First Grade Science Scope and Sequence

Scope and Sequence: Kindergarten 2nd Grade

First graders will continue to study concrete and observable topics in science. In life science, students will revisit their studies of animals and plants. They’ll also broaden their knowledge through exploring food webs and the interdependence of plants and animals. They’ll study weather and build on the concepts they learned in kindergarten.

View Curriculum Map

View First Grade Overview

Animals

Scaly swimming fish, high-jumping frogs, soft and furry bunnies, slithering snakes, feathery birds and fluttering butterflies–animals come in many different shapes and sizes. This module allows students to explore the many different types of animals and the characteristics that they all share.

Core Concept

Animals are living things that have needs, reproduce, respond to their environment, and are made up of different parts.

Essential Vocabulary

behavior, energy, hibernate, invertebrate, life cycle, migrate, needs, offspring, reproduce, respond, shelter, vertebrate

Earth In Space

Over and over, the Moon changes phase, day turns to night and spring becomes summer. These cycles of change happen as the Earth spins on its axis while orbiting around the sun. This module introduces students to the different cycles observed on Earth.

Core Concept

Earth’s motion and position in space results in predictable patterns of change, including day/night, seasons and the phases of the Moon.

Essential Vocabulary

cycle, day-night cycle, Earth, globe, Moon, orbit, repeat, season, space, sun, sunrise, sunset, year

Eco Awareness

All of the living things that make up the environment depend on each other to meet their needs–even people! When changes happen in the environment, living things respond. In this module, students see how changes in an environment can affect the natural world as they learn the the importance of being eco aware.

Core Concept

We can show that we are eco aware by practicing the three Rs of reduce, reuse, and recycle as well as being sensitive to the needs of the other living things that share the environment with us.

Essential Vocabulary

eco awareness, endangered, environment, fragile, habitat, invasive, litter, natural, pollution, recycle, reduce, reuse

Energy Transformations

Energy is everywhere, and it is used to accomplish many different things, while transforming from sunlight to food and from electricity to heat, light and sound. This module guides students through an exploration of energy transformations in living and nonliving systems.

Core Concept

Energy can be transformed from one form to another as it is used by living and nonliving things.

Essential Vocabulary

transformation, transform, convert, electrical energy, energy flow, generate, heat energy, light energy, nonrenewable, renewable, sound energy

Exploring the Universe

The Universe contains everything, from stars and planets to solar systems and galaxies — even you. In this module, students will explore the different objects that make up the Universe and the tools we need to observe space.

Core Concept

We use special tools to observe the galaxies, stars, and solar systems found in the Universe.

Essential Vocabulary

astronaut, Earth, galaxy, moon, orbit, planet, solar system, space, spacecraft, star, sun, telescope, universe

Food Webs

All living things need energy to live and grow. Most plants get their energy from sunlight whereas people and other animals get their energy from the food they eat. This module explores the relationships between living things and the energy sources they need to thrive.

Core Concept

Food chains and food webs illustrate the flow of energy through a system of living things.

Essential Vocabulary

carnivore, depend, energy, energy flow, food chain, food web, herbivore, omnivore, predator, prey

Force

Opening a door, closing a lid, or skipping to school – each action requires just the right push or pull. This module guides students as they explore force, a push or a pull. It includes gravity and how much of a push or a pull is needed to move various objects over a distance.

Core Concept

Force, a push or a pull, is needed to change the position of an object.

Essential Vocabulary

force, attract, friction, gravity, mass, pull, push, surface, work

Heat Energy

Heat energy is energy that can be felt. Heat energy can be natural, like the heat we get from the sun, or manmade. In this module students explore the properties and characteristics of heat energy, its uses, and various sources of manmade and natural heat.

Core Concept

Heat energy is energy that can be felt and moves from hot to cold by conduction and radiation.

Essential Vocabulary

heat energy, conduction, conductor, contact, degree, insulator, radiate, radiation, temperature, thermometer, transfer, wave

Light Energy

Light energy is energy that can be seen and used to see the matter around us. It can be manmade or natural, like the light from the sun. In this module students are introduced to the characteristics and properties of light energy, its uses, and various sources of manmade and natural light.

Core Concept

Light energy is energy that can be seen and is generated by natural and manmade sources.

Essential Vocabulary

light energy, generate, manmade, natural, opaque, reflect, reflection, shadow, surface, transparent, wave

Living/Nonliving

All living things need food, water, air, and a place to live and grow. This module explains the needs and characteristics that all living things share and guides students as they discover the differences between living and nonliving things.

Core Concept

Living things have four specific characteristics: they are made up of parts, they use energy to grow, they respond to their environment, and they reproduce.

