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Instructional Focus Document
Grade 5 Science
TITLE : Unit 09: Investigating Fossils and Environments SUGGESTED DURATION : 5 days

Unit Overview

During this Unit

This unit bundles student expectations that address organisms and environments of the past. Students demonstrate safe and healthy practices as outlined in the Texas Education Agency-approved safety standards while engaging in investigations. They use models to identify fossils as evidence of past living organisms and the nature of the environments at the time. Additionally, students communicate and discuss their observations and record data in their notebooks. Furthermore, students consider environmentally appropriate and responsible practices with resources during investigations. This is students’ first experience with the concept of fossils as evidence of past environments, and it will not be revisited prior to Biology.

 

Streamlining Note

TEKS 5.7D was moved in its entirety from the Earth and Space reporting category to the Organisms and Environments reporting category and was recoded as 5.9D. The original 5.9D was deleted (carbon dioxide-oxygen cycle). See the Science TEKS Streamlining Side by Side Grade 5 (link in System Resources below).

 

Prior Content Connections

  • Grade 3
    • 3.9C – Describe environmental changes such as floods and droughts where some organisms thrive and others perish or move to new locations.
  • Grade 5
    • 5.10A – Compare the structures and functions of different species that help them live and survive in a specific environment such as hooves on prairie animals or webbed feet in aquatic animals.

 

After this Unit

Students in Biology will examine scientific explanations of abrupt appearance and stasis in the fossil record.

 

STAAR Note

The Grade 5 Science STAAR will directly assess student expectations in the following reporting categories:

  • Reporting Category 4: Organisms and Environments
    • 5.9D – Supporting Standard

 

According to Research

The study of fossils that preserve plant and animal structures is one approach to looking at characteristics of organisms. Evidence for the similarity within diversity of existing organisms can draw upon students' expanding knowledge of anatomical similarities and differences.

 

“By the end of the 5th grade, students should know that:

  • Fossils can be compared to one another and to living organisms according to their similarities and differences. Some organisms that lived long ago are similar to existing organisms, but some are quite different. 5F/E2”

American Association for the Advancement of Science. (2009). Benchmarks on-line. Retrieved from http://www.project2061.org/publications/bsl/online.


Scientists investigate the natural world in order to understand and explain its systems.

  • Why is it important to know and understand how the natural world works?
  • How are the components (parts), processes, and patterns of systems connected?

 

Scientific investigation is an orderly process to ensure that scientific claims are trustworthy.

  • Why is it important to be able to trust scientists’ work?
  • How do scientists make and support their claims?
  • What processes help scientists investigate their claim?

 

Data is collected and organized in an orderly manner, and analyzed by observing patterns and relationships in order to develop reasonable explanations and make predictions.

  • How can data be used to make reasonable explanations?

 

Scientists analyze, assess, and review each other’s work using processes of scientific investigations, and build on one another’s ideas through new investigations.

  • How can we know what to believe about a scientific claim?
  • In what ways have scientific explanations affected scientific thinking and people over time?
  • Why is it important to know and understand how things work and why things happen?
Unit Understandings
and Questions
Overarching Concepts
and Unit Concepts
Performance Assessment(s)

Fossils are the preserved evidence of past living organisms and can provide additional evidence about the nature of the environments at the time.

  • In what ways can fossils inform us about past living organisms and the environments in which they lived?

Systems

  • Environment

 

Classifications

  • Marine
  • Freshwater
  • Land-based

 

Properties

  • Salt water
  • Desert
  • Tundra
  • Taiga
  • Grasslands
  • Chaparal
  • Savanna
  • Rainforest
  • Alpine
  • Plan fossils
  • Animal fossils

 

Models

  • Fossils
  • Environments

 

Change

  • Organisms
  • Environments
Assessment information provided within the TEKS Resource System are examples that may, or may not, be used by your child’s teacher. In accordance with section 26.006 (2) of the Texas Education Code, "A parent is entitled to review each test administered to the parent’s child after the test is administered." For more information regarding assessments administered to your child, please visit with your child’s teacher.

