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Lessons for Crosscutting Concepts (Appendix G.)

1. Patterns.
2. Cause and effect: Mechanism and explanation.
3. Scale, proportion, and quantity.
4. Systems and system models.
5. Energy and matter: Flows, cycles, and conservation.
6. Structure and function.
7. Stability and change.

 

1. Patterns.

Observed patterns of forms and events guide organization and classification, and they prompt questions about relationships and the factors that influence them.

Phases of the Moon

Phases of the Moon Activities

The Water Cycle

The Nitrogen Cycle

The Oxygen Cycle

Food Webs and the Nutrient Cycle

The Rock Cycle

The Life Cycle of an Apple Tree  

 

2. Cause and effect: Mechanism and explanation.

Events have causes, sometimes simple, sometimes multifaceted. A major activity of science is investigating and explaining causal relationships and the mechanisms by which they are mediated. Such mechanisms can then be tested across given contexts and used to predict and explain events in new contexts.

Rain Making Activity - The Water Cycle

Cloud Making Activity - How Do Clouds Form?

Smog Alert! Activity - What Conditions Cause Smog to Form?

Acid Rain - Cause and Effect

Desertification - Cause and Effect

 

3. Scale, proportion, and quantity.

In considering phenomena, it is critical to recognize what is relevant at different measures of size, time, and energy and to recognize how changes in scale, proportion, or quantity affect a system’s structure or performance.

Levels of Organization in the Body - From Cells to Organisms

 

4. Systems and system models.

Defining the system under study — specifying its boundaries and making explicit a model of that system — provides tools for understanding and testing ideas that are applicable throughout science and engineering.

Food Webs - The Nutrient Cycle

 

5. Energy and matter: Flows, cycles, and conservation.

Tracking fluxes of energy and matter into, out of, and within systems helps one understand the systems’ possibilities and limitations.

Food Webs - The Nutrient Cycle

 

6. Structure and function.

The way in which an object or living thing is shaped and its substructure determine many of its properties and functions.

Adaptations for Pollination and Seed Dispersal

Adaptation for Pollination

Levels of Organization in the Body - From Cells to Organisms

Adaptations in the Schoolyard

 

7. Stability and change.

For natural and built systems alike, conditions of  stability and determinants of rates of change or evolution of a system are critical elements of study.

How Destroying Wetlands Changed our Coastlines

How Removing a Keystone Species Can Disrupt the Whole Habitat

Desertification - Cause and Effect

 

 

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