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Standards listed on this page are from Texas Science Knowledge & Skills - 6th Grade
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Scientific Processes | Science Concepts
Return to Grade Level Skills - For other resources, refer to our Elementary Science page
Page last edited 4/11/2009
A resource for the teacher to use in planning their lessons a site for teachers | A PowerPoint show related to this standard a PowerPoint show | An Adobe Acrobat document in .pdf format Adobe Acrobat document | A Microsoft Word document to be downloaded a Word document
This resource includes voice instructions for students sound | A video is available through this link video format
| Interactive interactive lesson | This site includes questions for your students to check their understanding a quiz | A lesson plan can be found at this site lesson plan | This link includes something for the teacher to print to print

Scientific Processes
(Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills)
Internet Resources
(1)   The student conducts field and laboratory investigations using safe, environmentally appropriate, and ethical practices.

(A)  demonstrate safe practices during field and laboratory investigations

(B)  make wise choices in the use and conservation of resources and the disposal or recycling of materials
(2)   The student uses scientific inquiry methods during field and laboratory investigations.

(A)  plan and implement investigative procedures including asking questions, formulating testable hypotheses, and selecting and using equipment and technology

  1. Forces in Action - change track gradient and truck load as you collect data and come to a conclusion Interactive
  2. How We See Things - Think through the assignment given, using a variety of mirrors to complete the task. Interactive
(B)  collect data by observing and measuring
  1. Calculate the density of two blocks and then identify the material that the blocks are made of
  2. Changing Circuits - test a variety of materials to determine which best completes the circuit Interactive
  3. Create a New Hawaiian Island - read the page then click on the link at the bottom of the page to experiment with these local effects on climate by creating a new Hawaiian island! Interactive
  4. Density - This is an interactive Web-Lab Interactive
  5. Density Challenge Interactive
  6. Leap Frog - [this link opens on a new page] Students design an experiment to answer a question, collect information, and interpret the results using charts. (Author - Michaél Dunnivant) Interactive
  7. Mass, Volume, Density & Gravity - An interactive exercise where the user conducts experiments in weight, mass, volume, density and gravity. Interactive
  8. Mass vs. Weight Quiz
  9. Mass Volume Density Quiz (Level 1)
  10. Mass Volume Density Quiz (level 2)
  11. Reversable and Irreversable Changes - experiment with a variety of substances and conditions to determine which changes can or can not be reversed, and then take a quiz Interactive
  12. Volume, Mass and Density - a supplementary activity for students Interactive
(C)  analyze and interpret information to construct reasonable explanations from direct and indirect evidence
  1. Boil Water with Shockwave - Run an experiment, changing the water amount, the starting water temperature, and the heating power. Enter how long you think it will take to boil the water. The accuracy of your guess, as a percentage of the actual time, will be displayed
(D)  communicate valid conclusions
(E)  construct graphs, tables, maps, and charts using tools including computers to organize, examine, and evaluate data
  1. Bar Graph - Enter data to create a bar graph, then manipulate the graph's maximum and minimum values
  2. Circle Graph - Enter data categories and the value of each category to create a circle graph (similar to "Pie Chart" but the user can define the data set)
  3. Create-a-Graph - lessons and activities on a variety of graphs Interactive
  4. Data Picking - students collect data, enter tally marks or numbers and then select which graph is appropriate Interactive
  5. Gere's Bike Shop - Read and Interpret Graphs at this BBC site Interactive
    1. After you finish the lesson at Gere's Bike Shop, take a test
  6. The Hot Tub - This is a fun activity where students tell the story behind a graph and relate slope to rate of change.
  7. How It All Stacks Up - [this link opens on a new page] Students interpret and compare information using a bar graph. (Author - Sandi King)
  8. Interpreting Column Graphs - students practice by answering ten questions about the graph
  9. Overview of a Bar Graph by Nicole Carroll followed by a practice quiz
  10. Overview of a Line Graph by Nicole Carroll followed by a practice quiz
  11. Play Ball - Students collect data to put on a picture graph. (Author - Sandi King)
  12. Pie Chart - Students view pie charts (parameters: number of sectors, size of sector as a percent) Interactive
  13. Reading a Column Graph - five questions related to a graph (good real-world activity)
  14. Spy Guys Interactive - Understanding and Interpreting Graphs - Click Skip Intro, then select Lessons, and then click on Lesson 10 Interactive
(3)   The student uses critical thinking and scientific problem solving to make informed decisions.

