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Lisle CUSD 202


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7th Grade Science Class

 Seventh Grade Science

Ms. Natalie Keigher

Email: nkeigher@lisle202.org

Phone: 630.493.8240


Link to Student Learner Self-Assessment: click here


LJHS - Seventh Grade Science

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7th Grade Course Syllabus
Access Resources: Edmodo Need Textbook: IQWST Portal
Check Homework: Homework  Hotline Check Grades:  Parent Connect





  LJHS -  Seventh Grade Science

Course Description 


In this course, students will utilize scientific practices to discover knowledge and overarching concepts across disciplines: chemistry, physical science, Earth science, and life science.  The introductory unit focuses on geologic and biologic changes that have occurred over the history of the Earth; the chemistry unit focuses on matter and its interactions as we study chemical reactions and conservation of matter; the physical science unit focuses on the transformation and conservation of energy; the Earth science unit focuses on understanding Earth’s climate and weather systems; and the life science unit focuses on the structures and processes of the human body.


The table below provides an overview of the units. 

Unit Title Unit Description

Unit #1 





Unit #2 


How Can I Make New Stuff From Old Stuff?


The unit builds understanding of core science ideas including the particle nature of matter, energy, and substances and their properties. In order to contextualize chemistry concepts in real-world experiences, the unit focuses on making new substances, specifically making soap from two unlikely substances: fat and sodium hydroxide. Students complete a number of investigations of soap and fat as they further their understanding of substances and properties, and explain what happens when substances interact (i.e., chemical reactions). In that process, they also explore the core idea of the conservation of mass and the crosscutting concept of systems. Each cycle of investigation begins with macroscopic phenomena and includes the use of molecular models to help explain the phenomena.

Unit #3


Why Do Some Things Stop While Others Keep Going?


 Students begin this unit by watching a video of a large Rube Goldberg machine in action, and then explore several apparatuses up close, some of which stop quickly and others continue moving without showing signs of stopping. As students explore the apparatuses and different types of energy, they gain a deeper understanding of how energy is involved in everything in the world, how it can be transformed from one type to another, and how it is transferred between systems, addressing several core ideas and crosscutting concepts. Students use two types of qualitative diagrams as models, engaging in the scientific practice of modeling to represent and explain energy conversions and energy transfer between systems.

Unit #4


What Makes the Weather Change?


 In this unit, students learn about climate by investigating daily, seasonal and annual weather patterns.  The unit is organized around a scenario in which a fictional humanitarian aid organization operating in India requests their help in predicting the onset and severity of the phases of monsoon cycle.  Students develop an understanding of the concepts of climate, weather, pattern, and predictability, which they apply in the context of the scenario’s prediction challenge. They also learn how energy from the sun and the variation in earth surface features create the convection cells in the atmosphere that determine large-scale patterns of temperature, clouds, wind, and precipitation.


Unit #5


What's Going On Inside Me?


 In this unit students investigate how the human body manages to do the complex activities of everyday life. Students investigate organization in body systems and the role of the body’s cells in these systems. To examine the levels of organization in body systems, students track what happens to food as it goes through the digestive system, to the circulatory system, to be delivered all over the body. The investigation of where food needs to go and where it is processed to release and use energy leads to identifying cells as the location where the major functions of processing food for energy and releasing waste occur. Students build on their understanding of food providing energy and building materials from 6thgrade biology and on the role of energy in chemical reactions from 7thgrade chemistry, and identify energy-releasing chemical reactions as occurring within cells to release the energy from food. Students investigate the link of increased oxygen intake with increased activity and obtain evidence that oxygen is also used at the cellular level in these reactions. The unit concludes with an investigation of how body systems are coordinated and consequences of disruption to various body systems.





  LJHS - Seventh Grade Science 

Next Generation Science Standards


The National Research Council (NRC), the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and Achieve are the lead partners in the multi-step process to develop the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).  

The National Research Council (NRC) of the National Academy of Sciences managed the first of two steps in the creation of the Next Generation Science Standards by developing the Framework for K-12 Science Educationwhich was released July 2011.  The Framework provides a sound, evidence-based foundation for standards by drawing on current scientific research—including research on the ways students learn science effectively—and identifies the science all K–12 students should know.

To undertake this effort, the NRC convened a committee of 18 individuals who are nationally and internationally known in their respective fields. The committee included practicing scientists, including two Nobel laureates, cognitive scientists, science education researchers, and science education standards and policy experts. In addition, the NRC used four design teams to develop the Framework. These four design teams, in physical science, life science, earth/space science, and engineering, developed the Framework sections for their respective disciplinary area.

After releasing a public draft in July of 2010, the NRC reviewed comments and considered all feedback prior to releasing the final Framework. The Framework is now being used as the foundation for the Next Generation Science Standards in a collaborative, state-led process that is managed by Achieve.

