What is the 6th Grade Doing in Science this Trimester?

What are we doing in Science this Trimester?

  1. Matter: we will be exploring the properties of matter, and developing our experimental design skills. We will be designing and conducting experiments around reactions that produce heat and remove heat from their systems: Exothermic and Endothermic reactions. How do quantity and concentration affect the reaction rate and the amount of thermal energy given off or absorbed? We will use a particulate model of matter to investigate density and measure the mass and density of regular and irregularly shaped objects.
  2. Waves: we will be using models to investigate the characteristics of waves, frequency, amplitude, and wavelength. How do waves move and how is that movement affected by the stuff that the wave is hitting? Is it reflected? Absorbed? Transmitted?  Using our growing experimental design skills, we will create experiments to test our hypotheses.
  3. Astronomy: by the end of the trimester, we will be able to go out into the backyard at 9:00pm and identify at least three constellations. We will be able to use those “landmarks” to find several stars and recite a few facts about each one.  We are planning on a star party as well! Hosted by the MCCPS Astronomy Club, the North Shore Amateur Astronomy Club will share their equipment and expertise with us at a fun event to look at stars and planets.  We will also develop a model of the Sun-Earth-Moon system and explain the mechanics of lunar and solar eclipses.

Are We in the Midst of a Mass Extinction?

“COPENHAGEN — The gathering risks of climate change are so profound they could stall or even reverse generations of progress against poverty and hunger if greenhouse emissions continue at a runaway pace, according to a major new United Nations report.

Despite rising efforts in many countries to tackle the problem, the overall global situation is growing more acute as developing countries join the West in burning huge amounts of fossil fuels, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said here on Sunday.”

NY Times Sunday, November 2, 2104

This is exactly what we are discussing and writing about in Science right now.

Follow this link to see the whole article: Are We in the Midst of a Mass Extinction?

Are we in the Middle of a Mass Extinction?

A Science Writing Project:

Of all species that have existed on Earth, 99.9 percent are now extinct. Many of them perished in five cataclysmic events.

According to a recent poll, seven out of ten biologists think we are currently in the throes of a sixth mass extinction. Some say it could wipe out as many as 90 percent of all species living today. Yet other scientists dispute such dire projections.

As our panelists debate the issue, they also consider how one species — Homo sapiens — may be triggering a modern mass extinction.  What do you think?

  1. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/extinction/massext/index.html
  2. Four scientists state their opinions on this topic.
    1. Read all four opinions.
    2. Summarize each scientist’s position:
      1. Yes or No?
      2. Two main arguments, or points.
    3. Use the Graphic Organizer to list the arguments for and against this statement. Label each with the name of the scientist who used it.
    4. Which are most convincing to you?
    5. Where can you go to find out more?
      1. http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/extinction_events
      2. http://science.nationalgeographic.com/science/prehistoric-world/mass-extinction/
      3. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/anthony-d-barnosky/10-ways-you-can-help-stop_b_5968774.html
      4. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/extinction/massext/discuss_01.html
      5. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/03/world/europe/global-warming-un-intergovernmental-panel-on-climate-change.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=first-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=0
  3. Using your web-based research, state your own position on the question: “Are we in the middle of a Mass Extinction”
    1. Open up a Google Doc, label it “Lastname_Extinction_102314″ and share it with Mr. Blakney. Use Arial 12 Point Font please.
    2. Open up a Google Doc, label it “Lastname_Extinction_102314″ and share it with Mr. Blakney.
    3. Write an introductory paragraph that includes a hook, a topic sentence introducing the issue, and a thesis statement stating your position.
    4. Write a paragraph that lists the arguments for your position with a topic sentence, scientific evidence in quotation form, an explanation of quotes in your own words, and a concluding sentence.  You must have at least two quotes.
    5. Write another paragraph that lists the arguments against your position with a topic sentence, scientific evidence in quotation form, an explanation of quotes in your own words, and a concluding sentence. You must have at least two quotes.
    6. Write a concluding paragraph that states your position with a topic sentence that catches the reader’s attention, provides a strong example that was not used previously, and restates your thesis.
    7. Remember to cite your sources.
    8. Mass Extinction Vocabulary

Cell Structure and Function Quiz

A new quiz on Cell Structure and Function has been posted to Discovery Education! This is a do-over for the one we took in class. Use the link in the right-hand column of this page to get to your Discovery Education account. This quiz is live now and is due on October 20th! Buena Suerte!

Reading Project

Reading Response Journal

A Reading Response Journal is a way for you to be an active reader and interact with the text by recording your personal reactions, predictions, and analyses.

The focus of these journals is your own understanding of the text. There are no right or wrong responses. Your main focus is on recording your thoughts and analyzing the text.

Reading Response Requirements:

  • You must record at least SIX (6) responses
  • You must locate and copy an important quote for each response.
  • Each response must be one full page in length
  • This may include any additional quotes you choose to add to your response.
  • Your response must display effort and thoughtfulness.
  • Be thoughtful and challenge yourself to fully understand all aspects of the text.

Wonderful Words: You must find at least TEN (10) vocabulary words from your novel and write them on the Wonderful Words list.

 Your Response Journal and your Reading Project are due Thursday, November 6

 Manila Folder:

  • Front Cover
    • Book Title
    • Author
    • Your Name, Group, Date
  • Inside Cover
    • Character and Conflict
    • Choose two main characters from the novel. By each character’s name, list four or five words which describe the character distinctly.

Example from “To Kill a Mockingbird”

  • Scout Finch: strong-willed, intelligent, tomboyish, loyal, quick-tempered
  • Jem Finch: thoughtful, steadfast, imaginative, maturing
  • Atticus Finch: just, courageous, insightful, determined
  • Boo Radley: reclusive, lonely, simple, protective
  1. Write about the main conflict of the book and its climax. Give at least three examples which reflect this specific conflict. Be sure to identify the conflict as either an internal or external conflict.
  2. Choose one character that changes with the progression of the novel and write about his or her progression. Trace the changes that the character undergoes from the beginning of the novel to the end and support your response with evidence from the text.
  3. Three paragraphs:
    1. Describe Character at beginning
    2. Describe how Character changes
    3. Analyze what causes the Character to change


Choose ONE (1) of the following writing assignments.

  1. Write a review of the book in the style of a magazine or newspaper literary review. In the review, you will rate the book, describe whether or not you recommend this book, and explain your reasoning for your thoughts.
  2. Imagine you are one of the characters from the story. Write a diary entry from the first person point of view reliving important events from the book.
  3. Explain how the book affected you – What did it mean to you? How did it connect to your life? What have you learned from the story? Be sure to use specific detail from the work to explain your thoughts and feelings.
  4. If you could change the title of the book, what might that title be? Using specific references from the text, explain the appropriateness of the new title.
  5. Explain the significance of the setting to the story. How important is the setting in the story? Why is the story set where it is?

Art Work

  • Include drawings, pictures, designs and other artwork that represents the novel.
  • You must include at least THREE (3) pieces of artwork in your folder.
  • Make it neat, colorful, and attractive.