Big Idea 1: 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.

General Information
Number: SC.1.N.1
Title: The Practice of Science
Type: Big Idea
Subject: Science
Grade: 1
Body of Knowledge: Nature of Science

Related Benchmarks

This cluster includes the following benchmarks.

Related Access Points

This cluster includes the following access points.

Independent

SC.1.N.1.In.1
Request information about the environment.
SC.1.N.1.In.2
Use careful observation to identify objects based on size, shape, color, or texture.
SC.1.N.1.In.3
Draw pictures about investigations conducted.
SC.1.N.1.In.4
Ask a question about a science investigation.

Supported

SC.1.N.1.Su.1
Ask questions about common objects in the environment.
SC.1.N.1.Su.2
Recognize differences in objects through observation of size, shape, or color
SC.1.N.1.Su.3
Contribute to group recordings of observations.

Participatory

SC.1.N.1.Pa.1
Recognize common objects in the environment.
SC.1.N.1.Pa.2
Recognize common objects as the same.

Related Resources

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

Assessment

Classification Performance Task:

Using simple items, colored shapes, students use a binary classification system to divide objects, then justify their scheme.

The task assesses primary students' abilities to perform process skills such as classification by using observable differences and similarities.

This task is designed to take students approximately 8 minutes to complete.

Type: Assessment

Lesson Plans

Gr. 1 Lesson 1-Everglades Animal Exploration:

Everglades Animal Hunt is lesson 1 of a 3 lesson unit. Students will learn that animals communicate through their senses. The students will use their knowledge and imagination to vocally and/or physically imitate wildlife of the Everglades.

Type: Lesson Plan

David's big problem:

In this lesson students will work collaboratively in guided groups to resolve conflicts while demonstrating respect and kindness.

Type: Lesson Plan

Blankets for Babies:

Students will choose which baby blanket a store should buy to sell, based on these factors; size, how soft it is, color, and safety. Students will rank four blankets from best to worst.

Type: Lesson Plan

Tub Toys, Ahoy!:

Students will choose the best tub toy for a store to purchase based on several properties including floating, squirting, squeaking and safety.

Type: Lesson Plan

Starry Night!:

Students will observe the night sky and keep an observation log of what they see and what questions they develop. The teacher will guide the students to use an organizational chart and the comprehension strategy of asking questions to learn about stars. Nonfiction texts and websites are used as sources of information throughout the lesson.

Type: Lesson Plan

Have You Ever Met a Tree?:

The students practice making observations of a specific tree and write about it as though they are a scientist.

Type: Lesson Plan

Squeaky Clean:

Students will learn that personal hygiene is needed for overall health. Students will investigate different types of hand cleansers and cleaners in order to find the best solution to keeping germs at bay.

Type: Lesson Plan

Design a Tub Toy - An Engineering Design Challenge:

This Engineering Design Challenge is intended to help students apply the concepts floating and sinking in an engineering design challenge.

Type: Lesson Plan

Crumbly Cookie Company:

Students will determine the best variety for a new cookie entering the market. Students will have to consider flavor, smell, appearance, and the number of cookies in the package.

Type: Lesson Plan

Sink or Float?:

This lesson helps students explore different objects that may sink or float. The teacher will begin the lesson with two candy bars. The students will be able to touch and feel the weight of the candy bars and make predictions on whether the candy will sink or float. After the teacher performs the investigation students will be broken up into groups of three to four and will look at ten different objects and predict if they will sink or float. The students will record their predictions. Fill out a table with there findings and write about why there predictions were correct or incorrect. By the end of the lesson students should understand what a prediction is. They should also understand that objects with more air float.

Type: Lesson Plan

Seaweed Science:

This lesson allows students to begin learning the scientific process of prediction using seaweed. The students will be engaged in a hands-on investigation and will find out that many products they currently eat contain seaweed.

Type: Lesson Plan

Dive, Drop, and Down:

This lesson allows students to explore and learn about the Law of Gravity. In this lesson, students will discover how gravity affects different household objects. Students will also discuss with the class and teacher to explain what gravity is and how it correlates to the world around us. This lesson should take two science blocks of 45 minutes each to complete.

Type: Lesson Plan

Matter is EVERYWHERE Part 4:

Through exploration and discussion, the students will identify whether an object sinks or floats as a property of matter. Students will also sort objects by whether the object sinks or floats. This lesson is part 4 of a 4 part unit on Properties of Matter. During each lesson, the students will explore specific properties of matter through hands-on activities.

