Middle School: OpenSciEd Unit 7.4: Where Does Food Come from and Where Does It Go Next?
OpenSciEd is a nonprofit organization that brings together educators, philanthropic organizations, curriculum developers, and professional development providers to improve science education through the development and implementation of high-quality, freely available science instructional materials. While this work has begun at the middle school level with Grades 6 through 8, the goal of OpenSciEd is to ensure that all educators, from elementary to high school, have access to a free, coherent, rigorous, research-based set of instructional materials that will support all students in meeting the vision for science literacy described in A Framework for K-12 Science Education and the Next Generation Science Standards.
Rating: Example of High Quality NGSS Design
Awarded the NGSS Design Badge
Science Discipline: Life Science, Physical Science
Year Reviewed: 2020
This unit on matter cycling and photosynthesis begins with students reflecting on what they ate for breakfast. Questions about where their food comes from lead them to consider which breakfast items might be from plants. Then students explore (and taste) a common breakfast food, maple syrup, and see that according to the label, it is 100% from a tree.
Students argue (based on the preceding unit) that they know what happens to sugar in syrup or other foods when they consume it. It is absorbed into the circulatory system and transported to all cells of their body to be used for growth or fuel. Students explore what else is in food and discover that foods from plants they ate, like bananas, peanut butter, beans, avocado, and almonds, not only have sugars but proteins and fats as well. This discovery leads them to wonder how plants are getting these food molecules, why a plant needs food in the first place, and where a plant's food comes from.
Link to Materials
The NGSS Design Badge is awarded only to the version of this unit that was reviewed. If any modifications are made to this unit, the revised version cannot be promoted as having earned the badge.
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