MISCONCEPTIONS / UNDERDEVELOPED CONCEPTS

Misconceptions:

  • Students may think fossils are pieces of dead animals and plants, rather than an impression, track, remains, or other evidence of an ancient organism formed in sedimentary rocks.
  • Students may think fossils of tropical plants cannot be found in deserts because they do not yet understand how environments may have drastically changed over time.

Unit Vocabulary

Key Content Vocabulary:

  • Environment – all of the living and nonliving elements in a particular (geographic) area
  • Evidence – facts or other information supporting a claim or proposition
  • Extinction – death of an entire species
  • Fossil – impression, track, remains, or other evidence of an ancient organism formed in sedimentary rocks

 

Related Vocabulary:

  • Organism
  • Model

 

Unit Assessment Items System Resources Other Resources

Show this message:

Unit Assessment Items that have been published by your district may be accessed through Search All Components in the District Resources tab. Assessment items may also be found using the Assessment Center if your district has granted access to that tool.

System Resources may be accessed through Search All Components in the District Resources Tab.

State:

Texas Education Agency – Texas Safety Standards

http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index2.aspx?id=5483 (look under Documents)

 

Texas Gateway for Online Resources by TEA – Interactive Science Glossary

https://www.texasgateway.org/resource/interactive-science-glossary


TAUGHT DIRECTLY TEKS

TEKS intended to be explicitly taught in this unit.

TEKS/SE Legend:

  • Knowledge and Skills Statements (TEKS) identified by TEA are in italicized, bolded, black text.
  • Student Expectations (TEKS) identified by TEA are in bolded, black text.
  • Student Expectations (TEKS) are labeled Supporting as identified by TEA of the assessed curriculum.
  • Student Expectations (TEKS) are labeled Process standards as identified by TEA of the assessed curriculum.
  • Portions of the Student Expectations (TEKS) that are not included in this unit but are taught in previous or future units are indicated by a strike-through.

Specificity Legend:

  • Supporting information / clarifications (specificity) written by TEKS Resource System are in blue text.
  • Unit-specific clarifications are in italicized, blue text.
  • Information from Texas Education Agency (TEA), Texas College and Career Readiness Standards (TxCCRS), and American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Project 2061 is labeled.
  • A Partial Specificity label indicates that a portion of the specificity not aligned to this unit has been removed.
TEKS# SE# TEKS SPECIFICITY
5.1 Scientific investigation and reasoning. The student conducts classroom and outdoor investigations following home and school safety procedures and environmentally appropriate and ethical practices. The student is expected to:
5.1A Demonstrate safe practices and the use of safety equipment as outlined in Texas Education Agency-approved safety standards during classroom and outdoor investigations using safety equipment, including safety goggles or chemical splash goggles, as appropriate, and gloves, as appropriate.
Process Standard

Demonstrate

SAFE PRACTICES

Including, but not limited to:

  • Wearing safety goggles or chemical splash goggles, as appropriate
  • Wearing gloves
  • Washing hands
  • Using materials appropriately
  • Follow classroom and outdoor safety guidelines, as outlined in Texas Education Agency-approved safety standards
  • Use safety equipment appropriately

Note(s):

  • STAAR:
    • The process skills will be incorporated into at least 40% of the test questions and will be identified along with content standards.
  • TEA: 
5.2 Scientific investigation and reasoning. The student uses scientific practices during laboratory and outdoor investigations. The student is expected to:
5.2B Ask well defined questions, formulate testable hypotheses, and select and use appropriate equipment and technology.
Process Standard

Ask, Formulate, Select, Use

QUESTIONS, HYPOTHESES, EQUIPMENT, AND TECHNOLOGY

Including, but not limited to:

