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Western Cape Primary Science Programme (PSP

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Tools for planning your
Natural Sciences Curriculum

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We welcome the wide use of these materials. Please acknowledge Western Cape Primary Science Programme © PSP (2007)
Tools for Planning your
Natural Sciences Curriculum
RATIONALE
These materials were written to support teachers with planning and assessment of the
Natural Sciences curriculum. The booklet offers examples of frameworks, tools and
formats to facilitate the planning and assessment process. These can be adapted for the
other Learning Areas and different school contexts. This planning and assessment
process works within the requirements of the National Curriculum Statement (NCS).
This booklet provides information for the Intermediate Phase. But the information can
be adapted for use in the Foundation Phase and the Senior Phase as well.
We have provided examples of Learning Programmes (phase plans), Work Schedules
(grade plans) and Lesson plans as well as assessment on the Natural Sciences strand
Planet Earth and Beyond. These are included as Section 7.
This booklet, together with a DVD on ‘How to plan your Natural Sciences Curriculum...’
was developed as a joint venture between the Western Cape Primary Science Programme
(PSP), the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) and Chevron.

CONTACT DETAILS
Western Cape Primary Science Programme (PSP)
Edith Stephens Wetland Park
Lansdowne Road, Philippi, 7785
P.O. Box 24158, Lansdowne 7779 South Africa
Tel: 021 691 9039 Fax: 021 691 6350
E-mail: info@psp.org.za Website: www.psp.org.za
Contents
SECTION 1: The Natural Sciences Learning Outcomes and Assessment Standards . . . . .2
Planning – the Big Picture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
The Natural Sciences Learning Outcomes and Assessment Standards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
Information about Investigations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
Information about the Process Skills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
SECTION 2: The Core Knowledge and Concepts of the Natural Sciences . . . . . . . . . . 16
The four strands . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
Life and Living . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
Energy and Change . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
Planet Earth and Beyond . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
Matter and Materials . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40
SECTION 3: Developing Learning Programmes and Work Schedules
(phase and grade plans) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46
Information about the Learning Programme (phase plan) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47
Example format for a Learning Programme for one term . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48
Information about the Work Schedule (grade plan) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50
Example format for a Work Schedule for one term . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51
SECTION 4: Developing Lesson Plans, Assessment Tasks
and Assessment Criteria . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52
Example formats
Lesson Plan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54
Assessment Task . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57
Assessment Tool . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59
SECTION 5: Resources for developing lessons, assessment tasks and criteria . . . . . .60
Learning experiences . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61
A developmental assessment process . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63
Multiple Intelligences . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64
The big 8 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65
Assessment Tasks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66
Developing criteria for Assessment Tasks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68
Forms of assessment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77
A language-rich classroom and strategies for developing language in the science classroom . . . . . . . . . . . . 78
SECTION 6: Recording and reporting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .83
Example formats
Class recording sheet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84
Report card . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 86
SECTION 7: Example Learning Programme (grades 4 –7)
for one term on focus strand . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .90
Life and Living . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .91
Energy and Change . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .94
Planet Earth and Beyond . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .97
Matter and Materials . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .100
Example Work Schedule for grade 5 on focus strand Planet Earth and Beyond . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .104
Example Lesson Plans, Assessment Tasks and criteria for focus strand Planet Earth and Beyond
Grade 4 lesson and support material on “Star patterns and cultural traditions” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 106
Grade 5 lesson and support material on “What will the weather be like for the next week?” . . . . . . . . . . . .116
Grade 6 lesson and support material on “Rocks and land forms” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .126
SECTION 1
The Natural Sciences Learning
Outcomes and Assessment Standards
Planning: The Big Picture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3
The Natural Sciences Learning Outcomes and Assessment Standards . . . .6
Information about Investigations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12
Information about the Process Skills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14

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Planning: The Big Picture
Elements provided in the NCS

Skills derived from Learning Content derived from the Core
Outcomes and Assessment Knowledge and Concepts
Standards (70%) and own context (30%)

TEACHER PLANNING

Phase plan
(Learning Programme)

Grade plan
(Work Schedule)

Learning experiences
(Lesson plans)

Assessment Tasks

Assessment Criteria

Class lists and Schedules

3
SECTION 1

Introducing the Learning Outcomes
and Assessment Standards in the NCS

Outcomes and Assessment Standards
The Critical Outcomes
The critical outcomes give us a vision of learners who are able to:
K identify and solve problems and make decisions using critical and
creative thinking;
K work effectively with others as members of a team, group,
organisation and community;
K organise and manage themselves and their activities responsibly
and effectively;
K collect, analyse, organize and critically evaluate information;
K communicate effectively using visual symbolic and/or language
skills in various modes;
K use science and technology effectively and critically showing
responsibility towards the environment and the health of others;
and
K demonstrate an understanding of the world as a set of related
systems by recognising that problem solving contexts do not exist
in isolation.

