What we are learning

6th grade, Q3 Unit Light Energy

Topic: Color and the Electromagnetic Spectrum

Key Vocabulary: light energy, pigment, prism, ultraviolet, wavelength, frequency, spectrum, vacuum, trough, refract, speed of light, opaque, infrared, crest, electromagnetic spectrum,wave, length, electron, reflect, absorb, transverse waves, molecule, transparent,amplitude, atom, astronomy, spectroscope, color, temperature (general)

* Lesson Questions:

* How does the color of light relate to its frequency and wavelength?

* How does the surface of a material affect the color of a material?

* What is the electromagnetic spectrum?

7th grade, Q3 Reproduction and Growth Unit

Factors that Influence Human Growth and Development

* Lesson Questions:

* How do smoking, alcohol use, drugs, and diet influence human embryo development and human health?

* What environmental and lifestyle factors determine human characteristics?

* What genetic factors determine human characteristics?

* What are genetic disorders?

7th grade

Q3, Unit 2, Reproduction and Growth

Topic 2 and 3, Sexual and Asexual Reproduction

Key Terms:

mammal, egg,  gametes, stomata, life cycle, asexual reproduction, gland , 

communicate, budding,mature,  genotype, 

instinct, anther, fruit, animal,  stigma, male,

 behavior,  chromosome, fern, germination,

 meiosis,interact, attract, aquatic, fertilize, sperm cell, pollen , reproduce, fertilization,pistil, stamen,

 organ, female, cone , evolve, embryo, 

 ovary , sexual reproduction,  

antibiotic,  larva,  mutation,  mitosis,  regeneration,  cocoon,  spore,  conifer ,bacteria



  • Lesson Questions:


  • How are gametes involved in sexual reproduction?
  • How do plants reproduce sexually?
  • How does sexual reproduction lead to species diversity?



  • Lesson Questions:


  • How do organisms reproduce asexually?
  • How is asexual reproduction different from sexual reproduction?
  • How similar are organisms that are produced through asexual reproduction?

6th grade
Q3, Unit 2, Light Energy

Reflection, Transmission, and Absorption

Key Terms:

light energy, reflect, opaque, wavelength, convex,

 concave, echo, transparent, wave,focus,

 translucent,  speed, ultraviolet,frequency, prism, 

energy transfer, refract,  electron shell, 

filter, electromagnetic spectrum, transmit, optical, Fresnel lens, electron, 

absorb, photon, light, density, lens, atom, telescope, cornea , color, magnify



  • Lesson Questions:



  • What are the different types of mirrors, and how does light reflect off of them?
  • How does the type of surface affect how light reflects off of it?


    Transmission and Absorption


  • Lesson Questions:




  • What is transmission of light and how does it compare with reflection?
  • What is absorption and how does it affect the energy of a material?

7th grade, Q3, Unit 2 – Reproduction and Growth


Lesson 1 – Mendel and Heredity

* Key Vocabulary pollination, Punnett square, F1generation, replication, generation, seed, phenotype,recessive, genetic trait, dominant trait, offspring, conclusion, gene, characteristic,species, dominance, heterozygous, inherit, parent, heredity, P generation, cell nucleus, allele

* Lesson Questions:

* What is heredity and who first proposed it?

* How do organisms inherit traits from their parents?

* How do scientists predict which genes an organism will inherit?

* What is meant by dominant and recessive traits?

* How do humans select for certain traits in some organisms?

6th grade, Q3 Unit 1

Lesson 5 – Heat and Temperature

  • Lesson Questions:


  • What is the difference between heat and temperature?
  • What happens to the molecules of a substance when heat is added to it?
  • Which types of measurements are used to describe quantities of heat and temperature?
  • How can heat be transferred from one object to another?

Key Vocabulary

variablescalerangeair pressureCelsiusmeasurethermometer (weather)burn, entropyfreezemelting pointatmosphereconductiondegreemeltwarmcalorie (heat energy)radiant energychemical reactionboiling pointfrictionatomsolid thunderthermostat

current, Fahrenheitheattemperature (general)airphysical property

6th grade, Q3, Unit 1 – Heat and Temperature


Lesson 4 – Thermal Expansion and Contraction

Key Vocabulary

solid , kinetic energy, 

phase of matter, conduct, volume (matter), 

matter, liquid, heat, temperature (general), gas, thermal energy, conductor


  • Lesson Objectives:
  • Describe heat transfer by conduction.
  • Explain thermal contraction and expansion.
  • Apply understanding of thermal contraction and expansion to technological design.


