It shows how each module targets a bundle of PEs from different disciplines, including engineering.. This interdisciplinary approach to learning, supports students to make connections between Life, Physical, Earth and Space Science, and Engineering, and reflects how scientists and engineers work in the real world, as opposed to working in a single discipline.
The Performance Expectation Progressions table , included in the K–6 NGSS Alignment and Progression Guide and in the relevant Teacher Edition (back cover), are module specific. They tell the story of how students have used, and will use, the module-relevant three dimensions with increasing complexity across the program. For example, the Performance Expectation Progressions table for Grade 3 Module 1 identifies that, before this module, students have investigated:
● Push and pull forces in Kindergarten Module 2 (Marble Run Engineers), covering K-PS2-1, and K-PS2-2.
● Engineering tasks in Grade 1 Module 3 (Shadow Town), covering SEP-3.
● Practices in Grade 2 Module 2 (Master of Materials), covering K–2-ETS1-1, K–2-ETS1-2, K–2-ETS1-3. In later grades, students will encounter:
● The relationship between energy and forces when objects collide in Grade 4 Module 4 (PS3.C).
● Planning and carrying out fair tests where variables are controlled in Grade 5 Module 1 (3–5-ETS1-1).
Grade 4 Module 4 Performance Expectation Progressions table
Progression Across the Grade
K–6 NGSS Alignment and Progression Guide includes the Scope and Sequence tables for K–6. A grade-specific Scope and Sequence is included in the front cover of each Teacher Edition.
The Scope and Sequence tables clearly identify the sequence of the modules in every grade, as well as the Module Phenomenon or Investigative Problem the students are figuring out, and the storyline, which puts the learning journey into a captivating context. The PEs that each module addresses are also identified, as are the sequence of the three dimensions that are addressed over the course of the grade.
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Progression Across a Module
In every module, students follow a sequence of Driving Questions (DQs) designed to progressively build their skills and scientifically accurate understandings. The flow of SEPs, CCCs, and DCIs across the DQs follow a logical sequence supporting students to gain expertise of the practices and concepts they need to address the Module Phenomenon/ Investigative Problem.
The Module Contents in every Teacher Edition provides an overview of the module conceptual flow and details the sequence of the PEs addressed.
For example, in Grade 4 Module 4 the Module Investigative Problem is: How can we reduce the damage caused by earthquakes?
Students tackle the problem in stages, by following a sequence of six DQs:
● DQ1: How are waves involved in earthquakes?
● DQ2: How can patterns help us predict where earthquakes and volcanoes will occur?
● DQ3: How can building materials and shapes affect the severity of earthquake damage?
● DQ4: How can our understanding of earthquakes and materials help us build safer buildings?
● DQ5: What can we learn from engineers that will help us revise our designs?
● DQ6: How can we redesign our buildings to make them safer during earthquakes?
Grade 4 Module 4 Module Contents
Flow of DCIs
● DQ1: Students explore natural hazards (PS4-1), properties of waves (ESS3.B), and define and develop engineering engineering solutions (ETS1.A and ETS1.B).
● DQ2: Students investigate plate tectonics (ESS2.B).
● DQ3: Students define, develop, and optimize engineering solutions (ETS1.A, ETS1.B, and ETS1.C).
● DQ4: Students build on the engineering DCIs (ETS1.A, ETS1.B, and ETS1.C) and revisit natural hazards (ESS3.B).
● DQ5: Students revisit natural hazards (ESS3.B) and design solutions (ETS1.B).
● DQ6: Students revisit natural hazards (ESS3.B) and define, develop, and optimize engineering solutions(ETS1.A, ETS1.B, and ETS1.C).
Flow of SEPs and CCCs
● DQ1: Students ask questions and define problems (SEP-1), use models (SEP-2), and apply the concept of patterns (CCC 1).
● DQ2: Students analyze data (SEP-4) and use patterns (CCC-1).
● DQ3: Students ask questions and define problems (SEP-1), construct explanations and design solutions (SEP-6), analyze and interpret data (SEP-4), and explore the influence of science, technology and engineering on society and the natural worlds.
● DQ4: students gain further experience of asking questions and defining problems, constructing explanations and designing solutions, analyzing and interpreting data (SEPs1 and 6)), apply the concept of cause and effect and exploring the influence of science, technology and engineering on society and the natural worlds (CCC 2).
● DQ5: Students construct explanations and designing solutions (SEP-6), apply the concept of cause and effect (CCC-2), and explore the influence of science, technology and engineering on society and the natural worlds.
● DQ6: Students consolidate asking questions and defining problems (SEP-1), constructing explanations and designing solutions (SEP-6), analyzing and interpreting data (SEP-4), applying cause and effect (CCC-2), and exploring the influence of science, technology and engineering on society and the natural worlds.
