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What Happens to Our Garbage?

NSTA Playlist

 

Instructional Materials Is Lesson Plan Multilingual Learners NGSS Phenomena Physical Science Three-Dimensional Learning Elementary Grade 5

Sensemaking Checklist

What Are NSTA Playlists?

Playlists are bundles of resources to support contemporary Science/STEM teaching and learning placing equity at the center of instruction. These playlists contain instructional materials and/or assessment tasks for classroom use paired with professional learning resources to support implementation.

Description

This playlist features a fifth-grade physical science unit and includes all teacher and student materials. In the unit, students answer the following driving question: What happens to our garbage? This playlist includes three resources:

  1. The unit and all supplementary materials
  2. A Science and Children article that highlights how local phenomena compel students from diverse backgrounds to engage in three-dimensional learning and develop coherent understanding
  3. A series of three Next Gen Navigator articles that highlight phenomena and problems that students experience in their homes and communities

 

Playlist

1 - What Happens to Our Garbage? Grade 5 Physical Science Unit

The garbage unit is the first of four units in the Science And Integrated Language (SAIL) yearlong fifth-grade curriculum. The unit received the NGSS Design Badge, which is the highest rating for NGSS-aligned curriculum units awarded after rigorous external reviews by expert panels. This unit served as a protype to illustrate contemporary approaches to integrating science and language with a focus on multilingual learners in the consensus report English Learners in STEM Subjects: Transforming Classrooms, Schools, and Lives (National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, 2018, Box 3-1 on pp. 64-65).

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Garbage Unit_Cover

2 - Making Everyday Phenomena Phenomenal:  Using Phenomena to Promote Equity in Science Instruction (Science and Children)

This Science and Children article by Okhee Lee has a two-fold purpose: (a) to offer guidance on how teachers can select and use local phenomena to develop NGSS-aligned instructional materials with diverse student groups and (b) to illustrate the implementation of a local phenomenon with diverse student groups in fifth-grade science classrooms. The article highlights how local phenomena compel students from diverse backgrounds to engage in three-dimensional learning and build their science understanding coherently over a sustained period of instruction. As a result, teachers who select and use local phenomena that are real and relevant to their diverse student groups advance the goal of “all standards, all students.”

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Local Phenomena diagram

3 - Local Phenomena (Next Gen Navigator)

The introduction and three articles in this Next Gen Navigator issue highlight phenomena and problems that students experience in their homes and communities. Making sense of local phenomena is critical for promoting equity in science education–“all standards, all students.” Local phenomena promote both equity and science. From an equity perspective, through place-based learning, students apply science and engineering to their daily lives in local contexts of home and community. All students bring with them a vast array of cultural and community resources that help them make sense of phenomena and problems. From a science perspective, through project-based learning, students integrate science disciplines as they investigate a driving question to explain a phenomenon and design engineering solutions to a problem.

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Local Phenomena Cover Art

Asset 2