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Science Essentials

The Building Blocks


Science, Math & Art


Young Explorers

Developing A

Science Story

Building Process And

Problem-Solving Skills

Developing Context-

Based Content

Creating Embedded

Opportunities For

Further Learning

Big Ideas in Science: Foundational Concepts

Science is more than an accumulation of isolated facts and ideas. Themes and concepts provide the framework into which we fit new discoveries and insights.

Why key concepts? Key concepts create a bridge, a connection between seemingly unrelated material, but which become readily apparent as our knowledge and understanding of the natural world and related processes increases. Key concepts can help demystify science, making it more accessible, understandable, and relevant. Key concepts provide a framework on which to build and scaffold new knowledge, discoveries and insights.

Concepts provide a scaffold for learning.

Concepts provide context for content.

Concepts make complex fields of knowledge more comprehensible and meaningful.

Recurrent themes and concepts occur (and often become apparent) as our knowledge and understanding of the natural world and related processes increases.

Why is it important to emphasize concepts?
Conceptual organizers provide students with a more coherent and integrated understanding of the world.

Conceptual organizers are especially important as scientific knowledge continues to increase.

Conceptual organizers help students incorporate new knowledge into their previous understanding of the natural world.

Concepts and Themes allow us to integrate scientific knowledge for greater understanding. Some big concepts ideas include:

Diversity, Change and Constancy, Patterns, Growth, Cycles (Lifecycles), Adaptations, Behavior, Materials, Properties, Systems, Interactions, Interdependence, Energy Transformations, Scale and Structure, Cause and Effect, Structure and Function, Model Systems,Equilibrium Dynamics

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