CCSS Science Standards for Kindergarten

Instructor: Bill Sands
Though Common Core does not outline specific standards for kindergarten science instruction, Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) provides a detailed plan of study that covers multiple topics.

Common Core Science Standards for Kindergarten

Science standards in the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) do not begin until middle school. CCSS outlines specific instructions and education goals for grades 6-12, but students in grades K-5 do not receive such detailed plans. Instead, standards for elementary school students in history, technical subjects, social studies, and science are grouped into CCSS's K-5 Reading standards. However, the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) contain an extensive overview of several topics and concepts for all grades, including kindergarten. These standards incorporate connections with CCSS in math and literacy. Read on to learn more about science instruction for kindergartners.

Motion and Stability

Students at this level will be introduced to the most basic ideas related to motion and stability. Students will analyze the push and pull on an object's motion and will be expected to conduct simple experiments to compare different strengths and directions.

As they relate to the CCSS literacy and math requirements, NGSS standards indicate that students should be able to respond to questions on main ideas in a given text and develop both abstract and quantitative reasoning skills. Instruction also aims to teach students how address concepts that they do not understand by learning how to clarify a misunderstanding or ask for guidance.

Energy

In being introduced to the concept of energy, kindergartners will study the natural world around them. Students will observe the relationship between sunlight and the Earth's surface, as the familiar subject matter is intended to make comprehension easier. They'll also use materials to create a structure that could reduce the sunlight's warmth in a particular area.

In terms of Common Core standards, students should be able to work cooperatively. Students will complete group research and coordinate with each other in order to complete writing projects. Continuing the trend learned in the motion and stability unit, students will also need to compare a pair of objects and understand the respective differences and similarities.

Molecular Structures and Processes

NGSS also requires kindergartners to learn about the basics of biology. Students will analyze basic functions and necessities as they learn how plants and animals (humans included) exist and survive. They will look at energy flow in organisms and study patterns in the world around them.

By the end of this unit, students should be able to apply the same cooperative and analytical skills acquired in the energy unit to analyze topics related to biology.

Earth's Systems

Kindergartners continue to develop their understanding of the natural world by studying processes and phenomena related to the Earth. By examining regional weather conditions, students will gain an understanding of how the planet works on both a local and global scale. Children in kindergarten also focus on how animals and plants make changes to their environments in order to meet various needs.

Literacy standards mandate that students should be able to not only read scientific texts, but offer an analysis and opinion. Using a variety of techniques, students will compose opinion pieces in which they offer their perspective on a selected text or concept. Mathematically, students should have a solid grasp of the count sequence and number names. They will also be expected to describe objects using attributes such as weight and length. Kindergartners will need to use their reasoning skills to work with mathematical models and classify objects.

Earth and Human Activity

After establishing an understanding of the planet and the animals that inhabit it, students in kindergarten will begin to explore the relationship between the two. Students will use their knowledge of biological necessities to explain why certain animals live in certain environments. They will also discuss the importance of weather forecasting and take a look at how humans can reduce their effect on the natural environment.

As seen also in the CCSS guidelines, NGSS expects students to be able to continue developing quantitative and abstract reasoning skills as well as modeling and counting skills. Students will also be asked to create their own texts in which they introduce and elaborate upon a selected topic, which includes developing drawings or other visual aids.

Study Resources

If you're interested in learning more about topics that are part of the Next Generation Science Standards or Common Core requirements for literacy and mathematics, the following Study.com courses provide an in-depth study suitable for young students:

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