  • Ask well defined questions
    • Focus for the investigation
    • Testable questions vs. non-testable questions (cause and effect)
  • Formulate testable hypotheses
    • Testing variables
    • Perform a test of how two variables might be related (cause and effect)
    • A tentative relationship is stated (If…then)
    • Possible example:
      • If we increase the mass of the block, then it will move more quickly down the ramp.
        • Cause – changing mass of the block (independent or manipulated variable)
        • Effect – change in speed of the block on the ramp (dependent or responding variable)
    • Analyze and interpret data
    • Provide evidence to support or to refute the hypothesis
    • Use reasoning to explain evidence
    • Select and use appropriate equipment and technology

Note(s):

  • STAAR:
    • The process skills will be incorporated into at least 40% of the test questions and will be identified along with content standards.
    • According to current theory, a linear, step-by-step scientific method is no longer taught as real-world experimental methodology. For example, multiple problem-solving solutions are acceptable as well as engineering design processes.
    • Students should be encouraged to learn from confirming or refuting their hypotheses, as both are valid forms of information.
5.2C Collect and record information using detailed observations and accurate measuring.
Process Standard

Collect, Record

INFORMATION

Including, but not limited to:

  • Detailed observations
  • Accurate measuring (using the metric system)

Note(s):

  • STAAR:
    • The process skills will be incorporated into at least 40% of the test questions and will be identified along with content standards.
5.2D Analyze and interpret information to construct reasonable explanations from direct (observable) and indirect (inferred) evidence.
Process Standard

Analyze, Interpret

INFORMATION

Including, but not limited to:

  • Construct reasonable explanations
    • Direct (observable) evidence
      • Student investigations
      • Teacher demonstrations
      • Visuals such as graphs, charts, tables, illustrations, etc.
        • Possible types of graphs for analysis include:
          • Bar graphs
          • Line graphs
          • Scatterplots
          • Circle graphs (without percentages)
          • Dot plots
    • Indirect (inferred) evidence
      • Student investigations
      • Teacher demonstrations
      • Visuals such as graphs, charts, tables, illustrations, etc.
        • Possible types of graphs for analysis include:
          • Bar graphs
          • Line graphs
          • Scatterplots
          • Circle graphs (without percentages)
          • Dot plots

Note(s):

  • STAAR:
    • The process skills will be incorporated into at least 40% of the test questions and will be identified along with content standards.
    • Students may be asked to interpret data in multiple contexts, such as making predictions based on either observable or inferred evidence.
    • Students may be asked to interpret data displayed from multiple perspectives (views), such as from above, side-view, cut-away, or cross-section.
    • Students may benefit from experience with various visuals, such as making predictions of shadow length from a graph or other visual. 
5.2F Communicate valid conclusions in both written and verbal forms.
Process Standard

Communicate

VALID CONCLUSIONS IN BOTH WRITTEN AND VERBAL FORMS

Including, but not limited to:

  • Methods of communication
    • Written
      • Possible examples may include:
        • Written narratives
        • Observational notebook entries
        • Reflective notebook entries
        • Creating charts, graphs, and tables
    • Verbal

Note(s):

  • STAAR:
    • The process skills will be incorporated into at least 40% of the test questions and will be identified along with content standards.
5.3 Scientific investigation and reasoning. The student uses critical thinking and scientific problem solving to make informed decisions. The student is expected to:
5.3A Analyze, evaluate, and critique scientific explanations by using evidence, logical reasoning, and experimental and observational testing.
Process Standard

Analyze, Evaluate, Critique

SCIENTIFIC EXPLANATIONS

Including, but not limited to:

  • Evidence
  • Logical reasoning
  • Experimental and observational testing

Note(s):

  • STAAR:
    • The process skills will be incorporated into at least 40% of the test questions and will be identified along with content standards.
5.3B Draw or develop a model that represents how something that cannot be seen such as the Sun, Earth, and Moon system and formation of sedimentary rock works or looks.
Process Standard

Draw, Develop

A MODEL THAT REPRESENTS HOW SOMETHING THAT CANNOT BE SEEN WORKS OR LOOKS

Including, but not limited to:

  • Model – a picture, idea, or object that represents an object, a system, or process and is used to help with understanding; models have advantages and limitations
  • Models representing
    • Extinct animals and their environments (fossils)

Note(s):

