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Integrated Lesson Pack
Teach the Dimensions
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  • Birds flying overhead in V formation

    Finding Direction


    Students make simple compasses by floating bar magnets in water and then use their compasses to investigate magnetic force and the magnetic fields of Earth and of simple bar magnets. Students read a short passage about a scientific study of birds and combine this information with observations from their investigation to evaluate claims and model how structures in birds’ eyes are adapted to sense direction.

  • A foot is about to kick a ball.

    Kickball Bocce


    Students play a game to learn about the effects of the strength and direction of force applied to a ball. The game contains elements of kickball and bocce. The goal of the game is to kick a ball such that the ball comes to rest inside of a target on the ground. Students learn that they must take into account both the strength and direction of force applied by their kick.

  • A simple bamboo xylophone

    Musical Tubes


    Students listen to sounds made by tapping paper tubes and observe a pattern in the relationship between the length of a tube and the pitch of its sound. Using this pattern, students design and build a simple instrument that can play multiple notes.

  • Practice science: scientific arguing

    Scientific Arguing


    Teach the Dimensions is a new line of short lessons focused on a single NGSS dimension, useful for introducing students to a new skill or for providing extra practice.

    The first lesson in this series introduces students to how and why scientists engage in argument from evidence. Students will read a passage that illustrates the purpose of scientific arguing and pitfalls that get in the way of effective argumentation. A short, clear list of steps is presented to help students learn this important science skill. Follow-up questions give students practice evaluating and writing scientific arguments.

    Integrates ELA and science by introducing the role of claims-evidence-reasoning arguments in scientific practice.

  • Sun seen through rocks in stonehenge

    Sun Trackers


    Students observe changes in the position of the sun in the sky by building a simple structure that casts distinct shadows to use an as a model observatory. By making brief observations over the course of weeks or months, students discover and analyze patterns of gradual changes in the sun’s path that result in changes in daylight during the year.

  • Teach the Dimensions: Systems and System Modeling

    Systems and System Modeling


    This lesson introduces students to how and why scientists use systems thinking and system modeling. The worksheets use simple, familiar contexts to explain how the parts of a system work together to perform its function by changing and moving energy and matter. The activities provide clear steps and scaffolding for students as they draw their own system models. Discussion and written questions lead students through evaluating multiple models for the same system. This lesson pack contains three sets of student worksheets (2 pages each), teacher pages, and a lesson plan.

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