Support an argument that the apparent brightness of the sun and stars is due to their relative distances from the Earth.


Observable Features of the student Performance by the end of the grade.

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Supported claimsStudents identify a given claim to be supported about a given phenomenon. The claim includes the idea that the apparent brightness of the sun and stars is due to their relative distances from Earth.
Identifying scientific evidenceStudents describe* the evidence, data, and/or models that support the claim, including:The sun and other stars are natural bodies in the sky that give off their own light.The apparent brightness of a variety of stars, including the sun.A luminous object close to a person appears much brighter and larger than a similar object that is very far away from a person (e.g., nearby streetlights appear bigger and brighter than distant streetlights).The relative distance of the sun and stars from Earth (e.g., although the sun and other stars are all far from the Earth, the stars are very much farther away; the sun is much closer to Earth than other stars).
Evaluating and critiquing evidenceStudents evaluate the evidence to determine whether it is relevant to supporting the claim, and sufficient to describe* the relationship between apparent size and apparent brightness of the sun and other stars and their relative distances from Earth.Students determine whether additional evidence is needed to support the claim.
Reasoning and synthesisStudents use reasoning to connect the relevant and appropriate evidence to the claim with argumentation. Students describe* a chain of reasoning that includes:Because stars are defined as natural bodies that give off their own light, the sun is a star.The sun is many times larger than Earth but appears small because it is very far away.Even though the sun is very far from Earth, it is much closer than other stars.Because the sun is closer to Earth than any other star, it appears much larger and brighter than any other star in the sky.Because objects appear smaller and dimmer the farther they are from the viewer, other stars, although immensely large compared to the Earth, seem much smaller and dimmer because they are so far away.Although stars are immensely large compared to Earth, they appear small and dim because they are so far away.Similar stars vary in apparent brightness, indicating that they vary in distance from Earth.


Represent data in graphical displays to reveal patterns of daily changes in length and direction of shadows, day and night, and the seasonal appearance of some stars in the night sky.


Observable Features of the student Performance by the end of the grade.
Organizing dataUsing graphical displays (e.g., bar graphs, pictographs), students organize data pertaining to daily and seasonal changes caused by the Earth’s rotation and orbit around the sun. Students organize data that include:The length and direction of shadows observed several times during one day.The duration of daylight throughout the year, as determined by sunrise and sunset times.Presence or absence of selected stars and/or groups of stars that are visible in the night sky at different times of the year.
Identifying relationshipsIdentifying relationships a Students use the organized data to find and describe* relationships within the datasets, including:The apparent motion of the sun from east to west results in patterns of changes in length and direction of shadows throughout a day as Earth rotates on its axis.The length of the day gradually changes throughout the year as Earth orbits the sun, with longer days in the summer and shorter days in the winter.Some stars and/or groups of stars (i.e., constellations) can be seen in the sky all year, while others appear only at certain times of the year.Students use the organized data to find and describe* relationships among the datasets, including:Similarities and differences in the timing of observable changes in shadows, daylight, and the appearance of stars show that events occur at different rates (e.g., Earth rotates on its axis once a day, while its orbit around the sun takes a full year).


Develop a model using an example to describe ways the geosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, and/or atmosphere interact.


Observable Features of the student Performance by the end of the grade.
Components of the modelStudents develop a model, using a specific given example of a phenomenon, to describe* ways that the geosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, and/or atmosphere interact. In their model, students identify the relevant components of their example, including features of two of the following systems that are relevant for the given example:Geosphere (i.e., solid and molten rock, soil, sediment, continents, mountains).Hydrosphere (i.e., water and ice in the form of rivers, lakes, glaciers).Atmosphere (i.e., wind, oxygen).Biosphere (i.e., plants, animals ).
RelationshipsStudents identify and describe* relationships (interactions) within and between the parts of the Earth systems identified in the model that are relevant to the example (e.g., the atmosphere and the hydrosphere interact by exchanging water through evaporation and precipitation; the hydrosphere and atmosphere interact through air temperature changes, which lead to the formation or melting of ice).
ConnectionsStudents use the model to describe* a variety of ways in which the parts of two major Earth systems in the specific given example interact to affect the Earth’s surface materials and processes in that context. Students use the model to describe* how parts of an individual Earth system:Work together to affect the functioning of that Earth system.Contribute to the functioning of the other relevant Earth system.


Describe and graph the amounts of salt water and fresh water in various reservoirs to provide evidence about the distribution of water on Earth.


Observable Features of the student Performance by the end of the grade.
RepresentationsStudents graph the given data (using standard units) about the amount of salt water and the amount of fresh water in each of the following reservoirs, as well as in all the reservoirs combined, to address a scientific question: IOceans. .Lakes.Rivers. Glaciers. Ground water.Polar ice caps.
Mathematical/computational analysisStudents use the graphs of the relative amounts of total salt water and total fresh water in each of the reservoirs to describe* that:The majority of water on Earth is found in the oceans.Most of the Earth’s fresh water is stored in glaciers or underground.  A small fraction of fresh water is found in lakes, rivers, wetlands, and the atmosphere.


Obtain and combine information about ways individual communities use science ideas to protect the Earth’s resources and environment.


Observable Features of the student Performance by the end of the grade.
Obtaining informationStudents obtain information from books and other reliable media about:How a given human activity (e.g., in agriculture, industry, everyday life) affects the Earth’s resources and environments.How a given community uses scientific ideas to protect a given natural resource and the environment in which the resource is found.

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Evaluating informationStudents combine information from two or more sources to provide and describe* evidence about:The positive and negative effects on the environment as a result of human activities.How individual communities can use scientific ideas and a scientific understanding of interactions between components of environmental systems to protect a natural resource and the environment in which the resource is found.


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