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Chemicals, the Environment,

and You: Explorations in

Science and Human Health

developed under a contract from the

National Institutes of Health

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences

5415 Mark Dabling Boulevard

Colorado Springs, CO 80918

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Sciences (NIEHS)

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Susan Long, Frankfort Middle School, Ridgeley, WV

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Larry Johnson, Texas A & M University, College Station, TX

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Special Thanks to:

W. Richard Ulmer of InVitro International, Irving, CA, for

Writing Team

providing the photograph of the Corrositex® assay (page 45).

Juliane Hill, University of Washington, Seattle, WA

Deputy Chief Vickery of the Seattle Fire Department and the

Charlene A. McQueen, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ

Seattle Fire Department Hazmat Team for their participation in

Josina Romero O’Connell, Challenger Middle School,

and staging of the Ride Along with HAZMAT mini-documentary.

Colorado Springs, CO

Shaun Taylor, Videodiscovery, Seattle, WA

This material is based on work supported by the National Institutes

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of Health under Contract No. 263-98-C-0056. Any opinions,

Public Health, Baltimore, MD

find ings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this

publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily

Artists

reflect the view of the funding agency.

Susan Bartel

Lisa Chilberg

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Please contact NIH with questions

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Contents

Foreword. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . v

About the National Institutes of Health . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . vi

About the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . vii

About Biological Sciences Curriculum Study. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ix

Introduction to Chemicals, the Environment, and You . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

What Are the Objectives of the Module? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1

Why Teach the Module? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1

What’s in It for the Teacher? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1

Implementing the Module . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

What Are the Goals of the Module? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3

What Are the Science Concepts and How Are They Connected? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3

How Does the Module Correlate with the National Science Education Standards? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3

How Does the 5E Instructional Model Promote Active, Collaborative, Inquiry-Based Learning? . . . .6

What’s the Evidence for the Effectiveness of the BSCS 5E Instructional Model? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8

How Does the Module Support Ongoing Assessment? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8

How Can Teachers Promote Safety

in the Science Classroom? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9

How Can Controversial Topics Be Handled in the Classroom? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12

Using the Student Lessons . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

Format of the Lessons . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15

Timeline for Teaching the Module. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16

Master List of Supplies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17

Using the Web Site . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21

Hardware and Software Requirements. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .21

Getting the Most out of the Web Site . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .21

Collaborative Groups . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .21

Web Activities for People with Disabilities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .21

Lesson 1. Chemicals, Chemicals, Everywhere . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23

Lesson 2. The Dose Makes the Poison . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41

Lesson 3. Dose-Response Relationships . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63

Lesson 4. Individual Responses Can Be Different . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77

Lesson 5. What Is the Risk? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 95

Lesson 6. Environmental Hazards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 107

References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 119

Additional Resources for Teachers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 123

Glossary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 127

Masters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 131

iii

Foreword

This curriculum supplement, from The NIH

active and collaborative learning and are inquiry-

Curriculum Supplement Series, brings cutting-edge

based to help students develop problem-solving

medical science and basic research discoveries

strategies and critical-thinking skills.

from the laboratories of the National Institutes

of Health (NIH) into classrooms. As the largest

Each of our curriculum supplements comes

medical research institution in the United

with a complete set of materials for teachers

States, NIH plays a vital role in the health of

and students, including extensive background

all Americans and seeks to foster interest in

and resource information, detailed lesson plans,

research, science, and medicine-related careers

masters for student worksheets, and a Web site

for future generations. NIH’s Office of Science

with videos, interactive activities, updates, and

Education (OSE) is dedicated to promoting

corrections (as needed). The supplements are

scientific literacy and the knowledge and skills

distributed at no cost to educators across the

we need to secure a healthy future for all.

United States upon request. They may be copied

for classroom use but may not be sold.

