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Students who demonstrate understanding can:

Performance Expectations

  1. Make observations to determine the effect of sunlight on Earth’s surface. K-PS3-1

    Clarification Statement and Assessment Boundary
  2. Use tools and materials provided to design and build a structure that will reduce the warming effect of sunlight on an area. K-PS3-2

    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

Planning and Carrying Out Investigations

Planning and carrying out investigations to answer questions or test solutions to problems in K–2 builds on prior experiences and progresses to simple investigations, based on fair tests, which provide data to support explanations or design solutions.

Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions

Constructing explanations and designing solutions in K–2 builds on prior experiences and progresses to the use of evidence and ideas in constructing evidence-based accounts of natural phenomenon and designing solutions.

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


  • W.K.7 - Participate in shared research and writing projects (e.g., explore a number of books by a favorite author and express opinions about them). (K-PS3-1), (K-PS3-2)


  • K.MD.A.2 - Directly compare two objects with a measurable attribute in common, to see which object has "more of"/"less of" the attribute, and describe the difference. (K-PS3-1), (K-PS3-2)

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.
  • Students use their senses to investigate changes in the seasons by making observations in nature. They collect data by drawing, writing, and or labeling their observations to compare how sunlight affects themselves and objects as the seasons change. ...

  • In this lesson, students will take a closer look at the sun and begin to recognize its function in heating and warming the air, land, and water that sustains our lives. This will involve drawing their attention to the basics of the heat around them a ...

  • In this lesson students collaborate while planning, constructing, and testing a structure that reduces the warming effect of sunlight on an ice cube.  This is the seventh lesson of a nine lesson betterlesson.com unit by Joyce Baumann.

  • In this unit of study, in a series of six lessons, students will use their observations to develop an understanding that sunlight warms Earth's surface and use their knowledge to design and build a prototype of a structure that will reduce the wa ...

  • This lesson includes several activities where students observe, explore, and analyze shadows. Students will make inferences about the cause of shadows, The lesson is linked to NASA's MESSENGER spacecraft in its voyage to and around Mercury. This ...

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