In a process managed by Achieve, states lead the development of K–12 science standards, rich in content and practice, arranged in a coherent manner across disciplines and grades to provide all students an internationally-benchmarked science education. The NGSS is based on the Framework and will prepare students for college and careers. The NGSS was developed collaboratively with states and other stakeholders in science, science education, higher education and industry. Additional review and guidance was provided by advisory committees composed of nationally-recognized leaders in science and science education as well as business and industry. As part of the development process, the standards underwent multiple reviews from many stakeholders including two public drafts, allowing all who have a stake in science education an opportunity to inform the development of the standards. This process produced a set of high quality, college- and career-ready K–12 Next Generation Science Standards ready for state adoption. The standards were published on the NGSS website when they were completed in April 2013.  NGSS are accessible by clicking on the following link: Next Generation Science Standards


Within the NGSS, there is a focus on three equal parts in science education called the three dimensions: Scientific and Engineering Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Disciplinary Core Ideas.  Each standard is written with a focus on students utilizing all three dimensions.  Students utilize a scientific and/or engineering practice to demonstrate understanding of a crosscutting concept and the related disciplinary core idea.  The diagram below shows the pathways connected in NGSS.  The Scientific and Engineering Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Disciplinary Core Ideas are also summarized on the following document: Three Dimensions of the  Framework for K-12 Science Education being used to Develop the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)   





 LJHS - Seventh Grade Science

Student Resources

To be successful, it is crucial that students develop, maintain, and enhance positive study habits and student behaviors.  To do so, we focus on specific Student Learner Targets throughout the year in seventh grade science. 


In addition, it is crucial that students understand the expectations of the school and their classes to be successful.  The student handbook outlines junior high policies for detentions, lunch detentions, tardies, B.E.A.R.S., grading, late work and much more.  This handbook is available on the Lisle Junior High Home Page.  The seventh grade team of teachers and the science department have also collaborated to create shared expectations and resources for students.  

Name Description Resources

Teamwork is an important aspect of a successful science classroom!  

We have expectations for our teams.  And, we help our teams learn to work together productively.

Teamwork Expectations

Team Jobs


Word Wall Words & 

Vocabulary Cards

In Science, you learn many new words!  To help you learn and use these words, we use to important strategies.  

We have a word wall in the classroom that we display all the important words from our studies.  

Vocabulary Card Directions - PowerPoint


Vocabulary Directions Sheet

R.A.I.S.E. On many of your assignments throughout junior high school, you will be asked to answer a question using R.A.I.S.E.  R.A.I.S.E. is a strategy that should help you answer a question completely.     R.A.I.S.E.
S.E.A.R.C.H. & RESPOND In Science, you will read articles related to the topics and activities we are doing in class.  In order to get the most from the readings, we will use a reading strategy called S.E.A.R.C.H. & RESPOND.  This poster reviews the different stages of this reading strategy. S.E.A.R.C.H. & RESPOND Poster
Scientific Explanations In Science, you will construct or write  scientific explanations.  A scientific explanation is method in which you share evidence for some idea that you have discovered or learned.  These resources will help you construct your explanations.

Scientific Explanation Poster

Scientific Explanation Organizer/Chart

Scientific Explanation Rubric

Paragraphing Expectations At Lisle Junior High School, you will need to type paragraph responses for different classes.  There are specific expectations for these paragraphs.  The following are a collection of resources for paragraphing.

6th Grade Paragraphing Expectations

Sample Paragraph

Paragraph Structure and Organizer

Paragraph Rubric




 LJHS - Seventh Grade Science 

Laboratory Safety


In seventh grade, science is a class that involves many interesting and exciting laboratory investigations intended to help you learn and discover!  However, the laboratory investigations will require the use of unfamiliar items such as chemicals, specialized tools, and expensive lab equipment.  Safety in the science classroom is the #1 priority.  This will not only ensure that students learn without injury, but also guarantee a science laboratory experience is available for all students.  

To assure a safe science laboratory, a list of rules has been developed and provided to you in your Safety Agreement.  A signed Safety Agreement is required to participate in laboratory investigations.  The rules described on the Safety must be followed at all times, and a student will be removed from the science laboratory immediately for his/her personal safety and the safety of all other students if the rules in the Science Laboratory Safety Agreement are not followed.  

If a student is removed from the science laboratory, they are issued a Safety Violation, given a "Step" using the school Discipline Referral Policy, and sent to the Time Out Room for the lab period.  In order to return and participate in the next science laboratory investigation, the student and their parents must sign the Safety Violation and the student must complete the missed science laboratory investigation with the materials provided by the teacher.  (This will often involve the student completing a virtual investigation.)


Science Laboratory Safety Resources
Safety Agreement  Safety Presentation Safety Rules Safety Violation




 LJHS - Seventh Grade Science



In seventh grade, students will be using Edmodo in many of their classes.  Edmodo is a free and secure learning network for teachers, students, and schools.  It provides a safe way us to connect, share content, access homework, take quizzes, participate in discussions and receive class information.  

Edmodo is accessible online and through any mobile device with Internet capabilities - through free apps for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Android devices.  Students can access their account from any mobile device or computer, and set up notifications within Edmodo to receive alerts/reminders via text or e-mail.

