STANDARD I: Students will understand that water changes state as it moves through the water cycle.

Objective 1: Describe the relationship between heat energy, evaporation and condensation of water on Earth.

a. Identify the relative amount and kind of water found in various locations on Earth (e.g., oceans have most of the water, glaciers and snowfields contain most fresh water).


States of Water

Water Everywhere


b. Identify the sun as the source of energy that evaporates water from the surface of Earth.

It's Hot

c. Compare the processes of evaporation and condensation of water.

Hit the Shower!

d. Investigate and record temperature data to show the effects of heat energy on changing the states of water.

The Heat is On

Objective 2: Describe the water cycle.

a. Locate examples of evaporation and condensation in the water cycle (e.g., water evaporates when heated and clouds or dew forms when vapor is cooled).

Condensed Version

b. Describe the processes of evaporation, condensation, and precipitation as they relate to the water cycle.

It's Raining

c. Identify locations that hold water as it passes through the water cycle (e.g., oceans, atmosphere, fresh surface water, snow, ice, and ground water).

The Collector

d. Construct a model or diagram to show how water continuously moves through the water cycle over time.

The End?


e. Describe how the water cycle relates to the water supply in your community.


Science language students should use:

Water Words

STANDARD II: Students will understand that the elements of weather can be observed, measured, and recorded to make predictions and determine simple weather patterns.

Objective 1: Observe, measure, and record the basic elements of weather.

a. Identify basic cloud types (i.e., cumulus, cirrus, stratus clouds).



b. Observe, measure, and record data on the basic elements of weather over a period of time (i.e., precipitation, air temperature, wind speed and direction, and air pressure).


c. Investigate evidence that air is a substance (e.g., takes up space, moves as wind, temperature can be measured).


d. Compare the components of severe weather phenomena to normal weather conditions (e.g., thunderstorm with lightning and high winds compared to rainstorm with rain showers and breezes).


Objective 2: Interpret recorded weather data for simple patterns.

a. Observe and record effects of air temperature on precipitation (e.g., below freezing results in snow, above freezing results in rain).


b. Graph recorded data to show daily and seasonal patterns in weather.


c. Infer relationships between wind and weather change (e.g., windy days often precede changes in the weather; south winds in Utah often precede a cold front coming from the north).



Objective 3: Evaluate weather predictions based upon observational data.

a. Identify and use the tools of a meteorologist (e.g., measure rainfall using rain gage, measure air pressure using barometer, measure temperature using a thermometer).




b. Describe how weather and forecasts affect people's lives.


The Sun

c. Predict weather and justify prediction with observable evidence.



d. Evaluate the accuracy of student and professional weather forecasts.


e. Relate weather forecast accuracy to evidence or tools used to make the forecast (e.g., feels like rain vs. barometer is dropping).


Science language students should use:

Water Words

STANDARD III: Students will understand the basic properties of rocks, the processes involved in the formation of soils, and the needs of plants provided by soil.

Objective 1: Identify basic properties of minerals and rocks.

a. Describe the differences between minerals and rocks




Uses of Minerals

Utah Rock


b. Observe rocks using a magnifying glass and draw shapes and colors of the minerals.



c. Sort rocks by appearance according to the three basic types: sedimentary, igneous and metamorphic (e.g., sedimentary—rounded-appearing mineral and rock particles that are cemented together, often in layers; igneous—with or without observable crystals that are not in layers or with or without air holes or glasslike; metamorphic —crystals/minerals, often in layers).

Rock Cycle

Igneous Rocks

Sedimentary Rocks

Metamorphic Rocks

d. Classify common rocks found in Utah as sedimentary (i.e., sandstone, conglomerate, shale), igneous (i.e., basalt, granite, obsidian, pumice) and metamorphic (i.e., marble, gneiss, schist).

What kind of rock am I?

Objective 2: Explain how the processes of weathering and erosion change and move materials that become soil.

a. Identify the processes of physical weathering that break down rocks at Earth's surface (i.e., water movement, freezing, plant growth, wind).

Rusty Toy

b. Distinguish between weathering (i.e., wearing down and breaking of rock surfaces) and erosion (i.e., the movement of materials).

Weather and Erosion

c. Model erosion of Earth materials and collection of these materials as part of the process that leads to soil (e.g., water moving sand in a playground area and depositing this sand in another area).

Mountains of Trouble

d. Investigate layers of soil in the local area and predict the sources of the sand and rocks in the soil.

Sizing It Up

Soil Recipe

Objective 3: Observe the basic components of soil and relate the components to plant growth.

a. Observe and list the components of soil (i.e., minerals, rocks, air, water, living and dead organisms) and distinguish between the living, nonliving, and once living components of soil.

