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Curriculum:  Science:  7th Grade  [ 112.23(a)]

The Texas Legacy site hosts a variety of educational curricula, lesson plans, keys and ideas, and supporting media, including video, databases, transcripts and other material.  Below you can find the TEKS standards for Science for the 7th Grade, as described in section 112.23, with relevant activities drawn from this archive.

Goal:  The student conducts field and laboratory investigations using scientific methods, critical-thinking, problem-solving, and using tools such as weather instruments and calculators to collect and analyze information to explain a phenomenon:

  

Excerpts of TEKS Text

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Suggested Activities

 

(a)(1)  In Grade 7, the study of science includes conducting field and laboratory investigations using scientific methods, critical-thinking, problem-solving, and using tools such as weather instruments and calculators to collect and analyze information to explain a phenomenon. Students also use computers and information technology tools.  

 

 

When students have identified a topic to investigate, they can use computers to search TexasLegacy.org’s databases for information, and to learn from the narrators. Critical thinking skills can be used to determine if the information provided by the narrators has scientific merit.  Specific suggested activities are proposed to the right.

 

Look at and discuss the following video excerpts and transcripts, as they show various ways of describing and explaining the natural world from different vantage points.

Laboratory:  Ruth Lofgren, a San Antonio microbiologist, talks about the beauty and essential activity she sees through her microscope.

Literature:  Jim Earhart, a Laredo biologist, talks about his close review of government reports uncovered new insights about water pollution in the Rio Grande.

Samples:  Tony Amos, a Port Aransas oceanographer, talks about how studies of the seas changed as electronic sampling devices were developed.

Remote Sensing:  Kamlesh Lulla, a NASA geologist from Clear Lake City, tells how orbital imaging can track, describe and help explain phenomena on the earth's surface.

 

 

(a) (4)  Science is a way of learning about the natural world. Students should know how science has built a vast body of changing and increasing knowledge described by physical, mathematical, and conceptual models, and also should know that science may not answer all questions.

 

 

Search the TexasLegacy.org database of narrators involved in to see examples of how knowledge has increased.

 

 

The natural world is described with increasing detail and breadth by scientific models.

Sometimes, though the theory reaches beyond the evidence.  Oceanographer Tony Amos points out the importance of securing ground truth to test abstract theories.

Also, sometimes the reality is still too complex for a single model to describe it, as Campbell Read and Kamlesh Lulla point out about the Gaia theory (that the Earth's ecosystem resembles a great cell).

The gaps in our understanding can be filled by a faith, wonder and love of nature that drives our curiosity and learning, as Mickey Burleson explains.

Finally, we need to realize that sometimes science doesn't answer all the questions simply because the questions are not asked.  George Russell reminds us that we often act in ignorance of what is already known.  David Marrack and Marvin Legator point out that questions are sometimes willfully avoided for economic reasons.  Clark Hubbs sees research being dropped for political and sentimental reasons.

 

 

(a)(5) A system is a collection of cycles, structures, and processes that interact. Students should understand a whole in terms of its components and how these components relate to each other and to the whole. All systems have basic properties that can be described in terms of space, time, energy, and matter. Change and constancy occur in systems and can be observed and measured as patterns. These patterns help to predict what will happen next and can change over time.

 
 

Many TexasLegacy.org narrators discuss changes in systems, and make predictions on what will occur.  Students can look at narrators who made predictions several years ago to see how accurate their predictions were, or if they were successful in effecting change for the better.

 

Perhaps there were dire predictions made that never happened, or haven’t yet happened. Look for these, and explain why the ‘bad news’ predicted didn’t happen, or if we are still facing future problems.

 

 

There are many interlocking cycles in nature.  The narrators listed below describe a number of them:

Carbon:  Dennis Holbrook, Malcolm Beck Walt Davis, and Ruth Lofgren show the many ways in which organic decay and recycling is essential in our world.

Nitrogen:  Walt Davis explains how nitrogen can be provided to the soil either through chemical fertilizers or via legumes.

Heavy metals:  Dwight Shellman tells us how mercury from utility emissions is cycled through the air, sediment and fish and human tissue.

Fauna and flora:  Benito Trevino explains how the mockingbird's and hackberry's life cycles intersect.

Predator and prey:  Daniel Quinn and Billy Pat McKinney show how creatures up and down the foodchain interact.

 

 


 
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2007