Fort Dodge Community School District

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First Grade Science Overview

The First Grade Science program consists of hands-on experiences in which students are taught to investigate and explore. The Inquiry-based, hands-on science curriculum is designed to provide children with exciting science experiences that extend their fascination with the world and help them learn the science skills and concepts they will need later in school and in life.

The Science Curriculum for First Grade consists of two basic units:

Insects: This unit provides experiences that heighten students’ awareness of the living world. They come to know firsthand the life sequences of a number of insects. Four investigations introduce an insect and students observe structures and behaviors, discuss their findings, and record observations over time. Students see the life cycle of insects unfold and compare the stages of metamorphosis exhibited by each species. At the same time, students grow a plant from seeds and observe brassica go through its life cycle to produce new seeds. Students relate these firsthand experiences to information they gather from reading about life cycles of other plants and animals.

Pebbles, Sand and Silt: This unit consists of four sequential investigations, each designed to introduce concepts in earth science. The investigations provide experiences that heighten students' awareness of rocks as earth materials and natural resources. They will come to know rocks by many names and in a variety of sizes. Pebbles and sand are the same material—just different sizes.

Through exploration of the units above and various activities integrated with reading and math, students will continue their study in the following Iowa Core Science Standards:

Science as Inquiry

  • Ask questions about objects, organisms, and events in the environment.
  • Plan and conduct simple investigations.
  • Use tools to gather data and extend the senses.
  • Use mathematics in scientific inquiry.
  • Use data to construct reasonable explanations.
  • Communicate investigations and explanations.

Earth and Space

  • Understand and apply knowledge of properties of earth materials
  • Understand and apply knowledge of observable information about daily and seasonal weather conditions.
  • Understand and apply knowledge of events that have repeating patterns.

Life Science

  • Understand and apply knowledge of the characteristics of living things and how living things are both similar to and different from each other and from non-living things.
  • Understand and apply knowledge of the basic needs of plants and animals and how they interact with each other and their physical environment.
  • Understand and apply knowledge of ways to help take care of the environment.
  • Understand and apply knowledge of basic human body structures (human body parts and their functions).
  • Understand and apply knowledge of good health habits.


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