Are you looking for some new physical science lesson inspiration? Is creating lesson plans just too much on top of teaching on top of grading on top of classroom management on top of *ahem* living your life? If you answered yes to any of those questions, you’ve come to the right place. I’m about to simplify your life with a full year physical science curriculum bundle! This life-saving collection of resources is ready to use for in person, hybrid, or virtual teaching and, best of all, requires NO PREP!
In this complete 36 week general physical science course, your middle school students will dive deeply into the fundamental physics concepts of the earth. They’ll gain a deeper understanding of key concepts, such as:
- Simple machines
- Newton’s laws of motion
- Atomic structure
- States of matter
- Plate tectonics
- Electromagnetic waves
- Physical and chemical changes
Through the units included in this middle school science curriculum, you and your students will spend time investigating foundational principles of physical science and develop a sense of wonder for the natural world while critically thinking about the impact of physical science on our daily lives.
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WHAT’S INCLUDED IN THIS FULL YEAR PHYICAL SCIENCE CURRICULUM?
- FREE pacing guide
- Google Slides presentations
- Worksheets in both print and digital formats
- Guided Reading resources with full-color diagrams in both print and digital formats that more or less fulfill the need for a free textbook
- Assessment in both print and digital formats
- A culminating project for each unit (research projects, hands on, extensions, etc.)
- Tons of helpful links with phenomena, virtual labs, and interesting videos
- Opportunities for hands-on learning experiences
- Real-world connections
- Essential Questions
HOW DOES THIS PHYSICAL SCIENCE PROGRAM ALIGN WITH NEXT GENERATION SCIENCE STANDARDS?
This entire year of physical science curriculum is designed to work well for all middle school grade levels. It could be carried out at any point in middle school (or even early high school). If your school uses an integrated science approach, you could even take the units included in this curriculum and split them across several grade levels. It depends on your school and what kinds of prior knowledge your students are coming to you with.
Hopefully you will find that all the NGSS physical science topics are covered adequately as are the related disciplinary core ideas. Many of the links included should give your students the sense of phenomena that is essential to the successful implementation of NGSS.
WHAT UNITS ARE INCLUDED IN THE ENTIRE PHYSICAL SCIENCE CURRICULUM?
FORCE & MOTION
In this unit, students investigate the motion of objects and the forces that affect them. Students learn about the concept of force and how it is measured, as well as how Newton’s laws of motion describe the relationship between force and motion. Additionally, students explore the various types of forces that can affect an object’s motion, such as gravity, friction, and air resistance. They dive into the differences between speed, velocity, and acceleration and how to calculate and analyze these quantities using equations and graphical representations.
ENERGY & WORK
In this unit, students will learn about energy and work. They will use graphical displays of data to understand the relationship between kinetic energy and the mass and speed of an object. Students will also develop a model to describe how the arrangement of objects interacting at a distance can affect the potential energy stored in the system. Additionally, students can construct and present arguments to support the claim that when an object’s kinetic energy changes, energy is transferred to or from the object.
In this middle school science unit, students explore the fascinating world of volume, density, heat transfer, states of matter, and physical and chemical changes. They develop models to predict and describe changes in particle motion, temperature, and the state of a pure substance when thermal energy is added or removed. Students undertake design projects to construct, test, and modify devices that release or absorb thermal energy through chemical processes. They apply scientific principles to design, construct, and test devices that minimize or maximize thermal energy transfer. Additionally, students plan investigations to determine the relationships among energy transferred, the type of matter, mass, and the change in average kinetic energy of particles as measured by temperature. Through activities and experiments, students deepen their understanding of heat transfer, states of matter, and the factors that influence thermal energy exchange. They also explore concepts such as volume and density, building a strong foundation in the physical properties of matter.
ATOMS & THE PERIODIC TABLE
In this middle school science unit, students explore the fascinating world of atoms and the history of the periodic table. They develop Bohr models and investigate the periodic table, learning about the contributing scientists of the atomic theory and the organization of elements into groups with distinct names and characteristics. They delve into the physical properties of matter, including atomic number and mass, and how they relate to the arrangement of atoms and molecules. Furthermore, students explore the concept of isotopes, understanding how variations in the number of neutrons affect the stability and properties of atoms. Through activities and hands-on experiments, students build a solid foundation in the atomic theory, the periodic table, and the properties of matter, enhancing their ability to analyze and model the composition of various substances.
BONDING & REACTIONS
In this middle school science unit, students explore the fascinating world of chemical bonding, reactions, and the factors that influence them. They delve into the concepts of ionic and covalent bonds, learning how to identify the key properties of each. Students investigate the factors that affect chemical reactions, such as temperature, concentration, and catalysts. They identify signs that indicate a chemical reaction has occurred, including color change, gas production, and the formation of a precipitate. Students explore the concept of conservation of mass, discovering that the total number of atoms remains constant in a chemical reaction. They learn to identify reactants and products in a chemical equation and practice balancing equations to ensure mass conservation. Through hands-on investigations, data analysis, and modeling, students develop a deeper understanding of chemical reactions.
ELECTRIC & MAGNETIC FORCES
In this middle school science unit, students explore the fascinating world of magnets, electricity, and circuits. They investigate the properties of magnets and the factors that affect the strength of electric and magnetic forces, asking questions and conducting experiments to deepen their understanding. Students explore the concepts of conductors and insulators, learning how different materials affect the flow of electric current. They delve into current, voltage, and resistance concepts and apply Ohm’s Law to calculate and analyze these quantities in circuits. Students explore the characteristics and differences between series and parallel circuits and gain hands-on experience in building and testing circuits. Additionally, they investigate and evaluate the experimental design to provide evidence for the existence of fields between objects exerting forces on each other, even when not in contact. Students develop a comprehensive understanding of magnets, electricity, and circuitry through inquiry, experimentation, and critical thinking.
This middle school science unit focuses on the fascinating world of waves. Students will explore the distinction between mechanical and electromagnetic waves and learn about transverse and longitudinal wave properties. They will delve into the characteristics of sound and light waves, gaining an understanding of the electromagnetic spectrum. Through several engaging activities, they will investigate wave properties such as amplitude, frequency, wavelength, period, and speed. The unit also covers wave interactions, including reflection, refraction, diffraction, absorption, interference, and resonance. Students will explore how waves are a part of everyday life and how they encode and transmit information. They will recognize the advantages of digitized signals over analog signals by integrating qualitative scientific and technical information. This unit will give students a comprehensive understanding of waves and their applications in various contexts, fostering critical thinking and scientific reasoning skills.
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