  • Lesson Questions:
    • How is heat conducted through solids, liquids, and gases?
    • Why do materials expand and contract?
    • How does the rate of expansion and contraction of a material affect its suitability for use in technological design?

7th grade, Q3, Unit 1 – Cells

Lesson 3 – Protists


    • Define protist
    • Explain how protists move
    • Identify different types of protists
    • Explain how protists get energy from their environment
    • Explain the ecological and environmental significance of different protists
    • Describe the life cycle of a common protist


  • Lesson Questions:
    • What is a protist?
    • How do scientists classify protists?
    • Where on Earth can protists be found?
    • How do protists affect the lives of other organisms?

7th grade, Q3, Unit 1 – Cells


Objective: Define key vocabulary pertaining to the function and structure of life

Key Vocabulary

homeostasiscellphotosynthesiscell theory

cytoplasmmulticellularmitochondria, cell membraneorganismcell wallchloroplastvacuolecell nucleus

DNA, organelle, tissueorganprokaryoteeukaryotic, protistchlorophyllsystem



Lesson 1 - Function of Life

  • Lesson Objectives:
  • Describe the life processes performed by cells.
  • Describe the functions of plant and animal cell organelles.
  • Compare the functions of individual cells to those of organisms.
  • Lesson Questions:
    • What are the life processes performed by cells?
    • What are the functions of the organelles in plant and animal cells?
    • How do the functions of individual cells compare with those of organisms?


      Lesson 2 - Structure of Life

      Lesson Objectives:


    • Explain what cells are and why cells are important.
    • Identify and describe the structures that most cells have in common.
    • Explain how animal cells and plant cells differ.
    • Distinguish between the cells in unicellular and multicellular organisms.
    • Students will identify examples of organs and their functions.
  • Lesson Questions:
    • What are cells and why are they important?
    • What structures do most cells have in common?
    • How do animal cells and plant cells differ?
    • How do cells in unicellular and multicellular organisms differ?

6th Grade Q3, Unit 1 – Heat and Temperature

Objective – Define Key Vocabulary related to Radiation, Conduction, and Convection

Key Vocabulary

rayultravioletwavelengthspectrumsolar energy

astronomywaveradioactivity, radiationheatuniverseenergy transferatom,

absorbthermal energyconductactiondistributeenergy (physical)conductorboil,

moleculefluidmantle, convection (heat)gasdiffusionwind, liquid




6th Grade Q3, Unit 1, Lesson 1 - Radiation

  • Lesson Objectives:
  • Explain how heat travels as radiant energy
  • Explain the nature of radiant energy
  • Model how radiant energy is absorbed by different materials in different ways


  • Lesson Questions:
    • What is radiant energy?
    • How does heat travel as radiant energy?



      6th Grade Q3, Unit 1, Lesson 2 - Conduction

    • Lesson Objectives:

    • Describe conduction
    • Identify and describe conductors
    • Identify and describe insulators
    • Explain the process of thermal equilibrium
    • Model conduction in solids


  • Lesson Questions:
    • How does heat travel by conduction?
    • What is thermal equilibrium?





      6th Grade Q3, Unit 1, Lesson 3 - Convection

    • Lesson Objectives:

    • Describe the flow of heat energy through fluids
    • Define convection
    • Model convection in water


  • Lesson Questions:
    • How are liquids and gases affected by heat?
    • How is thermal energy transferred through liquids and gases?

7th Grade Q2, Topic 9 Simple Machines

Inclined Plane

Lesson Questions:

* What is an inclined plane?

* How does an inclined plane make it easier to lift objects?

* How can an inclined plane be used in a system?


Lesson Questions:

* What is a wheel and axle?

* How does a wheel and axle make it easier to do work?

* How can a wheel and axle be used in a system?


Lesson Questions:

* What is a wedge?

* How does a wedge make work easier?

* What is a complex machine?

* How can a wedge be used in a system such as a complex machine?


Lesson Questions:

* What is a screw?

* How does a screw make work easier?

* How can a screw be used in a system?