We designed this curriculum supplement to

complement existing life science curricula at both

We welcome your comments. For a complete

the state and local levels and to be consistent

list of curriculum supplements and ordering

with the National Science Education Standards

information, or to submit feedback, please visit

(released by the National Academy of Sciences

http://science.education.nih.gov.

in 1996). It was developed and tested by a team

of teachers, scientists, medical experts, and

We appreciate the valuable contributions of

other professionals with relevant subject-area

the talented staff at BSCS and Videodiscovery,

expertise from institutes and medical schools

Inc. We are also grateful to the NIH scientists,

across the country, representatives from the

advisors, and all other participating professionals

National Institute of Environmental Health

for their work and dedication. Finally, we thank

Sciences, and curriculum design experts from

the teachers and students who participated in

Biological Sciences Curriculum Study (BSCS) and

focus groups and field tests to ensure that these

Videodiscovery, Inc. The authors incorporated

materials are both engaging and effective.

real scientific data and actual case studies into

classroom activities. A three-year development

I hope you find our series a valuable addition to your

process included geographically dispersed

classroom and wish you a productive school year.

field tests by teachers and students. For the

2012 edition, key sections of the supplement

Bruce A. Fuchs, Ph.D.

were updated, but the Student Lessons remain

National Institutes of Health

basically the same.

supplements@science.education.nih.gov

The curriculum supplements enable teachers

to facilitate learning and stimulate student

interest by applying scientific concepts to

real-life scenarios. Design elements include a

conceptual flow of lessons based on the BSCS 5E

Instructional Model, cutting-edge science content,

and built-in assessment tools. Activities promote

v

About the National Institutes of Health

Founded in 1887, NIH is the federal focal point

research and clinical investigators, as well as the

for health research in the United States. Today,

myriad professionals in the many allied disciplines

NIH is one of the agencies within the Department

who support the research enterprise. These efforts

of Health and Human Services. Its mission is

also help educate people about scientific results so

science in pursuit of fundamental knowledge

that they can make informed decisions about their

about the nature and behavior of living systems

own—and the public’s—health.

and the application of that knowledge to extend

healthy life and reduce the burdens of illness and

This curriculum supplement was one such

disability. NIH works toward meeting the mission

education effort. It is a collaboration among

by providing leadership, direction, and grant

the National Institute of Environmental Health

support to programs designed to improve the

Sciences, the NIH Office of Science Education,

health of the nation through research.

Biological Sciences Curriculum Study, and

Videodiscovery, Inc.

NIH’s education programs contribute to ensuring

the continued supply of well-trained basic

For more about NIH, visit http://www.nih.gov.

vi

About the National Institute

of Environmental Health Sciences

The National Institute of Environmental Health

the conditions that allow it to occur. NIEHS

Sciences (NIEHS) is one of 27 institutes and

takes a holistic approach to health, viewing it

centers of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

as an integrated response of all organ systems

The mission of NIEHS is to reduce the burden of

of the body to the environment. A key strategy

human illness and disability by understanding

for preventing many diseases or minimizing

how the environment influences the development

their effects is to eliminate or reduce exposures

and progression of human disease. Headquartered

to chemicals and other toxic agents in our

in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina,

environment, especially our food, water, and air.

NIEHS supports environmental health research at

To help reduce exposure to these agents, NIEHS

universities, independent laboratories, and centers

supports environmental public health activities

throughout the United States.

that increase public awareness about the nature

of the chemicals and how they may affect our

NIEHS is unique within NIH because its

health and that empower communities to take

primary focus is on the public health impact of

action to manage environmental health issues.

environmental exposures, rather than on one

or two specific organs such as the heart or liver

Environmental public health is defined as the

and finding ways to treat illnesses people already

science of conducting and translating research

have. Promoting public health and preventing

into action to address environmental exposures

disease is one of the most important services the

and health risks of concern to the public.

government can provide to its citizens. Protecting

NIEHS recognizes the importance of working in

people from avoidable illness and death spares

partnership with community groups to address

suffering, saves money, and improves the quality

their environmental health concerns. The institute

of life for society as a whole.

