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The moon, sun and stars can be observed at different times of the day or night. The moon, sun and stars are in different positions at different times of the day or night. Sometimes the moon is visible during the night, sometimes the moon is visible during the day and at other times, the moon is not visible at all. The observable shape of the moon changes in size very slowly throughout each day of every month. The sun is visible only during the day. The sun’s position in the sky changes in a single day and from season to season. Stars are visible at night, some are visible in the evening or morning and some are brighter than others
Yearly weather changes (seasons) are observable patterns in the daily weather changes.
Objects and materials can be sorted and described by their properties. Objects can be sorted and described by the properties of the materials from which they are made. Some of the properties can include color, size and texture.
The sun is the principal source of energy. Sunlight warms Earth’s land, air and water. The amount of exposure to sunlight affects the amount of warming or cooling of air, water and land.
The physical properties of water can change. These changes occur due to changing energy. Water can change from a liquid to a solid and from a solid to a liquid. Weather observations can be used to examine the property changes of water.
Living things have basic needs, which are met by obtaining materials from the physical environment. Living things require energy, water and a particular range of temperatures in their environments. Plants get energy from sunlight. Animals get energy from plants and other animals. Living things acquire resources from the living and nonliving components of the environment.
Living things survive only in environments that meet their needs. Resources are necessary to meet the needs of an individual and populations of individuals. Living things interact with their physical environments as they meet those needs. Effects of seasonal changes within the local environment directly impact the availability of resources.
Long- and short-term weather changes occur due to changes in energy. Changes in energy affect all aspects of weather, including temperature, precipitation amount and wind.
Water is present in the air. Water is present in the air as clouds, steam, fog, rain, ice, snow, sleet or hail. When water in the air cools (change of energy), it forms small droplets of water that can be seen as clouds. Water can change from liquid to vapor in the air and from vapor to liquid. The water droplets can form into raindrops. Water droplets can change to solid by freezing into snow, sleet or hail. Clouds are moved by flowing air.
Forces change the motion of an object. Motion can increase, change direction or stop depending on the force applied. The change in motion of an object is related to the size of the force. Some forces act without touching, such as using a magnet to move an object or objects falling to the ground.
Earth’s resources can be used for energy. Many of Earth’s resources can be used for the energy they contain. Renewable energy is an energy resource, such as wind, water or solar energy, that is replenished within a short amount of time by natural processes. Nonrenewable energy is an energy resource, such as coal or oil, that is a finite energy source that cannot be replenished in a short amount of time.
Heat, electrical energy, light, sound and magnetic energy are forms of energy. There are many different forms of energy. Energy is the ability to cause motion or create change.
Earth’s surface has specific characteristics and landforms that can be identified. About 70 percent of the Earth’s surface is covered with water and most of that is the ocean. Only a small portion of the Earth’s water is freshwater, which is found in rivers, lakes and ground water. Earth’s surface can change due to erosion and deposition of soil, rock or sediment. Catastrophic events such as flooding, volcanoes and earthquakes can create landforms.
The surface of Earth changes due to erosion and deposition. Water, wind and ice physically remove and carry (erosion) rock, soil and sediment and deposit the material in a new location. Gravitational force affects movements of water, rock and soil.
The solar system includes the sun and all celestial bodies that orbit the sun. Each planet in the solar system has unique characteristics. The distance from the sun, size, composition and movement of each planet are unique. Planets revolve around the sun in elliptical orbits. Some of the planets have moons and/or debris that orbit them. Comets, asteroids and meteoroids orbit the sun.
The sun is one of many stars that exist in the universe. The sun appears to be the largest star in the sky because it is the closest star to Earth. Some stars are larger than the sun and some stars are smaller than the sun.
Most of the cycles and patterns of motion between the Earth and sun are predictable. Earth’s revolution around the sun takes approximately 365 days. Earth completes one rotation on its axis in a 24-hour period, producing day and night. This rotation makes the sun, stars and moon appear to change position in the sky. Earth’s axis is tilted at an angle of 23.5°. This tilt, along with Earth’s revolution around the sun, affects the amount of direct sunlight that the Earth receives in a single day and throughout the year. The average daily temperature is related to the amount of direct sunlight received. Changes in average temperature throughout the year are identified as seasons.
Energy entering ecosystems as sunlight is transferred and transformed by producers into energy that organisms use through the process of photosynthesis. That energy then passes from organism to organism as illustrated in food webs. In most ecosystems, energy derived from the sun is transferred and transformed into energy that organisms use by the process of photosynthesis in plants and other photosynthetic organisms
Earth pulls down on all objects with a gravitational force. Weight is a measure of the gravitational force between an object and the Earth.
Light and sound are forms of energy that behave in predictable ways. Light travels and maintains its direction until it interacts with an object or moves from one medium to another and then it can be reflected, refracted or absorbed.
Thermal-energy transfers in the ocean and the atmosphere contribute to the formation of currents, which influence global climate patterns. The sun is the major source of energy for wind, air and ocean currents and the hydrologic cycle. As thermal energy transfers occur in the atmosphere and ocean, currents form. Large bodies of water can influence weather and climate. The jet stream is an example of an atmospheric current and the Gulf Stream is an example of an oceanic current. Ocean currents are influenced by factors other than thermal energy, such as water density, mineral content (such as salinity), ocean floor topography and Earth’s rotation. All of these factors delineate global climate patterns on Earth.
The atmosphere has different properties at different elevations and contains a mixture of gases that cycle through the lithosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere and atmosphere. The atmosphere is held to the Earth by the force of gravity. There are defined layers of the atmosphere that have specific properties, such as temperature, chemical composition and physical characteristics. Gases in the atmosphere include nitrogen, oxygen, water vapor, carbon dioxide and other trace gases. Biogeochemical cycles illustrate the movement of specific elements or molecules (such as carbon or nitrogen) through the lithosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere and atmosphere.
The relative patterns of motion and positions of the Earth, moon and sun cause solar and lunar eclipses, tides and phases of the moon. The moon’s orbit and its change of position relative to the Earth and sun result in different parts of the moon being visible from Earth (phases of the moon). A solar eclipse is when Earth moves into the shadow of the moon (during a new moon). A lunar eclipse is when the moon moves into the shadow of Earth (during a full moon). Gravitational force between the Earth and the moon causes daily oceanic tides. When the gravitational forces from the sun and moon align (at new and full moons) spring tides occur. When the gravitational forces of the sun and moon are perpendicular (at first and last quarter moons), neap tides occur.
Matter is transferred continuously between one organism to another and between organisms and their physical environments. Plants use the energy in light to make sugars out of carbon dioxide and water (photosynthesis). These materials can be used and immediately stored for later use. Organisms that eat plants break down plant structures to produce the materials and energy they need to survive. Then they are consumed by other organisms
Earth’s crust consists of major and minor tectonic plates that move relative to each other. Historical data and observations such as fossil distribution, paleomagnetism, continental drift and sea-floor spreading contributed to the theory of plate tectonics. The rigid tectonic plates move with the molten rock and magma beneath them in the upper mantle. Convection currents in the crust and upper mantle cause the movement of the plates. The energy that forms convection currents comes from deep within the Earth. There are three main types of plate boundaries: divergent, convergent and transform. Each type of boundary results in specific motion and causes events (such as earthquakes or volcanic activity) or features (such as mountains or trenches) that are indicative of the type of boundary
A combination of constructive and destructive geologic processes formed Earth’s surface. Earth’s surface is formed from a variety of different geologic processes, including but not limited to plate tectonics.
Forces between objects act when the objects are in direct contact or when they are not touching. Magnetic, electrical and gravitational forces can act at a distance.