Ohio Resource Center
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Science Mini-Collections

Access online lessons and other resources that focus on a specific topic. Click on the folder, and a list of ORC resources that support the topic will appear.

Grades: PreK–3
A field trip to the local pumpkin patch is a classic autumn experience for primary school children. This mini-collection of resources includes lessons that could easily be incorporated into this experience.


Grades: PreK–7
This collection includes some great lessons that take students outside where they can actively explore earth and life science.


Grades: PreK–12
This set of weather and climate related resources spans preK-12 and includes best and promising practice lessons, content and assessment resources.


Grades: PreK–12
From the pop-up thermometer to turkey genetics, Thanksgiving offers lots of topics that can be explored through science. We've put together six sets of ORC resources that are related to Thanksgiving topics.


ORC's Top 25
Grades: PreK–12, Postsecondary

Classification is fundamental to all scientific disciplines. For example life scientists classify organisms and biomes, earth and space scientists classify rocks and galaxies, and physical scientists classify elements and types of forces. The resources that made the user's favorites are life and earth science resources. There are many more resources in the collection that answer the question "What is it?"

This question is asked in the broadest sense here. The first thing that comes to mind when we hear this question is the mechanical workings of a device. Here it is applied to everything from the lunar cycle to biomes. Answering the question requires making observations, either actual or virtual, collecting data, and drawing conclusions. How does a desert biome work? Let's answer the question by finding out what the biotic and abiotic conditions are like there and how they interact. How does lunar cycle work? Let's find out by observing the moon over time, collecting data about our observations, and using that data to draw conclusions. The resources that made the user's favorites are again life and earth science resources. There are plenty more earth, life, and physical science resources that answer the question "How does it work?"

This has to be one of the all time favorite science questions! What happens when I change the concentration of the solution my Elodea leaves are in? What happens when I change the height of the first hill on my roller coaster? Questions of this nature require students to manipulate variables, observe the outcomes, collect data, and draw conclusions. The resources that made the user's favorites list includes life, earth, and physical science resources. Search the collection to find more resources that answer the question "What happens when . . .?"


Grade: K
Take a look some of our resources that align with the Kindergarten content statement, Objects and materials can be sorted and described by their properties. These resources can be combined in a variety of creative ways into a unit of instruction that addresses the content statement.


Grade: K–5
The resources in this mini-collection include lessons and activities related to the phases of the moon. Two promising practice lessons offer strategies for collecting moon data over time. An interactive content resource challenges students to "fill in the blanks" in a lunar cycle by dragging the correct image of the moon to the blank cells in the lunar cycle.


Grade: K–5
The silimarities and differences among organisms is just one of the themes included in the topic of Heredity within the Life Science standards. This mini-collection includes lessons and content resources related to similarities and differences among individuals of the same taxonomic group.


Elementary School Misconceptions
Grades: K–5

This mini-collection includes several lessons that can help address some common Earth sciences misconceptions.

This mini-collection includes several lessons that can help address the some common life sciences misconceptions and related problems.

This mini-collection includes several lessons that can help address the some common physical sciences misconceptions and related problems.


Grade: K–5
Combine these resources with others you already have to create a complete unit on the properties of matter.


Grade: K–12
This set of assessment resources includes just a few of the assessment items available in the ORC collection. The sampling shown here is organized into alternative assessment, performance assessment, and constructed response questions.


Earth Day
Grades: K–12
This eclectic set of resources from ORC includes lessons and content resources on topics related to Earth Day. The resources deal with everything from endangered species to acid rain. Within these mini-collections you will find resources for elementary, middle, and high school. Have a great Earth Day!



Grades: K–12
The ORC resources presented here include best and promising practice lessons that take place outdoors. Students are likely to be highly engaged in these lessons, in part because they get to go outside, but more importantly because the lessons will pique their interest in their natural surroundings.


Grades: K–12
This set of resources provides information that may be helpful to you as you consider how you can address benchmarks and grade level indicators related to these concepts.