● By the end of DQ6, students have figured out the answer to the Module Investigative Problem. They understand that earthquake damage can be reduced by not building on active fault lines, where possible, and/or by using a variety engineering solutions that allow buildings to withstand the shaking caused by the energy of seismic waves.
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Progression Across a Driving Question
More detail on how the sequence of ideas and practices flow across each DQ is provided in every Driving Question Overview which provides a short summary of the three dimensional activities in each lesson.
For example, in Grade 4 Module 4:
In DQ1, students explore the question: How are waves involved in earthquakes? Over five lessons, students are first introduced to the phenomena of natural hazards (ESS3.B), before carrying out investigations—both physical and digital—to model waves (SEP-2), and understand the properties of waves and how they transfer energy (PS4.A). They interrogate texts, watch videos, and apply the Crosscutting Concepts of cause and effect (CCC-2) and energy and matter (CCC-5) to figure out the answer to the DQ—seismic waves cause earthquakes, and larger waves, which transfer more energy, cause earthquakes of greater magnitude and the potential to cause more destruction.
Progression Across a Lesson
The five-part Twig Science lesson structure has been designed to support students to develop their metacognitive abilities on a daily basis:
● Spark: An engaging “hook” activity, which motivates students for the investigations ahead.
● Investigate: Students think like scientists and design like engineers, through hands-on, digital, video, and informational text Investigations.
● Report: Students articulate what they’ve learned today, citing evidence and their use of the three dimensions.
● Connect: Students make connections to the DQs and Module Phenomenon/Investigative Problem, while building knowledge of CCCs and SEPs.
● Reflect: Students use different means to think about what they have learned so far and how they can use their new understandings to better figure out phenomena/problems.
Driving Question Overview
Each Lesson Overview includes the lesson’s targeted standards, the 3-D Learning Objectives, and the sequence of learning, which is displayed in a simple graphic organizer with a suggested pacing guide to help teachers plan. For example, in Grade 4 Module 4 (Grade 4 Module 4 DQ2L1 Overview TE p. 48), students will:
● Investigate patterns in the locations of earthquakes, volcanoes, and mountain ranges using an interactive map.
● Report their observations and discuss these with the class.
● Connect what they have learned to the PE 4-ESS2-2.
● Reflect on how knowing where earthquakes occur will help them answer the Module Investigative Problem.
Grade 4 Module 4 DQ2L1 Overview TE p. 48
Students use the SEPs with increasing grade-level appropriate complexity over the course of the program. The progression for how students apply the SEPs in Twig Science directly aligns with the California NGSS Framework expectations for grade bands K–2, 3–5, and 6–8. Details of the progression for how SEPs are applied are found in the digital Guide to SEPs and CCCs. This guide contains a short summary of each SEP and why it’s important. The progression of the SEPs through each grade band is discussed, with grade-specific contextual examples.
For example, pages 17–22 detail (with specific contextual examples) how students use Planning and Carrying Out Investigations (SEP-3 ) with increasingly complexity across the program. In addition to supporting teachers in the implementation of the SEPs, the digital guide provides some top tips for improving teaching of each SEP.
Guide to SEPs and CCCs
Students use the CCCs with increasing grade-level appropriate complexity over the course of the program. The progression for how students apply the CCCs in Twig Science directly aligns with the California NGSS Framework expectations for grade bands K–2, 3–5, and 6–8. Details of the progression for how CCCs are applied are found in the digital Guide to SEPs and CCCs. This guide contains a short summary of each CCC and why it’s important. The progression of the CCCs through each grade band is discussed, with grade-specific contextual examples.
For example, pages 79–83 detail (with specific contextual examples) how students use Stability and Change (CCC-7) with increasingly complexity across the program. In addition to supporting teachers in the implementation of the CCCs, the digital guide provides some top tips for improving teaching of each CCC.
Guide to SEPs and CCCs
Twig Science has been developed to directly align to the CA NGSS Framework, and spiral students’ progression at understanding the DCIs, as mapped out in the Framework. The progression of the DCIs across the Twig Science Program is shown clearly at a program level in the CA NGSS Framework Alignment table, at a grade level in the Grade Scope and Sequence, and at a module level in the Module Contents and Lesson Overviews.
To drive student engagement and motivation for exploring the DCIs, every module has a storyline that puts the science content and phenomena and problems in authentic, grade-relevant contexts. These storylines are presented to the students at the start of each module through a movie-style Trailer video. For example, students in Grade 1 explore Electromagnetic Radiation (PS4.B) and the phenomena of light, reflection, and shadows to figure out a solution for a town in Norway that experiences darkness for 6 months of the year—the so-called Shadow Town. Students in Grade 6 Module 3 explore the DCIs of Inheritance and Variation of Traits (LS3.A and LS3.B) and Growth and Development of Organisms (LS1.B), and explore the phenomena of extinct species in The Red List, where they have to develop a conservation plan for an endangered species of their choice.