  • STAAR:
    • The process skills will be incorporated into at least 40% of the test questions and will be identified along with content standards.
    • Students may benefit from experiences with physical, mathematical, and conceptual models.
    • Students may be asked to construct reasonable explanations from direct (observable) evidence using a model. 
5.4 Scientific investigation and reasoning. The student knows how to use a variety of tools and methods to conduct science inquiry. The student is expected to:
5.4A

Collect, record, and analyze information using tools, including calculators, microscopes, cameras, computers, hand lenses, metric rulers, Celsius thermometers, prisms, mirrors, balances, spring scales, graduated cylinders, beakers, hot plates, meter sticks, magnets, collecting nets, and notebooks; timing devices; and materials to support observations of habitats or organisms such as terrariums and aquariums.


Process Standard

Collect, Record, Analyze

INFORMATION USING TOOLS

Including, but not limited to:

  • Use lab equipment appropriately
    • Cameras
    • Computers
    • Hand lenses
    • Notebooks

Note(s):

  • STAAR:
    • The process skills will be incorporated into at least 40% of the test questions and will be identified along with content standards.
    • Students should be familiar with tools needed to investigate grade-level science content, including battery holders for creating circuits.
5.9 Organisms and environments. The student knows that there are relationships, systems, and cycles within environments. The student is expected to:
5.9D Identify fossils as evidence of past living organisms and the nature of the environments at the time using models.
Supporting Standard

Identify

FOSSILS AS EVIDENCE OF PAST ORGANISMS AND THE NATURE OF THE ENVIRONMENTS AT THE TIME

Including, but not limited to:

  • Types of fossils
    • Plant
    • Animal
  • Nature of environments at the time
    • Marine (ocean, seas)
    • Fresh water (lakes, rivers, swamps)
    • Land-based environments
      • Possible examples of land-based environments may include:
        • Desert
        • Forest
        • Tundra
        • Taiga
        • Grasslands
        • Chaparral
        • Savanna
        • Rainforest
        • Alpine
  • Use models
    • Possible examples may include:
      • Road cuts / cross sections
      • Dioramas

Note(s):

  • STAAR:
    • Students need to become familiar with the types of plants and animals supported in various environments (e.g., marine, fresh water, desert, forest).
The English Language Proficiency Standards (ELPS), as required by 19 Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 74, Subchapter A, §74.4, outline English language proficiency level descriptors and student expectations for English language learners (ELLs). School districts are required to implement ELPS as an integral part of each subject in the required curriculum.

School districts shall provide instruction in the knowledge and skills of the foundation and enrichment curriculum in a manner that is linguistically accommodated commensurate with the student’s levels of English language proficiency to ensure that the student learns the knowledge and skills in the required curriculum.


School districts shall provide content-based instruction including the cross-curricular second language acquisition essential knowledge and skills in subsection (c) of the ELPS in a manner that is linguistically accommodated to help the student acquire English language proficiency.

http://ritter.tea.state.tx.us/rules/tac/chapter074/ch074a.html#74.4 


Choose appropriate ELPS to support instruction.