The developmental outcomes
The developmental outcomes give us a vision of learners who are
able to:
K reflect and explore a variety of strategies to learn more effectively;
K participate a responsible citizens in the life of local, national and
global communities;
K be culturally and aesthetically sensitive across a range of social
contexts;
K explore education and career opportunities, and
K develop entrepreneurial opportunities.

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SECTION 1

The Learning Outcomes for
the Natural Sciences
Learning Outcome 1
Scientific Investigations
K The learner will be able to act confidently on curiosity about
natural phenomena, and to investigate relationships and solve
problems in scientific, technological and environmental contexts.

Learning Outcome 2
Constructing Science Knowledge
K The learner will know and be able to interpret and apply scientific,
technological and environmental knowledge.

Learning Outcome 3
Science, Society and the Environment
K The learner will be able to demonstrate an understanding of the
interrelationships between science and technology, society and the
environment.

The Assessment Standards for each Learning
Outcome in the Natural Sciences
The Assessment Standards describe the minimum level of competence
which a learner must achieve in a certain grade in each Learning
Outcome. The Assessment Standards also reflect an increasing growth
in competence as the learner progresses through the grades.
(Competence means having sufficient knowledge and skills combined
with the necessary good attitudes).

an assessment standard is a
statement from which you can
develop tasks to assess the
learner’s competence in a
particular outcome.

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SECTION 1

6
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7
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8
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9
SECTION 1

10
SECTION 1

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SECTION 1

Information about Investigations
Extract from the NCS
Investigations at the centre of classroom activities
Learners should be given every opportunity to carry out investigations. It should be
noted that investigations are not limited to experimental work carried out in laboratories
(or within classrooms for that matter) to resolve practical problems. Investigations
include opportunities to: identify problems; seek information from books and resource
people; generate products, questionnaires, collections of data and collections of
materials from nature or industry; create testable questions, fair tests and reports
explaining their conclusions.
With regard to practical problems, learners need to be given opportunities to put their
minds to different kinds of problems such as the following:
K Problems of making
K Problems of observing, surveying and measuring
K Problems of comparing
K Problems of determining the effect of certain factors.
Examples of problems of making include: “How can we make a sensitive thermometer?”
“How can we make our own magnetic compass?” How can we make a system that will
give water to plants automatically? or “How we can make a solar – energy oven?”
Problems of observing, surveying and measuring include: “How can we find out what
nocturnal animals do at night?”, “How can we find out what kinds of fuel people in this
area use?, “What do successful gardeners do to get a good crop?”, “How can we measure
the volume of a drop of water?”, “How much water does a plant lose in a day” and “How
can we show the change in position of Venus each morning?”.
Problems of comparing include: “Which liquid soap is the best?”, “Which cloth will
keep you warmest on a cold day?”, “Which batteries are the most economical?”
Examples of problems of determining the effect of certain factors are “What is the
effect of increased dropping height, on how a ball bounces?”, “What is the effect of
making the water hotter, when you dissolve sugar?”, “Which conditions make seeds
germinate faster?” and “Do seedlings grow downwards because the water is down below?”
The four kinds of problems listed above overlap, of course. For example, to determine the
effect of changing one factor, the learners need to set up a fair way of comparing the
effects as that factor is varied.

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SECTION 1

Introducing the Science Process Skills

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SECTION 1

Information about the Process Skills
Extract from the NCS

Natural Sciences

Process Skills across the three Learning Outcomes
The meaning of the term ‘process skills’
The term ‘process skills’ refers to the learner’s cognitive activity of creating meaning
and structure from new information and experiences. Examples of process skills
include observing, making measurements, classifying data, making inferences and
formulating questions for investigation. The term should not be understood as
referring to the manipulative skills which are a small subset of process skills.
The process skills listed below are applicable to all three Learning Outcomes, and do
not refer only to the investigative activities in Learning Outcome 1.
The role of process skills in the teaching and learning of science
From the teaching point of view, process skills can be seen as building blocks from
which suitable science tasks are constructed. A framework of process skills enables
teachers to design questions which promote the kinds of thinking required by the
Learning Outcomes. From the learning point of view, process skills are an important
and necessary means by which the learner engages with the world and gains
intellectual control of it through the formation of concepts.
A framework of process skills is also valuable to teachers in assessment, when they are
designing rating scales, marking memos and instruments to record the day-to-day
participation of learners.
The following should be noted with regard to the process skills:
K Not all the process skills will be suitable for assessment of every Assessment
Standard.
K Other skills, over and above these process skills, may also be used to assess each
Assessment Standard.
A set of process skills which are essential in creating outcomes-based science
tasks
K Observing and comparing may involve the learner in noting detail about objects,
organisms and events with and without prompting by the teacher, noting
similarities and differences, describing them in general terms, or describing them
numerically.
K Measuring may involve the learner in using instruments accurately, reading scales
and using intermediate points between divisions on scales, choosing appropriate
instruments or appropriate scales on instruments, knowing when it is appropriate
to measure, and choosing to do so without prompting by the teacher.
K Recording information may involve the learner in recording on a form which is
prescribed (sentences, lists, tables, labelled diagram), selecting a suitable form in
which to record the information when asked to do so, knowing when it is important
to record, and doing so without being prompted by the teacher.
K Sorting and classifying may involve the learner in using a given rule to sort items
into a table, mind map, list or other system, deciding on own rules for classifying,

