Fort Dodge Community School District

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Fourth Grade Science Overview

The Fourth 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 Fourth Grade consists of three basic units:

Earth:  This module consists of four sequential investigations dealing with observable characteristics of solid materials from the earth-rocks and minerals.  The focus is on taking materials apart to find what they are made of and putting materials together to better understand their properties.  The module introduces fundamental concepts in earth science and takes advantage of the students' intrinsic interest in the subject matter and in the physical world around them.

Magnetism and Electricity:  This module consists of five sequential investigations, each designed to introduce or reinforce concepts in physical science.  The investigations provide opportunities for students to explore the natural and human-made worlds by observing and manipulating materials in focused settings using simple tools.

Structures of Life:  This module consists of four sequential investigations dealing with observable characteristics of organisms.  Students observe, compare, categorize, and care for a selection of organisms, and in so doing they learn to identify properties of plants and animals and to sort and group organisms on the basis of observable properties.  Students investigate structures of the organisms and learn how some of the structures function in growth and survival.

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

  • Identify and generate questions that can be answered through scientific investigations.
  • Recognize that scientists perform different types of investigations.
  • Plan and conduct scientific investigations.
  • Use appropriate tools and techniques to gather, process, and analyze data.
  • Incorporate mathematics in science inquiries.
  • Use evidence to develop reasonable explanations.
  • Communicate scientific procedures and explanations.

Earth and Space

  • Understand and apply knowledge of properties and uses of earth materials.
  • Understand and apply knowledge of processes and changes on or in the earth's land, oceans, and atmosphere.
  • Understand and apply knowledge of fossils and the evidence they provide of past life on earth.

Life Science

  • Understand and apply knowledge of organisms and their environments.
  • Understand and apply knowledge of basic human body systems and how they work together.
  • Understand and apply knowledge of personal health and wellness issues.

Physical Science

  • Understand and apply knowledge of sound, light, electricity, magnetism, and heat.
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