ELPS# Subsection C: Cross-curricular second language acquisition essential knowledge and skills.
Click here to collapse or expand this section.
ELPS.c.1 The ELL uses language learning strategies to develop an awareness of his or her own learning processes in all content areas. In order for the ELL to meet grade-level learning expectations across the foundation and enrichment curriculum, all instruction delivered in English must be linguistically accommodated (communicated, sequenced, and scaffolded) commensurate with the student's level of English language proficiency. The student is expected to:
ELPS.c.1A use prior knowledge and experiences to understand meanings in English
ELPS.c.1B monitor oral and written language production and employ self-corrective techniques or other resources
ELPS.c.1C use strategic learning techniques such as concept mapping, drawing, memorizing, comparing, contrasting, and reviewing to acquire basic and grade-level vocabulary
ELPS.c.1D speak using learning strategies such as requesting assistance, employing non-verbal cues, and using synonyms and circumlocution (conveying ideas by defining or describing when exact English words are not known)
ELPS.c.1E internalize new basic and academic language by using and reusing it in meaningful ways in speaking and writing activities that build concept and language attainment
ELPS.c.1F use accessible language and learn new and essential language in the process
ELPS.c.1G demonstrate an increasing ability to distinguish between formal and informal English and an increasing knowledge of when to use each one commensurate with grade-level learning expectations
ELPS.c.1H develop and expand repertoire of learning strategies such as reasoning inductively or deductively, looking for patterns in language, and analyzing sayings and expressions commensurate with grade-level learning expectations.
ELPS.c.2 The ELL listens to a variety of speakers including teachers, peers, and electronic media to gain an increasing level of comprehension of newly acquired language in all content areas. ELLs may be at the beginning, intermediate, advanced, or advanced high stage of English language acquisition in listening. In order for the ELL to meet grade-level learning expectations across the foundation and enrichment curriculum, all instruction delivered in English must be linguistically accommodated (communicated, sequenced, and scaffolded) commensurate with the student's level of English language proficiency. The student is expected to:
ELPS.c.2A distinguish sounds and intonation patterns of English with increasing ease
ELPS.c.2B recognize elements of the English sound system in newly acquired vocabulary such as long and short vowels, silent letters, and consonant clusters
ELPS.c.2C learn new language structures, expressions, and basic and academic vocabulary heard during classroom instruction and interactions
ELPS.c.2D monitor understanding of spoken language during classroom instruction and interactions and seek clarification as needed
ELPS.c.2E use visual, contextual, and linguistic support to enhance and confirm understanding of increasingly complex and elaborated spoken language
ELPS.c.2F listen to and derive meaning from a variety of media such as audio tape, video, DVD, and CD ROM to build and reinforce concept and language attainment
ELPS.c.2G understand the general meaning, main points, and important details of spoken language ranging from situations in which topics, language, and contexts are familiar to unfamiliar
ELPS.c.2H understand implicit ideas and information in increasingly complex spoken language commensurate with grade-level learning expectations
ELPS.c.2I demonstrate listening comprehension of increasingly complex spoken English by following directions, retelling or summarizing spoken messages, responding to questions and requests, collaborating with peers, and taking notes commensurate with content and grade-level needs.
ELPS.c.3 The ELL speaks in a variety of modes for a variety of purposes with an awareness of different language registers (formal/informal) using vocabulary with increasing fluency and accuracy in language arts and all content areas. ELLs may be at the beginning, intermediate, advanced, or advanced high stage of English language acquisition in speaking. In order for the ELL to meet grade-level learning expectations across the foundation and enrichment curriculum, all instruction delivered in English must be linguistically accommodated (communicated, sequenced, and scaffolded) commensurate with the student's level of English language proficiency. The student is expected to:
ELPS.c.3A practice producing sounds of newly acquired vocabulary such as long and short vowels, silent letters, and consonant clusters to pronounce English words in a manner that is increasingly comprehensible
ELPS.c.3B expand and internalize initial English vocabulary by learning and using high-frequency English words necessary for identifying and describing people, places, and objects, by retelling simple stories and basic information represented or supported by pictures, and by learning and using routine language needed for classroom communication
ELPS.c.3C speak using a variety of grammatical structures, sentence lengths, sentence types, and connecting words with increasing accuracy and ease as more English is acquired
ELPS.c.3D speak using grade-level content area vocabulary in context to internalize new English words and build academic language proficiency
ELPS.c.3E share information in cooperative learning interactions
