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Washington DC Standards for Fourth Grade Science

DC.4.1. Scientific Thinking and Inquiry: Broad Concept: Scientific progress is made by asking relevant questions and conducting careful investigations. As a basis for understanding this concept, and to address the content in this grade, students should develop their own questions and perform investigations. Students:

4.1.4. Write descriptions of investigations, using observations as support for explanations.

DC.4.2. Science and Technology: Broad Concept: Although each of the human enterprises of science and technology has a character and history of its own, each is dependent on and reinforces the other. As a basis for understanding this concept, students:

4.2.1. Demonstrate how scientific tools, such as microscopes, telescopes, and cameras, can be used to gather accurate information for making scientific comparisons of objects and events.

4.2.3. Describe how human beings have made tools and machines, such as X-ray cameras, microscopes, and computers, to observe and do things that they could not otherwise sense or do at all, or as quickly or efficiently.

4.2.4. Make simple and safe electrical circuits with a battery and various plugs, sockets, and terminals.

DC.4.3. Earth Science: Broad Concept: Waves, wind, water, and ice shape and reshape the Earth's land surface. As a basis for understanding this concept, students:

4.3.1. Explain how waves, wind, water, and glacial ice shape and reshape Earth's land surface by eroding rock and soil in some areas and depositing them in other areas.

4.3.2. Explain how the surface of the Earth changes over various time scales due to processes, such as erosion and weathering, landslides, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, and mountain building.

DC.4.4. Earth Science: Broad Concept: The properties of rocks and minerals reflect the processes that formed them. As a basis for understanding this concept, students:

4.4.1. Define a mineral as a naturally occurring, crystalline inorganic solid substance. Recognize that each mineral has its own characteristic properties (e.g., quartz, mica).

4.4.2. Describe the physical properties of minerals, including hardness, color, luster, cleavage, and streak, and recognize that one mineral can be distinguished from another by use of a simplified key.

4.4.3. Recognize and describe that most rock is composed of different combinations of one or more minerals.

4.4.4. Explain how weathering breaks rocks up into smaller pieces. Recognize these pieces may be many sizes and shapes, from jagged boulders to smooth grains of sand and even smaller.

4.4.5. Describe the different layers of the Earth, including the crust, mantle, and core.

4.4.6. Define the three categories of rocks (metamorphic, igneous, and sedimentary) based on how they are formed from older rocks.

4.4.7. Explain how soil is made partly from rock weathered by water and wind and partly from decomposition of plant and animal remains, and that it contains many living organisms.

4.4.8. Describe the different properties of soil, including its color, texture (size of particles), and ability to retain water and support the growth of plants.

DC.4.5. Physical Science: Broad Concept: Energy and matter have multiple forms and can be changed from one form to another. As a basis for understanding this concept, students:

4.5.1. Explain that energy comes from the sun in the form of visible light and other radiation we cannot see without special instruments, but some of what we cannot see we can feel as heating (infrared radiation), and some can cause sunburn (ultraviolet radiation).

4.5.2. Investigate and describe how light travels through empty space or a transparent medium in a straight line until it strikes an object, and, if the object is transparent, the light will bend (refract) at the interface.

4.5.3. Explain when light strikes a surface, it can be reflected, scattered, refracted, and/or absorbed.

4.5.4. Observe and explain that when one object rubs against another (such as one's hands rubbing together) the kinetic energy (energy of motion) is transformed into heat energy.

4.5.5. Recognize that heat energy can be absorbed or given off by both living and non-living things.

4.5.6. Explain that energy in fossil fuels comes originally from the energy of sunlight used by plants that grew long ago.

DC.4.6. Physical Science: Broad Concept: Electricity and magnetism are related phenomena that have many useful applications in everyday life. As a basis for understanding this concept, students:

4.6.10. Explain how electrical energy can be used to produce light, heat energy, motion (kinetic energy), or sound energy.

4.6.9. Explain that the electric current can flow only if there is a complete close loop of conducting material (called a circuit) for it to flow through. Know a switch is a device for opening and closing a circuit.

DC.4.7. Life Science: Broad Concept: All organisms need energy and matter to live and grow. As a basis for understanding this concept, students:

4.7.1. Explain that organisms interact with one another in various ways, such as providing food, pollination, and seed dispersal.

4.7.10. Investigate the Chesapeake Bay watershed and wetlands and describe how they support a wide variety of plant and animal life that interact with other living and non-living things.

4.7.3. Describe how energy derived from the sun is used by green plants to produce chemical energy in the form of sugars (photosynthesis), and this energy is transferred along a food chain from producers (plants) to consumers to decomposers.

4.7.4. Observe and explain that most plants produce far more seeds than actually grow into new plants.

4.7.5. Describe the structures in plants (leaves, roots, flowers, stem, bark, wood) that are responsible for food production, support, water transport, growth, and protection.

4.7.6. Describe the many beneficial attributes of plants, including trees, in improving and sustaining an urban environment.

4.7.7. Explain how in all environments, organisms grow, die, and decay, as new organisms are produced by the older ones.

4.7.9. Explain how dead plants and animals are the food source for many microorganisms.

DC.4.8. Life Science: Broad Concept: Humans have a variety of mechanisms to combat disease. As a basis for understanding this concept, students:

4.8.1. Describe that human beings have body systems very similar to those of other animals, especially other mammals (warm-blooded vertebrate animals that have, in the female, milk-secreting organs for feeding the young).

4.8.6. Describe the body's defense against pathogens, including tears, saliva, skin, some types of white blood cells, stomach secretions, and an internal system of chemical testing.

4.8.7. Explain that a healthy body can fight most pathogens that invade; however, some interfere with the body's defenses.