Essential Vocabulary

animal, characteristic, energy, environment, extinct, living, needs, nonliving, offspring, plant, reproduce, resemble, respond, shelter, wants

Location and Perspective

Describing the location of an object accurately is an important skill for effective communication. In this module students explore spatial relationships and the vocabulary used to describe the location of items from multiple perspectives.

Core Concept

The location of an object can be identified from multiple perspectives to determine motion.

Essential Vocabulary

location, perspective, around, left, middle, over, right, under

Magnets

Magnets of all shapes, sizes and strength are used every day – holding up art projects on the fridge, sorting debris in landfills, and keeping high fashion jewelry fastened. In this module students explore the characteristics of magnets and the different materials they attract.

Core Concept

Magnets come in a variety of shapes and sizes and can be used to move objects made of iron.

Essential Vocabulary

magnet, magnetic, attract, bar magnet, ring magnet, horseshoe magnet, force, iron, poles, repel

Motion

Fast or slow, objects, people, animals, liquids, and even gases move. In this module students begin to describe and learn to measure motion, a change in position.

Core Concept

Motion is a change in position and can be measured by distance and time.

Essential Vocabulary

motion, circular, distance, friction, measure, position, surface, time, zigzag

Observing Matter

Describing matter correctly and accurately is an important skill for communicating scientific information. In this module, students are introduced to qualitative observations (those made using their senses) and quantitative observations (those made using tools to measure a numerical value).

Core Concept

Matter has properties that are described using qualitative and quantitative observations.

Essential Vocabulary

properties, senses, qualitative, quantitative, observe, describe, measure, tools

Plants

Giant redwood trees, soft green blades of grass, bright tulips blooming in spring — plants are living things. This module introduces students to the world of plants as they discover that the needs of plants are much like their own needs.

Core Concept

Plants are living things that have needs, reproduce, respond to their environment, and are made up of different parts.

Essential Vocabulary

absorb, characteristic, flower, fruit, germinate, leaves, life cycle, nutrients, photosynthesis, produce, reproduce, respond, root, seed, seedling, stem

Science Tools

Tools are used to collect information. Some tools, like rulers, are used to measure or to find out how big something is. Other tools, like hand lenses, are used to observe and study things carefully. This module introduces students to the different types of tools used in science and how they help us study the world around us.

Core Concept

In science, a tool is something you use to collect data, or information. Scientists use tools to help them observe, describe, compare, measure, and communicate.

Essential Vocabulary

balance scale, beaker, data, equal, hand lens, mass, measurement, microscope, record, ruler, senses, telescope, temperature, thermometer, tool, volume

Simple Machines

Work is made easy with simple machines; they reduce the force needed to move an object over a distance. This module introduces the six types of simple machines — lever, pulley, wheel and axle, wedge, screw, and inclined plane — as students explore what a simple machine is and how simple machines work.

Core Concept

Simple machines are used every day to make work easier by reducing the force needed to move an object over a distance.

Essential Vocabulary

simple machine, work, force, motion, reduce, inclined plane, lever, pulley, screw, wedge, wheel and axle

Sound Energy

Sound energy is energy that can be heard, but only when matter is present to carry the vibration. This module introduces students to the properties and characteristics of sound energy, how it is generated, and why sounds are different.

Core Concept

Sound energy travels in waves and can be described by volume and pitch.

Essential Vocabulary

sound energy, generate, matter, particles, pitch, require, vibrate, volume, wave

States of Matter

Anything on Earth that has mass and takes up space is matter. This module introduces students to solids, liquids and gases, the three most common states of matter on earth, and the unique properties used to characterize each phase.

Core Concept

On Earth matter is found most commonly in three different phases: solid, liquid and gas.

Essential Vocabulary

solid, liquid, gas, definite, container, vibrate, particles, unique, phase, volume

Weather

Whether rainy, sunny, cloudy, or windy, the weather describes what it’s like outside every day. Knowing the patterns of weather can help you to be prepared. In this module students explore the different types of weather and the tools needed to observe, measure and record it.

Core Concept

Weather is how hot or cold, or wet or dry, it is outside from day to day. Weather can be observed and measured using tools.

Essential Vocabulary

data, forecast, hail, measure, meteorologist, observe, precipitation, rain, rain gauge, record, severe weather, snow, temperature, thermometer, weather, wind

New topics will also be introduced in first grade. Students will use their observation skills, tools, and their imaginations to explore Space Science and begin to build a base for future study of our planet and our universe.

Throughout the year, first grade students are revisiting topics they have explored before as well as exploring brand-new topics. Students will continue to build and build upon their foundations of science learning. As students revisit topics that they have explored before, their previous experiences and growing abilities will allow them to develop new and more complex understandings of the topic.