Lesson Questions:

* What is a lever?

* How does a lever make work easier?

* How can a lever be used in a system?


Lesson Questions:

* What is a pulley?

* How do different types of pulleys make work easier?

* How can pulleys be used together in a system to increase mechanical advantage?

Key Vocabulary
mechanical advantage, kinetic energy, construct, inclined plane, simple machine, potential energy, gravity, length, kilogram, action, transmit, fulcrum, characteristic, weight, structure, plankton, particle

6th grade Q2 Topics 7 and 8

Characteristic Properties of Matter

Lesson Questions:

* How can different types of matter be distinguished from each other?

* What are physical properties of matter?

* What are the chemical properties of matter?

Changes in State

Lesson Questions:

* What do the terms melting point and freezing point mean and how are they related?

* What do the terms boiling point and condensation point mean and how are they related?

* What happens to molecular energy when a substance changes state?

* What happens to molecular motion when a substance is heated or cooled?

* What happens to the overall mass of a substance when it changes state?

Key Vocabulary

solubility, opaque, plasma, melting point, crystal, volume (matter), physical change, transparent, hardness, density, freeze, temperature (general), conductor, chemical, expand, burn, liquid, habitat, steam, pure substance, melt, gas, freezing point, state of matter, boil, systematic observations, boiling point, action, water vapor, dissolve, vapor, change of state, classify, heat

6th Grade, Q2 Topic 6, Atoms and Elements Review


Lesson Questions:

* What is the relationship between atoms and elements?

* How are atoms of one element similar to and different from atoms of other elements?

* What are ions and why do they have different charges?

Key Vocabulary
nitrogen, radioactivity, atomic number, radioactive dating, half-life, atomic mass, mass, element, electron shell, periodic table of elements, period, energy (physical), proton, pH, neutron, substance, molecule, noble gas, specific gravity, ion, atom, compound, matter, carbon , metal, hydrogen, particle, chlorine

7th grade science, Q2, topic 8


 Lesson Questions:

  • How does work describe the relationship between the force applied to an object and the distance that object is moved?
  • What are some ways that the energy of an object can change when work is done on that object?
  • What is the relationship between work and power?
  • What is the mechanical advantage of a simple machine?

Key Vocabulary

workwedgewheel and axle screwmeasureelectromagnetic spectrum, entropy, lever, pulley, power

7th grade, Q2 Topics 6 and 7

Straight Line Motion

Lesson Questions:

  • What is motion?
  • What causes an object to speed up or slow down?
  • How can we describe the motion of an object?


    Lesson Questions:

  • What is friction?
  • How does friction affect the motion of an object?

Key Vocabulary

frictioninertiacontactforceaccelerationweathering (physical)static electricity, simple machineactionlightningthermal energysurfaceatom, speedmeasure


6th grade Q2 Topic 5 Earth

Lesson Questions:

  • What are the characteristics of Earth that allow it to support life?
  • What are some features of Earth that make it distinct from the moon and from other planets in our solar system?

Key Vocabulary


carbon cycleearthquakegeosphere, asteroidplanetgeologyhorizonatmospheresurfacecircumferencepoleeclipseAntarctic



earth materials, longitudinal diameter

magnetic fieldairArctic

6th grade Q2, Topic 4


Lesson Questions:

* What are the tides and why do they occur?

* How do the relative locations of the sun, moon, and Earth affect the tides?

Key Vocabulary salt water, coastal plain, orbit, action, astronomy, neap tide, spring tide,Earth, gravity, marine, water

7th grade Q2 Topic 5

Speed, Velocity, and Acceleration

Lesson Questions:

* How can motion be described?

* How are speed, velocity, and acceleration related?

Key Vocabulary velocity, motion, speed, acceleration

6th grade Q2, topic 3


Lesson Questions:

* What happens during a lunar eclipse?

* What happens during a solar eclipse?

Key Vocabulary
 lunar, solar system, predict, telescope, orbit, astronomy, position, Earth,revolve, moon, annual, sun

7th grade Q2, topic 4


Lesson Questions:

* What is a magnet?

* What is a magnetic field?

* Where is a magnet’s magnetic field strongest?

