Comparison to NGSS

Compares to “guiding principles,” “dimensions,” and core ideas of NGSS.

BFSU lessons and the way they are taught incorporate the guiding principles, dimensions, and core Ideas of NGSS. Included in BFSU Vol. I & II are appendixes that list NGSS objectives for grades 1-6 and the BFSU lesson or lessons that apply to each. (See below) Likewise, there is a matrix listing BFSU lessons and the NGSS standard to which each applies. It will be noted that there are a significant number of important BFSU lessons that have no NGSS counterpart.

Matrix 1

NGS Standards (K-2) and BFSU Lessons That Apply to Each

  • Physical Science

    K-PS2-1. Plan and conduct an investigation to compare the effects of different strengths or different directions of pushes and pulls on the motion of an object.

    BFSU: Evidence for these effects will be conspicuous from everyday play and performing tasks. Lessons C-1, C-3, and C-3A will lead students to see them in the context of energy and forces. Planning and conducting investigation can readily follow.

    K-PS2-2. Analyze data to determine if a design solution works as intended to change the speed or direction of an object with a push or a pull.

    BFSU: Concepts of energy and force provided in Lessons C-1, C-3, and C-3A provide students with the basic concepts they need for accomplishing this.

    K-PS3-1. Make observations to determine the effect of sunlight on Earth’s surface.

    BFSU: Lesson C-1 calls students to make this observation and much more.

    K-PS3-2. Use tools and materials to design and build a structure that will reduce the warming effect of sunlight on an area.

    BFSU: Lessons A-8 and C-1 provide students with the basic concepts they need to achieve this standard.

    1-PS4-1. Plan and conduct investigations to provide evidence that vibrating materials can make sound and that sound can make materials vibrate.

    BFSU: Lesson C-2 will fully prepare student for achieving this standard and guide them in understanding additional parameters of sound.

    1-PS4-2. Make observations to construct an evidence-based account that objects can be seen only when illuminated.

    BFSU: Making such observations and much more is included within Lesson C-1.

    1-PS4-3. Plan and conduct an investigation to determine the effect of placing objects made with different materials in the path of a beam of light.

    BFSU: Lesson C-1 provides students with the wherewithal they need to achieve this standard.

    1-PS4-4. Use tools and materials to design and build a device that uses light or sound to solve the problem of communicating over a distance.

    BFSU: Lessons C-1 and C-2 provide the basic ideas and information that students will need to accomplish this.

    2-PS1-1. Plan and conduct an investigation to describe and classify different kinds of materials by their observable properties.

    BFSU: Lessons A-5 and A-5A will more than adequately prepare students for meeting this standard.

    2-PS1-2. Analyze data obtained from testing different materials to determine which materials have the properties that are best suited for an intended purpose.

    BFSU: Lessons A-5 and A-5A will more than adequately prepare students for meeting this standard.

    2-PS1-3. Make observations to construct an evidence-based account of how an object made of a small set of pieces can be disassembled and made into a new object.

    BFSU: Experience with any sort of building blocks or construction set gives students experiential familiarity with this concept. Lesson A-2 guides students to see how this concept relates to all states of matter.

    2-PS1-4. Construct an argument with evidence that some changes caused by heating or cooling can be reversed and some cannot.

    BFSU: Lesson A-2 will provide students with the experience they need to construct such an argument.

  • Life Science

    K-LS1-1. Use observations to describe patterns of what plants and animals (including humans) need to survive.

    BFSU: Lesson B-3 guides students to observe how plants and animals are distinguished from each other by how they obtain energy and nutrients. This will prepare them for meeting this standard and much more.

    1-LS1-1. Use materials to design a solution to a human problem by mimicking how plants and/or animals use their external parts to help them survive, grow, and meet their needs.

    BFSU: Lesson B-3 combined with Lessons B-5 and B-5A will more than adequately prepare student for meeting this standard.

    1-LS1-2. Read texts and use media to determine patterns in behavior of parents and offspring that help offspring survive.

    BFSU: Every lesson in BFSU includes suggested readings that correlate with and reinforce and/or expand on the ideas presented in the lesson. The specific topic of this standard is addressed in Lessons B-4, B-5, and B-5A.

    1-LS3-1. Make observations to construct an evidence-based account that young plants and animals are like, but not exactly like, their parents.

    BFSU: Observations made in pursuit of Lessons B-4, B-4A, and B-4B will include this standard.