Dirt By Any Other Name

Crumbs & Clods

b. Diagram or model a soil profile showing topsoil, subsoil, and bedrock, and how the layers differ in composition.

Soil Profile

c. Relate the components of soils to the growth of plants in soil (e.g., mineral nutrients, water).

Soil Introduction

The Journal

d. Explain how plants may help control the erosion of soil.

Soil In It's Place

e. Research and investigate ways to provide mineral nutrients for plants to grow without soil (e.g., grow plants in wet towels, grow plants in wet gravel, grow plants in water).

Plants without soil?

Science language students should use:

Rock Words

STANDARD IV: Students will understand how fossils are formed, where they may be found in Utah, and how they can be used to make inferences.


Objective 1: Describe Utah fossils and explain how they were formed.

a. Identify features of fossils that can be used to compare them to living organisms that are familiar (e.g., shape, size and structure of skeleton, patterns of leaves).

Fossil Comparisons

Fossil Videos & Websites

b. Describe three ways fossils are formed in sedimentary rock (i.e., preserved organisms, mineral replacement of organisms, impressions or tracks).


Fossils 2

Fossils 3


c. Research locations where fossils are found in Utah and construct a simple fossil map.

Map Project

Objective 2: Explain how fossils can be used to make inferences about past life, climate, geology, and environments.

a. Explain why fossils are usually found in sedimentary rock.

What kind of Rock are fossils found in?

b. Based on the fossils found in various locations, infer how Utah environments have changed over time (e.g., trilobite fossils indicate that Millard County was once covered by a large shallow ocean; dinosaur fossils and coal indicate that Emery and Uintah County were once tropical and swampy).

How has Utah's environment changed over time?

c. Research information on two scientific explanations for the extinction of dinosaurs and other prehistoric organisms.


d. Formulate questions that can be answered using information gathered on the extinction of dinosaurs.

So where did they go?

Science language students should use:

Fossil Words
STANDARD V: Students will understand the physical characteristics of Utah's wetlands, forests, and deserts and identify common organisms for each environment. Objective 1: Describe the physical characteristics of Utah's wetlands, forests, and deserts. a. Compare the physical characteristics (e.g., precipitation, temperature, and surface terrain) of Utah's wetlands, forests, and deserts.


Cold Desert




b. Describe Utah’s wetlands (e.g., river, lake, stream, and marsh areas where water is a major feature of the environment) forests (e.g., oak, pine, aspen, juniper areas where trees are a major feature of the environment), and deserts (e.g., areas where the lack of water provided an environment where plants needing little water are a major feature of the environment). Pine Forest
c. Locate examples of areas that have characteristics of wetlands, forests, or deserts in Utah. Where in Utah am I?
d. Based upon information gathered, classify areas of Utah that are generally identified as wetlands, forests, or deserts. Do you know what I know?
e. Create models of wetlands, forests, and deserts. Environmental Diorama
Objective 2: Describe the common plants and animals found in Utah environments and how these organisms have adapted to the environment in which they live. a. Identify common plants and animals that inhabit Utah's forests, wetlands, and deserts.

Videos & Websites


b. Cite examples of physical features that allow particular plants and animals to live in specific environments (e.g., duck has webbed feet, cactus has waxy coating).


c. Describe some of the interactions between animals and plants of a given environment (e.g., woodpecker eats insects that live on trees of a forest, brine shrimp of the Great Salt Lake eat algae and birds feed on brine shrimp). Let me tell you a story!
d. Identify the effect elevation has on types of plants and animals that live in a specific wetland, forest, or desert. Story
e. Find examples of endangered Utah plants and animals and describe steps being taken to protect them. Save Me!
Objective 3: Use a simple scheme to classify Utah plants and animals. a. Explain how scientists use classification schemes. What's That?
b. Use a simple classification system to classify unfamiliar Utah plants or animals (e.g., fish/ amphibians/ reptile/ bird/ mammal, invertebrate/ vertebrate, tree/ shrub/ grass, deciduous/ conifers). Diverse
Objective 4: Observe and record the behavior of Utah animals. a. Observe and record the behavior of birds (e.g., caring for young, obtaining food, surviving winter). Birds
b. Describe how the behavior and adaptations of Utah mammals help them survive winter (e.g., obtaining food, building homes, hibernation, migration). Mammals
c. Research and report on the behavior of a species of Utah fish (e.g., feeding on the bottom or surface, time of year and movement of fish to spawn, types of food and how it is obtained). Fish
d. Compare the structure and behavior of Utah amphibians and reptiles. Froggy
e. Use simple classification schemes to sort Utah's common insects and spiders.


Create A Bug

Science language students should use: Wild Words