Elementary Science

Grade Level Specific Science Curriculum Information
1st Grade
2nd Grade
3rd Grade
4th Grade
5th Grade

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The Michigan Science Grade Level Content Expectations (GLCEs) identify what students are expected to know and be able to do.  Students are tested in science by the state (MEAP) in grades five and eight, so the GLCEs are clustered by grades K-4 and 5-7 targets. 

The Ann Arbor Public Schools has Science Companion as its district elementary science program. This is an inquiry-based program that engages students in hands-on science and the process skills used by scientists.  The units are aligned from grade-to-grade, with a life science, earth science and physical science module at each grade level.  Students are asked to apply their reading, writing, and math skills throughout the program as they inquire, observe, measure, record and interpret data, draw conclusions and make connections to what they already know.

el_sci.jpgAlthough the GLCEs have been written to address specific outcomes at each grade, because the science MEAP is not first administered until fifth grade, the state outcomes may be addressed in a different order than they appear in the state documents.  In this way, the integrity of the adopted program is maintained, and all state outcomes are addressed by the time they are tested in fifth grade.  Teachers use multiple opportunities to assess student learning throughout and at the end of each unit.

What follows is a list of the big ideas addressed in the units scheduled at each grade level.  In addition to these science content topics, students are taught and develop the following skills that are crucial for building science literacy:

  • Using tools of science, e.g.,  magnifiers, scales, thermometers
  • Observing and describing
  • Making scientific drawings
  • Using field guides and other science reference materials
  • Using models in science
  • Building to scale
  • Graphing and interpreting data obtained in investigations
  • Writing procedures
  • Designing a fair test
  • Forming conclusions

Other Resources

Extended Grade Level Content Expectations for Science:

Using Earth Science Knowledge 501kb Word Doc External link
Constructing New Scientific Knowledge 205kb Word Doc External link
Using Life Science Knowledge 430kb PDF External link
Reflecting on Scientific Knowledge 235kb PDF External link
Using Physical Science Knowledge 537kb PDF External link


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