Washington DC Standards 6th Grade Science Activities
Printable Sixth Grade Science Worksheets and Study Guides.
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DC.6.1. 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:
6.1.1. Give examples of different ways scientists investigate natural phenomena and identify processes all scientists use, such as collection of relevant evidence, the use of reasoning, the development and testing of hypotheses, and the use and construction of theory in order to make sense of the evidence.
6.1.10. Construct and interpret a simple map.
6.1.3. Identify dependent and independent variables in those investigations that have controls. And, if no controls are used, explain why.
6.1.5. Write a report of an investigation that includes the problem to be solved, the methods employed, the tests conducted, the data collected or evidence examined, and the conclusions drawn.
6.1.7. Draw conclusions based on scientific evidence, and indicate whether further information is needed to support a specific conclusion or to discriminate among several possible conclusions.
6.1.8. Record and organize information in simple tables and graphs, and identify relationships they reveal. Use tables and graphs as examples of evidence for explanations when writing essays or writing about lab work, fieldwork, etc. Read simple tables and graphs produced by others, and describe in words what they show.
6.1.9. Read a topographic map and a geologic map for evidence provided on the maps.
DC.6.2. 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. Students:
6.2.1. Explain that computers have become valuable in science because they speed up and extend people's ability to collect, store, compile, and analyze data, prepare research reports, and share data and ideas with investigators all over the world.
DC.6.3. Solar System: Broad Concept: Astronomy and planetary exploration reveal the structure and scale of the solar system. As a basis for understanding this concept, students:
6.3.1. Recognize that the solar system consists of the Earth, moon, sun, eight generally recognized other planets that orbit the sun and their satellites, and smaller objects, such as asteroids and comets.
6.3.2. Describe how the planets move around the sun in elliptical orbits; and the near-coplanarity of the orbits, along with the principle of conservation of momentum, is evidence essential to our understanding of how the solar system was originally formed.
6.3.3. Explain that the moon is Earth's only natural satellite, but several of the other planets have natural satellites as well. Understand Earth also has many artificial satellites and that all of these satellites, artificial and natural, are in elliptical orbits around their primaries.
6.3.4. Explain that large numbers of chunks of rock and ices (asteroids and comets), much smaller than planets, orbit the sun.
6.3.6. Construct models or drawings to explain that the seasons are caused by the tilt of the Earth's axis relative to the plane of its orbit and its revolution around the sun. Explain how this results in uneven heating of the various parts of Earth's surface that varies over the course of the year.
6.3.7. Describe that as spring turns to summer at a particular place on Earth, the days grow longer and the sun moves higher in the sky, resulting in more intense heating. In fall and winter, the opposite occurs. Explain how this variation in heating results in the seasons.
6.3.8. Recognize and describe that the sun as a medium-sized star located near the edge of a disk-shaped galaxy of stars called the Milky Way, and that the universe contains many billions of galaxies, and each galaxy contains many billions of stars.
6.3.9. Recognize that the sun-Earth distance is such that it takes about eight minutes for light from the sun to reach Earth. Know that the next nearest star is many thousands of times farther from Earth, and its light takes about four years to reach Earth.
DC.6.4. Heat (Thermal Energy): Broad Concept: The transfer of energy through radiation and convection currents affects many phenomena on the Earth's surface. As a basis for understanding this concept, students:
6.4.1. Explain the meaning of radiation, convection, and conduction (three mechanisms by which heat is transferred to, through, and out of the Earth's system).
6.4.2. Describe that the heat from the sun falls on Earth unevenly because of its spherical shape. Describe that regions close to the equator receive more concentrated solar energy than those closer to the poles.
6.4.3. Observe and explain how uneven heating sets up convective cells in the atmosphere and oceans that distribute heat away from the equator.
6.4.4. Explain that much of the heat from the sun is absorbed by the land and oceans and then is released into the atmosphere.
6.4.5. Recognize that, compared to other substances such as rock and soil, a given mass of water requires a greater input or output of heat energy to change its temperature by a given amount.
6.4.6. Describe why ocean temperatures, therefore, tend to vary seasonally less than land areas and coastal areas tend to have cooler summers and warmer winters than inland areas at a similar distance from the poles.
DC.6.5. Weather and Climate: Broad Concept: Weather (in the short run) and climate (in the long run) involve the transfer of energy in and out of the atmosphere. As a basis for understanding this concept, students:
6.5.1. Explain how different regions receive different amounts of solar heating because of their latitude, clouds, surface water ice, and other variables. Understand that this results in large-scale convective air flow and weather patterns.
6.5.2. Recognize and describe that the currents in the air and ocean distribute heat energy.
6.5.3. Explain that a great deal of heat energy is absorbed when water evaporates and is released when it condenses. Illustrate that this cycling of water and heat in and out of the atmosphere plays a critical role in climatic patterns.
6.5.4. Explain how mountain ranges and other major geographical features affect the climate (e.g., mountains produce rain shadows, land masses interrupt ocean currents).
6.5.5. Describe how climates may have changed abruptly in the past as a result of changes in Earth's crust, such as gas and dust from volcanic eruptions or impacts of meteorites, asteroids, and comets from space.
6.5.6. Describe how the Earth's atmosphere exerts a pressure that decreases with distance above sea level, and at every point is the same in all directions.
DC.6.6. Resources: Broad Concept: Sources of materials differ in amounts, distribution, usefulness, and the time required for their formation. As a basis for understanding this concept, students:
6.6.1. Explain that fresh water is limited in supply and uneven in distribution; describe why it is essential for life as we know it and also for most human activities, including industrial processes.