    2-LS2-1. Plan and conduct an investigation to determine if plants need sunlight and water to grow.

    BFSU: Students’ ability to meet this standard may be achieved within the context of Lessons B-3 and/or B-11 and B-12.

    2-LS2-2. Develop a simple model that mimics the function of an animal in dispersing seeds or pollinating plants.

    BFSU: Lesson B-5A provides the context for students to meet this standard.

    2-LS4-1. Make observations of plants and animals to compare the diversity of life in different habitats.

    BFSU: Lesson B-4A includes having students make such observations.

  • Earth and Space Science

    K-ESS2-1. Use and share observations of local weather conditions to describe patterns over time.

    BFSU: Lesson D-6 will actively involve students in this practice.

    K-ESS2-2. Construct an argument supported by evidence for how plants and animals (including humans) can change the environment to meet their needs.

    BFSU: Observations made in Lesson B-5A will give students the experiential knowledge they need to achieve this standard.

    K-ESS3-1. Use a model to represent the relationship between the needs of different plants or animals (including humans) and the places they live.

    BFSU: Lessons B-4A, B-5, and B-5A engage students in making observations that will provide experiential knowledge necessary for achieving this standard.

    K-ESS3-2. Ask questions to obtain information about the purpose of weather forecasting to prepare for, and respond to, severe weather.

    BFSU: Everyday life experience will engage students in such activities. More specific knowledge and understanding will be gained through Lesson D-6.

    K-ESS3-3. Communicate solutions that will reduce the impact of humans on the land, water, air, and/or other living things in the local environment.

    BFSU: Through early lessons in the B and D learning progressions, impacts will become evident and communicating solutions will come forth.

    1-ESS1-1. Use observations of the sun, moon, and stars to describe patterns that can be predicted.

    BFSU: Activities of Lesson D-2 and extended in D-5 will prepare students for this standard.

    1-ESS1-2. Make observations at different times of year to relate the amount of daylight to the time of year.

    BFSU: Lesson D-6 includes having students make this and other pertinent observations concerning the change of seasons.

    2-ESS1-1. Use information from several sources to provide evidence that Earth events can occur quickly or slowly.

    BFSU: Students’ accomplishment of this standard will derive from Lesson D-6 and D-8, as well as from life experience and later lessons.

    2-ESS2-1. Compare multiple solutions designed to slow or prevent wind or water from changing the shape of the land.

    BFSU: Students’ ability to meet this standard will derive from Lesson D-6, D-8, and various other BFSU Lessons.

    2-ESS2-2. Develop a model to represent the shapes and kinds of land and bodies of water in an area.

    BFSU: Lessons D-3 and D-3A introduce students to the skills of map reading and map drawing. These skills will prepare students for meeting this standard.

    2-ESS2-3. Obtain information to identify where water is found on Earth and that it can be solid or liquid.

    BFSU: Meeting this standard will be one of the outcomes of Lessons D-3, D-3A, and D-4. The essence of the water cycle is addressed in Lesson A-8.

  • Engineering and Technology

    K-2-ETS1-1. Ask questions, make observations, and gather information about a situation people want to change to define a simple problem that can be solved through the development of a new or improved object or tool.

    BFSU: The teaching methodology advocated throughout BFSU draws students to make observations, ask questions, and consider answers. Thus, meeting this standard may grow out of many areas of the BFSU curriculum.

    K-2-ETS1-2. Develop a simple sketch, drawing, or physical model to illustrate how the shape of an object helps it function as needed to solve a given problem.

    BFSU: Relating structure and function will be found in many lessons of the BFSU curriculum. Ability to meet this standard will be a natural outcome.

    K-2-ETS1-3. Analyze data from tests of two objects designed to solve the same problem to compare the strengths and weaknesses of how each performs.

    BFSU: Collecting, comparing, and interpreting data from various tests will be found in a number of BFSU lessons. The ability to achieve this standard will grow out of that such experience.

Matrix 2

BFSU Lessons and the NGS Standard(s) Supported by Each

  • Nature of Matter

    Lesson A/B-1. Organizing Things into Categories
    The habits of mind for organizing things and thoughts into categories is fundamental to all Practices and Crosscutting Concepts. By embarking students on this habit of mind this lesson is foundational to all NGSS.

