Introduction (describes the focus and purpose of the unit)
The Introduction IFD serves two purposes:
1. An introduction to the course through the lens of Overarching Understandings and the processes used to engage with and explore the content.
2. A guide for educators to navigate Instructional Focus Documents during instructional planning for the units of this course. (See parenthetical notes in each section.)
This unit bundles student expectations that allow for the establishment of science procedures, including safety and notebooking.
Prior to this Unit (list of TEKS in previous courses or previous units of this course that align with the content of this unit)
- K.1A – Identify, discuss, and demonstrate safe and healthy practices as outlined in Texas Education Agency-approved safety standards during classroom and outdoor investigations, including wearing safety goggles or chemical splash goggles, as appropriate, washing hands, and using materials appropriately.
- K.2A – Ask questions about organisms, objects, and events observed in the natural world.
- K.2B – Plan and conduct simple descriptive investigations.
- K.2C – Collect data and make observations using simple tools.
- K.2D – Record and organize data and observations using pictures, numbers, and words.
- K.3C – Explore that scientists investigate different things in the natural world and use tools to help in their investigations.
- K.4A – Collect information using tools, including notebooks; non-standard measuring items; weather instruments such as demonstration thermometers.
- K.4B – Use the senses as a tool of observation to identify properties and patterns of organisms, objects, and events in the environment.
- K.8A – Observe and describe weather changes from day to day and over seasons.
- Grade 1
- 1.1A – Identify, discuss, and demonstrate safe and healthy practices as outlined in Texas Education agency-approved safety standards during classroom and outdoor investigations, including wearing safety goggles or chemical splash goggles, as appropriate, washing hands, and using materials appropriately.
- 1.2A – Ask questions about events observed in the natural world.
- 1.2B – Plan and conduct simple descriptive investigations.
- 1.2C – Collect data and make observations using simple tools.
- 1.2D – Record and organize data using pictures, numbers, and words.
- 1.3C – Describe what scientists do.
- 1.4A – Collect, record, and compare information using tools, including notebooks, standard measuring items; weather instruments such as demonstration thermometers and wind socks.
- 1.4B – Measure and compare organisms and objects using non-standard units.
- 1.8A – Record weather information, including relative temperature, such as hot or cold, clear or cloudy, calm or windy, and rainy or icy.
- Grade 2
- 2.1A – Identify, describe, and demonstrate safe practices as outlined in Texas Education Agency-approved safety standards during classroom and outdoor investigations, including wearing safety goggles or chemical splash goggles, as appropriate, washing hands, and using materials appropriately.
- 2.2A – Ask questions about events during observations and investigations.
- 2.2B – Plan and conduct descriptive investigations.
- 2.2C – Collect data from observations using scientific tools.
- 2.2D – Record and organize data using pictures, numbers, and words.
- 2.3C – Identify what a scientist is and explore what different scientists do.
- 2.4A – Collect, record, and compare information using tools, notebooks, and safety goggles or chemical splash goggles, as appropriate; weather instruments such as thermometers, wind vanes, and rain gauges.
- 2.8A – Measure, record, and graph weather information, including temperature, wind conditions, precipitation, and cloud coverage, in order to identify patterns in the data.
- Grade 2, Mathematics
- 2.9D – Determine the length of an object to the nearest marked unit using rulers, yardsticks, meter sticks, or measuring tapes.
During this Unit (an overview of the content in this unit)
Students immediately begin the process of working like a scientist and performing descriptive investigations to set the stage for scientific inquiry throughout the year. Please refer to the TEKS Resource System Resource “Science Notebooking: A Reflective Tool for Assessing Student Understanding_G.3” for more information. Students demonstrate safe practices as described in the Texas Education Agency-approved safety standards; collect and record weather data by observing and measuring using the metric system; recognize differences between observed and measured data; and organize, examine, and evaluate measured data.
The introduction unit is an opportunity to introduce the course through the lens of the Overarching Understandings (big ideas). Throughout the school year, students need to continually look at instances of natural phenomena through the big ideas of systems, classifications, properties, patterns, models, constancy, and change. These terms are included in Key Content Vocabulary, and students should be questioned throughout each unit for instances of these big ideas. Additionally, students need to be continually aware of the processes involved in their “doing” of science.
The scientific processes are very similar throughout every science course, beginning in Kindergarten. Students may need some direct instruction on the purpose and properties of scientific processes; however, it is intended for students to develop a deep understanding of the scientific processes by using them in the context of the content of this course, throughout every unit of this course. There are no Performance Assessments or assessment items associated with the introduction.
The purpose of observing, measuring, and recording weather data at this time is to give a purpose and context for setting up and using the notebook. The actual content of weather will be addressed in Unit 06, Investigating Weather. Collecting data on a regular basis over time allows students to begin to recognize patterns in our natural world. Students collect data for air temperature, precipitation, and wind direction using appropriate equipment that measures in metric units, where appropriate. Teachers should determine the frequency with which local weather data will be collected throughout the year.
Note that rain gauges use inches or millimeters to measure rainfall, and students in Grade 2 Mathematics have only been introduced to metric measurement of length in meters and centimeters.
According to the introductory material of the TEKS, “The study of elementary science includes planning and safely implementing classroom and outdoor investigations using scientific processes, including inquiry methods, analyzing information, making informed decisions, and using tools to collect and record information, while addressing the major concepts and vocabulary in the context of Physical, Earth, and Life sciences. Districts are encouraged to facilitate classroom and outdoor investigations for at least 60% of instructional time.”
Other considerations: Reference the Science COVID-19 Gap Implementation Tool Grade 3.
Streamlining Note (a statement describing the changes in relevant TEKS in current and previous courses implemented in the 2018-2019 school year)
TEKS 3.4B was deleted; appropriate safety equipment from 3.4B is now embedded in 3.1A. 3.4A removed microscopes, compasses, and sound recorders as required equipment. See the Science TEKS Streamlining Side by Side Grade 3 (link in System Resources below).
After this Unit (a statement that may describe the content that will be studied next in the course, how the content aligns with future courses, or how the content of this unit may be used in the real world)
Students will continue using scientific processes, safe practices, and their science notebooks throughout the year as they investigate scientific concepts and describe their findings. Ongoing weather data collection will be utilized during Unit 06, Investigating Weather.
STAAR Note (a brief statement regarding STAAR or a list of TEKS that may be assessed on STAAR)
The student expectations in this unit support Scientific Investigation and Reasoning Skills that may be assessed on the Grade 5 Science STAAR:
- These skills are foundational for Grade 5 Scientific Investigation and Reasoning and will be incorporated into at least 40% of the test questions on the Grade 5 STAAR in Reporting Categories 1–4.
Research (list of research-based Student Expectations that align with the TEKS of this unit)
- Scientific investigations may take many different forms, including observing what things are like or what is happening somewhere, collecting specimens for analysis, and doing experiments. 1B/E1*
- Because we expect science investigations that are done the same way to produce the same results, when they do not, it is important to try to figure out why. 1B/E2a*
- One reason for following directions carefully and for keeping records of one's work is to provide information on what might have caused differences in investigations. 1B/E2b
- Scientists' explanations about what happens in the world come partly from what they observe, partly from what they think. 1B/E3a
- Sometimes scientists have different explanations for the same set of observations. That usually leads to their making more observations to resolve the differences. 1B/E3bc
- Scientists do not pay much attention to claims about how something they know about works unless the claims are backed up with evidence that can be confirmed, along with a logical argument. 1B/E4”
American Association for the Advancement of Science. (2009). Benchmarks for scientific literacy. Project 2061. Retrieved from