Grade 7

In 2019-2020, new/revised units will be rolled in our 7th grade classrooms. As with all new units districtwide that will be rolled out in the future, these units are driven by engaging phenomena that spark student questions and interest. Students are using science and engineering practices to figure out the phenomena as they build their understanding individually and with each other using all forms of literacy (reading, writing, talking and listening). Literacy connections are built into the units, as well as engineering and connections to professional scientists. The 7th grade units are outlined below.

Unit
Description Essential Questions
Forces, Motion, and Energy
Students investigate the relationships between motion, forces, and energy. Specific topics include kinetic energy, potential energy, thermal energy transfer, conversion between different forms of energy to another, forces that act at a distance (electric, magnetic and gravitational), and Newton’s laws.
How is energy transferred and conserved?

How are forces related to energy?
Astronomy
Building on the 5th grade Earth, the Moon, and the Stars unit, 7th graders will dive more deeply into explaining astronomy concepts such as lunar phases, eclipses, why we have seasons, our place in the Milky Way galaxy, gravity and its impact on earth and in the solar system, and how we know what we do about the solar system (and how and why our thinking has changed over time).
How can we explain the patterns we observe in our solar system and beyond?

How and why has our thinking about the universe changed over time?

Ecosystems
Students build on their prior learning of ecosystems to explore ecosystem dynamics in more detail. They investigate how animal and plant adaptations and behaviors increase successful reproduction, the effect of changes in resources on populations, the effect of environmental factors on organism growth, specific relationships between organisms in an ecosystem, the cycling of matter and energy in ecosystems, and designs for protecting ecosystems.

How and why do organisms interact with their environment and what are the effects of those interactions?


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