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Building Blocks of Science® 3D: Earth and Space Systems (©2019) 1-Use Unit Kit with Literacy Set

(backordered: in stock 8/24/22)


Grade 5. In 5 lessons spanning 22 class sessions, the Building Blocks of Science® 3D unit Earth and Space Systems has students explore how Earth is both part of a larger system and is itself composed of interconnected systems. Building Blocks of Science® 3D lessons are structured in 30-minute class sessions, making it easy to fit science into your day. The Earth and Space Systems 1-Use Unit Kit with Literacy Set includes a teacher's guide (item #515442), 24 on-grade student readers (item #515403), 6 below-grade student readers (item #515403BGR), a license for the teacher and students to access online digital resources, and enough supplies and apparatus to teach the unit once to a class of up to 30 students.

Along with hands-on learning, this Building Blocks of Science® 3D unit also provides digital resources to enhance the classroom experience. These components offer an additional method of delivering content, particularly for classrooms with consistent access to computers or tablets. Digital components include digital teacher's guide, simulations, digital literacy reader, interactive whiteboard activities, interactive student investigation sheets, and assessment. All digital resources for Building Blocks of Science® 3D are accessible at CarolinaScienceOnline.com.

Unit Summary
Systems of matter and energy are present around Earth and across space. Interactions within and between these systems produce observable and predictable patterns—night and day, seasons, tides, weather and climate. Earth is composed of interconnected systems and is also part of a larger system in space. In the five lessons in Earth and Space Systems, students explore the interaction between Earth's systems and its role as part of larger systems. Students explore these concepts through investigation, discussion, and problem-solving. Students practice making observations and predictions, providing claims, evidence and reasoning, and evaluating problems and solutions.

Next Generation Science Standards*
The Building Blocks of Science® 3D unit Earth and Space Systems (©2019) integrates process skills as defined by the Next Generation Science Standards.

Performance Expectations

  • 5-PS2-1: Support an argument that the gravitational force exerted by Earth on objects is directed down.
  • 5-ESS1-1: Support an argument that the apparent brightness of the sun and stars is due to their relative distances from the Earth.
  • 5-ESS1-2: Represent data in graphical displays to reveal patterns of daily changes in length and direction of shadows, day and night, and the seasonal appearance of some stars in the night sky.
  • 5-ESS2-1: Develop a model using an example to describe ways the geosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, and/or atmosphere interact.
  • 5-ESS2-2: Describe and graph the amounts of salt water and fresh water in various reservoirs to provide evidence about the distribution of water on Earth.
  • 5-ESS3-1: Obtain and combine information about ways individual communities use science ideas to protect the Earth's resources and environment.
  • 3-5-ETS1-2: Generate and compare multiple possible solutions to a problem based on how well each is likely to meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.

Disciplinary Core Ideas

  • ESS1.A: The Universe and Its Stars
  • ESS1.B: Earth and the Solar System
  • ESS2.A: Earth Materials and Systems
  • ESS2.C: The Roles of Water in Earth's Surface Processes
  • ESS3.C: Human Impacts on Earth Systems
  • PS2.B: Types of Interactions
  • ETS1.B: Developing Possible Solutions

Science and Engineering Practices

  • Developing and Using Models
  • Analyzing and Interpreting Data
  • Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking
  • Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions
  • Engaging in Argument from Evidence
  • Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information

Crosscutting Concepts

  • Patterns
  • Cause and Effect
  • Scale, Proportion, and Quantity
  • Systems and System Models

Common Core State Standards
Language Arts

  • L.5.2: Conventions of Standard English
  • L.5.4: Vocabulary Acquisition and Use
  • L.5.6: Vocabulary Acquisition and Use
  • RF.5.3: Phonics and Word Recognition
  • RF.5.4: Fluency
  • RI.5.4: Craft and Structure
  • RI.5.7: Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
  • SL.5.1: Comprehension and Collaboration
  • SL.5.3: Comprehension and Collaboration
  • SL.5.4: Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas
  • W.5.4: Production and Distribution of Writing
  • W.5.7: Research to Build and Present Knowledge
  • W.5.8: Research to Build and Present Knowledge
  • W.5.10: Range of Writing


  • 5.G.A.2: Graph points on the coordinate plane to solve real-world and mathematical problems.
  • 5.G.B.4: Classify two-dimensional figures into categories based on their properties.
  • 5.MDA.1: Convert like measurement units within a given measurement system.
  • 5.MD.C.5: Geometric measurement: understand concepts of volume.
  • 5.NBT.A.1: Understand the place value system.
  • 5.NBT.A.3: Understand the place value system.v
  • 5.NBT.B.5: Perform operations with multi-digit whole numbers and with decimals to hundredths.
  • 5.NF.B.5: Apply and extend previous understandings of multiplication and division.
  • 5.NF.B.5.A: Apply and extend previous understandings of multiplication and division.
  • 5.NBT.A.1: Understand the place value system.

