4th Grade Science

  • Performance expectations are based on the Next Generation Science Standards and the PA Academic Standards for Science and Technology and Environment and Ecology. The expectations in fourth grade include; students discover that electricity in circuits can generate energy in the form of light, heat, and magnetism; students investigate the interactions between land and water; and students explore different animals in their habitats. Students are guided through investigations; they collect and analyze data as well as thinking critically to develop solutions to scientific questions. Our interdisciplinary approach allows students to problem solve using critical writing, reading and math skills.

    In 4th grade science, students will know that...

    Animal Studies

    • Animals develop behaviors and structures that help them adapt to their habitats.
    • When the habitat changes, some animals survive; others die or move to a new location.
    • A habitat is where an animal finds food, water, shelter, and space—the things it needs to grow and reproduce.
    • Each animal has specific needs. Plants and animals have internal and external structures that serve various functions to survive. When the environment changes in physical characteristics, temperature, availability of resources, some organisms survive, others move, yet others may die.
    • Plants and animals have unique and diverse life cycles that include birth, growth, reproduction, and death.

     Land and Water

    • Rainfall helps to shape the land and affects the types of living things found in a region.
    • Water, ice, wind, living organisms and gravity break rocks, soils, and sediments into smaller particles and move them around. Water occurs underground, above ground, and in the atmosphere.
    • The landscape is a result of the long-term integration of a variety of natural processes that act on the surface of the earth.
    • Water has an important role in shaping the land, and landforms may change the direction and flow of water. Humans can affect these processes.

    Electric Circuits

    • Materials that allow electricity to flow are conductors; those that do not are insulators.
    • Electrical circuits require a complete loop through which an electrical current can pass. An open circuit is an incomplete electric pathway; a closed circuit is a complete pathway.
    • An electric circuit may be constructed with different devices and in different combinations.
    • Electricity in circuits can produce light, heat, and other forms of energy.
    • Energy can be moved from place to place by moving objects or through sound, light, or electric currents.
    • Data are collected and analyzed to help validate or improve a design or decide on an optimal solution.

    In 4th grade science, students will develop the following skills:

    Animal Studies

    • Writing reflectivity is an essential skill in reporting the events and interpretation of an investigation. Communication in written or spoken form is a fundamental practice of science that requires scientists to describe observations precisely, clarify their thinking, and justify their arguments.
    • Develop a model to describe the commonalities of life cycles of different organisms.
    • Construct an argument with evidence that within a specific habitat, some organisms survive well, some not so well, and others cannot survive at all.
    • Construct an argument that animals have internal and external structures that function to support survival, growth, behavior, and reproduction.
    • Freely engage in discussions with others about scientific investigations and observed phenomena.
    • Craft written documents containing appropriate data displays that express an understanding of scientific ideas.
    • Write accounts of work including thoughts, ideas, models, and illustrations.
    • 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.

    Land and Water

    • Make observations and measurements to provide evidence of the effects of weathering or the rate of erosion by water, ice, wind, or vegetation (heating cooling, volume of water, speed of wind, deposition, slope, angles, etc.)
    • Identify various types of water environments in Pennsylvania.
    • Develop a model to describe the ways the geosphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere interact.
    • Use grade-appropriate information from research about a given problem, including the causes and effects of the problem and relevant scientific information.
    • Specify how a design solution solves a problem.
    • Freely engage in discussions with others about scientific investigations and observed phenomena.
    • Write accounts of work including thoughts, ideas, models, and illustrations.
    • 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.

    Electric Circuits

    • Investigate and describe conductors and insulators.
    • Construct serial and parallel circuits and describe the path of electrons in the circuit.
    • Demonstrate and explain open and closed circuits utilizing switches.
    • Carry out investigations to provide evidence that energy is transferred from place to place by electric currents.
    • Use grade-appropriate information from research about a given problem, including the causes and effects of the problem and relevant scientific information.
    • Specify how a design solution solves a problem.
    • Collect categorical and numerical data for presentation in forms that facilitate interpretation (tables and graphs).
    • 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.