    Lesson A-2. Solids, Liquids, and Gases and Change With Temperature
    This lesson conveys the concept that solids, liquids, and gases are different forms of the same thing—Matter. By giving basic characteristics of matter, it provides the basis for distinguishing matter and energy (Lesson C-1). Thus, this lesson presents a key principle of critical thinking; it is the starting point in the progression toward 2-PS1-1; it is foundational for 2-PS1-4, and it underlies other NGSS as well.

    Lesson A-3. Air Is a Substance and the Concept of the Atmosphere
    Having students recognize that air is a gaseous state of matter, as opposed to empty space, is a critical first stepping-stone toward understanding innumerable phenomena in all areas of science and everyday life. It is essential in the progression toward 2-PS1-1, 2-PS1-4, and other higher-level standards.

    Lesson A-4. Matter I: Its Particulate Nature
    The particulate nature of matter and the distinction between solids, liquids, and gases depending on relative attraction among particles is a Core Concept underlying numerous areas of everyday life and all areas of science, especially chemistry. By guiding students in activities that make them cognoscente of this principle, this lesson provides a key to their critical thinking. It particularly pertains to the idea behind 2-PS1-3.

    Lesson A-5. Distinguishing Materials
    Pursuing this lesson with engaging activities will prepare them for mastering 2-PS1-1 and 2-PS1-2.

    Lesson A-5A. Magnets and Magnetic Fields
    By observing properties of magnets and magnetic fields, students gain another tool for distinguishing materials (2-PS1-1 and 2-PS1-2) and also an introduction to phenomena that are foundations for many higher-level NGSS.

    Lesson A-6. Matter II: Air Pressure, Vacuums, and the Earth’s Atmosphere
    Building on Lesson A-3 and utilizing A-4, this lesson guides students toward understanding the nature of the Earth’s atmosphere. This is a critical stepping-stone toward numerous NGSS concerning weather, climate, the water cycle, etc.

    Lesson A-7. Air: A Mixture of Gases (Mixtures and Chemical Reactions)
    From gaining the concept of the Earth’s atmosphere (A-6), this lesson guides students in making observations that show that air is a mixture of different gases. This becomes an essential building block in the progression toward a number of higher-level NGSS, especially those involving photosynthesis and/or respiration, or combustion.

    Lesson A-8. Matter III: Evaporation and Condensation; The Basis of the Water Cycle
    Evaporation and condensation are easily observed and understood on the basis of the particulate nature of matter (A-4) and how the fundamental particles of matter are affected by temperature. In turn, these phenomena are foundational in comprehending the water cycle, weather, and other events commonly observed in everyday life. It will be central in students’ mastery of K-PS3-1, K-PS3-2, 2-PS1-4, and numerous higher-level NGSS.

    Lesson A-9. Matter IV: Dissolving, Solutions, and Crystallization
    Students are guided to interpret observations of these common processes on the basis of the particulate nature of matter (A-4). These processes along with those revealed in A-8, are critical in the understanding of innumerable areas of science and everyday life. Hence, this lesson is essential in the progression toward many higher-level NGSS.

    Lesson A-10. Rocks, Minerals, Crystals, Dirt, and Soil
    By conducting observations, students ascertain the relationship among these items and discover how soil is derived from the weathering of rock. This is fundamental in students’ progress toward mastery of 2-ESS1-1 and 2-ESS2-1 and numerous higher-level NGSS.

  • Life Science

    Lesson B-2. Distinguishing Living or Biological, Natural Earth, and Human-Made Things
    Students apply skills of organization (Lesson A/B-1) to categorizing everything in their surroundings as indicated. This is a basic first step into all areas of science and technology. It will be instrumental in their progression toward K-LS1-1, 1-LS1-1, 2-LS4-l, K-ESS2-2, K-2ETS1-1, K-2ETS1-2, and others.

    Lesson B-3. The Plant and Animal Kingdoms: Distinguishing between Plants and Animals
    By making students cognizant of the fact that living things require a source of energy (Lesson C-1) and observing that the distinction between plants and animals lies in how they obtain energy, this lesson sets the stage for progression into all phases of plant and animal anatomy and physiology. It speaks directly to K-PS3-1, K-LS1-1, and 1-LS1-1 and provides knowledge for their achievement of 2-LS2-1 and K-ESS3-1 and numerous higher-level NGSS.