Type: Lesson Plan

Matter is EVERYWHERE Part 2:

Through exploration and discussion students will identify texture as a property of matter. Students will develop vocabulary related to describing texture. Students will sort objects by texture. This lesson is part 2 of a 4 part unit on Properties of Matter. During each lesson students will explore specific properties of matter through hands-on activities.

Type: Lesson Plan

Matter is EVERYWHERE Part 3:

Students will classify matter by temperature. Students will explore and come to conclusions about the temperature (hot or cold) of matter. This lesson is Part 3 of a 4-lesson unit on the Properties of Matter.

Type: Lesson Plan

"Handy" Constellations:

This lesson allows students to explore constellations, starting with Gemini. Students will learn about constellations and learn that there are more stars in the sky than anyone can easily count. Students will create a constellation of their own using the outline of their hand. At the end of the lesson, the students will understand that constellations can be viewed differently by others. A worksheet will be completed as a summative assessment.

Type: Lesson Plan

Matter is EVERYWHERE:

Students will identify matter that is in their environment. Students will sort objects by the observable properties size, shape, color. Students will explore and come to conclusions about the size, shape, and color of matter. This lesson plan is part 1 of a 4 part unit which addresses properties of matter. (The properties of temperature, texture, weight, and ability to sink or float will be addressed in subsequent lessons).

Type: Lesson Plan

Night Sky Introduction:

This lesson plan is an introductory lesson for first graders on the objects seen in the night sky and stars.

Type: Lesson Plan

Telescopes and Constellations:

In this two-session lesson, students will use a real telescope to observe how objects appear closer in an artificial night sky. Students will also create a telescope model that will represent how a specific constellation looks in the night sky. The students will be using a Science Journal or "My Space Book" to make a pictorial record of their findings.

Type: Lesson Plan

Observation: The Stars in the Sky:

This is part one of a thematic unit that will take approximately one week to complete with one hour for each day. Students begin be looking at a picture of the stars to peek their interest in the unit and begin to form questions about the stars as the unit goes on. Students learn the word "observation" and then use sight to view "star jars" within groups. The class then answers questions, forms ideas, and draws pictures about what they observe. The teacher guides students into understanding that the stars are scattered unevenly through the sky, and there are too many stars for anyone to possibly count.

Type: Lesson Plan

Double Bubble Science:

In this lesson, students will understand how to use the scientific method to find answers to questions. Students will understand how an inventor uses a question to solve a problem. Students will investigate how to make bubbles with household items and identify different steps of the scientific method that help solve a problem.

Type: Lesson Plan

Rocks, Rocks, Everywhere:

The students will be able to sort rocks based upon color, hardness, texture, layering and particle size.

Type: Lesson Plan

Learn About the Parts of a Plant:

This lesson supports students interacting with nature and provides them with a framework for their observations by offering them opportunities to explore, question, and document similarities and differences among plant parts.

Type: Lesson Plan

Classifying Candy 1:

Students will develop two binary classification systems using concrete objects. The classification systems will be based on two different properties of the concrete objects.

The task assesses students' abilities to make simple observations and apply their understanding to classification.

This task is designed to take students approximately 10-15 minutes to complete.

Type: Lesson Plan

The Shape of Kisses:

This resource features a lesson plan for comparing the properties of Hershey's chocolate kisses in different states: solid and liquid.

Type: Lesson Plan

Investigating Local Ecosystems:

This lesson provides students with opportunities to investigate the habitats of local plants and animals and explore some of the ways animals depend on plants and each other.

Type: Lesson Plan

Hatching Chickens:

This lesson will help students understand the importance of carefully observing and caring for eggs and chickens in the classroom.

Type: Lesson Plan

Night Journals:

This project engages students in data collection as they record their observations of the stars over a month-long period. Teachers keep a class journal (recording their own observations) and students will record their observations each night in their journals by drawing what they saw. Discussion and a follow-up activity involving marshmallows emphasize the multitude and placement of stars.

Type: Lesson Plan

Float or Sink?:

This lesson builds on lessons regarding the different properties of solids by having students explore how different objects float or sink when placed in water.

Type: Lesson Plan

Properties of Solids:

This lesson (intended to be used with other sorting lessons) allows students to understand the basic concepts of matter and properties of solids. This lesson involves the creation of a vocabulary chart with a child-friendly definition of matter and a Thinking Map with the varying properties of solids that students can use to sort different objects. Students explore two different objects and record their observations about the objects' properties.

Type: Lesson Plan

Some Things Happen Fast and Some Things Happen Slow:

In this lesson, teachers show their students pictures of different events happening on Earth and asks if these events happen quickly or slowly, how students generated that judgment, and what happens on Earth after each event occurred. Students can explore a location around the school and record observations in their notebook about what events may be occurring in that location and if they are occurring slowly or quickly.

