Access Point #: SC.4.N.1.Su.1

Ask a question about the natural world, explore materials, observe, and share information.
General Information
Number: SC.4.N.1.Su.1
Category: Supported
Date Adopted or Revised: 02/08
Big Idea: The Practice of Science

A: Scientific inquiry is a multifaceted activity; The processes of science include the formulation of scientifically investigable questions, construction of investigations into those questions, the collection of appropriate data, the evaluation of the meaning of those data, and the communication of this evaluation.

B: The processes of science frequently do not correspond to the traditional portrayal of "the scientific method."

C: Scientific argumentation is a necessary part of scientific inquiry and plays an important role in the generation and validation of scientific knowledge.

D: Scientific knowledge is based on observation and inference; it is important to recognize that these are very different things. Not only does science require creativity in its methods and processes, but also in its questions and explanations.

Related Benchmarks

This access point is an alternate version of the following benchmark(s).

Related Courses

This access point is part of these courses.
5020050: Science - Grade Four
5010045: Language Arts - Grade Four
7720050: Access Science Grade 4
7710015: Access Language Arts - Grade 4
5011040: Library Skills/Information Literacy 4
5020110: STEM Lab Grade 4

Related Resources

Vetted resources educators can use to teach the concepts and skills in this access point.

Lesson Plans

Observing a Physical Change:

In this lesson, students are shown the difference between physical and chemical changes by dissolving and crushing seltzer tablets. Students learn to recognize that physical changes involved changes in size, shape, or texture, while chemical changes involve the formation of a new substance.

Type: Lesson Plan

Designing Windmills:

In this lesson, students engage in an engineering design contest to design and create a windmill that will lift a load.

Type: Lesson Plan

Exploring Magnets:

In this lesson, students observe and record their observations of magnets attracting and repelling each other and other objects..

Type: Lesson Plan

Predator and Prey:

In this lesson the students will learn about a predator/prey relationship. They will learn about the role that plants and animals play in their ecosystem and what each role is called. The students will also learn about the limiting factors each ecosystem possesses that prevent any species population from becoming too large.

Type: Lesson Plan

The Lunar Cycle:

In this lesson, students learn about the Moon's changing appearance and its pattern of movement. Through class discussion, activities, and multimedia resources, students explore the phases of the Moon and are introduced to the concept of orbital motion. The Moon, Earth's only natural satellite, is easily observed with the naked eye. Over the course of one month, students observe and investigate its full range of appearances and its pattern of movement in the sky. Students then model the sun, earth and moon system in the classroom.

Type: Lesson Plan

Introduction To The Nature Journal:

In the lessons here, students exercise the observation skills that are essential to writing, visual art, and science. First, they try to use evocative language in describing pictures of birds from the Smithsonian's National Zoo. They go on to record observations and to make hypotheses as they follow the behavior of animals on the National Zoo's live webcams. They can watch the giant pandas, the tigers, the cheetahs, the gorillas, or any of a dozen other species.

Type: Lesson Plan

Unit/Lesson Sequences

Measuring Mass:

In this unit, students will first do research and study the Law of Conservation of Mass and learn how to form a hypothesis. After they learn how to form a hypothesis, they will use balance beams to measure clay and crayons.

Type: Unit/Lesson Sequence

Plants Parts and Life Cycles:

In this unit, students learn about various plants, their parts, their life cycles, and the importance of bees in plant reproduction.

Type: Unit/Lesson Sequence

Weathering and Erosion:

In this unit, students learn about weathering and erosion (and different types of weathering and erosion) through different models and activities. An engineering design competition asks students to synthesize knowledge about erosion to create an erosion-blocking process/product for the Atlantic Coast.

Type: Unit/Lesson Sequence

Rocks and Minerals:

In this unit, students learn the physical properties of rocks and how they are formed.

Type: Unit/Lesson Sequence

Physical Properties & Physical Change in Solids | Curious Crystals | Inquiry in Action:

In this investigation, students will carefully look at four known household crystals. After observing and describing the crystals, students will be given an unknown crystal, which is chemically the same as one of the four known crystals but looks different. When students realize that they cannot identify this crystal by its appearance alone, they will suggest other tests and ways to compare the crystals to eventually identify the unknown crystal. The other activities in this investigation are examples of tests students can conduct on the crystals. After a series of these tests, students will gather enough evidence to identify the unknown crystal.

Type: Unit/Lesson Sequence


In this lesson students will learn about pollution and its effects. They will learn in depth about pesticides and see its harmful effects that they might not have realized at first. The students will simulate a landfill and see what objects will decompose and which objects won't. They will create their own solutions to an oil spill and test to see which solution is the most effective. The students will observe the effects oil has on water birds. Through this they will determine the long term damage done by an oil spill.

Type: Unit/Lesson Sequence

Student Resources

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Parent Resources

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