Grade 8 Science
Grade 8 students use more robust abstract thinking skills to explain causes of complex phenomena and systems. Many causes are not immediately or physically visible to students. An understanding of cause and effect of key natural phenomena and designed processes allows students to explain patterns and make predictions about future events. In grade 8 these include, for example, causes of seasons and tides, causes of plate tectonics and weather or climate, the role of genetics in reproduction, heredity, and artificial selection, and how atoms and molecules interact to explain the substances that make up the world and how materials change. Being able to analyze phenomena for evidence of causes and processes that often cannot be seen, and being able to conceptualize and describe those, is a significant outcome for grade 8 students.
The order of units is kept same as the standards. We begin with an exploration of matter, starting with the composition of matter, energy transfer in matter, and forces and processes acting upon matter (units 1-3). With an understanding of forces, we can address gravity’s influence upon Earth. Then we can investigate the events that occur in the interior, on the surface and within the atmosphere of the Earth, and human’s impact upon these phenomena (units 4-6). Students will understand how genetic variation within a species affects survival and reproduction and understand its role in natural selection (units 7-9). While the order in which these subjects are taught can be changed, the biological topics are recommended to be taught last for their complexity and abstract nature.
This framework is designed so that students will develop and use models; develop explanations; use mathematical computation; analyze and interpret data and information; construct arguments; and communicate information to understand cause and effect.