2. Earth Science

Earth’s Place in the Universe

Objective 1. Support an argument that the apparent brightness of the sun and stars is due to their relative distances from Earth.

Objective 2. Represent data in graphical displays to reveal patterns of daily changes in length and direction of shadows, day and night, and the seasonal appearance of some stars in the night sky. 

ESS1.A:  The Universe and its Stars

  • The sun is a star that appears larger and brighter than other stars because it is closer. Stars range greatly in their distance from Earth. (5-ESS1-1)

ESS1.B:  Earth and the Solar System

The orbits of Earth around the sun and of the moon around Earth, together with the rotation of Earth about an axis between its North and South poles, cause observable patterns. These include day and night; daily changes in the length and direction of shadows; and different positions of the sun, moon, and stars at different times of the day, month, and year. (5-ESS1-2)


  • Similarities and differences in patterns can be used to sort, classify, communicate and analyze simple rates of change for natural phenomena. (5-ESS1-2)

Scale, Proportion, and Quantity

Natural objects exist from the very small to the immensely large. (5-ESS1-1)

Earth’s Systems

Objective 1: Develop a model using an example to describe ways the geosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, and/or atmosphere interact

Objective 2:
Describe and graph the amounts and percentages of water and fresh water in various reservoirs to provide evidence about the distribution of water on Earth. 

ESS2.A:  Earth Materials and Systems

  • Earth’s major systems are the geosphere (solid and molten rock, soil, and sediments), the hydrosphere (water and ice), the atmosphere (air), and the biosphere (living things, including humans). These systems interact in multiple ways to affect Earth’s surface materials and processes. The ocean supports a variety of ecosystems and organisms, shapes landforms, and influences climate. Winds and clouds in the atmosphere interact with the landforms to determine patterns of weather. (5-ESS2-1)

ESS2.C:  The Roles of Water in Earth’s Surface Processes

Nearly all of Earth’s available water is in the ocean. Most fresh water is in glaciers or underground; only a tiny fraction is in streams, lakes, wetlands, and the atmosphere. (5-ESS2-2)

Scale, Proportion, and Quantity

  • Standard units are used to measure and describe physical quantities such as weight and volume. (5-ESS2-2)

Systems and System Models

A system can be described in terms of its components and their interactions. (5-ESS2-1)

Earth and Human Activity

Objective: Obtain and combine information about ways individual communities use science ideas to protect the Earth’s resources and environment. 

ESS3.C:  Human Impacts on Earth Systems

Human activities in agriculture, industry, and everyday life have had major effects on the land, vegetation, streams, ocean, air, and even outer space. But individuals and communities are doing things to help protect Earth’s resources and environments. (5-ESS3-1)

Systems and System Models

  • A system can be described in terms of its components and their interactions. (5-ESS3-1)


Connections to Nature of Science

Science Addresses Questions About the Natural and Material World.

Science findings are limited to questions that can be answered with empirical evidence. (5-ESS3-1)