(A)  analyze, review, and critique scientific explanations, including hypotheses and theories, as to their strengths and weaknesses using scientific evidence and information

  1. Collecting and Analyzing Safety Data - a 75 minute lab with an excellent table on page 22 listing the five leading causes of death, broken down by age range This is an Adobe Acrobat document
  2. Forces in Action - change track gradient and truck load as you collect data and come to a conclusion Interactive
  3. Formatting Hypotheses - information to help your students get a handle on this process skill
  4. How We See Things - Think through the assignment given, using a variety of mirrors to complete the task. Interactive
  5. Labs With Hypotheses - three sample labs
  6. Linking Conclusions to Hypotheses - examples from a biology lab
  7. Reasoning in Science - a basic introduction to the scientific method from Biology4Kids
  8. Sample Hypotheses (dependent and independent variables identified)
    1. Biology
    2. Earth & Physical Science
  9. Test Your Hypothesis - Read Jenna's Diary in this exceprt from the science fair toolkit to see an example of designing an experiment with a testable hypothesis.
  10. Towel Testing - the purpose of this lab is to practice the skills used to design experiments This is an Adobe Acrobat document
  11. Writing Hypotheses - a student lesson
(B)  draw inferences based on data related to promotional materials for products and services
(C)  represent the natural world using models and identify their limitations
  1. Boil Water with Shockwave - Run an experiment, changing the water amount, the starting water temperature, and the heating power. Enter how long you think it will take to boil the water. The accuracy of your guess, as a percentage of the actual time, will be displayed
(D)  evaluate the impact of research on scientific thought, society, and the environment
(E)  connect Grade 6 science concepts with the history of science and contributions of scientists
(4)   The student knows how to use a variety of tools and methods to conduct science inquiry.

(A)  collect, analyze, and record information using tools including beakers, petri dishes, meter sticks, graduated cylinders, weather instruments, timing devices, hot plates, test tubes, safety goggles, spring scales, magnets, balances, microscopes, telescopes, thermometers, calculators, field equipment, compasses, computers, and computer probes

(B)  identify patterns in collected information using percent, average, range, and frequency
  1. All That Data - [this link opens on a new page] Students use range, mean, median, and mode. (Author - Kristy Rousseau)
  2. All That Data Two - [this link opens on a new page] Students describe graphs in terms of range, measures of central tendency, and distribution. (Author - Kristy Rousseau)
  3. Basketball Debate - [this link opens on a new page] Students explore the meaning of average (or mean) and relate these concepts to real world experiences. (Author - Michael Naylor)
  4. Bicycles Ala Mode - [this link opens on a new page] Students understand and apply the concepts of mean, median and mode. (Author - Michael Naylor)
  5. Jupiter Is Average - Using data from our solar system, students explore median, mode, mean, and range. Students learn to use an on-line calculator to determine the mean and range. (Author - Sandi King)
  6. Mean Green Machine - [this link opens on a new page] Students use a calculator to find and use the average, or mean, of a set of data. (Author - Kristy Rousseau) (designed for 5th grade)
  7. Mode, Mean, Median - Interactive lesson followed by activities - (UK measurements) (There may be a problem with the median calculation part of this activity)
  8. Medians - [this link opens on a new page] Students understand and apply the concepts of median and mean. (Author - Michael Naylor)
  9. Party Comedian - [this link opens on a new page] Students find and use the median of a set of data. (Author - Kristy Rousseau)
  10. Percents and Wholes - online quiz
  11. Percent Game - FunBrain site
  12. Practice Solving Percent Problems - more percent practice
  13. Percents and Ratios - an index of pages that teach percent and ratio skills covered in K-8 math courses - Each page has an explanation, interactive practice and challenge games about percents and ratios. (from AAA math)
  14. Percent Problems - a one-player, or two-player game from Quia
  15. Range, Mean, Median and Mode of a set of numbers - from Dr. Howard Ufigure's Math Tutorials
  16. Solving Percent Problems Using a Pyramid Grid - an interactive lesson
  17. Spy Guys Interactive - Percent - Click Skip Intro, then select Lessons, and then click on Lesson 4
  18. Using percents - online quiz
Science Concepts
(5)   The student knows that systems may combine with other systems to form a larger system.

