2nd Grade Science

  • The performance expectations in second grade help students formulate answers to questions such as:

    • “What are the basic components of soil and how do they impact water absorption?” “How does soil effect plant and root growth?” “How can we characterize different soils?” “What part do soils play in the interconnected systems of plant life and the physical world?”
    • “How are the properties of volume and weight investigated using tools such as balances and scales?” “How does an object’s weight or mass determine its properties?” “What forces, like location of fulcrum, contribute to balance?”
    • “What can we learn about the interdependence of organisms and the environment through observation?” “How are the needs of an organism met by its environment?” “What is an organisms’ role/place in its ecosystem?”

    Second grade performance expectations are based on both the Next Generation Science Standards and PA Science and Technology, Environment and Ecology Standards.  Students are expected to develop an understanding of soil components, sand, clay, and humus and their relationship between soil, roots, and plants. Students are also expected to explore the similarities and differences between plants and animals. In addition, students are expected to understand the relationship between balance and weight.  An understanding of observable properties of organisms, soil samples, and physical objects is developed by students at this level through analysis and classification of different materials.  Students are able to apply their understanding of the ideas that ecosystems have interrelated organisms; that soil components affect the growth of plants; and that balance and weight are interconnected. Students are able to use information and models to identify the above understandings.

    In the second grade performance expectations, students are expected to demonstrate grade-appropriate proficiency in developing and using models, planning and carrying out investigations, analyzing and interpreting data, constructing explanations and designing solutions, engaging in argument from evidence, and obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information. Students are expected to use these practices to demonstrate understanding of the core ideas.

    ~Adapted from the Next Generation Science Standards for 2nd Grade

    In 2nd Grade Science, students will know that...

    Soils

    • Earth has changed over time with some changes being rapid and others being slow. 
    • Sometimes changes occur over a longer period of time than one may be able to observe.
    • Soils provide a structural base for plant growth and the medium through which water and nutrients are transferred among the atmosphere, earth, and plants.
    • Soil is made up of different components with different properties. These properties affect plant and root growth.

    Organisms

    • Organisms have basic needs that are met by their environments.
    • Living things can survive only where their needs are met.
    • Organisms obtain the materials they need to grow and survive from their environment.
    • There are many different kinds of living things in any area, and they exist in different places on land and in water.
    • Changes in an organism's habitat can be beneficial or harmful to the organism.
    • Observing plants and animals in natural and model settings helps us understand the interdependence between organisms and their environment.
    • Different plants survive better in different settings because they have varied needs for water, minerals, and sunlight.

    Balancing and Weighing

    • Matter can be described and classified by its observable properties.
    • A great variety of objects can be built up from a small set of pieces.
    • The weight of an object is a force that is related to its mass and the force of gravity; the volume of an object is dependent on its size.
    • Objects have many properties, including volume and weight. These properties can be investigated using tools such as balances.
    • As tools of science, models are based on evidence.
    • Inquiry involves asking a simple question, completing an investigation, answering the question, and presenting the results to others.

    In 2nd Grade Science, students will be developing the following skills:

    Soils

    • Make observations from multiple sources to provide evidence that Earth’s events can occur quickly or slowly.
    • Identify how living things survive changes in their environment.
    • Approach science as a reliable and tentative way of knowing and explaining the natural world and apply this understanding to a variety of situations.
    • Weigh evidence and use scientific approaches to ask questions, investigate, make informed decisions about how they live their daily lives, and engage in their vocations and communities.
    • Make and use observations to identify and analyze relationships and patterns in order to explain phenomena, develop models, and make predictions.
    • Evaluate systems, including their components and subsystems, in order to connect how form determines function and how any change to one component affects the entire system.
    • Explain how the natural and designed worlds are interrelated and the application of scientific knowledge and technology can have beneficial, detrimental, or unintended consequences.

    Organisms

     

    • Construct an explanation about why living things can only survive where their needs are met.
    • Observe and compare the different kinds of living things that are found in different habitats.
    • Use evidence to argue that when the environment changes in ways that affect a place’s physical characteristics, organisms may survive, move to new locations, or die.
    • Identify how living things survive changes in their environment.
    • Approach science as a reliable and tentative way of knowing and explaining the natural world and apply this understanding to a variety of situations.
    • Weigh evidence and use scientific approaches to ask questions, investigate, make informed decisions about how they live their daily lives, and engage in their vocations and communities.
    • Make and use observations to identify and analyze relationships and patterns in order to explain phenomena, develop models, and make predictions.
    • Evaluate systems, including their components and subsystems, in order to connect how form determines function and how any change to one component affects the entire system.
    • Explain how the natural and designed worlds are interrelated and the application of scientific knowledge and technology can have beneficial, detrimental, or unintended consequences.

    Balancing and Weighing

    • Observe, describe, and classify matter by properties and uses (e.g., size, shape, weight, texture, flexibility, hardness, color, etc.).
    • Design an object built from a small set of pieces to solve a problem and compare solutions designed by peers given the same set of pieces.
    • Make observations of how an object made of small set of pieces can be disassembled and made into a new object.
    • Plan and conduct a simple investigation.
    • Devise pictorial and simple graphical representations of the findings in investigations and use these models in developing explanations.
    • Approach science as a reliable and tentative way of knowing and explaining the natural world and apply this understanding to a variety of situations.
    • Weigh evidence and use scientific approaches to ask questions, investigate, make informed decisions about how they live their daily lives, and engage in their vocations and communities.
    • Make and use observations to identify and analyze relationships and patterns in order to explain phenomena, develop models, and make predictions.