Sixth-Grade Science Learning Objectives
    Sixth-grade students in Clayton will complete the following units:

    Matter and Energy
    In sixth-grade chemistry, students are introduced to matter and energy and how they interact. Students study properties of, changes in, and phases of matter. They will also explore the structure of matter (atoms) and what distinguishes pure substances of matter from mixtures. Students will study the nature of energy and it’s ability to create forces that initiate change in matter.

    • Relate mass, weight, volume and density to one another
    • Classify and compare substances based on their physical and chemical properties
    • Distinguish between physical and chemical changes of matter
    • Distinguish between pure substances and mixtures
    • Model the motion of particles in solids, liquids and gases
    • Describe changes of state in terms of the attraction and motion of particles
    • Describe how energy is conserved through transformation between forms
    • Relate the temperature of a substance to the kinetic energy of its particles
    • Analyze the relationship between heat, temperature, and thermal energy
    • Recognize how the production and use of different types of energy resources can have environmental consequences
    • Describe how the development of the atomic theory has led to the modern understanding of the atom and its parts
    • Describe the relationships between the arrangement of elements on the periodic table and the properties of those elements
    • Use atomic models to predict whether atoms can form bond
    • Demonstrate understanding of how matter and energy move through the Earth system

    The Dynamic Earth
    Students will spend their sixth grade year in science studying how matter and energy cycle and flow through the Earth system. They begin the year with a unit that includes developing an understanding of matter, energy, the Earth’s spheres and how weathering and erosion change the Earth’s surface. These topics are further reinforced through the natural geology of southeastern Missouri while students are at Sixth Grade Camp. From there, students explore Earth’s history by learning about the methods scientists use to determine the relative age of rocks and the use of the geologic time scale to describe deep time. In order to understand how natural resources are distributed and limited, students spend some time studying minerals and rocks and their properties. The final piece is to learn the structure of the Earth and the internal processes that account for important features of Earth’s surface and major geologic events.

    • Define and describe Earth’s spheres and how they interact and impact life on Earth
    • Analyze the effects of weathering on Earth’s surface
    • Demonstrate understanding of the differences between chemical, physical, and biological weathering and how they change Earth’s surface over time
    • Relate the processes of erosion and deposition  to the landforms that result
    • Explain how Earth’s materials, such as rock, fossils, and ice, show that Earth has changed over time
    • Summarize how scientists measure the relative ages of rock layers and identify gaps in the rock record
    • Demonstrate understanding of the geologic time line and how it is used to divide Earth’s history
    • Describe the basic structure of minerals and identify different minerals by using their physical properties
    • Identify Earth’s compositional and physical layers and describe their properties
    • Explain plate tectonics and identify geologic events that occur as a result (including the rock cycle)
    • Demonstrate understanding of how matter and energy cycle and flow through the Earth System

    Ecology I
    All things are connected and affected by each other. Students explore the many interactions that result in the diversity of populations, communities and ecosystems. First, they will distinguish between abiotic and biotic factors in the environment. From there, they discover that many variables affect the size of each level of organization. Finally, students use trophic pyramids to show how matter and energy flow through the biosphere.

    • Differentiate between abiotic and biotic factors
    • Define ecology at the different levels of organization (population, community, and ecosystem).
    • Identify and explain the factors that increase/decrease a population over time
    • Illustrate a population growth curve and apply the concept of carrying capacity to that growth curve
    • Compare ecosystems and communities
    • Construct and compare food webs and food chains
    • Identify the roles of organisms (based on trophic level) in the ecosystem
    • Compare the types of symbiotic relationships
    • Justify the statements that “energy flows in an ecosystem” and “matter cycles in an ecosystem”