supports programs that build the capacity of

community groups and researchers to work

NIEHS provides the sound scientific foundation

together, advance environmental health literacy,

for defining the health effects of a broad array of

increase awareness of environmental health

environmental agents. Translating these findings

concepts, and engage community residents as

into effective public health and prevention

partners in the research process.

strategies requires that NIEHS communicate its

discoveries to federal regulatory agencies such as

NIEHS supports environmental public health

the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and

activities through

the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), as well

• Grants to support university-community

as to public health agencies such as the Centers

partnerships that address local environmental

for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). These

health issues.

organizations, in turn, use this information to

• Outreach activities NIEHS requires of academic

calculate new standards to protect health and

research institutes it supports.

communicate public health messages to the

• Communication tools such as the science

public. This information is also the scientific basis

journal Environmental Health Perspectives.

for many laws passed by Congress to protect the

nation’s health.

Research areas of special interest to NIEHS are

environmentally related diseases and disorders

The most effective way to promote public

such as cancer, asthma, Alzheimer’s disease,

health and prevent disease and disability is to

autism, and the potential effects on human

understand the cause of an illness and change

health of endocrine disruptors, metals, pesticides,

vii

nanotechnology, and climate change. To fully

For more information see

understand these diseases and conditions,

environmental health research must examine

NIEHS Science Education:

the interface of exposure, genetic susceptibility,

http://www.niehs.nih.gov/health/scied/index.cfm

and time and duration of exposure.

Environmental Health Perspectives

NIEHS has a vested interest in developing

Science Education:

and training the next generation of diverse

http://ehp03.niehs.nih.gov/static/scied.action

environmental health scientists who will be

needed to solve the complex problems mentioned

Summers of Discovery:

above. The Chemicals, the Environment, and

http://www.niehs.nih.gov/careers/research/summers/

You curriculum is just one example of NIEHS’s

index.cfm

efforts to improve science education and literacy,

increase the nation’s understanding of the role of

NIEHS Web site:

the environment in disease, empower teachers

http:// www.niehs.gov

and other communicators to translate science,

and provide the most current and credible

information on environmental health science.

viii

About Biological Sciences

Curriculum Study

Headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colorado,

Instructional Model and inquiry are hallmarks

BSCS was founded in 1958 as a curriculum study

of its materials, placing students at the center of

committed to an evidence- and inquiry-based

their learning.

approach to science education. BSCS instructional

materials and professional development services

The BSCS mission is to transform science teaching

are based on current research about teaching and

and learning through research and development

learning for all science classrooms, kindergarten

that strengthens learning environments and

through college.

inspires a global community of scientifically

literate citizens. BSCS is a 501(c)3 nonprofit

BSCS’s materials are extensively field-tested

organization. For more information, please visit

in diverse settings across the country and

http://www.bscs.org.

evaluated for proven effectiveness. The BSCS 5E

ix

Introduction to Chemicals,

the Environment, and You

What Are the Objectives of the Module?

Knowledge (what is known and not known)

Chemicals, the Environment, and You has several

+ Choice = Power

objectives. The first is to help students understand

Power + Behavior = Enhanced Human Health

major concepts that describe the relationship

(that is, personal and public health)

between chemicals in the environment and

human health. By focusing on the science

An additional objective of this module is to

of toxicology, the module seeks to introduce

encourage students to think in terms of these

students to the ways scientists learn about and

relationships now and as they grow older.

measure how chemicals can both help and harm

human health.

Why Teach the Module?