Key Vocabulary
 attract, magnetite, force, action, pure substance, electromagnetic spectrum, electromagnet, magnet, repel, pole, generator, magnetic field

6th grade Q2, Topic 2

Rotation, Orbits, and Seasons
Lesson Questions:
  • What happens as the Earth rotates on its axis?
  • What happens as the Earth revolves around the Sun?
  • What causes the seasons to change?
Key Vocabulary

space, annual, season, axis, longitudinal , orbit, 

migration, equator, thermometer (weather), 

position, rotate, Earth, nebular hypothesis, 

revolve, gravity, astronomy,eclipse, sun


7th Grade Q2, Topic 2 and 3

Newton’s Laws

Lesson Questions:

  • What will happen when object A applies a force to object B?
  • What happens when an object at rest or in motion experiences an unbalanced force?
  • What causes an object to accelerate?


    Lesson Questions:

  • What is gravity?
  • How does the force of gravity affect objects on Earth and in our Solar System?

Key Vocabulary


forcenet force, conclusioninference, balanced forcestheory, weightinertiahydroelectric power

weathering (physical)tides

simple machinepulleygravityEarth

6th Grade Q2, Topic 1 Phases

Lesson Questions:
  • Why does the moon have different phases?
  • What are the different phases of the moon?
  • How long does it take the moon to complete one phase cycle?
Define Key Vocabulary

solar system, position, annual, orbit, astronomy, Earth, tides, phase, moon, classify,eclipse

7th Grade Q2, Topic 1 Interaction of Force and Mass

Lesson Questions:
  • What happens when two unbalanced forces act on an object?
  • What kinds of forces can act on an object?
Define Key Vocabulary

work, thrust, weight, mass, inertia, wedge, force, conservation of mass, action, wheel,lever, simple machine, balance

Beginning 9/22/16

7th Grade Q1 Topic 5

Erosion by Water

Lesson Questions:

* How does running water cause erosion and deposition?

* How does groundwater cause erosion and deposition?

* How do waves cause erosion and deposition?

* How do glaciers cause erosion and deposition?

* What are some examples of erosional and depositional landforms?


Key Vocabulary salt water, alluvial fan, river, valley, physical change, erosion, barrier (island), geosphere, moisture, environment, sediment, chemical weathering, landform, superposition, geology, carbon cycle, glacial striations, weathering (physical), bedrock, plucking, glacier, boulder,cirque, deposition (sedimentary), deposit, delta, beach, sinkhole, plateau,action, spit (geology), dissolve, U-shaped valley, longshore current,stalagmite, stalactite, water, cave, sea cave, moraine, till (geology),abrasion, stream, Earth, canyon, sea cliff, rain, groundwater, sea arch


Q1 Topic 6

Erosion by Gravity

Lesson Questions:

* How does gravity contribute to erosion?

* What causes landslides, mudslides, and sinkholes?

* What landforms are produced by the action of gravity and erosion?


Key Vocabulary action, weathering (physical), sediment, boulder, landform, superposition,geology, environment, carbon cycle, physical change, geosphere, bedrock,Earth, canyon, plateau, river, gravity, deposition (sedimentary), deposit,erosion

6th grade

Modern Astronomy, Q1 Topic 4

Lesson Questions:

  • How do telescopes aid scientists in the field of astronomy?
  • What are the two types of optical telescopes and how do they work?
  • Besides visible light, what other types of radiation do astronomers use to study stars and other celestial bodies?



Key Vocabulary

star, ultraviolet, Kuiper belt, orbit, 

frequency, spectrum, launch,gravity, system, astronomy, binary stars, 

astronaut, thrust, satellite, Big Bang Theory, acceleration, measure, 

solar energy, position, nebular hypothesis, Earth,eclipse, space, astronomical unit (AU), meteor, model, comet, structure,constellation, meteorite, light year, sunspot, asteroid, sun, axis, heliocentric,telescope, inference, classify, 

meteoroid, universe, magnetic field


6th grade Q1, Topic 5

Future of Space Exploration

Lesson Questions:

* What instruments do scientists use to study the universe?

* What is the link between technology and our ability to explore and travel into space?

Key Vocabulary space, astronaut, solar system, satellite, moon, Big Bang Theory, star,galaxy, astronomy, telescope, universe

Sept. 1 - Sept. 21
7th grade Q1, Topic 3


Lesson Questions:

  • How do meteorologists study and predict weather?
  • How does the movement of air masses affect weather?
  • How do clouds and rain form?


