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Utah Science

Curriculum Consortium

Tyson Grover 

tgrover@dsdmail.net

Annette Nielson

afonnesbeck@dsdmail.net

5.3 Strand

Matter cycles within ecosystems and can be traced from organism to organism. Plants use energy from the Sun to change air and water into matter needed for growth. Animals and decomposers consume matter for their life functions, continuing the cycling of matter. Human behavior can affect the cycling of matter. Scientists and engineers design solutions to conserve Earth’s environments and resources.

STORYLINE: 5.3.1: Plant Growth

Standard(s) 5.3.1: Construct an explanation that plants use air, water, and energy from sunlight to produce plant matter needed for growth. Emphasize photosynthesis at a conceptual level and that plant matter comes mostly from air and water, not from the soil. Photosynthesis at the cellular level will be taught in Grades 6 through 8. (LS1.C)

Practices

Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions in 3–5 builds on K–2 experiences and progresses to the use of evidence in constructing explanations that specify variables that describe and predict phenomena and in designing multiple solutions to design problems. 

∙ Generate and compare multiple solutions to a problem based on how well they meet the criteria and constraints of the design solution

Disciplinary Core Ideas

LS1.C: Organization for Matter and Energy Flow in Organisms 

Plants acquire their material for growth chiefly from air and water.

Cross Cutting Concepts

Energy and Matter: Energy can be transferred in various ways and between objects.

Storyline Narrative

Engage: Students watch a time-lapse video and make observations about a plant growing. They ask questions about it and then develop a model, showing what energy and matter a plant needs to grow.

Explore & Explain: Students observe water lilies and air plants and read short explanations about the plants. The students develop models to revise their original thinking about the energy and matter all plants need.

Elaborate: Students plan and carry out an investigation to confirm what energy and matter plants need in order to grow. Students collect and analyze and interpret data.

Evaluate: Students construct an explanation using evidence from their investigation that answers the question of what plants need in order to grow, specifically air and water (matter) and sunlight (energy). Students will also use this investigation to explain why water lilies and air plants are able to grow.

Phenomena Statement

Plants can grow independent form soil.

STORYLINE: 5.3.2: Energy and Matter in Living Things

Standard(s) 5.3.2: Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information that animals obtain energy and matter from the food they eat for body repair, growth, and motion and to maintain body warmth. Emphasize that the energy used by animals was once energy from the Sun. Cellular respiration will be taught in Grades 6 through 8. (PS3.D, LS1.C)

Practices

Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information in K–2 builds on prior experiences and uses observations and texts to communicate new information. 

  • Read grade-appropriate texts and/or use media to obtain scientific information to describe patterns in the natural world.

Disciplinary Core Ideas

PS3.D: Energy in Chemical Processes and Everyday Life 

The energy released [from] food was once energy from the sun that was captured by plants in the chemical process that forms plant matter (from air and water). 

LS1.C: Organization for Matter and Energy Flow in Organisms 

Food provides animals with the materials they need for body repair and growth and the energy they need to maintain body warmth and for motion. (secondary)

Cross Cutting Concepts

Energy and Matter: Energy can be transferred in various ways and between objects.

Storyline Narrative

Engage: Students observe a rabbit eating and record observations. They then consider why the animal eats. They look for patterns in the ideas the class shares.

Explore: Students explore what they last ate to show they also eat food and to analyze patterns in energy/matter sources. 

Explain: Students obtain information by conducting research animal behaviors to explain how animals use energy and matter/why animals need to eat food.

Elaborate: Students work with the class to compile a list of ways animals use energy and matter.

Evaluate: Students communicate their understanding by writing a story about a rabbit explaining what the animal uses energy and matter to do.

Phenomena Statement

Plants can grow independent form soil.