A Look at Chemical Change
Grades: K–12

Elementary students explore chemical change from a "big idea" perspective. That big idea being that objects undergo changes, in some cases these changes are significant and result in new materials that are different from the original materials. These ORC resources provide students in grades K-5 with an opportunity to explore chemical changes in a developmentally appropriate way.

By the time students reach middle school they are ready to explore chemical change in greater detail. They begin to relate chemical changes to the small particles that compose matter. It is not necessary at this level to get into atomic structure, but students should begin to understand that all matter is composed of atoms. Students also begin to explore conservation of mass in middle school. It is important at this stage that the students see many examples of chemical reactions and relate the chemical reaction to the formation of new substances.

High school students delve into chemical change at the atomic level. They explore atomic structure and relate atomic structure to chemical reactions. Students illustrate their understanding of conservation of mass by writing balanced chemical equations. By the time they graduate students are able to relate chemical structures to biological and physical phenomena.


Grades: K–12
This mini-collection includes several lessons in which students explore the nature of science or scientific careers and resources that provide information about careers in science and the diversity among scientists.


Grades: K–12, Postsecondary
This mini-collection includes some interactive applets that can be integrated into lessons in meaningful ways. Having grown up digital students are likely to be right at home using these online applications.


ORC Resources in the Life Sciences
Grades: K–12

In elementary school students differentiate between living and nonliving, explore and then explain plants the needs of plants and animals, and investigate the relationship between organisms and their environments. These resources engage students in activities that contribute to their understanding of the characteristics and structure of life.

In the middle grades students expand their understanding to include cells and diversity in the body plans and internal structures of multicellular organisms. These resources challenge students to build a cell model, consider how parts of a cell interact, and compare the characteristics of a variety of organisms.

High school students delve into cell theory, develop a deeper understanding of cellular structure and function, and recognize the role cells play in the maintenance and characteristics of complex organisms. These resources give students an opportunity to explore these concepts in depth.


Physical Science Samplers
Grades: K–12

There are nine resources in this mini-collection. One for each physical science benchmark in the K–2 and 3–5 grade bands.

There are eight resources in this mini-collection. One lesson and one content resource for each physical science benchmark in the 6–8 grade band.

There are 13 resources in this mini-collection. One resource for each physical science benchmark in the 9–10 and 11–12 grade bands.


Grades: K–12
Gather up your newspaper clippings and magazine articles about Pluto's change in status, couple them with some of the ORC astronomy and inquiry resources presented, and have fun as you share science news and the nature of science with your students.


Grades: K–12
This set of resources includes lessons aligned to the Science and Technology standard.


Science and Technology: Technological Design
Grades: K–12

In the elementary grades students focus on planning, communication, problem solving, the appropriate use of tools, and describing and illustrating the design process.

In the middle grades students expand their understanding of technological design to include needs and design constraints.

In high school students complete their study of technological design by considering how technological design meets the needs of society and how the choices made by humans impact life on Earth.


Grades: K–12
The beginning of the school year is a great time to start using science journals and science notebooks as a routine part of your science instruction. Both of these strategies provide teachers with glimpses of student thinking as they are developing their understanding of scientific concepts. This set of resources includes lessons that model the effective use of journals in grades K-12. Several professional resources that discuss the use of journals and notebooks are also included.


Grades: K–12
This collection of resources focuses on safety. It includes everything from safety contracts to information on how to store chemicals safely.


The Universe
Grades: K–12

While in elementary school students explore changing patterns of objects in the day and night sky, and the characteristics, cycles, and patterns involving the earth in the solar system.

In the middle grades students expand their understanding to include cyclic phenomena such as years, seasons, and eclipses. Students also learn about gravity, the life cycle of stars, and the vastness of the universe.

High school students focus on how we gather information to learn more about the universe and the origin and evolution of the universe.


Grades: K–12
So why not learn more about it? These resources provide background information, lessons, and assessment items dealing with winter weather.