6.6.2. Recognize that fresh water is a resource that can be depleted or polluted, making it unavailable or unsuitable for humans.
6.6.3. Recognize that the Earth's resources for humans, such as fresh water, air, arable soil, and trees, are finite.
6.6.4. Explain that the atmosphere and the oceans have a limited capacity to absorb wastes and recycle materials naturally.
6.6.5. Investigate and describe how pollutants can affect weather and the atmosphere.
6.6.6. Explain that recycling, reuse and the development of substitutes can reduce the rate of depletion of many minerals.
6.6.8. Explain the important role of the water cycle within a watershed.
DC.6.7. Rock Cycle: Broad Concept: Rock materials are continuously recycled in the rock cycle. As a basis for understanding this concept, students:
6.7.1. Recognize minerals are naturally occurring crystalline solids with definite chemical compositions and identify common minerals using a key to their diagnostic properties.)
6.7.2. Examine and recognize most rocks are made of one or more minerals.
6.7.3. Describe how igneous rocks are formed when older rocks are melted and then recrystallized. Understand they may be cooled deep in the Earth or at or near the surface as part of volcanic systems.
6.7.4. Explain how metamorphic rocks are formed when older rocks are heated (short of melting) and/or subjected to increased pressure.
6.7.5. Describe how sedimentary rocks are formed when older rocks are subjected to weathering into sediments, and those sediments are eroded, transported, deposited, then compacted and cemented.
6.7.6. Observe and describe common igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks, including granite, obsidian, pumice (igneous), slate, schist, marble (metamorphic), sandstone, shale, and limestone (sedimentary).
DC.6.8. Plate Tectonics: Broad Concept: Plate tectonics explain important features of the Earth's surface and major geologic events. As the basis for understanding this concept, students:
6.8.1. Describe the solid lithosphere of Earth, including both the continents and the ocean basins, and how it is broken into several plates that ride on a denser, hot, and gradually deformable layer in the mantle called the asthenosphere (weak sphere).
6.8.10. Describe that under the ocean basins, molten rock may well up between separating plates to create new ocean floor.
6.8.11. Explain how volcanic activity along the ocean floor may form undersea mountains, which can grow above the ocean's surface to become islands (e.g., the Hawaiian Islands).
6.8.12. Explain how physical evidence, such as fossils and surface features of glaciation, supports detailed explanations of how Earth's surface has evolved over geologic time.
6.8.2. Explain why the Earth has a hot interior.
6.8.3. Explain how lithosphere plates move very slowly, pressing against one another in some places, pulling apart in other places, and sliding past one another in others.
6.8.4. Compare and contrast oceanic plates and continental plates.
6.8.5. Explain the process in which plates push against one another, one of them may be dense enough to sink under the other, a process called subduction. Explain that oceanic lithosphere may sink under continental or oceanic lithosphere, but continental lithosphere does not subduct.
6.8.6. Describe that subducting plates may partially melt and form magma, which rises to the surface as lava to feed volcanoes at the end form volcanic mountain chains associated with deep-sea trenches.
6.8.7. Explain when plates push against each other and neither is dense enough to subduct (both continental), the plates will crumple and fold and form large mountain chains.
6.8.8. Explain that earthquakes are sudden motions along breaks in the crust called faults, and volcanoes/fissures are locations where magma reaches the surface as lava.
6.8.9. Describe how earthquakes and volcanoes often, but not always, occur along the boundaries between plates.
DC.6.9. Earth and Life History: Broad Concept: Evidence from rocks allows us to understand the evolution of life on Earth. As the basis for understanding this concept, students:
6.9.1. Explain how the Earth's surface is built up and broken down by natural processes, including deposition of sediments, rock formation, erosion, and weathering.
6.9.2. Describe that the history of life on Earth has been disrupted by major catastrophic events, such as major volcanic eruptions or the impact of asteroids.
6.9.3. Explain that although weathered rock is the basic component of soil, the composition and texture of soil and its fertility and resistance to erosion are greatly influenced by plant roots and debris, bacteria, fungi, worms, insects, and other organisms.
6.9.5. Illustrate and describe that remains of changing life forms are found in successive layers, although the youngest layers are not always found on top because of the folding, breaking, and uplifting of layers.
6.9.7. Observe and explain that fossils provide evidence of how life and environmental conditions have changed.
DC.CC.6-8.RST. Reading Standards for Literacy in Science and Technical Subjects
Craft and Structure
6-8.RST.4. Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context relevant to grades 6-8 texts and topics.
Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
6-8.RST.7. Integrate quantitative or technical information expressed in words in a text with a version of that information expressed visually (e.g., in a flowchart, diagram, model, graph, or table).
6-8.RST.9. Compare and contrast the information gained from experiments, simulations, video, or multimedia sources with that gained from reading a text on the same topic.
DC.CC.6-8.WHST. Writing Standards for Literacy in Science and Technical Subjects
Production and Distribution of Writing
6-8.WHST.4. Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
Research to Build and Present Knowledge
6-8.WHST.7. Conduct short research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question), drawing on several sources and generating additional related, focused questions that allow for multiple avenues of exploration.
Text Types and Purposes
6-8.WHST.2. Write informative/explanatory texts, including the narration of historical events, scientific procedures/ experiments, or technical processes.
6-8.WHST.2.a. Introduce a topic clearly, previewing what is to follow; organize ideas, concepts, and information into broader categories as appropriate to achieving purpose; include formatting (e.g., headings), graphics (e.g., charts, tables), and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension.
6-8.WHST.2.f. Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the information or explanation presented.
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