Type: Lesson Plan

Tree Observations:

In this project, each class "adopts" a tree and collects data about it over the entire year. Teachers maintain a class tree notebook that includes a picture of the tree and a description of the environmental characteristics on each observation day as students draw a picture of the tree that day in their personal science notebooks. Emphasis should be placed on the importance of water, sunlight, and food as essential to the tree's survival.

Type: Lesson Plan

Sink or Float:

Students make predictions and test and sort a variety of objects based on whether they sink or float.

Type: Lesson Plan

Your Own Backyard:

Each of Earth's different environments has its own natural features; this lesson uses multimedia resources to introduce a variety of environments to students. First, students will discuss local environmental features, then take a field trip to explore them. Next, they'll watch videos of different environment types, then compare and contrast their features. Finally, they will discuss the geologic features of interesting places they've visited.

Type: Lesson Plan

Animal Diversity:

This lesson exposes children to a range of animals and guides them through observation of animal similarities, differences, and environmental adaptations.

Type: Lesson Plan

Weighted Eggs:

Students arrange 5 plastic eggs (with objects of different weights inside) in order from lightest to heaviest.

Type: Lesson Plan

Build a Better Boat:

This lesson gives the students an opportunity to recognize the properties of objects (sink and float) as well as working collaboratively to solve problems. This lesson incorporates design challenge aspects at a level that is appropriate for young students who are just beginning their formal education.

Type: Lesson Plan

Catching a Balance Diet:

In this lesson students learn the importance of eating balanced meals and selecting foods the that make up a balanced meal by playing a fishing game.

Type: Lesson Plan

Push and Pull Magnet Art – an Engineering Design Challenge:

This Engineering Design Challenge is intended to help first grade students apply the concepts of the various ways objects can move, and that the way to change the motion of an object is to apply a push or a pull. It is not intended as an initial introduction to this benchmark.

Type: Lesson Plan

Lesson Study Resource Kit

Diversity and Evolution grades K-2:

This resource kit is designed to facilitate K-2 teachers in the development of a unit of instruction that is focused on diversity, adaptation, and classification of living things. Complete with background information for teachers as well as engaging activities and lessons for students, this kit contains exemplary materials that align with Florida's NGSSS for science and includes recommendations for informational texts that align with Florida Standards for English language arts.

Type: Lesson Study Resource Kit

Original Student Tutorials

A Journal of Clues:

Keep written and pictorial records of investigations in this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Germs: How Do You Know?:

Learn how germs that make people sick can spread and why doctors might ask you to learn from home even if you don’t feel sick with this interactive tutorial

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Resource Collection

Air and Weather - FOSS Module:

The Air and Weather Module consists of four sequential investigations, each designed to introduce concepts in earth science. The investigations provide opportunities for young students to explore the natural world by using simple tools to observe and monitor change.

Type: Resource Collection

Teaching Ideas

Colorado Bird Project:

This teaching idea describes a project completed by students in Colorado after studying birds. Students wrote and illustrated informational texts that included information on the physical characteristics of a bird found in Colorado. The same teaching idea can be used with birds from any state.

Type: Teaching Idea

Float or Sink?:

In this water activity, learners test which objects float and which sink. Learners discover that objects behave differently in water. Learners are also introduced to the idea of "predicting" and record their predictions and observations on a chart. This activity is part of the curriculum Explore Water, related to Peep and the Big Wide World, a preschool science series on public television. The activity starts on page 41 of the PDF.

Type: Teaching Idea

Rough Rubbin' Sharks-SeaWorld Classroom Activity:

In this activity, students gain an understanding of sharks' rough, textured skin through artwork. They demonstrate knowledge of a shark's ecosystem. Students will also have the opportunity to measure/estimate different sharks using objects and rulers.

Type: Teaching Idea

A Shrimpy Home-SeaWorld Classroom Activity:

In this activity, students will demonstrate how changes in an environment can affect the survival of an animal.

Type: Teaching Idea

A Slick Operation: Oil Spill Lab-SeaWorld Classroom Activity:

In this activity, given selected materials, the students will be able to demonstrate and discuss the effects of oil on a bird's feathers and discuss a variety of ways humans might be able to remove it.

Type: Teaching Idea

Friction Lesson Plan:

Teacher-created resource on friction for 1st graders.

Type: Teaching Idea

Aiming For Action-SeaWorld Classroom Activity:

In this activity, students will use hand-eye coordination and large muscle skills as they reinforce positive action choices that help endangered wildlife and habitats.

Type: Teaching Idea

A Story Without Words-SeaWorld Classroom Activity:

In this activity, the students will be able to describe the jobs people can do at a zoo or an aquarium.

