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In this unit, we will be discussing the sources of energy.  These sources can be broken down into renewable and nonrenewable sources.

Nonnenewable Resources- These are resources that, once used, cannot be restored in a timely manner. Fossil Fuels and Nuclear energy are nonrenewable.

Renewable Resources- Resources that can be reused.  These resources include biomass, hydropower, geothermal power, wind energy, and solar energy.  Below you will find websites that can help you learn more about energy sources. Let me know what you think.


Energy For Kids

How Does a Power Grid Work?



Sustainable House

Energy Quest

Energy Star Kids

Planet Green Game


Fuel Cell (Hydrogen) Car

Bats and Windmills

Ethanol- Good? or Bad?

Is Nuclear Power Bad?

Three Gorges Dam


Department of Education


Alternative Energy

Energy Kids

Energy Resources

Alternative Energy Sources LOOK Pros and Cons!


rock-cycleWe are now at the final portion of our rock and minerals unit: Rock Cycle! Here is a really fun website to help you review the processed that are involved on the rock cycle.

Describe a way an igneous rock can change into a sedinentary rock.

Describe a way a sedimentary rock can change into a metamorphic rock.

Also, if you wish to do some research of your rocks at home, here are a few websites to help you with identifications.

Rock Types and Rock Cycle Game Very Fun!!!

A bunch of websites on one page

Another rock cycle web site

Rock Cycle Animations

Identify an unknown rock using this key

Another rock identification website

EXTRA CREDIT: Visit some of the websites above and tell us a few interesting facts that you have learned!!

graphics1For the past few weeks we have been learning about Invertebrates. Invertebrates are animals that do not have a backbone and have a more simple body structure than animals that belong to the Chordata Phylum (mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fishes) Of the million or more animal species in the world, more than 98% are invertebrates. We have enjoyed investigating one invertebrate in particular, the planaria, which is a flatworm that can regenerate.

planaria-regenerationPlanaria belong to the phylum, Platyhelminthes.  They have a triangular head and two eye spots (which really only detect light, not images.)  Planarians suck up their meals such as clam shrimp, water fleas and decaying animals with a straw-like mouth. Don’t look for the mouth on its head. The mouth comes right out of the planaria’s belly! It doesn’t need gills or lungs. It gets oxygen right through its skin! It is interesting that if you cut a planaria in two from head to tail, it will regenerate. Both halves will live and grow new, complete bodies. What did you learn from our planaria lab?

Follow these links to complete your Freedom Trail Scavenger Hunt.

For the most part, you will be using these three websites











Interactive Map  there are links here to more websites

Paul Revere’s House

Old North Church

USS Constitution

00046824In this unit, we will be exploring the parts and function of plant and animal cells. We will start with learning the more simple organelles and then move into active and passive transport,  photosynthesis, respiration and mitosis.

cell wall plant only *outer layer
*rigid, strong, stiff
*made of cellulose
*support (grow tall)
cell membrane both plant/animal *plant – inside cell wall
*animal – outer layer; cholesterol
*selectively permeable
*controls movement of materials in/out of cell
*barrier between cell and its environment
*maintains homeostasis
nucleus both plant/animal *large, oval *controls cell activities
nuclear membrane both plant/animal *surrounds nucleus
*selectively permeable
*Controls movement of materials in/out of nucleus
cytoplasm both plant/animal *clear, thick, jellylike material and organelles found inside cell membrane *supports /protects cell organelles
reticulum (E.R.)
both plant/animal *network of tubes or membranes *carries materials through cell
ribosome both plant/animal *small bodies free or attached to E.R. *produces proteins (responsible for cell growth and rapair)
mitochondrion both plant/animal *bean-shaped with inner membranes *breaks down sugar molecules into energy
vacuole plant – large
animal – small
*fluid-filled sacs *store food, water, waste (plants need to store large amounts of food)
lysosome plant – uncommon
animal – common
*small, round, with a membrane *breaks down larger food molecules into smaller molecules
*digests old cell parts
chloroplast plant only *green, oval usually containing chlorophyll (green pigment) *uses energy from sun to make food for the plant (photosynthesis)

Source: Utah Integrated Science Curriculum

Visit this website to learn more about the cell.


In class, we have been learning about identifying minerals using many different tools and instruments.  When doing our class project we will use what we have learned about these tests to identify the minerals we have collected.

The first thing to have when identifying minerals is a good field guide. I have all of these in class.  With your field guide in hand, you will be able to compare the physical properties of your mineral to descriptions and pictures in your guide.

Most common minerals can be identified by inspecting or testing their physical properties. These properties are color, streak, luster, hardness, specific gravity (density, ) reactivity to acid, fluorescence, optical properties, magnetivity, cleavage, and others.

streakStreak testis the color of a mineral’s powder. To find out a mineral’s streak, simply scratch the mineral on a porcelain tile. The color of the powder might not be the same as the color of the mineral. This is a very useful identifying property.



Hardness Test – The Mohs scale was devised by Friedrich Mohs in 1812. You use the hardness scale by testing your unknown mineral against one of these standard minerals. Whichever one scratches the other is harder, and if both scratch each other they are both the same hardness.

This week you will be making a trading card for historical figures or events in Massachusetts.  Some examples featured in the video we watched include: John Adams, Capt. Simon Forrester, Paul Revere, the Minute Men, Peter Salem, Lucy Larcom, Frederick Law Olmsted, the Boston Massacre, The Boston Tea Party, , the “shot heard around the world”, and the mill-reform protests. You may also find others.

The cards will be made from construction paper and the following information must be displayed on the cards:

  • A picture or drawing of person or event
  • Name of person or title of event
  • Date of person’s birth, death, or date of event
  • Description of person’s contributions or event
  • Legacy of person or event
  • Plaques, parks, monuments, or historic areas dedicated to the person or event
  • One interesting fact about the person or event

Be creative and make your cards colorful.

Here are links that you can use in creating your trading card

In our diversity unit, we have learned about how scientists classify living things into different groups. All living organisms from a unicellular bacteria to a orca whale are classified into 7 levels (the level of domain has recently been introduced in biology) from general to very specific. The last two levels, genus and species, are an organism’s scientific name. Here is a chart that classifies a Grizzly Bear into 7 levels. Notice how the organisms in each level become more alike as you go down from Kingdom to Species.


According to the classification chart, what is the scientific name for a Grizzly Bear? Answer this question first to receive a few extra credit points.

Five Kingdoms Game

Classification Game

Another Classification Game

Quartz CrystalFor the past two weeks, we have been studying minerals. A mineral is defined as a naturally occurring, inorganic solid with crystal structure and definite chemical composition. I will break down these components into each part.

INORGANIC- To be inorganic, a material must not contain organic matter (living material). If a sample contains fossils, it is not considered a mineral, it would be a rock. We will get into a more detailed definition of a rock later in this unit.

SOLID- Obviously, a mineral must be in a solid form. Even minerals that are dissolved in a solution are considered solid, they are just very small.

NATURALLY OCCURING- Minerals occur in nature. People cannot create true minerals because they take thousands and millions of years to form.

CRYSTAL STRUCTURE- All minerals are made of crystals. Some crystals can be very large (like our sample of quartz) or very small (like our sample of sulfur). To form a crystal structure, a mineral’s atoms arrange themselves in particular pattern over and over again.

What determines the size of a mineral’s crystals?Be the first to answer this question to receive extra credit.

DEFINITE CHEMICAL COMPOSITION- All minerals are made up of specific elements and compounds. For example, the chemical composition of Quartz is SiO2.

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