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Tomahawk Creek Middle School

Chesterfield County Public Schools


Sixth-grade students develop the skills of investigation and the understanding that scientific inquiry is guided by knowledge, observations, ideas, and questions. Students identifying variables and understanding the influence of different variables in an experiment.

The instructional activities involve students in establishing and refining the methods, materials, and data they will collect. Students conduct investigations and make observations considering questions such as “What data will answer the question?”and “What are the best observations or measurements to make?” Students are encouraged to repeat data-collection procedures and to share data among groups.

They produce oral and written reports that present the results of their inquiries.

Seventh-grade students have the opportunities to present their abilities and understanding and to use the knowledge and language of science to communicate scientific explanations and ideas. Writing, labeling drawings, completing concept maps, developing spreadsheets, and designing computer graphics.

Students progress from studying life science from the point of view of individual organisms to recognizing patterns in ecosystems and developing understandings about the cellular dimensions of living systems. Students broaden their understanding from the way one species lives in its environment to populations and communities of species and the ways they interact with each other and with their environment.

Students expand their investigations of living systems to include the study of cells. Observations and investigations become increasingly quantitative, incorporating the use of computers and conceptual and mathematical models.

Students work with light microscopes and can interpret accurately what they see, enhancing their introduction to cells and microorganisms and establishing a foundation for developing understanding of biology at the high school level.

Eighth-grade objects and materials to the characteristic properties of the substances from which the materials are made.

Students observe and measure characteristic properties, such as boiling points, melting points, solubility, and simple chemical changes of pure substances and use those properties to distinguish and separate one substance from another. Students come to understand the atomic theory of matter.

The study of motions and the forces causing motion provide concrete experiences on which a more comprehensive understanding of force can be based. By using simple objects, such as rolling balls and mechanical toys, students can move from qualitative to quantitative descriptions of moving objects and begin to describe the forces acting on the objects. Students’ everyday experience is that friction causes all moving objects to slow down and stop.