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  • Middle School

    Matter and Its Interactions

Students who demonstrate understanding can:

Performance Expectations

  1. Develop a model that predicts and describes changes in particle motion, temperature, and state of a pure substance when thermal energy is added or removed. MS-PS1-4

    Clarification Statement and Assessment Boundary

A Peformance Expectation (PE) is what a student should be able to do to show mastery of a concept. Some PEs include a Clarification Statement and/or an Assessment Boundary. These can be found by clicking the PE for "More Info." By hovering over a PE, its corresponding pieces from the Science and Engineering Practices, Disciplinary Core Ideas, and Crosscutting Concepts will be highlighted.

Science and Engineering Practices

Disciplinary Core Ideas

By clicking on a specific Science and Engineering Practice, Disciplinary Core Idea, or Crosscutting Concept, you can find out more information on it. By hovering over one you can find its corresponding elements in the PEs.

Planning Curriculum

Common Core State Standards Connections

ELA/Literacy

  • RST.6-8.7 - Integrate quantitative or technical information expressed in words in a text with a version of that information expressed visually (e.g., in a flowchart, diagram, model, graph, or table). (MS-PS1-4)

Mathematics

  • 6.NS.C.5 - Understand that positive and negative numbers are used together to describe quantities having opposite directions or values (e.g., temperature above/below zero, elevation above/below sea level, credits/debits, positive/negative electric charge); use positive and negative numbers to represent quantities in real-world contexts, explaining the meaning of 0 in each situation. (MS-PS1-4)

Model Course Mapping

First Time Visitors

Resources & Lesson Plans

  • More resources added each week!
    A team of teacher curators is working to find, review, and vet online resources that support the standards. Check back often, as NSTA continues to add more targeted resources.
  • This lesson (2.2) is the second lesson in Chapter 2: Changes of State from Middle School Chemistry produced by ACS. The lesson, which is outlined comprehensively in the lesson plan, follows the BSCS 5E Instructional Model. The “engage” ...

  • This is the second chapter in the American Chemical Society (ACS)  program Middle School Chemistry. This chapter contains five lessons or activities: Heat, Temperature, and Conduction Changing State—Evaporation Cha ...

  • This simulation allows the user to choose one of four substances (A, Ne, O2, H2O), vary the temperature of the container and observe the behavior of the particles of the substance providing a straightforward means to observe the relationship specifie ...

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  • In this series of games, your students will learn about the states of matter, specifically the properties of gases and liquids. The Gases and Liquids learning objective — based on NGSS and state standards — delivers improved student engagement and ac...

  • In this series of games, your students will learn how the states of matter are distinguished. The States of Matter and their Structure learning objective — based on NGSS and state standards — delivers improved student engagement and academic performa...

  • In this series of games, your students will learn how and why substances undergo phase changes. The _Effects of Temperature and Pressure on State learning objective — based on NGSS and state standards — delivers improved student engagement and academ...

  • In this series of games, your students will learn about the transfer of thermal energy. The Heat as Energy Transfer learning objective — based on NGSS and state standards — delivers improved student engagement and academic performance in your classro...

  • In this series of games, your students will learn about the relationship between thermal energy and temperature, and how temperature is measured. The Temperature, Thermal Energy, and Particle Motion learning objective — based on NGSS and state standa...

  • Engineering Lesson with NGSS Connections (with light kit activity)

  • This short video surveys the different current and potential sources of energy - both non-renewable and renewable. It provides some discussion of the pros and cons of the different sources and explains how they are used to produce energy that people...

  • This video reviews how photovoltaic (PV) cells work, noting that technological innovations are decreasing costs and allowing PV use to expand.

  • This interactive diagram from the National Academy of Sciences shows how we rely on a variety of primary energy sources (solar, nuclear, hydro, wind, geothermal, natural gas, coal, biomass, oil) to supply energy to four end-use sectors (residential, ...

  • This video segment highlights how the U.S. military is the single largest user of energy in the nation, but it is also trying to reduce its carbon bootprint. Scenes taped at Fort Irwin and Camp Pendleton show the Army and Marines experimenting with w...

  • This video describes how concentrating solar power (CSP) technologies reflect and collect solar energy to generate electricity. This video explains what CSP is, how it works, and focuses on parabolic troughs.

  • This introductory video describes the basic principles of residential geothermal heat pumps.

  • This NASA animation depicts thermohaline circulation in the ocean and how it relates to salinity and water density. It illustrates the sinking of water in the cold, dense ocean near Iceland and Greenland. The surface of the ocean then fades away and ...

  • This well-designed experiment compares CO2 impacts on salt water and fresh water. In a short demonstration, students examine how distilled water (i.e., pure water without any dissolved ions or compounds) and seawater are affected differently by incre...

  • This video segment from the Earth Operators Manual summarizes how fossil fuels are made, provides a comparison of how long it takes to store energy in coal, oil and natural gas, and discusses how fast we're using them.

  • This is a series of 10 short videos, hosted by the National Science Foundation, each featuring scientists, research, and green technologies. The overall goal of this series is to encourage people to ask questions and look beyond fossil fuels for inno...

  • This is a short experiment to demonstrate the concept of thermal expansion of water when heated, as an analogy to thermal expansion of oceans due to global warming.

  • This is an interactive table with a comprehensive list of 29 greenhouse gases, their molecular structures, a chart showing a time series of their atmospheric concentrations (at several sampling sites), their global warming potential (GWP) and their ...

  • This video segment from 'What's Up in the Environment,' shares how an entire home can be constructed using green energy sources (solar and geothermal energy). Video is narrated by young boy whose father is the chief engineer on the project.

  • In this video segment from NOVA's Saved By the Sun hour-long video, students learn about photovoltaics and see how two families are using solar technologies in their homes. The video introduces the ideas of state incentives and net metering benefit...

  • This video describes how geothermal heat resources in California have been tapped to supply 850 MW of electricity. Images and animations show how the area known as The Geysers has been developed to capture steam, produced from trapped rainwater and ...

  • In this video clip from Earth: The Operators' Manual, host Richard Alley discusses China's efforts to develop clean energy technologies and to reduce CO2 in the atmosphere, by building coal plants using CO2 sequestration technology. (scroll down pa...

  • This video is one of a series of videos from the Switch Energy project. It describes three types of geothermal sources -- rare ones in which high temperatures are naturally concentrated near the surface, deep wells that require fracturing the rock an...

  • In this short but effective demonstration/experiment, students investigate how thermal expansion of water might affect sea level.

  • For this lesson, the guiding Concept Question is: What is climate change and how does climate relate to greenhouse gas concentrations over time? This activity is the second lesson in a nine-lesson module 'Visualizing and Understanding the Science of...

  • This visualization explains in simple and easy-to-understand visuals the causes of sea-level change.

  • This activity utilizes a PhET greenhouse gas simulation to explore the interaction of different atmospheric gases with different types of radiation.

  • This lesson explores the chemistry of some of the greenhouse gases that affect Earth's climate. Third in a series of 9 lessons from an online module entitled 'Visualizing and Understanding the Science of Climate Change'.

  • In this short, hands-on activity, students build simple molecular models of 4 atmospheric gases (O2, N2, C02, and methane), compare their resonant frequencies, and make the connection between resonant frequency and the gas's ability to absorb infrare...

  • Includes: an example of a 6th grade unit incorporating Depth of Knowledge (DOK), New Taxonomy (Marzano and Kendall, 2007), and bundled NGSS Performance Expectations for Matter and Its Interactions; example student-reflection, guide of how to populat...

Planning Curriculum gives connections to other areas of study for easier curriculum creation.