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  • Middle School

    Human Impacts

Students who demonstrate understanding can:

Performance Expectations

  1. Analyze and interpret data on natural hazards to forecast future catastrophic events and inform the development of technologies to mitigate their effects. MS-ESS3-2

    Clarification Statement and Assessment Boundary
  2. Apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing a human impact on the environment. MS-ESS3-3

    Clarification Statement and Assessment Boundary
  3. Construct an argument supported by evidence for how increases in human population and per-capita consumption of natural resources impact Earth's systems. MS-ESS3-4

    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

Analyzing and Interpreting Data

Analyzing data in 6–8 builds on K–5 experiences and progresses to extending quantitative analysis to investigations, distinguishing between correlation and causation, and basic statistical techniques of data and error analysis.

Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions

Constructing explanations and designing solutions in 6–8 builds on K–5 experiences and progresses to include constructing explanations and designing solutions supported by multiple sources of evidence consistent with scientific ideas, principles, and theories.

Engaging in Argument from Evidence

Engaging in argument from evidence in 6–8 builds on K–5 experiences and progresses to constructing a convincing argument that supports or refutes claims for either explanations or solutions about the natural and designed world(s).

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.6-8.1 - Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts. (MS-ESS3-2), (MS-ESS3-4)
  • 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-ESS3-2)
  • WHST.6-8.1 - Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts. (MS-ESS3-4)
  • WHST.6-8.7 - Conduct short research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question), drawing on several sources and generating additional related, focused questions that allow for multiple avenues of exploration. (MS-ESS3-3)
  • WHST.6-8.8 - Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, using search terms effectively; assess the credibility and accuracy of each source; and quote or paraphrase the data and conclusions of others while avoiding plagiarism and following a standard format for citation. (MS-ESS3-3)
  • WHST.6-8.9 - Draw evidence from informational texts to support analysis reflection, and research. (MS-ESS3-3)

Mathematics

  • 6.EE.B.6 - Use variables to represent numbers and write expressions when solving a real-world or mathematical problem; understand that a variable can represent an unknown number, or, depending on the purpose at hand, any number in a specified set. (MS-ESS3-2), (MS-ESS3-3), (MS-ESS3-4)
  • 6.RP.A.1 - Understand the concept of a ratio and use ratio language to describe a ratio relationship between two quantities. (MS-ESS3-3), (MS-ESS3-4)
  • 7.EE.B.4 - Use variables to represent quantities in a real-world or mathematical problem, and construct simple equations and inequalities to solve problems by reasoning about the quantities. (MS-ESS3-2), (MS-ESS3-3), (MS-ESS3-4)
  • 7.RP.A.2 - Recognize and represent proportional relationships between quantities. (MS-ESS3-3), (MS-ESS3-4)
  • MP.2 - Reason abstractly and quantitatively. (MS-ESS3-2)

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.
  • The president has sent out a memo to engineers in the state of “Alabraska”—your help is needed to save the human population from an asteroid impact! This lesson plan is the first in a series of 8 developed at the Colorado School of Mines. In this int…

  • Next Generation Climate contains six lessons on climate change for middle school students. In the curriculum, the students investigate causes of global temperature change, research the major repercussions of climate change, and find out h…

  • The Middle School unit entitled Climate Change and Michigan Forests consists of 10 lessons on climate change and the local environment in Michigan based on forest ecology research conducted at the University of Michigan. The lessons can b…

  • In the Pollution Patrol lesson, students work in teams to design and build their own outdoor air pollution detectors out of everyday items. They design, refine and then test their air pollution detectors, and then see how many particulate…

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    Storm Forecasting is a 2-part lesson which is last in a series of 14 lessons on weather and climate. In the first part of the lesson, students track a tropical storm as it develops in the Atlantic or P…

  •  In this lesson, students learn about hurricanes as a natural hazard as well as some of the technologies used to study tropical storms and hurricanes. The lesson focuses on fac…

  • This lesson introduces students to the concept of marine debris, especially as it relates to plastic bags.  Students are asked to do a research project measuring the amount of plastic bags they use at home and school and create a communicatio…

  • Students use TUVA Labs data analysis and data literacy tools to describe and interpret hurricane data from NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center about recent North Atlantic hurricanes and tropical storms. They research storm damage related to…

  • Students use the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Facility Level Information on GreenHouse gases Tool (FLIGHT) to learn about some of the of greenhouse gas emissions sources in their community, state or…

  • Students investigate how much greenhouse gas (carbon dioxide and methane) their family releases into the atmosphere each year and relate it to climate change. They use the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Perso…

  • Where’s the Water? is the introductory activity to a series of classroom labs designed to study drought. This activity consists of three sections. In Part A, students use cartograms from

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