    Lesson B-4. Life Cycles
    By introducing students to the core concept of life cycles and that every living organism has its respective life cycle, this lesson, along with Lesson B-3, sets the stage for their progression into all aspects of anatomy, physiology, and ecology. The lesson will provide a solid foundation for their addressing NGSS: 1-LS1-2, 1LS3-1, 2-LS4-1, K-ESS2-2, K-ESS3-1, and K-ESS3-3.

    Lesson B-4A. Identification of Living Things and Why Plants and Animals Live Where They Do
    This lesson embarks students on what will be an ongoing practice of gaining familiarity with the flora and fauna of their region and more. Beyond providing a significant life experience in relating to the world around them, this provides a framework for numerous NGSS, especially K-LS1-1, K-ESS2-2, K-ESSS3-1, and 2-LS4-1.

    Lesson B-4B. What Is a Species?
    Expanding on Lesson B-4 and B-4A, this lesson leads students to observe the fact that the principle of variation applies to all living things. Beyond providing reinforcement for their mastery of 1-LS3-1, the lesson lays a foundation for progression into numerous areas of the life sciences and higher-level NGSS.

    Lesson B-5 and B-5A. Concepts of Adaptations, Food Chains, and Energy Flow. Adaptations and Survival
    By guiding students to observe how plants and animals are adapted to both their physical environment and to each other, these two lessons provide a framework for their mastery of K-LS1-1, 1-LS1-1, 2-LS2-1, 2-LS2-2, 2-LS4-1, K-ESS2-2, K-ESS3-1, K-ESS3-3, and numerous higher-level standards

    Lessons B-6, B-7, B-8, and B-9. How Animals Move I, II, III, and IV
    These lessons lead students in a logical progression toward recognizing the huge diversity of organisms in the animal kingdom. Yet, they discover that despite the diversity, certain core principles of anatomy and physiology apply to them all, including humans. The principles revealed give students basic knowledge concerning the major organs of their bodies, how they function, and necessities for maintaining health. From the basic framework of understanding provided by these lessons, students can readily progress into any number of more sophisticated studies that may lead all the way to numerous careers in the health sciences. However, the current iteration of NGSS for the K-8 level lacks standards in this area.

    Lesson B-10. Plant Science I: Basic Plant Structure and Reproduction
    This lesson gives students a basic picture of a plant’s parts and the function(s) of each. This knowledge, along with that from other lessons, will be instrumental in their mastering 1-LS-1, 2-LS2-1, 2-LS2-2, 2-LS4-1, K-ESS2-2, K-ESS3-1, and higher-level NGSS. It will reinforce their grasp of K-PS3-1.

    Lesson B-11. Plant Science II: Germination, Seedling Growth and Responses
    Here, students discover that beyond the basics of germination, plants have means of sensing environmental parameters and adjusting their growth accordingly. This provides a foundation for further investigations that may lead all the way to professional careers. However there are no current elementary-level NGSS addressing this area of study.

    Lesson B-12. Plants, Soil, Water, and Erosion
    Whether it is for home gardening or professional agriculture, relationships between plants, soil, and water are at the base. This lesson provides that base and will prepare students for 2-LS2-1 and K-ESS3-3.

  • Physical Science, Engineering and Technology

    Concepts revealed in this learning progression are instrumental in all technology and engineering.

    Lesson C-1. Concepts of Energy I: Making Things Go
    By drawing students reflect on what it takes to make things “go,” this lesson introduces them to the concept of energy and its forms. This is a Core Concept permeating all science and technology. It will be found to be fundamental in preparing students for K-PS3-1, K-PS3-2, 1-PS4-2, and 1-PS4-3. It sets the stage for progression into all further lessons in the C-learning progression. The concepts introduced are central to the B-learning progression as well.

    Lesson C-2. Sound, Vibrations, and Energy
    By leading students to the hands-on experience that vibrations produce sound and vice versa, this lesson prepares students for 1-PS4-1, 1-PS4-4, and more. It shows sound to be a special form of movement energy and provides for a progression into more sophisticated aspects of sound and its transmission.

    Lesson C-3 and C3A. Concepts of Energy II: Kinetic and Potential Energy and the Flow of Energy. Energy and Force
    Activities in these lessons lead students to make the distinction between kinetic and potential energy, and between force and energy. In the course of these activities, they will gain competence for K-PS2-1 and K-PS2-2. Beyond observing how force affects motion, they will ascertain the involvement of energy in motion.

    Lesson C-4. Concepts of Energy III: Distinguishing between Matter and Energy
    Misconceptions regarding the distinction between matter and energy are at the core of much confused thinking. By having students contrast characteristics and attributes of each, this lesson clarifies a Core Concept that is critical throughout all science and technology. Hence it underlies many NGSS.

