In second grade, students will build upon their understanding of the basic needs of plants and animals developed in Kindergarten and First Grade. They will explore materials science and investigate and classify different kinds of materials by their observable properties, including color, texture, and heat conduction. They will explore computer science combining mathematics and computers and investigate numerical relationships while learning about the sequence and structure required in computer programs. Students will learn that in nature, some changes happen slowly and others happen quickly. They will learn about the water cycle and water’s effect on the Earth’s surface.
Grade Level(s): Second Grade
- How do we learn about the world around us?
- How do we design solutions to problems?
- How can I learn about something I wonder about or solve a problem that is important/interesting to me?
- What is matter?
- How does the structure of something relate to its function?
- What are the implications of interdependence in a system?
- How can we know change is occurring if it happens too slowly to observe?
Enduring Understandings/Big Ideas
- Learning about the world and solving problems begins with wonder, observations and questions.
- Science is both a body of knowledge that can be learned and a process of discovery of the natural world.
- Engineering is the process of identifying problems and using scientific knowledge to design solutions.
- Learning about and engaging in the practice of science and engineering requires curiosity, hard work, and persistence.
- Events have causes that generate observable patterns.
- The shape and stability of structures of natural and designed objects are related to their function(s).
- Patterns in the natural and human-designed world can be observed.
- Simple tests can be designed to gather evidence to support or refute student ideas about cause/effect relationships.
- Objects may break into smaller pieces and be put together into larger pieces, or change shapes.
Course-Level Scope & Sequence (Units &/or Skills)
Unit 1: Plants and Pollinators
Students will build upon their understanding of the basic needs of plants and animals developed in kindergarten and first grade. This unit focuses on plants and includes exploration of plant life cycles and survival needs. The concept of Interdependence is introduced as students learn that plants (because they cannot move) rely on their environment and animals to meet their survival needs and disperse seeds and pollen. Students also learn about the connection between structure and function as they study the characteristics of plant and animal external parts and their purpose. Students will:
- Develop a simple model based on evidence to represent a proposed object or tool.
- Plan and conduct an investigation collaboratively to produce data to serve as the basis for evidence to answer a question.
- Make observations (firsthand or from media) to collect data which can be used to make comparisons.
- Students will investigate the survival needs of plants (specifically sunlight and water).
- Describe cause/effect relationships between a plant's survival and the resources available in its habitat
- Describe how interdependence and structure/function factor into pollination processes.
- Connect the structure of plants and animals to their role in the pollination process.
- Describe the diversity of life in different habitats.
Unit 2: Materials Science - Properties of Matter
In this exploration of materials science, students investigate and classify different kinds of materials by their observable properties, including color, texture, and heat conduction. After analyzing data from materials testing, students apply their knowledge and skills to determine the best material to solve a design problem. Students analyze how their model solves the problem and determine improvements that could be made to their designs. The foundational material for this unit is PLTW Module 1-1, taking place during the first half of third quarter. Students will:
- Identify patterns in the properties of matter and use these pattens to organize and classify different materials
- Describe changes caused to matter by heating and cooling
- Select materials based on how their properties make them suitable for a specific purpose.
- Explore a variety of matter in different states and develop a system for classifying matter based on properties.
- Construct an argument (claim) based on evidence.
- Use knowledge and skills developed in their study of matter to solve a problem/design an engineering solution. For example, designing a container in which so that it can be dropped without breaking.
Unit 3: Grids and Games
This exploratory unit combines mathematics and computers. Students investigate numerical relationships while learning about the sequence and structure required in computer programs. Students will:
- Apply addition and subtraction strategies to make characters move on a grid.
- Work together in groups, using skills and knowledge gained in previous experiences, to design and develop a game in which a player interacts with objects on a tablet screen.
- Use logic to create a working game using an event-based model.
Unit 4: Processes That Shape the Earth
In this unit, students will learn that in nature, some changes happen slowly and others happen quickly. They will identify land and water on maps and identify where water in various forms is found on Earth. They will learn to identify and define various bodies of water. They will learn to describe the steps and processes in the water cycle. Students will be able to define weathering and erosion and describe, explain, and predict how moving water can change the surface of the Earth. Students will:
- Analyze changes in the earth's surface in terms of the time period over which they occur.
- Use patterns in formations found on the Earth's surface to determine the causes of those formations.
- Compare the speed with which various processes cause change to the surface of the Earth.
Date Last Revised/Approved: 2015