(A)  identify and describe a system that results from the combination of two or more systems such as in the solar system

(B)  describe how the properties of a system are different from the properties of its parts
(6)   The student knows that there is a relationship between force and motion.

(A)  identify and describe the changes in position, direction of motion, and speed of an object when acted upon by force

  1. Build Your Own Roller Coaster - experiment with "g" force while you ride the coaster
  2. Forces and Motion - Use this BBC interactive site to learn about various factors, then take a Quiz
  3. Forces in Action - change track gradient and truck load as you collect data and come to a conclusion Interactive
  4. Potential Energy - excellent diagrams and 3 practice questions
  5. Kinetic Energy - more good diagrams and 4 practice problems
  6. QuickTime movie showing the motion of a roller coaster car down a vertical drop, through two vertical loops, over a small hill, and to the end of the track. The animation portrays the relative amounts of kinetic energy, potential energy, and total mechanical energy of the car as it moves along the track.
(B)  demonstrate that changes in motion can be measured and graphically represented
  1. Java applet which students would use to collect data to sketch velocity as a function of time. Interactive
  2. Java applet displaying three position vs time graphs and three velocity vs time graphs. Your students must determine which of the graphs are correct. Interactive
  3. Newton's Second Law Experiment - During movement a red point in the t-s-diagram (time - displacement) indicates the present time and the covered distance. This Java applet allows students to collect data for graphing. Interactive
  4. Passing Lane - an animation and graph of position vs time Interactive
  5. Passing Lane - an animation and graph of velocity vs time Interactive
  6. Use this reaction time applet to gather data for graphing Interactive
  7. Ticker Tape Diagrams - A common way of analyzing the motion of objects in physics labs is to perform a ticker tape analysis. The practice problems included will help your students evaluate the time variable. Interactive
(C)  identify forces that shape features of the Earth including uplifting, movement of water, and volcanic activity
  1. Animation of a subduction zone - This animation shows an oceanic plate converging with a continental plate. Interactive
  2. This Dynamic Earth - The story of Plate Tectonics from the USGS
  3. Earthquakes and Plate Tectonics - An explanation is to be found in plate tectonics, a concept which has revolutionized thinking in the Earth's sciences in the last 10 years.
  4. Hell's Crust: Our Ever Changing Planet - from the PBS Savage Earth series, several good animations can be found at this site.
  5. Observe animations of processes that occur along plate boundaries (transform, convergent and diverging) Interactive
  6. Plate Tectonics, the Cause of Earthquakes
  7. Plate Tectonics Quiz - 10 questions
  8. San Andreas Fault - from the USGS
  9. Subduction - the birth place of a volcanic mountain range (good animation)
  10. Teaching about Earthquakes and Plate Tectonics - plan for a virtual journey to the earth’s center
(7)   The student knows that substances have physical and chemical properties.

(A)  demonstrate that new substances can be made when two or more substances are chemically combined and compare the properties of the new substances to the original substances

  1. Molecules - Quiz 1 - Properties of Molecules
  2. Molecules - Quiz 2 - Molecules vs Elements
(B)  classify substances by their physical and chemical properties
  1. What is the difference between chemical and physical change?
  2. Physical and Chemical Changes - Quiz 1 - The difference between physical and chemical changes
  3. Physical or Chemical Change? - Determine if each is a physical or chemical change. (a quia quiz)
  4. Physical or Chemical Change? - test your knowledge
  5. Physical vs Chemical Change - an interactive lesson Interactive
  6. Physical and Chemical changes quiz
(8)   The student knows that complex interactions occur between matter and energy.

