- Course Syllabus
Units of Exploration
The 7th Grade Science curriculum is a spiral curriculum that includes multiple units. Below are the units with a brief description of some of the things that the students will study. All units are supplemented with the McDougal Littell series textbooks.
We will start out the year with the earth and the solar system unit and continue in the following order:
Astronomy (Earth and the Solar System): Students study the Earth’s rotation, the causes of the seasons, shadows, movement of the moon, actions and causes of the tides, and review several calendars developed over the years to mark the passage of time. Students explore the earth’s role in the solar system, our planetary neighbors, the night sky, gravity, remote sensing, relative and absolute distances, and issues in space travel.
Ecology: This unit begins by focusing on what happens when a new species is introduced into an ecosystem. Students consider this issue as they model ecological relationships within an ecosystem. They simulate the effect of competition, predation, and other factors on population size. Next, they investigate local ecosystems.Students culture and investigate black worms (small aquatic worms) as they differentiate between observation and inference. Students have the opportunity to further develop their research skills by completing a research project on the problems of introduced species.
Life Over Time: Students consider whether an extinct species should be brought back to life as they begin to explore evolution. Students examine fossils as they continue to distinguish between observation and inference. A role play presents the basic concept of evolution and the process of natural selection. Activities model the lines of evidence for evolution, natural selection, and the role of genetic mutations. Finally, students evaluate the impact of humans on the extinction and evolution of species.
Diversity of Living Things: This unit focuses on five big ideas. They are: 1) Bacteria and protists have the characteristics of living things, while viruses are not alive. 2) Multicellular organisms live in and get energy from a variety of environments. 3) Plants are a diverse group of organisms that live in many land environments. 4) Invertebrate animates have a variety of body plans and adaptations. 5) Vertebrate animals live in most of Earth's environments