Grades: K–12
Writing in science involves much more than text. It involves diagrams, charts, tables, maps, and many other nonlinguistic representations of scientific knowledge. The resources in this mini-collection illustrate creative ways to help students hone their writing abilities while demonstrating the depth of their scientific knowledge.


Grades: 1–8
It seems to me that you either love Ohio's winter weather or you hate it! Either way there's plenty of good science to explore while contemplating Ohio's winter weather. Take a look at these ORC resources that in some way touch upon the topic of snow.


Grades: 1–10
The Olympics always generate a great deal of interest and enthusiasm. You can capture and build on that interest and enthusiasm in your science classroom by linking Olympic events to the underlying scientific principles. This mini-collection includes resources about hockey, skiing, insulated clothes, snow, melting and freezing, and, of course, ice cream.


Grades: 1–10
As the days get shorter and the temperatures fall, I eagerly await the first snow fall. I really did say eagerly—I love snow! It seems that we have embraced using hurricanes as a way to engage students in the study of weather. Why not use snow instead? There are lots of interesting snow-related questions that can be investigated. Here are a few resources to get you started.


Grades: 1–10
This set of ORC resources relates to IPY topics. Use them to explore earth, physical, and life science concepts in the context of the International Polar Year.


Grade: 3
This set of resources includes a suggestion for drawing students into the topic, lessons that introduce the concept of life cycles in plants and animals, lessons that delve deeper into the topic, and a lesson that challenges students to apply what they have learned. Students investigate the life cycles of both plants and animals. By the end of the unit students should be able to generalize the concept of a life cycle to any plant or animal.


Grades: 3–8


Grades: 3–8
View mini-collections on topics that may be found on Ohio's Achievement Assessment in science.


Grades: 3–12, Postsecondary
When the topic of 21st century skills comes up we often think about the use of electronic technologies and information literacy. These certainly are important 21st century skills, but these skills are just part of a larger more comprehensive set of skills. Other 21st century skills include problem solving and critical thinking, communication and collaboration, leadership and productivity, and accountability and adaptability. This set of resources illustrates how good science instruction naturally embeds many of these skills.


Grades: 3–12
This mini-collection, designed to help teachers bring science news into their classrooms, links current science news stories to relevant ORC lessons.


Grades: 3–12
Take a look at some of these ORC resources that involve students in highly engaging activities. These activities provide high quality, fun, low stress learning opportunities that are ideal for testing weeks and other times when daily schedules need to be modified. Each activity can be used as a stand alone short term activity or as part of a larger lesson or unit on the topic.


Grades: 3–12
Staying current on scientific findings is one of the many challenges science teachers face. Yet when we share new advances in science with our students, we are helping them understand that science is a dynamic, ever changing field.


Grade: 4
Take a look some of our resources that align with the Grade 4 content statement, Energy can be transformed from one form to another or can be transferred from one location to another. These resources can be combined in a variety of creative ways into a unit of instruction that addresses the content statement.


Grade: 5
Take a look some of our resources that align with the Grade 5 content statement, Organisms perform a variety of roles in an ecosystem. These resources can be combined in a variety of creative ways into a unit of instruction that addresses the content statement.


Grades: 5–12
These ORC resources address emerging science discoveries related to topics you may already be teaching. Consider incorporating these lessons and other resources into related units to give students an opportunity to relate what we already know about science to recent discoveries.


Grades: 5–12
These resources either include images taken with the Hubble telescope or the Hubble constant.


Grades: 5–12
Dozens of audio and video clips that bring current science news into the classroom.


Grade: 6
Take a look some of our resources that align with the sixth grade content statement, There are two categories of energy: kinetic and potential. These resources can be combined in a variety of creative ways into a unit of instruction that addresses the content statement.


Grade: 6–8
Combine these resources with others you already have to create a complete unit on weather.


Grade: 6–8
Two lessons and two assessment items make up this mini-collection for middle school life science. One lesson addresses aquatic ecosystems, the other predator/prey relationships. Two NAEP assessment items round out the collection.