(A)  define matter and energy

(B)  explain and illustrate the interactions between matter and energy in the water cycle and in the decay of biomass such as in a compost bin
(C)  describe energy flow in living systems including food chains and food webs
  1. Experiment with a Pond Food Web - change various population sizes to see what affect the change has Interactive
  2. Food Chain - National Geographic for Kids has a featured Quick Flick from Brain Pop on the subject.
  3. Food Chains - an interactive site from the BBC Interactive
  4. Food Chains and Webs - Information regarding population size on food webs is presented here. After learning about food webs, select the link named "create a possible food web" at the bottom of the page. Click and drag to create your own food web. Interactive
  5. Interdependence and Adaptation - Use this BBC interactive site to review living things, then take a quiz about interdependence and the food web Interactive
  6. Predator/Prey Relationship - an interactive investigation from McGraw Hill Interactive
  7. Welcome to Biology 2002 - This college level PowerPoint show has some great images. Save the show, throw out the college content and modify the show for your classroom.
(9)   The student knows that obtaining, transforming, and distributing energy affects the environment.

(A)  identify energy transformations occurring during the production of energy for human use such as electrical energy to heat energy or heat energy to electrical energy

(B)  compare methods used for transforming energy in devices such as water heaters, cooling systems, or hydroelectric and wind power plants
(C)  research and describe energy types from their source to their use and determine if the type is renewable, non-renewable, or inexhaustible
  1. Nuclear Power - energy from splitting Uranium atoms
(10)   The student knows the relationship between structure and function in living systems.

(A)  differentiate between structure and function

(B)  determine that all organisms are composed of cells that carry on functions to sustain life
  1. Animal Cell Anatomy - a good clean drawing from Enchanted Learning
  2. Animal Cell Organelles - from Cells Alive
  3. Animal and Plant Cells - first select Similarities and then select Differences from the index on the left at this page.
  4. The Cell Page - Click on the label for any plant or animal cell organelle to find out more about it. (great drawings)
  5. Cell Structure - an index of five interactive learning modules Interactive
  6. Cell Structure and Function Quiz
  7. Cells at the Science Lab - Select Cells in the list of labs. The illustration shows the parts of a cell. Move your mouse around the drawing to get information. Next, click on Looking Through a Microscope near the top of the Cells window. Click on the word View to see cells in a microscope. Click Back to select a new slide to view. Click on the book in the bottom left corner to read about cells. Interactive
  8. Comparing plant and animal cells - Teachnology has a worksheet to help your students distinguish between the cells
  9. Comparison Of Plant & Animal Cells
  10. Cross Section of a Plant Cell - from Enchanted Learning
  11. Cross Section of an Animal Cell - from Enchanted Learning
  12. Inside a Cell - select each part of the cell to see its function Interactive
  13. Make a Model of a Cell - The purpose of this lab is to make a 3D model of a cell in order to better understand the parts and workings of a cell.
  14. Mixed Up Cells - [this link opens on a new page] identify and explain the differences and similarities between plant and animal organelles (Author - Julie Thompson) Interactive
  15. Parts of an Animal Cell - click and drag the names of structures to match the drawing Interactive
  16. Parts of a Plant Cell - click and drag the names of structures to match the drawing Interactive
  17. Plant Cell Organelles - from Cells Alive
  18. Quiz on Cell Parts - [this page opens in a new window] instructions included for a paper and pencil quiz
  19. Review cell structure and function (plant and animal) Interactive
  20. - Teaching idea! - Have your students prepare a Venn diagram comparing and contrasting plant and animal cells. Teachnology has an online Venn diagram generator. (scroll past the membership information)
    1. Comparing plant and animal cells - Teachnology has a worksheet to print to help your students get ready for the activity above
(C)  identify how structure complements function at different levels of organization including organs, organ systems, organisms, and populations
(11)   The student knows that traits of species can change through generations and that the instructions for traits are contained in the genetic material of the organisms.

