SC.4.N.1.1

Raise questions about the natural world, use appropriate reference materials that support understanding to obtain information (identifying the source), conduct both individual and team investigations through free exploration and systematic investigations, and generate appropriate explanations based on those explorations.
General Information
Subject Area: Science
Grade: 4
Body of Knowledge: Nature of Science
Idea: Level 3: Strategic Thinking & Complex Reasoning
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.

Date Adopted or Revised: 02/08
Date of Last Rating: 05/08
Status: State Board Approved
Assessed: Yes

Related Courses

This benchmark is part of these courses.
5020050: Science - Grade Four (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
7720050: Access Science Grade 4 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2018, 2018 and beyond (current))
5011040: Library Skills/Information Literacy 4 (Specifically in versions: 2016 - 2022, 2022 - 2023 (current), 2023 and beyond)
5020110: STEM Lab Grade 4 (Specifically in versions: 2016 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))

Related Access Points

Alternate version of this benchmark for students with significant cognitive disabilities.
SC.4.N.1.In.1: Ask a question about the natural world and use selected reference material to find information, observe, explore, and identify findings.
SC.4.N.1.Su.1: Ask a question about the natural world, explore materials, observe, and share information.
SC.4.N.1.Pa.1: Explore, observe, and select an object or picture to solve a simple problem.

Related Resources

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

Formative Assessments

Packing Materials:

Students will test the solubility of different items used in packing. Based on their observations, the student will explain which of the materials would be least harmful to the environment. The task assesses students' ability to make simple observations and make generalized inferences from their observations

Type: Formative Assessment

Testing Food:

Students determine the relative amounts of oils in food. They then apply their understanding to an additional situation. The task assesses students' abilities to make simple observations, make generalized inferences from their observations, and apply their understanding to an additional situation.

Type: Formative Assessment

Lesson Plans

Just Right Goldilocks’ Café: Temperature & Turbidity:

This is lesson 3 of 3 in the Goldilocks’ Café Just Right unit. This lesson focuses on systematic investigation on getting a cup of coffee to be the “just right” temperature and turbidity level. Students will use both the temperature probe and turbidity sensor and code using ScratchX during their investigation.

Type: Lesson Plan

Just Right Goldilocks’ Café: Turbidity:

This is lesson 2 of 3 in the Just Right Goldilocks’ Café unit. This lesson focuses on systematic investigation on getting a cup of coffee to be the “just right” level of turbidity. Students will use turbidity sensors and code using ScratchX during their investigation.

Type: Lesson Plan

Just Right Goldilocks’ Café: Temperature:

This is lesson 1 of 3 in the Just Right Goldilocks’ Café unit. This lesson focuses on systematic investigation on getting a cup of coffee to be the “just right” temperature. Students will use temperature probes and code using ScratchX during their investigation.

 

Type: Lesson Plan

Building up Beaches:

In this STEM build, students will use problem solving skills and teamwork to model an effective way of slowing down beach erosion caused by the ocean. Students also will practice sharing their results through PowerPoint presentations.

Type: Lesson Plan

Protecting the Dream:

Students in the MEA will work together in teams to determine a procedure for selecting a company from which to purchase a set of protective gear for skating. Students will make using their problem solving skills to make decisions based on a table that includes companies, price per set, durability, comfort.

Model Eliciting Activities, MEAs, are open-ended, interdisciplinary problem-solving activities that are meant to reveal students’ thinking about the concepts embedded in realistic situations. Click here to learn more about MEAs and how they can transform your classroom.

Type: Lesson Plan

Glow Kitty, Glow!:

This lesson studies the emerging science of using glow technology (phosphorescence and fluorescence) to improve the well-being of living things. Students will be introduced to the Glow Kitten and other animals that are naturally bioluminescent or have been modified by human impact. Then students will take part in their own investigation and create a glowing carnation while considering ways this technology can be used in their own lives. Along the way, students will research books, articles, and websites and use journal entries to record their learning. Finally, students will create their own advertisement highlighting their glowing carnation and its amazing uses!

Type: Lesson Plan

Who's to Blame? Me or My Parents?:

This is an integrated science and reading lesson. This lesson is intended as a beginning of year lesson to give students the foundation in some of the practice of science and writing standards. Students will conduct an investigation on inherited traits and use evidence from a research article and their investigation to support their findings.

Type: Lesson Plan

What Makes 'Em Move: By Water or Air:

In this lesson, 4th grade students read and discuss to determine differences and similarities between machines that transfer energy from renewable natural resources: water (hydro) and air (wind). This lesson also includes independent access point for this standard.

Type: Lesson Plan

Dissect It!:

After dissecting a flower(s), the students will be able to identify the parts necessary for pollination, or reproduction of flowering plants. They will also make comparisons and find patterns in nature, leading them to the understanding of the processes of sexual reproduction in flowering plants, including pollination and fertilization (seed production).

Type: Lesson Plan

Rollercoaster Investigations:

This activity will allow students to explore the motion and speed of an object. While constructing a rollercoaster and using the Scientific Method, students will create their own question and then investigate it, finding out whether the speed of an object is affected by the track it follows.

Type: Lesson Plan

Cemented Together:

In this activity the students will create their own sedimentary rock using glue and various pieces of sediments found throughout the school yard. The students will create a model of a sedimentary rock and describe how they would identify a sedimentary rock in the real world.

Type: Lesson Plan

Exploring Water:

In this lesson, students record their observations of water in all of its phases.

