AboutCurriculumGrade 6 Curriculum ObjectivesScience

Sixth Grade Science Curriculum Objectives


Sixth Grade Science Curriculum Objectives


Nature of Science

Questioning and Hypothesizing

1a Students question and hypothesize

· Ask questions that can be answered by research and/or investigation.

· Develop hypotheses that make a logical prediction based on prior conceptual understanding from research or experience.

Planning Investigations

1b Students plan investigations

· Identify factors that are changed and factors that are held constant.

· Devise repeatable procedure with complete materials list and relevant steps.

· Identify and/or design an appropriate format to record data

Conducting Investigations

1c Students conduct investigations

· Generate and accurately record sufficient data with correct units.

· Follow lab safety protocols.

·  (common core RST.6-8.3) Follow precisely a multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks.

Developing & Evaluating Explanations

1d Students represent and analyze data to develop explanations

· Make an accurate graph, model, or other representation of data.

· Identify patterns, trends, and relationships that exist within the data.

· Make a concluding stastement that indicates agreement or disagreement with hypothesis and is supported with evidence.

· Apply or make data-based inferences related to the concept under investigation.

· Identify experimental errors and discuss reliability of experimental design.

· Ask further questions or apply experimental results to a new problem or situation.

·  (common core WHST.6-8.1) Write arguments focused on discipline-specific content.  

i) Introduce claim(s) about a topic or issue, acknowledge and distinguish the claim(s) from alternate or opposing claims, and organize the reasons and evidence logically.    

ii) Support claim(s) with logical reasoning and relevant, accurate data and evidence that demonstrate an understanding of the topic or text, using credible sources.

iii) Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the argument presented.


Life Science


2a Students demonstrate their understanding of food webs and equilibrium in an ecosystem.

· Student demonstrates understanding of food chains, webs and equilibrium in an ecosystem.

· Student demonstrates understanding of Energy Flow in an Ecosystem by developing a model that shows the flow of energy through an ecosystem starting with a description of how light is transformed into chemical energy by producers, showing how this chemical energy is used by organisms to sustain life, identifying the recycling role of decomposers and explaining how products of decomposition are utilized by the ecosystem to sustain life while conserving mass (e.g. food chains, composting, pyramid of mass, conservation of mass).


2b Students understand and can apply classification to living organisms

· Student understands Classification of Organisms by comparing and sorting organisms with similar characteristics into groups based on internal and external features so that:

· Student identifies common characteristics of Living Things.

· Student identifies characteristics that define each of the following five kingdoms of living organisms (Monerans, Protists, Fungi, Plants, Animals), use these characteristics to classify organisms into kingdoms, and explain why viruses are an outlier in this schema.

· Student recognizes subdivisions of the Kingdom classification schema (e.g. phyla, class, species), specifically identifying a species by their ability to reproduce with one another and produce fertile offspring.

· Student demonstrates the ability to classify an organism by using a dichotomous key.

Environmental Science

Environmental Science

3a Students understand how natural and human processes affect the environment

· Student demonstrates understanding of human impact on the functioning of the natural world by calculating an ecological footprint and researching the management of natural resources (both responsible and poor, e.g pollution, sustainable harvesting).

· Student demonstrates understanding of global climate change by identifying the major gases of earth’s atmosphere and understanding the role of greenhouse gases in global warming.

· Student demonstrates understanding of the water cycle by diagramming, labeling and explaining the process of the water cycle (e.g., evaporation, condensation, transpiration, respiration, precipitation, run-off, and ground water).

Physical Science

Physical and Chemical Change

4a Students understand and can explain physical and chemical change processes

· Student identifies the difference between Physical Change and Chemical Change.

· Student demonstrates understanding of Chemical Change by observing evidence of chemical change and offering qualitative explanations for the observed changes in substances in terms of interaction and rearrangement of the atoms, and the production of new substances with different characteristics, but the same mass as the original substance.

States of Matter

4b Students understand how the behavior of molecules determine states of matter

· Student predicts the effect of heating and cooling on the physical state and the mass of a substance.

· Student demonstrates understanding of the states of matter by explaining why all three states of matter can be observed in a room that has a uniform temperature.

· Student demonstrates understanding of the states of matter by modeling (plays, models, diagrams) molecular motion of the states of matter and explaining how that motion defines each state

Atomic Structure 

     4c Students understand how atoms build matter

· Student demonstrates understanding of properties of matter by recognizing that all living and non-living things are formed from combinations of about 100 elements and are able to illustrate the differences between atoms and molecules.

Properties of Light

4d Students understand the properties of visible light  

· Student demonstrates understanding of Light Energy by explaining that visible light is made up of colored light waves.

· Student demonstrates understanding of Light Energy by explaining that light is a form of energy that can be transmitted, absorbed, or reflected when encountering matter.  

Astronomy and Earth Science

The Solar System

5a Students understand the motion of the Earth, Moon, and Sun

· Student understands the motion of the moon, earth, and sun by creating a diagram or model of the orbit of the earth around the sun AND the moon around the earth including phases of the moon and explaining the effects of these motions.

· Student understands the relative size and position of the sun/moon and how that influences what we see (e.g. view from the Earth and lunar and solar eclipses).    

· Student demonstrates understanding of the seasons by creating a model showing the tilt of the earth on its axis and explaining how the sun’s energy hitting the Earth’s surface creates the seasons.

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