various manufactured products.
Content: Properties of water depend on where the water is located (oceans, rivers, lakes, underground sources, and glaciers).

5.4.4.G.4 Model how the properties of water can change as water moves through the water cycle.
Content: Natural and human activities impact the cycling of matter and the flow of energy through ecosystems.

5.4.12.G.4 Compare over time the impact of human activity on the cycling of matter and energy through ecosystems.
Content: Human activities have changed Earth’s land, oceans, and atmosphere, as well as its populations of plant and animal species.

5.4.12.G.5 Assess (using maps, local planning documents, and historical records) how the natural environment has changed since humans have inhabited the region.
Content: Scientific, economic, and other data can assist in assessing environmental risks and benefits associated with societal activity.

5.4.12.G.6 Assess (using scientific, economic, and other data) the potential environmental impact of large-scale adoption of emerging technologies (e.g., wind farming, harnessing geothermal energy).
Content: Earth is a system in which chemical elements exist in fixed amounts and move through the solid Earth, oceans, atmosphere, and living things as part of geochemical cycles.

5.4.12.G.7 Relate information to detailed models of the hydrologic, carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, sulfur, and oxygen cycles, identifying major sources, sinks, fluxes, and residence times.