    Lesson C-5, C-6, and C-7. Inertia. Friction. Push Pushes Back
    Hands-on activities and observations will familiarize students with these three phenomena and how they are expressions of energy and its flow. As these phenomena underlie all movements, they are core principles that come into play in all sciences, engineering and technology, and much of everyday life. They will be central in students’ thinking regarding all NGSS regarding movement/motion and they will reach far beyond.

  • Earth and Space Science

    Lesson D-1. Gravity I: The Earth’s Gravity; Horizontal and Vertical
    Students use their experience of everything having weight and falling down to ascertain that there is a force, gravity, which pulls everything toward the center of the Earth. In turn, they observe that the force of gravity is influential in virtually all movements. This Core Idea has application throughout all sciences and everyday life. It is a key consideration in their pursuit of K-PS2-1 and K-PS2-2 and many higher-level NGSS.

    Lesson D-2. Day and Night and the Earth’s Rotation
    In this lesson students discern that their experience of day and night results from the Earth’s rotation. This is a Core Concept underlying all of Earth and space science. It is basic to their achievement of 1-ESS1-1 and higher-level NGSS concerning climate and weather.

    Lesson D-3 and D-3A. Reading and Drawing Maps. North, East, South, and West
    Reading and drawing maps is a basic skill that is essential in many areas of science and technology and it comes into play in countless aspects of everyday life. These lessons embark students on gaining those skills. They are immediately pertinent for students’ accomplishment of 2-ESS2-2 and 2-ES2-3 and they underlie many higher-level NGSS. 

    Lesson D-4. Land Forms and Major Biomes of the Earth
    Reading and drawing maps (Lesson D-3 and D-3A) progresses to comprehension of world maps and relating them to the globe. In the course of such study, major land forms, e.g., mountain ranges and river systems, will be brought out. Likewise climatic regions, e.g., tropics to polar, and flora and fauna typical of each, become evident. This study will be central in preparing students for 2-LS4-1, K-ESS3-1, 2-ESS2-2, and 2-ESS2-3.

    Lesson D-5. Time and the Earth’s Turning
    This lesson presents the Core Concept of how our 24-hour day is based on the Earth’s rotation, which is a Core Idea underlying numerous areas of science and everyday life. Making sundials is included, giving students an avenue to K-2-ETS1-3.

    Lesson D-6. Seasonal Changes and the Earth’s Orbit
    This lesson embarks students on an activity of measuring daily temperature, day length, and precipitation, and correlating these with behaviors of local flora and fauna and with the progress of the Earth in its orbit around the sun. This ongoing activity will lead students to the insights they will use in achieving K-PS3-1, K-LS1-1, 1-LS1-1, 1-LS1-2, 2-LS2-1, 2-LS2-2, 2-LS4-1, K-ESS2-1, K-ESS2-2, K-ESS3-1, K-ESS3-3, 1-ESS1-1, 1-ESS1-2, 2-ESS1-1, and higher-level NGSS.

    Lesson D-7. Gravity II: Rate of Fall; Weightlessness in Space, and Distinction between Mass and Weight
    Activities lead students to discover the Core Idea of how/why the phenomenon of weightlessness in space occurs and how it is related to being in orbit. The Core Idea of the distinction between weight and mass becomes clear in the process. This sets the stage for progression into numerous aspects of Earth and space science and the technology of putting satellites in space.

    Lesson D-8. Rocks and Fossils
    By observing erosion, students ascertain the origin of sedimentary rocks and embedded fossils. Evidence for vast amounts of erosion having occurred and amounts of sedimentary rock lead to the Core Idea of the Earth having a very long geological history, a conclusion supported by many other lines of evidence. Beyond preparing students for 2-ESS1-1 and 2-ESS2-1 this lesson provides for a progression into a plethora of more sophisticated studies.

    The “E” designation of the following lesson is to say that it fits into all four learning progressions.

    Lesson E-1. Resources: Developing an Overview
    By reflecting on what is required to produce anything they eat or use, students are brought to recognize that everything, directly or indirectly, depends on resources of land, soil, water, and air. Likewise, they are brought to recognize that human ingenuity, i.e., human resources, are entwined in every resource. This is a primary stepping-stone toward more sophisticated studies and underlies all areas of engineering and technology.