(A)  identify some changes in traits that can occur over several generations through natural occurrence and selective breeding

  1. Dragon Genetics. This activity explores the relationship between genotype and phenotype, using both sex-linked and autosomal dominant and recessive traits. By manipulating alleles (genotype), you create corresponding changes in the dragon's physical appearance (phenotype). Interactive
  2. Dragon Genetics - In this activity students study the patterns of inheritance of multiple genes in (imaginary) dragons. Teacher Preparation Notes for Dragon Genetics
  3. Environment and Mutation - a 20 question quiz
  4. Karyotyping Activity - complete the karyotype for each of three patients and then make a diagnosis Interactive
  5. Mendel's Peas Web Lab - "The Princess and the Wrinkled Peas." Try to duplicate some of Mendel's work. Interactive
  6. Mutate a DNA Sentence - It's time to try your hand at mutating a DNA sequence. Interactive
  7. Quick Quiz on microevolution and mutation - Click on a student to let them ask a question. Interactive
  8. Slooze Worm Mutagenesis - The Slooze worm is a creature that lives in the heavily polluted waters of Lake Asbestozene. [one question at the end] Interactive
  9. The extra copy of chromosome 21 in this karyotype identifies this individual as having Down's syndrome.
  10. Transcribe and Translate a Gene - Cells use the two-step process of transcription and translation to read each gene and produce the string of amino acids that makes up a protein. Interactive
  11. What Can Our Chromosomes Tell Us? - a look at a karyotype
  12. What Causes DNA Mutation? - from the GeneticScience Learning Center at the University of Utah
  13. What is a Mutation? - A mutation is a permanent change in the DNA sequence of a gene. Mutations in a gene's DNA sequence can alter the amino acid sequence of the protein encoded by the gene.
(B)  identify cells as structures containing genetic material
  1. Build a DNA Molecule - click and drag each nucleotide into position. Interactive
  2. Computer Model of the DNA Helix
  3. This is a PowerPoint showDecoding the Genetic Code - thirty-five slides by Noel Murphy
  4. DNA - a long, double-stranded, helical molecule composed of building blocks called deoxyribonucleotides
    1. Take a Self-quiz about the DNA information presented above
  5. Extract Your Own DNA - You can see your own DNA with the unaided eye. Using this simple PowerPoint, your students will learn how to extract and view their own DNA. (easy-to-follow instructions for a great, hands-on learning experience)
  6. How to make a model of DNA - This model can be tough to make, but well worth the effort. You'll learn some great science along the way too!
  7. Make a Candy Model of DNA - (learn how the nucleotides are formed, and how it all fits together) This model can be used to show replication, splicing, and other functions involving the DNA double helix.
  8. Take a Tour of the Basics of Heredity - from the index at the top of the blue box, select What is DNA, then click Next to progress through the windows of this show. Interactive
  9. The Nucleic Acids - models of nucleic acids are shown
(C)  interpret the role of genes in inheritance
  1. Biology Tutorials for Metabolism and Genetics
  2. Human Genetic Disorders - This slide show is a very comprehensive review quiz (44 slides)
  3. Model For A Monohybrid Cross Exhibiting Simple Dominance
  4. Probability and Heredity - You will simulate Mendel’s experiments by substituting coins for plant characteristics. You will then compare what you had expected with what actually happened.
  5. Punnett Square Diagram of a Monohybrid Cross - Refresh the page to see the animation repeat.
  6. Take a Tour of the Basics of Heredity - from the index at the top of the blue box, select Heredity, then click Next to progress through the windows of this show. Interactive
  7. Those Genes - [this link opens on a new page] Students are introduced to genetic inheritance. (Author - Carol Rine) Interactive
  8. Working out Punnett Square Examples - Using Punnett squares, work out the probabilities that children of the parents in each example will have particular phenotypes and genotypes. Interactive
(12)   The student knows that the responses of organisms are caused by internal or external stimuli.

(A)  identify responses in organisms to internal stimuli such as hunger or thirst

(B)  identify responses in organisms to external stimuli such as the presence or absence of heat or light
(C)  identify components of an ecosystem to which organisms may respond
  1. Adaptation Activity - Learn how animals adapt to their environment while playing this online game about beavers. Interactive
  2. Animal Adaptation E-Safaris - meet some interesting animals to explore how they are adapted to their environments
  3. Dinosaur Habitat and Community - a BBC presentation about these very adaptable animals
  4. Physical Adaptation - We can see some of the results of physical adaptation by comparing the skeletons of different animals.
  5. Flamingos - Adaptations for Their Environment
  6. Plant Adaptations in Arid Environments - The plants that grow in the arid eastern region near the Columbia River and the Columbia Basin have a number of traits which help them to be successful in the desert.
  7. How Cactus survive in the desert
(13)   The student knows components of our solar system.