STORYLINE: 5.3.3: Movement of Matter

Standard(s) 5.3.3: Develop and use a model to describe the movement of matter among plants, animals, decomposers, and the environment. Emphasize that matter cycles between the air and soil and among plants, animals, and microbes as these organisms live and die. Examples could include simple food chains from ecosystems such as deserts or oceans or diagrams of decomposers returning matter to the environment. Complex interactions in a food web will be taught in Grades 6 through 8. (LS2.A, LS2.B)

Practices

Developing and Using Models: Modeling in K–2 builds on prior experiences and progresses to include using and developing models (i.e., diagram, drawing, physical replica, diorama, dramatization, storyboard) that represent concrete events or design solutions.

  • Use a model to represent relationships in the natural world.

Disciplinary Core Ideas

LS2.A: Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems 

The food of almost any kind of animal can be traced back to plants. Organisms are related in food webs in which some animals eat plants for food and other animals eat the animals that eat plants. Some organisms, such as fungi and bacteria, break down dead organisms (both plants or plants parts and animals) and therefore operate as “decomposers.” Decomposition eventually restores (recycles) some materials back to the soil. Organisms can survive only in environments in which their particular needs are met. A healthy ecosystem is one in which multiple species of different types are each able to meet their needs in a relatively stable web of life. Newly introduced species can damage the balance of an ecosystem. 

LS2.B: Cycles of Matter and Energy Transfer in Ecosystems 

Matter cycles between the air and soil and among plants, animals, and microbes as these organisms live and die. Organisms obtain gases, and water, from the environment, and release waste matter (gas, liquid, or solid) back into the environment.

Cross Cutting Concepts

Energy and Matter: Energy can be transferred in various ways and between objects.

Phenomena Statement

Give a basic description of the phenomena and its link to the core ideas

Storyline Narrative

Engage/Explore/Explain: Students are engaged by a question and experience from the teacher. They then observe time-lapse video clips of fruits and vegetables growing mold and “disappearing” over time. Students plan and carry out an investigation to see what happens to a food item over time (where does the matter go?). Following this, students develop a model to communicate their reasoning.  

Elaborate: Students elaborate on this idea by constructing an explanation of how matter moves to the spider (in the Beets video).

STORYLINE: 5.3.4: Conservation Solutions

Standard(s) 5.3.4: Evaluate design solutions whose primary function is to conserve Earth’s environments and resources. Define the problem, identify criteria and constraints, analyze available data on proposed solutions, and determine an optimal solution. Emphasize how humans can balance everyday needs (agriculture, industry, and energy) while conserving Earth’s environments and resources. (ESS3.A, ESS3.C, ETS1.A, ETS1.B, ETS1.C)

Practices

Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions in 3–5 builds on K–2 experiences and progresses to the use of evidence in constructing explanations that specify variables that describe and predict phenomena and in designing multiple solutions to design problems. 

∙ Generate and compare multiple solutions to a problem based on how well they meet the criteria and constraints of the design solution.

Disciplinary Core Ideas

ESS3.A: Natural Resources 

Energy and fuels that humans use are derived from natural sources, and their use affects the environment in multiple ways. Some resources are renewable over time, and others are not.

ESS3.C: Human Impacts on Earth Systems

Human activities in agriculture, industry, and everyday life have had major effects on the land, vegetation, streams, ocean, air, and even outer space. But individuals and communities are doing things to help protect Earth’s resources and environments.

Cross Cutting Concepts

Structure and Function: The shape and stability of structures of natural and designed objects are related to their function(s).

Phenomena Statement

Give a basic description of the phenomena and its link to the core ideas

Storyline Narrative

Engage & Explore: Students observe graphs showing energy usage and waste production from the United States over several decades. They ask questions and obtain information to help them answer their questions.

Explain: Students observe a map showing water usage by state as well as population growth. Students explain the significance of including population growth on the graph. Students investigate different methods households can implement that have the function of reducing water usage and explain which design solutions are most effective by creating a poster.

Elaborate & Evaluate: Students learn about the sustainability plans of Utah universities and evaluate them to determine which is the optimal design solution with the function of conserving Earth’s environments and resources.