The second objective is to convey to students the

Middle school science classes offer the perfect

ever-changing nature of our understanding of

opportunity to integrate many areas of student

the influence of chemicals on the health of living

interest. In this module, students participate

organisms. For example, with each introduction

in activities that integrate inquiry science,

of a new synthetic chemical, researchers

environmental studies, human health, history,

must learn at what dose and by what route of

decision-making concepts, and mathematics.

exposure the chemical might be hazardous to

The real-life context of the module’s lessons is

human health. New data have informed people

engaging for students, and the knowledge gained

of the dangers of lead in paint and the disease

by participating in the module can be applied

implications of breathing secondhand smoke. Our

immediately to students’ lives.

increasing knowledge about the effects chemicals

can have on the human body enables us to make

“The activities provided actual real-life occurrences

choices to limit our exposure to some chemicals

that students could relate to.”

while using other chemicals in ways that improve

—Field-test Teacher

the quality of our lives.

“The lab made me think about medicines and what

Science plays an important role in assisting

dose I should take.”

individuals as they make choices about enhancing

—Field-test Student

personal and public welfare. In this module,

students see that science provides evidence that

What’s in It for the Teacher?

can be used to support ways of understanding

Chemicals, the Environment, and You meets

and treating human disease. Because the mission

many of the criteria used to assess teachers and

of the National Institute of Environmental

their programs.

Health Sciences is to reduce human illness from

• The module is standards based and meets

environmental causes, the institute believes

science content, teaching, and assessment

that education provides one context in which

standards as expressed in the National Science

it can fulfill its mission. The lessons in this

Education Standards. It pays particular attention

module encourage students to think about the

to the standards that describe what students

relationships among knowledge, choice, behavior,

and enhanced human health in this way:

1

Chemicals, the Environment, and You

should know and be able to do with respect to

Horsley et al. write that replacement modules

scientific inquiry.

such as Chemicals, the Environment, and You can

• As described above, it is an integrated module,

“offer a window through which teachers can get a

drawing most heavily from the subjects of

glimpse of what new teaching strategies look like

science, history, mathematics, and health.

in action.” By experiencing a short-term unit like

• The module has an online technology

this one, teachers can “change how they think

component that includes mini-documentaries,

about teaching and embrace new approaches

laboratory information and data tables, and

that stimulate students to problem solve, reason,

interactive activities.

investigate, and construct their own meaning for

• Finally, the module includes built-in

the content.” The use of a replacement unit like

assessment tools indicated by an assessment

this one can encourage reflection and discussion

icon in each lesson.

and stimulate teachers to improve their practices

by focusing on student learning through inquiry.

In addition, the module provides a means for

professional development. Teachers can engage

Table 1 correlates topics often included in the

in new and different teaching practices like those

middle school curriculum with the lessons in this

described in this module without completely

module. This information is presented to help

overhauling their entire yearlong program. In

teachers make decisions about incorporating this

Designing Professional Development for Teachers

material into the curriculum.

of Science and Mathematics (1), Susan Loucks-

Table 1. Correlation of Chemicals, the Environment, and You to middle school topics.

Topics

Lesson 1 Lesson 2 Lesson 3 Lesson 4 Lesson 5 Lesson 6

Chemical composition of all matter

Chemicals in the environment

Human health and medicine

Individual variation/susceptibility

Risk assessment and management

Scientific methods

2

Implementing the Module

The six lessons in this module are designed to

Table 2 summarizes the sequence of major

be taught either in sequence for two or more

concepts addressed by the six lessons.

weeks (as a replacement for a part of the standard

curriculum) or as individual lessons that support

How Does the Module Correlate

or enhance your treatment of specific concepts in

with the National Science Education

middle school science. The following pages offer

Standards?

general suggestions about using these materials in

Chemicals, the Environment, and You supports

the classroom; you will find specific suggestions

teachers in their efforts to reform science

in the procedures provided for each lesson.

education in the spirit of the National Research

Council’s 1996 National Science Education

What Are the Goals of the Module?

Standards (NSES). The content of the module is

Chemicals, the Environment, and You is designed to

explicitly standards based: Each time a standard

help students develop the following major goals

is addressed in a lesson, an icon appears in the

associated with scientific literacy:

margin and the applicable standard is identified.