ELPS.c.3F ask and give information ranging from using a very limited bank of high-frequency, high-need, concrete vocabulary, including key words and expressions needed for basic communication in academic and social contexts, to using abstract and content-based vocabulary during extended speaking assignments
ELPS.c.3G express opinions, ideas, and feelings ranging from communicating single words and short phrases to participating in extended discussions on a variety of social and grade-appropriate academic topics
ELPS.c.3H narrate, describe, and explain with increasing specificity and detail as more English is acquired
ELPS.c.3I adapt spoken language appropriately for formal and informal purposes
ELPS.c.3J respond orally to information presented in a wide variety of print, electronic, audio, and visual media to build and reinforce concept and language attainment.
ELPS.c.4 The ELL reads a variety of texts for a variety of purposes with an increasing level of comprehension in all content areas. ELLs may be at the beginning, intermediate, advanced, or advanced high stage of English language acquisition in reading. In order for the ELL to meet grade-level learning expectations across the foundation and enrichment curriculum, all instruction delivered in English must be linguistically accommodated (communicated, sequenced, and scaffolded) commensurate with the student's level of English language proficiency. For Kindergarten and Grade 1, certain of these student expectations apply to text read aloud for students not yet at the stage of decoding written text. The student is expected to:
ELPS.c.4A learn relationships between sounds and letters of the English language and decode (sound out) words using a combination of skills such as recognizing sound-letter relationships and identifying cognates, affixes, roots, and base words
ELPS.c.4B recognize directionality of English reading such as left to right and top to bottom
ELPS.c.4C develop basic sight vocabulary, derive meaning of environmental print, and comprehend English vocabulary and language structures used routinely in written classroom materials
ELPS.c.4D use prereading supports such as graphic organizers, illustrations, and pretaught topic-related vocabulary and other prereading activities to enhance comprehension of written text
ELPS.c.4E read linguistically accommodated content area material with a decreasing need for linguistic accommodations as more English is learned
ELPS.c.4F use visual and contextual support and support from peers and teachers to read grade-appropriate content area text, enhance and confirm understanding, and develop vocabulary, grasp of language structures, and background knowledge needed to comprehend increasingly challenging language
ELPS.c.4G demonstrate comprehension of increasingly complex English by participating in shared reading, retelling or summarizing material, responding to questions, and taking notes commensurate with content area and grade level needs
ELPS.c.4H read silently with increasing ease and comprehension for longer periods
ELPS.c.4I demonstrate English comprehension and expand reading skills by employing basic reading skills such as demonstrating understanding of supporting ideas and details in text and graphic sources, summarizing text, and distinguishing main ideas from details commensurate with content area needs
ELPS.c.4J demonstrate English comprehension and expand reading skills by employing inferential skills such as predicting, making connections between ideas, drawing inferences and conclusions from text and graphic sources, and finding supporting text evidence commensurate with content area needs
ELPS.c.4K demonstrate English comprehension and expand reading skills by employing analytical skills such as evaluating written information and performing critical analyses commensurate with content area and grade-level needs.
ELPS.c.5 The ELL writes in a variety of forms with increasing accuracy to effectively address a specific purpose and audience in all content areas. ELLs may be at the beginning, intermediate, advanced, or advanced high stage of English language acquisition in writing. In order for the ELL to meet grade-level learning expectations across foundation and enrichment curriculum, all instruction delivered in English must be linguistically accommodated (communicated, sequenced, and scaffolded) commensurate with the student's level of English language proficiency. For Kindergarten and Grade 1, certain of these student expectations do not apply until the student has reached the stage of generating original written text using a standard writing system. The student is expected to:
ELPS.c.5A learn relationships between sounds and letters of the English language to represent sounds when writing in English
ELPS.c.5B write using newly acquired basic vocabulary and content-based grade-level vocabulary
ELPS.c.5C spell familiar English words with increasing accuracy, and employ English spelling patterns and rules with increasing accuracy as more English is acquired
ELPS.c.5D edit writing for standard grammar and usage, including subject-verb agreement, pronoun agreement, and appropriate verb tenses commensurate with grade-level expectations as more English is acquired
ELPS.c.5E employ increasingly complex grammatical structures in content area writing commensurate with grade-level expectations, such as:
ELPS.c.5F write using a variety of grade-appropriate sentence lengths, patterns, and connecting words to combine phrases, clauses, and sentences in increasingly accurate ways as more English is acquired
ELPS.c.5G narrate, describe, and explain with increasing specificity and detail to fulfill content area writing needs as more English is acquired.
Last Updated 04/10/2019
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