Grades 3-5

Oh, Salmon!

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Through this lesson, students in 3rd-5th grade will understand how the human history of a local creek (Whatcom Creek in this example) affects the health of salmon populations. This lesson is an active way to engage students in graphing through the use of models and uses critical thinking to understand implications of human actions in the past and in the future.

Material Type: Game, Interactive, Lesson, Lesson Plan, Reading

Authors: Barbara Soots, Hannah Newell

Environment

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Through 10 lessons and more than 20 hands-on activities, students are introduced to the concept of an environment and the many interactions within it. As they learn about natural and human-made environments, as well as renewable and non-renewable natural resources, they see how people use our planet's natural resources and the many resulting environmental issues that exist in our world today. Topics include: solid waste disposal; the concepts of reduce, reuse, recycle and compost; the causes and effects of water pollution and the importance of water treatment and clean-up methods; air pollution and air quality and the many engineering technologies to prevent it and clean it up; land use and community planning, seeing how decisions made by people have a long-term impact on our natural world; and renewable energy sources, seeing how solar, water and wind energy can be transformed into electricity. In the hands-on activities, students: create a yarn "web" to identify environmental interactions, which they tally and graph; use Moebius strips (loops of paper with a half twist) to demonstrate the environmental interconnectedness and explore natural cycles (water, oxygen/carbon dioxide, carbon, nitrogen); conduct an environmental issue survey to gather and graph data and use an opinion spectrum; brainstorm ways that they use and waste natural resources; use cookies to simulate the distribution of nonrenewable resources; collect, categorize, weigh and analyze classroom solid waste for a week; build and observe a model landfill; evaluate alternative product packaging; use models to investigate the process and consequences of water contamination; design and build water filters; observe and discuss a balloon model of an electrostatic precipitator; build particulate matter collectors; observe and discuss a model of a wet scrubber; dig into the newspaper's daily air quality index; act as community planning engineers to determine optimal structure placement in a community; investigate the thermal storage properties of sand, salt, water and paper to evaluate their suitability as passive solar thermal mass; design and create models for new waterwheels within time and material constraints; build model anemometers; and create publications to communicate what they have learned.

Material Type: Full Course

PEI SOLS 5th grade Forests: Forest Ecosystem Benefits

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The goal of the fifth grade Forests: Forest Ecosystem Benefits storyline is to build on students’ previous knowledge of plant/animal needs, ecosystems, and protection of Earth’s resources. In this storyline students develop an understanding of forest ecosystems, tree benefits including carbon sequestration, and what trees need to grow/gain mass. 

Material Type: Unit of Study

Author: Pacific Education Institute

PEI SOLS 5th grade Food Waste

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While food waste is not typically seen as contributing to greenhouse gas emissions, it is a major contributor. Reducing food waste is the 3rd most beneficial drawdown solution. Wasted food, and the resources to produce that food, are responsible for approximately 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions. When individuals and groups reduce food waste, it has a huge impact on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Food waste awareness is applicable to every person and community. In this storyline, students conduct a “food waste audit”. Each participating class of students collects, sorts and measures their food waste for one day at lunch. Students discuss the local and global causes and effects of food waste in the environment. Students will also learn the cultural connections around food waste from experts or elders from the local Indian tribe and inquire how different agencies in the community deal with food waste (e.g, grocery store, food bank, city). Suggestion for how students can present their findings and create an action plan are also included. 

Material Type: Unit of Study

Author: Pacific Education Institute

PEI SOLS 5th grade: Regenerative Agriculture

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Soil quality is an important aspect of growing food. In this storyline, students will discover what soil is made of and how carbon is an important part of soil quality as well as how carbon moves between plants, soil, and air. Students will learn how Indigenous people used practices such as composting. Finally, students will explore what regenerative agriculture practices are and how they can be a solution to how the climate is changing over time.  

Material Type: Unit of Study

Author: Pacific Education Institute

PEI SOLS 4th Grade Natural Hazards: Erosion

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What we see on Earth’s surface is a complex and dynamic set of interconnected systems that include the geosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, cryosphere and biosphere. Earth’s processes are the result of energy flow and matter cycling within and among these systems. Understanding Earth’s systems is important for many decisions made in communities today such as where to build a road, where a salmon can successfully build a redd to lay eggs, and how to ensure air quality. Erosion involves all five spheres giving students an excellent example of the interconnectedness of these large systems.  Students may begin the storyline by hearing a story about the relationship between the land and plants from an Indigenous perspective, a local tribe elder or expert if possible. This perspective can be woven throughout the storyline while students explore different types of erosion: wind, water and ice in sand and soil. For real life experiences, students visit their schoolyard or nearby area to find examples of erosion. They may find examples from very small to larger examples of places where soil has eroded. They may find places where human foot traffic has made pathways through a previously planted area.  