• to understand a set of basic scientific principles

Table 3 lists the specific content standards this

related to chemicals, human health, and the

module addresses (page 5).

study of toxicology;

• to experience the process of scientific inquiry

Teaching Standards

and develop an enhanced understanding of the

The suggested teaching strategies in all the

nature and methods of science; and

lessons support teachers as they work to meet

• to recognize the role of science in society and

the teaching standards outlined in the National

the relationship between basic science and

Science Education Standards. The module helps

human health.

teachers of science plan an inquiry-based science

program by providing short-term objectives for

What Are the Science Concepts and

students. It also includes planning tools such as

How Are They Connected?

the Conceptual Flow of the Lessons ( Table 2) and

We have organized the lessons to form a

the Suggested Timeline (Table 8) for teaching the

conceptual whole that moves students from

module. Teachers can use this module to update

an introduction to chemicals and toxicology

their curriculum in response to their students’

( Chemicals, Chemicals, Everywhere), to an

interest in this topic. The focus on active,

investigation of the effect of various doses of

collaborative, and inquiry-based learning in the

chemicals on seed germination ( The Dose Makes

lessons helps teachers support the development of

the Poison), to a discussion of the relationship

student understanding and nurture a community

between dose and response that can be

of science learners.

represented by a dose-response curve ( Dose-

Response Relationships). Once students have

The structure of the lessons in this module

experienced the process of toxicology testing,

enables teachers to guide and facilitate learning.

they discuss how individual responses to

All the activities encourage and support student

chemicals can vary ( Individual Responses Can Be

inquiry, promote discourse among students,

Different), and how knowledge about chemicals

and challenge students to accept and share

can be used to assess and manage risk from

responsibility for their learning. The use of

chemical exposure ( What Is the Risk? ). Finally,

the 5E Instructional Model combined with

students consider how their understanding of

active, collaborative learning allows teachers to

how chemicals can affect human health can help

respond effectively to the diversity of student

them make decisions related to personal and

backgrounds and learning styles. The module is

public health ( Environmental Hazards).

fully annotated, with suggestions for how teachers

3

Chemicals, the Environment, and You

Table 2. Conceptual flow of the lessons.

Lesson

Learning Focus

Major Concept

Lesson 1

Engage: Students express Everything in the environment is made of chemicals.

Chemicals,

prior knowledge and

Both naturally occurring and synthetic substances are

Chemicals,

become engaged in the

chemical in nature. People are exposed to chemicals

Everywhere

study of toxicology.

by eating or swallowing them, breathing them, or

absorbing them through the skin or mucosa, and they

can protect themselves from harmful chemicals by

blocking these routes of exposure.

Lesson 2

Explore: Students

The total amount of chemical that is administered

The Dose

explore the response

to, or taken by, an organism is called a dose, and

Makes the

seeds have to different

the effect a chemical has on a living organism is

Poison

doses of chemicals. The

called the response. The effect a chemical has on a

Explore phase gives

living organism is related to dose and the resultant

students a common

concentration of the chemical in the organism. Toxicity

set of experiences

tests enable toxicologists to learn about responses of

upon which to begin

living organisms to doses of chemicals.

building conceptual

understanding.

Lesson 3

Explain: Students

Dose and response are related and can be represented

Dose-Response

express their conceptual

by a dose-response curve. Data from toxicology testing

Relationships

understanding of the

can be represented by a dose-response curve, from

laboratory investigation

which scientists can describe the threshold and potency

in their own words and

of chemicals.

using graphs.

Lesson 4

Explain/Elaborate:

The variety of responses among organisms that get the

Individual

Students broaden

same dose of chemical is due to individual susceptibility.

Responses

their conceptual

Dose and individual susceptibility play roles in all

Can Be

understanding and apply situations involving chemicals, including those involving Different

what they have learned

medicines and caffeine.

in a new context.