Type: Teaching Idea

All About Motion:

Students will observe and discuss motion in learning stations or in demonstration. They will observe and discuss how a push or pull affects motion.

Type: Teaching Idea

Animal Disguises-SeaWorld Classroom Activity:

In this activity, the students will be able to demonstrate how cryptic coloration helps ocean animals survive.

Type: Teaching Idea

Birds' Bills:

Students will compare and contrast different kinds of birds' bills and categorize pictures. After drawing the bills in each category, they will then compare the bill types with common household items.

Type: Teaching Idea

Catch as Catch Can-SeaWorld Classroom Activity:

In this activity, the students simulate fishing techniques and explore processes that result in bycatch. They visually express their catch in the form of a graph at the end of the activity.

Type: Teaching Idea

Design a Fish-SeaWorld Classroom Activity:

In this activity, the students will use a modeling compound to make fish-shaped refrigerator magnets. They will use observation skills to learn about different fish body types and replicate them with the modeling compound.

Type: Teaching Idea

Dolphin Polo-SeaWorld Classroom Activity:

In this activity, students will play a game to experience how dolphins use echolocation to find their food.

Type: Teaching Idea

Focused Observation: Recording A Hike:

Students will learn how to focus their observations during a nature hike. The children record their observations on a sheet of paper which has been horizontally divided into thirds. Alongside the divisions is a stick figure with the top of the head touching the top line and the knees directly touching the bottom line. This way the paper is divided to record things observed above a student's head, below the student's knees and in between the student's head and knees.

Type: Teaching Idea

How and Where Things Move:

Students explore a variety of objects to discover the many ways the objects move-up and down, straight line, in circles, back and forth. They will discover that a force (push or pull) makes it move.

Type: Teaching Idea

How Big is a Blue-SeaWorld Classroom Activity:

In this activity, given pictures of whales, the student will sort the whales by size. Given a rope marked with several whale lengths, the student will compare the lengths of these whales.

Type: Teaching Idea

How Degrading-SeaWorld Classroom Activity:

In this activity, given examples of trash generated by a family over a 24-hour period, the student will be able to demonstrate how some materials degrade in salt water better than others. They will be able to generate ideas for ways to reduce plastic pollution.

Type: Teaching Idea

Introducing The Nature Journal:

This is an introduction to the nature journal. Students will get an opportunity to use their nature journals when we visit the prairie garden at our school. Students will choose one plant and describe it in words and with a drawing. As a classroom follow-up, students will try to match their journal entry with photographs of the plants from the garden.

Type: Teaching Idea

Investigating Motion With Marbles:

In this guided inquiry activity, students will use 2 marbles of different size and a box to investigate what makes the marbles move and what will cause the marbles to change speed and direction.

Type: Teaching Idea

Kool Aid Chemistry:

In this chemistry experiment, students will investigate dilution with Kool-Aid. The students will use their five senses to explore the solution.

Type: Teaching Idea

Living and Nonliving:

The students will think about what is alive. They will practice how scientists observe and record. Going outside they will record in their journal the things they observe under the heading they think it belongs in-living or nonliving.

Type: Teaching Idea

Manatee Musical Chairs-SeaWorld Classroom Activity:

In this activity, students will learn about factors that affect manatee populations.

Type: Teaching Idea

Moon and Stars:

In this printable craft activity, learners create a string of cut-out moons and stars. This activity is phrased to encourage a parent and child to look at the Moon every night, and make simple illustrations of what they see, but can be adapted for various groups of learners. When learners have three or four different shapes drawn, they can cut out as many as desired and create a pattern, string them together, and hang them in a special place. Learners create simple patterns at first (A, B, A, B) and move on to more complex patterns as they mature and gain experience.

Type: Teaching Idea

My Penguin Memory Book-SeaWorld Classroom Activity:

In this activity, students will keep a daily journal, recording facts about penguins.

Type: Teaching Idea

Same Yet Different:

As a result of this activity, students will understand that there are differences among the same kinds of plants and animals.

Type: Teaching Idea

Sensory Butterfly Garden:

In this activity we use our butterfly garden that the students built to investigate the natural world using inquiry and their senses

Type: Teaching Idea

Sharing What We Know About Organisms:

Students discuss living and nonliving organisms, including plants and animals.

Type: Teaching Idea

Sorting Solids:

Students are asked to sort solids in a variety of ways and justify their reasoning for sorting the solids.

Type: Teaching Idea

Survivor-SeaWorld Classroom Activity:

In this activity, students investigate how a sea lion pup's behavior is important for its survival.