Middle School Misconceptions
Grades: 6–8

This mini-collection includes several lessons that can help address some common Earth sciences misconceptions.

This mini-collection includes several lessons that can help address the some common life sciences misconceptions and related problems.

This mini-collection includes several lessons that can help address the some common physical sciences misconceptions and related problems.


Grades: 6–8
Types of energy and energy transformations are themes included in the topic of Nature of Energy within the Physical Science standards. This mini-collection includes lessons, online activities, and assessment items related to energy types and energy transformations.


Grades: 6–10
The resources included in this mini-collection provide middle grades students with experiences that take them from explaining that cells are the basic structural and functional unit of living organisms to comparing the body plans and internal structures of multicellular organisms.


Grades: 6–12
In the news. . .a 5.8 magnitude earthquake struck the east coast of the United States on August 23. This rare event can serve as a great invitation to learn about earthquakes. Here are few resources from the ORC collection that may be helpful to you as you begin your earthquake lesson planning.


Grades: 6–12
This mini-collection features resources related to cellular structure and function for high school students. Resources related to the history of cell theory are also included.


Grades: 6–12, Postsecondary
This mini-collection features current science news stories linked to relevant ORC lessons. This is the second mini-collection in an intermittent series of mini-collections designed to help teachers bring current news stories into their science classrooms.


Grade: 7–12
There are as many ways to read in science as there are ways to conduct scientific investigations. Reading in science involves much more than just text. It involves charts, graphs, data sets, maps, models, drawing, diagrams, equations, and all of the other myriad ways we represent scientific knowledge. Text certainly is an integral part of reading in science but it is only part of how we represent and communicate scientific knowledge.


Grade: 8
Take a look some of our resources that align with the eighth grade content statement, A combination of constructive and destructive geologic processes formed Earth's surface. These resources can be combined in a variety of creative ways into a unit of instruction that addresses the content statement.


Grade: 9–10
As science educators we often hear concerns expressed about the amount of vocabulary a student is required to learn in any given science course. It is true that science has specialized vocabulary. But let’s face it-science studies the phenomena of the natural world. That’s a fairly immense subject area and we have to have some way to communicate what we have learned and what we are learning. So the question is not why science has so many terms. It is how can we help our students integrate the terms they need to know into their understanding of how the world works.


Grade: 9–12
This mini-collection includes lessons, online data sets, and assessment items related to the use, impact of use, and conservation of natural resources.


Grade: 9–12
Combine these resources with others you already have to create a complete unit on cellular structure and function.


High School Misconceptions
Grades: 9–12

This mini-collection includes several lessons that can help address some common Earth sciences misconceptions.

This mini-collection includes several lessons that can help address the some common life sciences misconceptions and related problems.

This mini-collection includes several lessons that can help address the some common physical sciences misconceptions and related problems.


Grade: 9–12
This mini-collection includes one lesson and three content resources focusing on atomic structure. Through these resources students explore isotopes, build an atom, and review the history of atomic discovery.


Grade: 9–12
2005 has been celebrated as the World Year of Physics. The celebration has highlighted the vitality of physics and its importance in the coming millennium, and commemorates the pioneering contributions of Albert Einstein in 1905.


Professional


Professional
Need some help getting started with inquiry instruction? Then take a look at these resources that describe inquiry instruction and the inquiry continuum, model how to transition students from teacher-directed inquiry to learner self-directed inquiry, and offer strategies for assessing inquiry learning.


Professional
This mini-collection includes professional resources about misconceptions students may hold in each of the scientific disciplines.


Professional
Did you know that ORC also has professional resources that support professional knowledge, and the development of best practices and effective classroom instruction? This set of resources includes a sampling of the professional science education resources in the ORC collection.


Summer Reading
Professional
Summer is prime time for professional development-both planned formal professional development and the self-directed professional development that takes place when we pick up a journal, visit an education website, or have professional discussions with colleagues. Check out ORC's summer reading list and select a few articles to read over the summer as part of your self-directed professional development.