Key Vocabulary

air pressure, tropical, celsius, cumulus cloud, cirrus cloud, thermometer (weather),tropical depression, ocean current, dew point, hurricane, desert, typhoon, energy transfer, humidity, predict, forecast, theory, carbon cycle, atmosphere, tundra, hail,thunderstorm, taiga, cloud, precipitation, drought, front, action, rain, meteorology,freezing point, tornado, cumulonimbus cloud, thunder, air, weather, waterspout,barometer, Earth, Antarctic, global warming, latitude, temperature (weather),barometric pressure, Arctic, funnel cloud


Structure and Composition of Earth’s Atmosphere, Topic 4

Lesson Questions:

  • What are some of the properties of the atmosphere?
  • What is the composition of air?
  • How do temperature, pressure, density, and composition of the atmosphere vary with altitude?
  • How do the different layers of the atmosphere compare?
  • How is the greenhouse effect important to life on Earth?
  • How has Earth’s atmosphere changed throughout Earth’s history and how does it continue to change?


6th Grade

Space Exploration, Q1 Topic 3

Lesson Questions:

  • What are the basic needs of humans when they travel into space?
  • What are the basic needs of humans if they are to live on other planets?


Key Vocabulary

space, astronaut, solar system, star, position, radiation, moon



Modern Astronomy, Q1 Topic 4

Lesson Questions:

  • How do telescopes aid scientists in the field of astronomy?
  • What are the two types of optical telescopes and how do they work?
  • Besides visible light, what other types of radiation do astronomers use to study stars and other celestial bodies?



Key Vocabulary

star, ultraviolet, Kuiper belt, orbit, 

frequency, spectrum, launch,gravity, system, astronomy, binary stars, 

astronaut, thrust, satellite, Big Bang Theory, acceleration, measure, 

solar energy, position, nebular hypothesis, Earth,eclipse, space, astronomical unit (AU), meteor, model, comet, structure,constellation, meteorite, light year, sunspot, asteroid, sun, axis, heliocentric,telescope, inference, classify, 

meteoroid, universe, magnetic field


Week of August 22 - 26

7th Grade

Energy Transfer and the Water Cycle

Lesson Questions:

  • What is the water cycle and why is it important?
  • What drives the cycling of water between different phases and locations on Earth?
  • How is the sun’s energy transferred around the globe?  
  • How do winds form?  
  • How does the water cycle influence weather patterns?


Key Vocabulary

salt water, air pressure, circulate , biosphere, nitrogen cycle, condense, wind,convection (weather), tropical depression, ocean current, dew point, typhoon,transpiration, humidity, deforestation, cycle, water cycle, pressure, conduct, carbon cycle, distribute, surface, evaporation, energy (physical), energy transfer, cloud,precipitation, drought, absorb, transfer, action, climate, biome, ocean, water vapor,global warming, rain, meteorology, aquatic, vapor, recycle, water, convection (heat), Earth, heat, stream, latitude, groundwater, barometric pressure, weather

6th Grade

Structure Based on Composition

Lesson Questions:

  • What are the compositional layers of Earth’s interior?


Key Vocabulary

lava, density, geosphere, rock layer, volcanic dome, geology, ocean, structure,bedrock, volcano, 
metal, canyon, 

igneous rock, deposit

Week of August 15 - 19

7th Grade Week One: Composition of Earth’s Atmosphere

Lesson Questions:

  • What substances are found naturally in air?
  • How has the composition of air been changed by human activity?

Key Vocabulary



carbon dioxide,




fossil fuels,

global warming,




pollen ,


6th Grade

Q1 Week 1: Plate Tectonics

  • Lesson Questions:
    • What are tectonic plates and what causes them to move?
    • Which natural processes occur as a result of tectonic plate movement?
    • What are three primary types of plate boundaries and what landforms do they cause?
    • How are the rock cycle and tectonic action related?


  • Key Vocabulary

evidence, geyser, seismograph, earthquake, mantle, convection (weather), tectonic plate, continental drift, geosphere, ocean basin, plate tectonics theory, lava, pressure, crust, continent, granite, geology, bedrock, asthenosphere, core, lithosphere, hypothesis, seismic, experiment, fair test, Earth, fault, theory