Lesson 5

Elaborate: Students

People can make some choices about chemical

What Is

extend the module’s

exposure; however, some exposure is controlled at a

the Risk?

concepts in a different

level other than an individual one. Collective groups

activity to help them

of people, such as communities and governments,

apply scientific terms

seek to control chemical exposure on a community

and concepts in

or global level.

appropriate ways.

Lesson 6

Evaluate: Students

People can use their understanding of the science of

Environmental

demonstrate their

toxicology to identify potential sources of harm to

Hazards

understanding

human health from chemicals in the environment.

of concepts and

They can use their knowledge to propose possible

performance of skills.

means to eliminate or reduce exposure to

environmental toxic agents.

4

Table 3. Content Standards: Grades 5−8.

Standard A: As a result of activities in grades 5–8, all students should Correlation to Chemicals,

develop abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry and understandings

the Environment, and You

about scientific inquiry.

• Design and conduct a scientific investigation.

Lessons 2, 4

• Use appropriate tools and techniques to gather, analyze, and

Lessons 2, 3, 4

interpret data.

• Develop descriptions, explanations, predictions, and models using

Lessons 2, 3, 4, 6

evidence.

• Think critically and logically to make the relationships between

Lessons 3, 4, 6

evidence and explanations.

• Communicate scientific procedures and explanations.

Lesson 3

• Use mathematics in all aspects of scientific inquiry.

Lessons 2, 3, 4

• Develop understandings about scientific inquiry.

Lessons 2, 4, 6

Standard B: As a result of their activities in grades 5–8, all students Correlation to module

should develop an understanding of properties of matter.

• There are more than 100 known elements that combine in a

Lesson 1

multitude of ways to produce compounds, which account for the

living and nonliving substances we encounter.

Standard E: As a result of their activities in grades 5–8, all students Correlation to module

should develop understandings about science and technology.

• Perfectly designed solutions do not exist. All technological solutions Lessons 1, 5

have trade-offs, such as safety, cost, efficiency, and appearance.

• Technological solutions have intended benefits and unintended

Lessons 1, 4, 5

consequences. Some consequences can be predicted, others cannot.

Standard F: As a result of their activities in grades 5–8, all students Correlation to module

should develop an understanding of

• personal health

Lessons 4, 5, 6

• natural hazards

Lessons 1, 5, 6

• risks and benefits

Lessons 1, 5, 6

Standard G: As a result of their activities in grades 5–8, all students Correlation to module

should develop an understanding of the history and nature of science.

• Understand science as a human endeavor.

All lessons

• Understand the nature of science.

All lessons

• Understand the history of science.

Lesson 5

5

Implementing the Module

Chemicals, the Environment, and You

can encourage and model the skills of scientific

constructivism. A constructivist view of learning

inquiry, as well as the curiosity, openness

recognizes that students need time to

to new ideas and data, and skepticism that

• express their current thinking;

characterize science.

• interact with objects, organisms, substances,

and equipment to develop a range of

Assessment Standards

experiences on which to base their thinking;

• reflect on their thinking by writing and

Teachers can engage in ongoing assessment of

expressing themselves and comparing what

their teaching and of student learning using the

they think with what others think; and

variety of assessment components embedded

• make connections between their learning

within the module’s structure. The assessment

experiences and the real world.

tasks are authentic: They are similar in form

to tasks in which students will engage in their

This module provides a built-in structure for

lives outside the classroom or in which scientists

creating a constructivist classroom: The 5E

participate. Annotations guide teachers to these

Instructional Model. The model sequences the

opportunities for assessment and provide answers

learning experiences so that students have the

to questions that can help teachers analyze

opportunity to construct their understanding of

student feedback.

a concept over time. The model takes students

through five phases of learning that are easily

How Does the 5E Instructional Model

described using five words that begin with the

Promote Active, Collaborative, Inquiry-

letter “E”: Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate,

Based Learning?

and Evaluate. The following paragraphs illustrate

Because learning does not occur through a

how the 5Es are implemented across the lessons

process of passive absorption, the lessons in

in this module.