Material Type: Unit of Study

Author: Pacific Education Institute

PEI SOLS 3rd Grade Fire: Wildfires in Washington

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A change in climate over time has contributed to a significant increase of wildfires in our state. In this storyline, students will make the connection between changes in ecosystems and the interconnectedness of all things. Students will gain an understanding of combustion (fire triangle), and observe through data that certain conditions (humidity, temperature, fuel load, etc.) contribute to forest fires (fire environment triangle). 

Material Type: Unit of Study

Author: Pacific Education Institute

Grade 3 - Elementary Science and Integrated Subjects: How Do Plants Grow and Survive

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Elementary Science and Integrated Subjects is a statewide Clime Time collaboration among ESD 123, ESD 105, and the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction. Development of the resources is in response to a need for research- based science lessons for elementary teachers that are integrated with English language arts, mathematics and other subjects such as social studies. The template for Elementary integration can serve as an organized, coherent and research-based roadmap for teachers in the development of their own NGSS aligned science lessons.  Lessons can also be useful for classrooms that have no adopted curriculum as well as to serve as enhancements for  current science curriculum. The EFSIS project brings together grade level teams of teachers to develop lessons or suites of lessons that are 1) focused on grade level Performance Expectations, and 2) leverage ELA and Mathematics Washington State Learning Standards.

Material Type: Activity/Lab, Reading, Unit of Study

Authors: Georgia Boatman, Washington OSPI OER Project, Kimberley Astle, Ellen Ebert, Barbara Soots

Grade 4 - Elementary Science and Integrated Subjects: Sage Grouse and Sagebrush, Threatened Partners

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Elementary Science and Integrated Subjects is a statewide Clime Time collaboration among ESD 123, ESD 105, and the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction. Development of the resources is in response to a need for research- based science lessons for elementary teachers that are integrated with English language arts, mathematics and other subjects such as social studies. The template for Elementary Integration can serve as an organized, coherent and research-based roadmap for teachers in the development of their own NGSS aligned science lessons.  Lessons can also be useful for classrooms that have no adopted curriculum as well as to serve as enhancements for  current science curriculum. The EFSIS project brings together grade level teams of teachers to develop lessons or suites of lessons that are 1) focused on grade level Performance Expectations, and 2) leverage ELA and Mathematics Washington State Learning Standards.

Material Type: Activity/Lab, Lesson Plan, Module, Reading, Teaching/Learning Strategy

Authors: Georgia Boatman, Washington OSPI OER Project, Kimberley Astle, Ellen Ebert, Barbara Soots

Grade 5 - Elementary Science and Integrated Subjects: Where Do Plants Get What They Need to Grow?

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Elementary Science and Integrated Subjects is a statewide Clime Time collaboration among ESD 123, ESD 105, and the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction. Development of the resources is in response to a need for research- based science lessons for elementary teachers that are integrated with English language arts, mathematics and other subjects such as social studies. The template for Elementary integration can serve as an organized, coherent and research-based roadmap for teachers in the development of their own NGSS aligned science lessons.  Lessons can also be useful for classrooms that have no adopted curriculum as well as to serve as enhancements for  current science curriculum. The EFSIS project brings together grade level teams of teachers to develop lessons or suites of lessons that are 1) focused on grade level Performance Expectations, and 2) leverage ELA and Mathematics Washington State Learning Standards.

Material Type: Activity/Lab, Lesson Plan, Module, Reading

Authors: Georgia Boatman, Washington OSPI OER Project, Kimberley Astle, Ellen Ebert, Barbara Soots

Washington Green Schools: Zombie Guacamole Training

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These resources make up the Zombie Guacamole curriculum training. This presentation is used when training teachers in the Zombie Guacamole curriculum. Zombie Guacamole is a fifth grade environmental science curriculum driven by the Next Generation Science Standards which prepares students to take action in their school to address food waste issues. This presentation provides curriculum overview, teaching methods, and a deep dive into the phenomenon. This curriculum is driven by the Next Generation Science Standards. In particular these activites allow participants to practice various Science & Engineering pracitces, such as “Developing and Using Models.”

Material Type: Unit of Study

Authors: Shannon Brennan, Becky Bronstein

At-Home Activities

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These resources are driven by the Next Generation Science Standards. In particular these activities allow students to practice various Science & Engineering Practices, such as “Constructing explanations (for science) and designing solutions (for engineering).” Considering these resources are available for a K-5 audience, we’ve only included the standards for grades 3-5. These activities are great for at-home learning and engaging students with their surroundings. 

Material Type: Activity/Lab

Authors: Shannon Brennan, Becky Bronstein