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

It's Too Hot In Here:

Students explore and investigate the theory that heat flow and movement within Earth causes earthquakes and volcanic eruptions as well as contributes to mountains and ocean basins. Students will examine: surface structures, tectonic plate maps, volcanic and earthquake historical data and video evidence. Students use their acquired knowledge to organize a PowerPoint or video presentation that illustrates their comprehension of of benchmark SC.7.E.6.7.

Type: Lesson Plan

Made To Sail:

Students use simple materials to design and make model sailboats that must stay upright and sail straight in a testing tank.

Type: Lesson Plan

Part 1: Pond Life:

This lesson is designed for students to investigate familiar and unfamiliar ecosystems using Internet resources, to explore how various organisms satisfy their needs within their environments, and to study the kinds of relationships that exist between organisms within an environment.

Type: Lesson Plan

Stop Heat From Escaping:

In this activity, students act as engineers to determine which type of insulation would conserve the most energy.

Type: Lesson Plan

Model Eliciting Activity (MEA) STEM Lesson

Drawing and Measuring Angles:

This is a S.T.E.M. Design Challenge to introduce students to measuring and drawing angles. Students will use a protractor to measure angles in whole number degrees. They will use their understanding of measuring angles to design an animal enclosure for Lowery Park Zoo for one of Florida’s endangered animals, the Florida Panther or the Florida Key Deer. Students will communicate the angle measurements of their enclosures along with what will be included for the animal’s natural habitat through a written proposal.

Type: Model Eliciting Activity (MEA) STEM Lesson

Resource Collection

Variables-FOSS Module:

Some of the most important scientific concepts students learn are the result of their ability to see relationships between objects and events. Relationships always involve interactions, dependencies, and cause and effect. The Variables Module has four investigations that help students discover relationships through controlled experimentation. Students will fling, float, fly, and flip objects as they discover relationships in each investigation.

Type: Resource Collection

Teaching Ideas

An Apple a Day:

Students are presented with an apple and are asked to draw it. In each subsequent class period they are asked to draw the same apple again. In this way, they watch and record the changes the apple goes through as it decays.

Type: Teaching Idea

Design a Sea Lion-A SeaWorld Classroom Activity:

Students investigate sea lion adaptations and create a sketch that illustrates a sea lion's body parts and adaptations.

Type: Teaching Idea

Exploring A Decomposition Community:

In this classroom lab setting, students will construct Decomposition Columns from two-liter plastic bottles. Students will gather organic material and observe activity in the column. Students will record observations and construction steps in their science notebook.

Type: Teaching Idea

Invertebrate "Heads Up 7 Up"-SeaWorld Classroom Activity:

In this activity, the student will identify biographical information about various tidepool animals.

Type: Teaching Idea

Investigating Changes In Matter:

In this chemistry lab, students will observe a variety of physical and chemical changes in matter.

Type: Teaching Idea

Looking at Weathering and Erosion:

Students will be divided into small groups to do simple science experiments that illustrate a type of weathering or erosion.

Type: Teaching Idea

Sound All Around:

Students will have an opportunity to work with sounds and learn about pitch, volume and how sound travels.

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

Wildlife Reserve-SeaWorld Classroom Activity:

In this activity, the students will design a protected environment for an endangered animal that encourages the animal's natural behaviors and meets its physical requirements. Students will explain to their classmates why the protected environment is essential for the endangered animal.

Type: Teaching Idea

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

Chemical Change Investigations | Inquiry in Action:

In this series of 10 investigations, students gain experience with the evidence of chemical change - production of a gas, change in temperature, color change, and formation of a precipitate. Students begin by observing that similar-looking powders can be differentiated by the way they react chemically with certain test liquids. Students then use their chemical tests and observations to identify an unknown powder and, in a follow-up activity, to identify the active ingredients in baking powder. Students continue to explore chemical change by using a thermometer to observe that temperature either increases or decreases during chemical reactions. Then they control these reactions by adjusting the amount of reactants. In another set of activities, students use the color changes of red cabbage indicator to classify substances as acids or bases, neutralize solutions, and compare the relative acidity of two different solutions. Students conclude the investigation by comparing a precipitate to one of the reactants that formed it. Students see that a new substance was created during the chemical reaction. Information and questions about photosynthesis and cellular respiration are included as examples of chemical changes on pages 316-318 of this resource.

Type: Unit/Lesson Sequence

Physical properties and physical change in liquids | Inquiry in Action:

In this investigation, students compare the way four known liquids behave, and then apply these observations to identify an unknown liquid. Students then compare how each liquid combines with water and use this property to identify unknown liquids. The activities throughout the investigation emphasize the characteristic properties of liquids, identifying and controlling variables, making observations, and analyzing results to answer a question.

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

STEM Lessons - Model Eliciting Activity

Protecting the Dream:

Students in the MEA will work together in teams to determine a procedure for selecting a company from which to purchase a set of protective gear for skating. Students will make using their problem solving skills to make decisions based on a table that includes companies, price per set, durability, comfort.

Model Eliciting Activities, MEAs, are open-ended, interdisciplinary problem-solving activities that are meant to reveal students’ thinking about the concepts embedded in realistic situations. Click here to learn more about MEAs and how they can transform your classroom.

Student Resources

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

Parent Resources

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

Lesson Plan

Part 1: Pond Life:

This lesson is designed for students to investigate familiar and unfamiliar ecosystems using Internet resources, to explore how various organisms satisfy their needs within their environments, and to study the kinds of relationships that exist between organisms within an environment.

Type: Lesson Plan

Teaching Idea

Wildlife Reserve-SeaWorld Classroom Activity:

In this activity, the students will design a protected environment for an endangered animal that encourages the animal's natural behaviors and meets its physical requirements. Students will explain to their classmates why the protected environment is essential for the endangered animal.

Type: Teaching Idea