Lesson Summaries
Lesson 1

In this first lesson, a pre-unit assessment encourages students to share what they already know about systems and Earth's place in space. Because the scale and size of the universe is so immense, students will use models throughout the unit to describe the interactions among the bodies in space. Students research the planets in our solar system and create a poster to communicate information about diameter, distance from the Sun, and other key details of one of the planets to their classmates. Through a demonstration, students learn about the pull of gravity and how it shapes the Sun-Earth-Moon system. In the next lesson, students will use these concepts as they investigate including our star, the Sun.
Lesson 2
In Lesson 1, students defined "system" as a group of related parts that work together, and they linked this definition to the solar system. Students identified Earth as part of the solar system and explained how Earth interacts with other objects in space using models. In this lesson, students investigate the role that stars play in space systems, including our star, the Sun. Students use a model to support an argument about the apparent brightness of stars. Students then turn their focus to the patterns that can be observed in the night sky and the apparent movement of the Sun across the daytime sky. In the next lesson, students will further explore the Sun-Earth-Moon system and the patterns that can be observed in this system.
Lesson 3
In the previous lessons, students looked at system interactions in space. They investigated patterns in the brightness of stars, the positions of stars at night, and the positions of the Sun throughout the day. In this lesson, students model the Sun-Earth-Moon system. Next, students graph and analyze data to look at the changing number of daylight hours during the year to relate this pattern with the changing position of Earth in its orbit around the Sun. Students shift their focus to the Moon's relationship with the system by investigating the phases of the Moon and learning how the Moon can affect tidal patterns on Earth. In the next lesson, students will apply what they have learned about systems to interactions among Earth's own systems.
Lesson 4
In previous lessons, students investigated the relationship between systems in space, the Sun-Earth-Moon system, and the Earth-Moon system. Students also explored patterns that describe evidence of the interconnectedness of these systems. In this lesson, students investigate Earth's major systems and create a poster to model how Earth's systems interact. Students then focus on one of Earth's systems, the hydrosphere, and graph the distribution of water on Earth. In the final lesson, students will research ways that individual communities can use science to help conserve Earth's resources, and they will communicate their findings to their classmates.
Lesson 5
In previous lessons, students explored concepts related to systems on Earth and in space. Students began by making connections between systems in our solar system and the Sun-Earth-Moon system. They transitioned to focus on Earth's major systems—the atmosphere, biosphere, geosphere, and hydrosphere—and gathered evidence that these systems are interconnected. In this final lesson, students apply their knowledge from previous lessons to develop a public service announcement about how communities use science to protect Earth's resources. In groups, students research the positive and negative impacts of humans on the environment and how individual communities can use scientific ideas to protect natural resources. Students create a visual to communicate their research findings to a school-wide audience. Finally, students evaluate what they have learned by reviewing their initial ideas from Lesson 1 using a concept map and developing quiz questions to challenge their classmates.

*Next Generation Science Standards® is a registered trademark of WestEd. Neither WestEd nor the lead states and partners that developed the Next Generation Science Standards were involved in the production of this product, and do not endorse it.


What’s Included:
  • 1 Teacher's Guide
  • 1 Unit Technology Pack (subscription to CarolinaScienceOnline.com to access digital teacher's guide, digital instructional resources, and digital literacy readers)
  • 24 Earth and Space Systems On-Grade Student Reader
  • Earth and Space Systems Below-Grade Student Reader
  • 16 Card Set, Moon Phase
  • 2 Chalk, Assorted Colors, Set of 12
  • 4 Clay, Modeling, Blue, 1/4 lb
  • 4 Clay, Modeling, Green, 1/4 lb
  • 8 Clay, Modeling, Red, 1/4 lb
  • 16 Compass, Magnetic
  • 30 Cup, Plastic, 1-1/4 oz
  • 15 Cup, Plastic, 7 oz
  • 8 Cylinder, Plastic, Graduated, 100 mL
  • 16 Flashlight, LED, with Batteries
  • 1 Globe, Inflatable, 16"
  • 30 K'NEX® Connector, Tan
  • 24 K'NEX® Rod, 5-1/8", Red
  • 24 K’NEX® Tire Insert, 2"
  • 8 Syringe, Titration, 1 cc
  • 16 Tape, Measuring, 150 cm/60"
  • expand to see full list
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