The K–6 NGSS Alignment and Progression Guide shows where ETS is fully integrated into each module and how it progresses across the K–6 program, rather than being an add on. The engineering design process, the skills of defining problems and designing solutions, and connections to the NoS are logically and imaginatively woven into the science and narrative storyline of each module.
For example, in Grade 1 Module 1:
● Students create a plant museum using SEPs, CCCs, DCIs, ETS and NoS to figure out the Module Phenomenon: How are all plants alike and how are they different? Through a series of hands-on and data investigations, and nature explorations (outdoors and growing plants from seed in the classroom), students gain understanding of the different plant parts, as well as their shapes and functions. At the same time, students develop valuable skills in making observations and comparisons, and identifying patterns.
● Students investigate what plants need and how a plant’s parts help it to grow and survive. They go on to explore the many methods that plants use to distribute seeds away from the parent plant. Students work in teams to tackle their first Engineering Design Challenge: to design and build seeds for dispersal by the wind. They test and present the results of their design, before adding a Seeds Room to the Museum of Leafology.
● Students then observe the seedlings they planted, as well as plants in nature, and record similarities and differences. They also investigate the clever strategies plants use to get what they need, including the defences that some plants use. After observing and discussing existing inventions that were inspired by plants, students tackle their second Engineering Design Challenge: to design, build, and present their own plant-inspired solution to a human problem.
● At the end of the module, students invite other classes and their own families to visit the museum, in order to demonstrate their learning. This is followed by a celebratory plant parts salad—using plants that they grew themselves!
Likewise, in Grade 4 Module 4, students integrate the use of ETS and NoS to solve the Module Investigative Problem: How can we reduce the damage caused by earthquakes?
● Students start by modeling the phenomena of waves and gain understanding of how waves are involved in earthquakes.
● Then, using an interactive map, students make sense of why earthquakes appear in patterns along plate boundaries, and how those patterns help earthquake engineers plan how and where to build. Students are assessed on their ability to analyze data in maps, identify the Earth's features, and identify patterns where earthquakes occur.
● Through a series of investigations, students build understanding of how the shape, structure, and properties of materials affect a building’s ability to withstand forces. They apply this knowledge to the engineering design process to design, build, and test their first earthquake-resistant structures. Students continue to make observations and obtain information from physical models, informational texts, and videos that showcase real-world engineering solutions that inform their design revisions.
● In the final presentation of their engineering designs, students explain how decisions about building characteristics, such as materials’ flexibility, shape, and symmetry, address the Module Investigative Problem. Students are assessed on their ability to evaluate multiple design solutions for make buildings more earthquake-resistant, and ensuring the solutions meet the design criteria and constraints.
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Throughout all module teachers are prompted to raise visibility of the use of ETS and NoS. For example, in Grade 4 Module 4 (G4M4DQ1L3 Connect TE p.26), support is given to connect the learning activity to ETS.
Twig Science integrates stunning videos as part of its instructional design. These video bring ETS and NoS to life for students, having them make the connection to what they are learning in the real world. They also prive a wide range of positive role models for scientists and engineers working across a range of fields.
In Grade 4 Module 4, the LAX Engineer video (DQ4L2) relates earthquake engineering to a real world California example, while the Edison video (DQ4L4) gives context to the idea that failure can be a positive learning experience. Failure and persistence in finding a solution is also portrayed in positive light in Grade 1 Module 2, when students watch the Trial and Error–Lion Lights video and meet the young engineer Richard Turere who solved the problem of lions eating his village's livestock.
Grade 4 Module 4 DQ1L3 Connect TE p.26.
In addition, every module is complemented with a magazine-style leveled reader (available in four levels, plus Spanish) that provides additional exposure to relevant phenomena/problems, as well as interviews with scientists and engineers from diverse backgrounds. Packed with stunning images, cartoons, and jokes, they are designed to appeal to students from a diverse range of learning abilities.
Chapter 1 often takes a look at the historical accumulation of knowledge that led has led to our present understanding of the module phenomena.
Chapter 2 features interviews with many positive role models in the field of science and engineering, and is designed to cultivate interest in STEM careers for all students.
Chapter 3 always connects the ideas explored in the reader's back to a context that is relevant for the students, again help them make the connection to NoS.
For example, the Leveled Reader for Grade 4 Module 4, Shake, Rattle, explores what different cultures used to think caused earthquakes, features an interview with a young female volcanologist, and investigates the cost of earthquake proofing our cities.
Shake, Rattle, and Roll (Grade 4 Module 4 Leveled Reader)
The K–6 NGSS Alignment table clearly identifies where each PE is addressed in each grade. The Module Contents clearly identifies where and how each PE is addressed in each module. The Module Assessment Overview clearly identifies where and how the PEs are assessed in each module. For example, the Grade 3 Module 1 Assessment Overview.
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