Type: Teaching Idea

Webcams: Animal Inquiry and Observation:

Observe animal habits and habitats using one of the many webcams broadcasting from zoos and aquariums around the United States and the world in this inquiry-based activity that focuses on observation logs, class discussion, questioning, and research.

Type: Teaching Idea

Wiggly Worms:

In this inquiry-based worms lesson, students will compare and contrast red worms and earthworms through exploration (magnifying glasses provided) and a read-aloud.

Type: Teaching Idea

Unit/Lesson Sequences

What on Earth is That?:

This is a project-based learning unit about what is found on the Earth's surface. This unit can be used as an introduction to learning about what is on the Earth's surface or as a follow up activity to previous introduction. Students will use their five senses to identify and describe things on the Earth's surface. Students will create a group presentation and individual publication.  

Type: Unit/Lesson Sequence

Properties of the Sun:

These two lesson plans provide projects that allow students to 1) design, create, and test shade structures using given materials (connecting to the engineering design process) and 2) explore harmful and beneficial properties of the Sun through observing the effects of exposure or non-exposure of certain materials to sunlight and heat.

Type: Unit/Lesson Sequence

Tracking Growth and Comparing Offspring:

In "How Do We Grow," students are asked to bring in pictures of themselves as infants and as they look now. Teachers record height and weight measurements (ideally at the beginning and end of the year) to illustrate how the students change and grow throughout the year; discussion is centered on the needs for growth and similarities and differences between the students and their parents. In "Comparing Parents," using pictures of animal babies and adults, students play a game and discuss how babies change to look more or less like their parents.

Type: Unit/Lesson Sequence

Learning About Mealworms:

In this unit, students learn about metamorphosis and how animals change from birth to the adult stage through observing and collecting data as mealworm larvae progress through their life cycle to the adult stage (beetles).

Type: Unit/Lesson Sequence

What do Living Things Need?:

In this unit, teachers allow students to explain how they know something is living and to identify the needs of living things.

Type: Unit/Lesson Sequence

How do Objects Move | Engineering Design Challenge:

In this unit, students explore and explain the many different ways that an object moves and how its properties affect its movements. In one lesson ("In What Ways"), students predict and test their predictions on how different objects will move when gently pushed on their desks. In "Do All Tops Spin Alike?," students use different materials to construct their own tops and test its movements. "Making Objects Move" introduces the concept of acceleration and allows students to use different sizes and types of balls and other materials to build tracks that will be used to stop the ball at a certain location. "Playground Equipment" gives an engineering experience by engaging students in a competition with a given scenario and asking them to design, test, and re-design (if necessary) a functioning piece of new playground equipment (the terms "force," "motion," "gravity," and "simple machine" are introduced).

Type: Unit/Lesson Sequence

Observing and Sorting:

In this unit, students learn to make observations that clearly distinguish specific objects from others and how to sort items by different attributes (eg, color, size, weight).

Type: Unit/Lesson Sequence

Magnification:

These lessons allow students to explore how magnifiers work by using different types of magnifiers to observe classroom objects and their own creations.

Type: Unit/Lesson Sequence

What Makes Objects Move?:

In this unit, students use different objects and observations to explore what factors influence an objects' motion.

Type: Unit/Lesson Sequence

Student Resources

Vetted resources students can use to learn the concepts and skills in this topic.

Original Student Tutorials

A Journal of Clues:

Keep written and pictorial records of investigations in this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Germs: How Do You Know?:

Learn how germs that make people sick can spread and why doctors might ask you to learn from home even if you don’t feel sick with this interactive tutorial

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Parent Resources

Vetted resources caregivers can use to help students learn the concepts and skills in this topic.

Resource Collection

Air and Weather - FOSS Module:

The Air and Weather Module consists of four sequential investigations, each designed to introduce concepts in earth science. The investigations provide opportunities for young students to explore the natural world by using simple tools to observe and monitor change.

Type: Resource Collection

Teaching Ideas

Rough Rubbin' Sharks-SeaWorld Classroom Activity:

In this activity, students gain an understanding of sharks' rough, textured skin through artwork. They demonstrate knowledge of a shark's ecosystem. Students will also have the opportunity to measure/estimate different sharks using objects and rulers.

Type: Teaching Idea

Moon and Stars:

In this printable craft activity, learners create a string of cut-out moons and stars. This activity is phrased to encourage a parent and child to look at the Moon every night, and make simple illustrations of what they see, but can be adapted for various groups of learners. When learners have three or four different shapes drawn, they can cut out as many as desired and create a pattern, string them together, and hang them in a special place. Learners create simple patterns at first (A, B, A, B) and move on to more complex patterns as they mature and gain experience.

Type: Teaching Idea