A Disciplinary Core List of Standards (NGSS) by Grade
6-8 Earth Science Progression:
ESS1.A The Universe and its Stars
The solar system is part of the Milky Way, which is one of many billions of galaxies.
ESS1.B Earth and the Solar System
The solar system contains many varied objects held together by gravity. Solar system models explain and predict eclipses, lunar phases, and seasons.
ESS1.C The History of Planet Earth
Rock strata and the fossil record can be used as evidence to organize the relative occurrence of major historical events in Earth’s history.
ESS2.A Earth Materials and Systems
Energy flows and matter cycles within and among Earth’s systems, including the sun and Earth’s interior as primary energy sources. Plate tectonics is one result of these processes.
ESS2.B Plate Tectonics Large-scale System Interactions
Plate tectonics is the unifying theory that explains movements of rocks at Earth’s surface and geological history. Maps are used to display evidence of plate movement.
ESS2.C The Roles of Water in Earth’s Surface Processes
Water cycles among land, ocean, and atmosphere, and is propelled by sunlight and gravity. Density variations of sea water drive interconnected ocean currents. Water movement causes weathering and erosion, changing landscape features.
ESS2.D Weather and Climate
Complex interactions determine local weather patterns and influence climate, including the role of the ocean.
The fossil record documents the existence, diversity, extinction, and change of many life forms and their environments through Earth’s history. The fossil record and comparisons of anatomical similarities between organisms enables the inference of lines of evolutionary descent. Changes in biodiversity can influence humans’ resources and ecosystem services they rely on. [Content found in LS4.A and LS4.D]
ESS3.A Natural Resources
Humans depend on Earth’s land, ocean, atmosphere, and biosphere for different resources, many of which are limited or not renewable. Resources are distributed unevenly around the planet as a result of past geologic processes.
ESS3.B Natural Hazards
Mapping the history of natural hazards in a region and understanding related geological forces.
ESS3.C Human Impacts on Earth Systems
Human activities have altered the biosphere, sometimes damaging it, although changes to environments can have different impacts for different living things. Activities and technologies can be engineered to reduce people’s impacts on Earth.
ESS3.D Global Climate Change
Human activities affect global warming. Decisions to reduce the impact of global warming depend on understanding climate science, engineering capabilities, and social dynamics.
*See Performance Expectations in PDF below.
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Amsel, Sheri. "Grades 6-8 Earth Science Standards & Posters (8.5 x11")" Exploring Nature Educational Resource ©2005-2021. January 19, 2021
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