Edmodo will not be used as a social network like Facebook or MySpace.  This tool will be used strictly for educational purposes using the following guidelines:


  1. Students will be required to use appropriate grammar instead of texting language when messaging the teacher, completing assignments or quizzes, and responding to discussions.
  2. Edmodo does not allow private student-to-student messaging. The site will be used to discuss school-related content with the teacher.  For certain activities, students will be able to communicate by posting statements the entire class can read.
  3. All school rules and consequences related to speech and harassment apply.   


To provide additional resources and enhance the curriculum with technology, Edmodo will be used within Science in the following ways: 

  1. LIBRARY: The library is a collection of resources that Ms. Keigher has collected for you and made available on Edmodo.  These resources include PowerPoints, additional materials, and web links.  The library is organized into different folders.
  2. NOTES:  If Mrs. Keigher wants to share something with the students, she will send a Note on Edmodo.  The Note could be a reminder about wearing lab clothes or a helpful hint for studying for an upcoming quiz or test. 
  3. ASSIGNMENTS:  Some assignments can be completed on Edmodo.  If so, students should complete the assignment by following the directions on Edmodo and turn in the assignment by the due date. 
  4. QUIZZES:  Mrs. Keigher can create quizzes using Edmodo.  These quizzes will be used in different ways.
    • Reading Quizzes - After some readings, students will be asked to take a short quiz to check for reading comprehension.
    • Rest Stop Quizzes - During the unit, we will have rest stops to check for student understanding.  The rest stop quizzes will function as quick progress checks.  The grades will be temporary grades until the final assessments and will help students determine if they need additional work on these learning targets.
    • Pre-Lab Quizzes - Before a laboratory investigation, students will need to read the laboratory activity and take a pre-lab quiz on Edmodo in order to participate in the laboratory investigation.   

 To access your account, click on following link: www.edmodo.com 



 LJHS - Seventh Grade Science



In seventh grade science, we complete most of our work in class.  However, we will have some homework assignments.  Some science homework assignments will help us prepare for a lesson such as reading a lab and taking a pre-lab quiz; some science homework assignments will review an idea we discussed in class such as practicing reading a graph; and other science homework assignments will be an extension of our classroom studies such as a project that we will work on over a longer period of time.  


Homework Hotline is accessible by clicking on the following link:    Homework Hotline



  LJHS - Seventh Grade Science

Assessment and Grading


In Science, students are assessed and assigned grades based on students’ understanding of specific learning targets.  Instead of grades for assignments, quizzes, or tests, there are grades for each learning target.  The learning targets are organized into five categories: Scientific & Engineering Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, Disciplinary Core Ideas, Student Learner, and Laboratory Practices.


Category Description Assessment Portion of Overall Grade
Scientific & Engineering Practices These learning targets assess how successfully students master the eight scientific and engineering practices.   Throughout the school year, students may continue to gain mastery of scientific & engineering practices.   As a result, the grades for these learning targets may improve throughout the school year. 8 - Scientific and Engineering Practice Targets are assessed throughout the entire school year. 26%
Crosscutting Concepts These learning targets assess students’ understanding of the seven crosscutting concepts.   Throughout the school year, students may continue to gain mastery of crosscutting concepts.  As a result, the grades for these learning targets may improve throughout the school year. 7 – Crosscutting Concept Targets are assessed throughout the entire school year. 26%
Disciplinary Core Ideas These learning targets assess students’ understanding of core ideas in each discipline of science – chemistry, physical science, life science, and earth and space science.   These learning targets assess mastering understanding of core ideas specific to each unit and grade level.   The number of targets related to the Disciplinary Core Ideas will differ in each unit. 26%
Student Learner Targets These learning targets assess how successfully students participate individually and within teams, complete class work and homework, and follow directions. 5 - Student Learner Targets are assessed throughout the entire school year. 11%
Laboratory Practices This learning target assesses how successfully students participate in laboratory investigations. 1 - Laboratory Practices Target is assessed throughout the entire school year. 11%


Throughout the unit, grades for learning targets will be preliminary grades and will be entered into the grade book after students have completed rest stop quizzes and activities.  At the completion of the unit, grades for learning targets will become final grades and will be entered into the grade book after students have completed their final assessment.   Between rest stops and the final assessment, students will be able to improve their understanding of the learning targets.  Then students will be able to demonstrate that understanding on the final assessment.  

The learning targets are assessed using a rubric system with a number between 0 and 5.  This number is their rubric score and will be entered into the grade book.  Based upon their rubric score, they are assigned a grade using the LJHS Grading Scale for each learning target - please click on the following link to download a copy of the LJHS Science Assessment Rubric and Grade Conversion.  

In science, there is one grade book for the entire year which includes grades for each learning target.  The grade book will have learning targets added as students are assessed for those learning targets.  The end of the year grade will be determined by their final grades on all learning targets.

In order to check your child's grade, student grades are accessible on the following link: Parent Connect.