Properties of Matter and Energy
Students will understand the structure and properties of matter, the characteristics of energy and the interactions between matter and energy.
6th Grade students should...
1. Know the forms and properties of matter and how matter interacts.
- Understand that substances have characteristic properties and identify the properties of various substances (e.g., density, boiling point, solubility, chemical reactivity).
- Use properties to identify substances (e.g., for minerals: hardness, streak, color, reactivity to acid, cleavage, fracture).
- Know that there are about 100 known elements that combine to produce compounds in living organisms and non-living substances.
- Know the differences between chemical and physical properties and how these properties can influence the interactions of matter.
2. Explain the physical processes involved in the transfer, change and conservation of energy.
- Identify various types of energy (e.g., heat, light, mechanical, electrical, chemical, nuclear).
- Understand that heat energy can be transferred through conduction, radiation and convection.
- Know that there are many forms of energy transfer, but the total amount of energy is conserved (i.e., that energy is neither created nor destroyed).
- Understand that some energy travels as waves (e.g., seismic, light, sound) including: the sun as source of energy for many processes on earth, different wavelengths of sunlight (e.g., visible, ultraviolet, infrared), vibrations of matter (e.g., sound, earthquakes), different speeds through different materials.
3. Describe and explain the forces that produce motion in objects.
- Know that every object exerts gravitational force on every other object, dependent on the masses and distance of separation (e.g., motions of celestial objects, tides).
- Know that gravitational force is hard to detect unless one of the objects (e.g., earth) has a lot of mass.
Students will understand the properties, structures and processes of living things and the interdependence of living things and their environments.
6th grade students should...
1. Explain the diverse structures and functions of living things and the complex relationships between living things and their environments.
- Understand how organisms interact with their physical environments to meet their needs (i.e., food, water, air) and how the water cycle is essential to most living systems;
- Describe how weather and geologic events (e.g., volcanoes, earthquakes) affect the function of living systems;
- Describe how organisms have adapted to various environmental conditions;
2. Understand how traits are passed from one generation to the next and how species evolve.
- Understand that the fossil record provides data for how living organisms have evolved.
- Describe how species have responded to changing environmental conditions over time (e.g., extinction, adaptation).
3. Understand the structure of organisms and the function of cells in living systems.
- Explain how fossil fuels were formed from animal and plant cells.
- Describe the differences between substances that were produced by living organisms (e.g., fossil fuels) and substances that result from non-living processes (e.g., igneous rocks).
Earth, Solar System and Universe
Students will understand the structure of earth, the solar system and the universe, the interconnections among them and the processes and interactions of earth's system.
6th grade students..
1. Describe how the concepts of energy, matter and force can be used to explain the observed behavior of the solar system, the universe and their structures.
- Describe the objects in the universe, including billions of galaxies, each containing billions of stars, and different sizes, temperatures and colors of stars in the milky way galaxy.
- Locate the solar system in the milky way galaxy.
- Identify the components of the solar system and describe their defining characteristics and motions in space, including: sun as a medium-sized star, sun's composition (i.e., hydrogen, helium) and energy production, and nine planets, their moons, asteroids.
- Know that the regular and predictable motions of the earth-moon-sun system explain phenomena on earth, including: earth's motion in relation to a year, a day, the seasons, the phases of the moon, eclipses, tides and shadows, and moon's orbit around earth once in 28 days in relation to the phases of the moon.
2. Describe the structure of earth and its atmosphere, and explain how energy, matter and forces shape earth's systems.
- Know that earth is composed of layers that include crust, mantle and core.
- Know that earth's crust is divided into plates that move very slowly in response to movements in the mantle.
- Know that sedimentary, igneous and metamorphic rocks contain evidence of the materials, temperatures and forces that created them.
- Describe the composition (i.e., nitrogen, oxygen, water vapor) and strata of earth's atmosphere and differences between the atmosphere of earth and those of other planets;
- Understand factors that create and influence weather and climate, including: heat, air movement, pressure, humidity, oceans, how clouds form by condensation of water vapor, how weather patterns are related to atmospheric pressure, global patterns of atmospheric movement (e.g., El Niño) and factors that can impact earth's climate (e.g., volcanic eruptions, impacts of asteroids, glaciers).
- Understand how to use weather maps and data (e.g., barometric pressure, wind speeds, humidity) to predict weather.
- Know that land forms are created and change through a combination of constructive and destructive forces, including: weathering of rock and soil, transportation, deposition of sediment and tectonic activity; similarities and differences between current and past processes on earth's surface (e.g., erosion, plate tectonics, changes in atmospheric composition) and impact of volcanoes and faults on New Mexico geology.
- Understand the history of earth and how information about it comes from layers of sedimentary rock, including: sediments and fossils as a record of a very slowly changing world and evidence of asteroid impact, volcanic and glacial activity.