(A)  identify characteristics of objects in our solar system including the Sun, planets, meteorites, comets, asteroids, and moons

  1. An animation of a comet's passage through the solar system - Compared to the planets, most comets have highly elliptical orbits and widely varying orbital speeds. Comet Halley's next passage through the inner solar system will occur in the year 2061.
  2. Astronomy - Rotation & Revolution - a Quia quiz
  3. Examine the vast distances between planets in the solar system - This animation simulates a voyage from the sun past all nine planets. In this animation, the apparent speed of the viewer is over 300 times the speed of light.
  4. Learn about the Planets - from KidsAstronomy
  5. Order it up - Measures of size and scale help us understand the magnitude of objects. Play with scales while trying to arrange planets by magnitude of mass, size, temperature, density, distance, gravity or magnetic field. Correctly order the planets and you unscramble a mystery picture! To play, click on the blue link; Play Order it Up: Solar System Edition Interactive
  6. The night sky from the same location during a year - This sequence of images shows simulated views of the night sky from Chicago, Illinois. The frames show the view from Earth at midnight, once a week over a year.
(B)  describe types of equipment and transportation needed for space travel
(14)   The student knows the structures and functions of Earth systems .

(A)  summarize the rock cycle

  1. Animation of clastic sedimentary rocks forming Interactive
  2. Animation of metamorphic rocks forming Interactive
  3. How Sediments are Deposited - This animation shows a side view of an area where a river flows into a lake. Interactive
  4. Interactive Rock Cycle Animation - a cutaway view of Earth showing where some common rock-forming processes occur. Embedded animations will illustrate the path of a rock moving through the rock cycle. Interactive
  5. Introduction to Geology - a rock cycle quiz
  6. The Rock Cycle - Look at the diagram and see if you can trace a rock through the rock cycle.
  7. Rock Cycle - includes link to each of the three types of rocks
  8. Rock Cycle from the Mineralogical Society of America
  9. Rock Cycle - a review lesson followed by a quiz [from McGraw Hill]
  10. Rock Cycle Quiz - posted by the College of Alameda Physical Geography department
  11. A Schematic Sketch of the Rock Cycle - boxes represent earth materials and arrows represent the processes that transform those materials
  12. Three Rock Cycle Quizzes - each with five questions
(B)  identify relationships between groundwater and surface water in a watershed
  1. Create a model of the water cycle
  2. Follow a drop through the water cycle
  3. How You Can Make a Model of the Water Cycle - print this to give to your students This is an Adobe Acrobat document
  4. Introduction to the Water Cycle
  5. Water Cycle
  6. Water Cycle Animation - Observe a raindrop traveling through various paths of the water cycle. In this visualization, the blue raindrop shows where water is. The red arrows show the processes that could move it to another place.
  7. The Water Cycle - US Geological Survey's Water Cycle - one of the most complete explanation of the cycle
  8. The Water Cycle Lesson Plan - this inquiry is actually five activities in one
  9. Water Science - US Geological Survey's (USGS) Water Science for Schools web site! They offer information on many aspects of water, along with pictures, data, maps, and an interactive center where you can give opinions and test your water knowledge.
  10. This is a PowerPoint show Water Cycle - a slide show by Soo Park, Alex Reynolds, Kate Schmidt, Connie Woo, and Christine Zackrison
  11. The Watershed Game - Many things happen in a watershed that affect the quality of the water we rely upon . Examine the issues in each area of the watershed, then see the impacts of your choices. Interactive
(C)  describe components of the atmosphere, including oxygen, nitrogen, and water vapor, and identify the role of atmospheric movement in weather change
  1. Satellite Movies of Air Masses Moving across North America

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