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Lisle CUSD 202


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Welcome Sixth Grade Scientists!

"The most remarkable discovery ever made by scientists was science itself. " - Jacob Bronowski



  Sixth Grade Science

Ms. Aimee Park

Email: apark@lisle202.org

Phone: 630.493.8240



Lisle Junior High School Sixth Grade Science
6th Grade Science Course Syllabus
Course Description

Student Resources

 Illinois Learning Standards - Science:

Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)

Next Generation Science Standards - Parent Resources

Edmodo Google Glassroom 
Laboratory Safety Assessment & Grading
Homework   Quick Web Links











LJHS - Sixth Grade Science

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Quick Web Links


Access Resources: Edmodo Access Resources: Google Classroom
Need Textbook: IQWST Portal Check Progress: Student & Parent Sign In
Check Homework: Homework  Hotline Access Resources: 6th Grade Resources


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  LJHS - Sixth Grade Science

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Course Description 


This is a general science course which challenges students to examine the world around them from a scientific perspective.  In this course, students will utilize scientific and engineering practices to discover scientific principles related to disciplinary core ideas and crosscutting concepts across disciplines: Physical Science, Chemistry, Life Science, and Earth Science.  Each unit will focus on learning targets based on the Next Generation Science Standards.  


The table below provides an overview of the units. 

Unit Title Unit Description

Unit #1 


Can I Believe My Eyes?

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“Can I Believe My Eyes?” is a project-based unit. In order to conceptualize the content, the opening activity provides a common experience in which students view two optical illusions and begin to ask questions about what they see and why, which leads to discussion about the role of light in seeing. Why is it important for students to learn about light? Although many people do not realize it, the scientific principles that explain the behavior of light are the same principles that govern much of the behavior of cellular phones, computers, MRI scanners, microwave ovens, nuclear power plants, televisions, satellite communication, GPS, and many other systems. In fact, nearly all of the major scientific discoveries and major technological advances made in the last 100 years are based, directly or indirectly, on principles underlying the behavior of light. It is impossible to make sense scientifically of the world in which we live without understanding how light propagates and how it interacts with matter. Along with the particle nature of matter, energy conservation, and evolution, light’s behavior is truly one of the big ideas in science.

Unit #2


Where Have All the Creatures Gone?

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"Where Have All the Creatures Gone?" is a project-based Life Science unit. This ecosystem unit focuses on organisms’ needs for survival and what happens when those needs are not met. Over the course of the unit investigation, students discover why food is important, how different structures are needed by organisms to eat and reproduce, what the relationships are between organisms (e.g. predator/prey, producer/consumer/decomposer, parasite/host, and competition), and what abiotic factors affect ecosystems.

Unit #3


How Does Water Shape Our World?

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"How Does Water Shape Our World?" is a project-based Earth Science unit.  In order to provide context in real-world experiences, students are given the task of creating materials for visitor centers in specific national parks in order to show how water has shaped the land in the park. Students explore how water moves in the parks, what rock is present in the parks, and how water and rock interact.


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  LJHS - Sixth Grade Science 

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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

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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)   

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 LJHS - Sixth Grade Science

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Student Resources

  For sixth graders, starting junior high school can be a BIG change that requires many adjustments.  There are multiple classrooms, lockers, expectations, rules, and guidelines for junior high school students.  How can students be successful as they transition from elementary school to junior high school?

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 junior high school science courses.

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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 sixth 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 Resources are available on Edmodo. 

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. 

We make vocabulary cards for the words.  The directions and definitions for the vocabulary cards can be found on Edmodo. 

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 Format

Paragraph Structure and Organizer

Paragraph Rubric


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 LJHS - Sixth Grade Science


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Laboratory Safety


In sixth 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, organisms, 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


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 LJHS - Sixth Grade Science

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In sixth 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 Mrs. Park 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. Park 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. Park 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.
    • 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 


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 LJHS - Sixth Grade Science

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In Sixth 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.  


The following homework guidelines are important to remember:

  1. Homework should not take too much time.  The assignments should take 10 to 15 minutes.  If you are struggling or spending more than this amount of time, come see Mrs. Park during study hall or in the morning before homeroom for additional help.
  2. While you may ask your family for help or to look over your work, you should not need to have their help to complete your assignment.  If you are struggling and need too much help from your family, then come see Mrs. Park during study hall or in the morning before homeroom for additional help.   
  3. Homework should not be the first time you have ever learned or seen a skill.  This means that we will always learn skills in class before we practice the skill for homework.  If you are struggling with the skill, come get help during study hall or before school from Mrs. Park.
  4. It is very important for you to understand why you are doing an assignment and how to do an assignment correctly. Therefore, listen to class instructions regarding your assignments and ask questions if you are unsure!  


To stay organized, use your assignment notebook well!  Write your homework in your assignment notebook each day.  If there is no homework, then write NONE in your assignment notebook.  Write due dates into your assignment notebook.  Once you have completed an assignment, put an X through the assignment.  If you miss a homework assignment or would like additional information, use the Homework Hotline.  Homework Hotline is accessible by clicking on the following link:    Homework Hotline


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  LJHS - Sixth Grade Science

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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
Performance Expectation Targets These learning targets assess students performance on assessments that evaulate each of the performance expectation targets aligned to the New Illinois Learning Standards.  The number of targets related to the performance expectations will differ in each unit. 85%
Student Learner Targets These learning targets assess how successfully students participate individually and within teams, complete class work and homework, and follow directions. Student Learner Targets are assessed throughout the entire school year.  The students participation, classwork, and homework are assessed utilizing this student generated rubric: Student Learner Rubric 15%


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.

 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: Student & Parent Sign In


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