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SECTION 1

Revised National Curriculum Statements Grades R–9 (Schools)

or choosing a suitable system such as a table, dichotomous key, or mind map.
K Interpreting information may involve the learner in a large number of ways of creating
meaning and structure. Among these, two are particularly important in Natural
Sciences – knowing how to get information from a book, and learning from the printed
page. Skills include cross-referencing information in books, finding information from
knowing how a book is structured, and organising information using summaries or
concept maps. Other aspects of interpreting include changing the form of information
to other forms in order to reveal its meaning, looking for patterns in recorded
information, predicting, interpolating for missing data, making an inference from
given information, perceiving and stating a relationship between two variables, and
constructing a statement to describe a relationship between two variables.
K Predicting involves the learner in using knowledge to decide what will happen if
something is changed in a situation. This skill includes predicting from patterns in
information, or interpreting a model of a system to predict how a change in one
variable will cause a change in another variable.
K Hypothesising may involve the learner in naming possible factors which could have an
effect on a situation, giving reasons why something has happened, stating a reason
or cause for something, or using prior knowledge as well as information given in the
task.
K Raising questions about a situation involves thinking of questions which could be
asked about a situation, recognising a question which can be answered by scientific
investigation (as opposed to a question which science cannot answer), or rewording
the question to make it scientifically testable.
K Planning science investigations is a composite of many of the skills above and is in fact
an Assessment Standard in its own right. The learner will be involved in rewording a
vague question to make it into a testable prediction, deciding which variables matter
in the problem or question, planning how to change one variable and keep the other
variables constant (controlling variables), planning what variables to measure and how
to measure them, knowing how to improve the accuracy and validity of the
measurements, making inferences from results (their own results or someone else’s
results), and evaluating someone else’s plan for a fair test.
K Conducting investigations is also an Assessment Standard, in which the learner sets up
a situation in which the change in the dependent variable can be observed, while
controlling interfering variables, measuring the variables, recording data, interpreting
data to make findings, and reporting in qualitative and quantitative terms.
K Communicating science information: This skill links directly with Critical Outcome 5
and is important both in helping the learner reflect on own learning and in building
confidence as a person. Competence in communicating involves knowing when it is
important to make extra effort to communicate one’s ideas or results, and choosing an
appropriate means to communicate with the specified audience. In the science
classroom, this skill may involve learners in forms of communicating such as giving
oral reports in English or other languages, writing prose text, using an art form such
as poetry or drama or comic strip, and using graphic forms such posters, diagrams, pie-
charts. Communicating also involves more conventional science forms such as tables,
concept maps, word-webs, graphs, making physical, constructed models, or enacted
models such as using people to show the motion of the planets around the Sun.

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SECTION 2
The Core Knowledge and Concepts of
the Natural Sciences
The four strands . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17
Life and Living . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18
Energy and Change . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .26
Planet Earth and Beyond . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .32
Matter and Materials . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .40

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There are four strands in the Natural Sciences
learning area, each with a number of sub-strands

Strands Sub-strands

Life and Living K Life processes and healthy living
K Interactions in environments
K Biodiversity, change and continuity

K Energy transfer and systems
Energy and Change
K Energy and development in South Africa

K Our place in space
Planet Earth and Beyond K Atmosphere and weather
K The changing Earth

Matter and Materials K Properties and uses of materials
K Structure, reactions and changes of
materials.

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SECTION 2

Life and Living
Summary of the topics required in the NCS Core Knowledge and Concepts

Foundation Phase Senior Phase
1. Human and animal bodies 1. Puberty
2. What living things need 2. Fertilisation
3. We depend on plants 3. Conception
4. Cultural diversity of foods 4. Prevention of STD’s and HIV
5. Some animals carry germs 5. Photosynthesis
6. Sorting plants and animals 6. Nutrition
7. Plant and animal growth 7. Circulatory system
8. Excretion
Intermediate Phase 9. Importance of water
1. Photosynthesis 10. Raising children and values
2. Energy, diet and digestion 11. Reproductive behaviour
3. Sense organs 12. Survival adaptations
4. Movement, muscles and skeleton 13. Food webs and ecosystems
5. Plants and food – food chains and 14. Pollution
webs
15. Decomposition and diseases
6. Ecosystems
16. Heredity
7. Habitats and social patterns
17. Natural selection
8. Soil in ecosystems
18. Human variation
9. Water in ecosystems
19. Biodiversity, classification and animals
10. Vegetative reproduction
20. Factors endangering biodiversity
11. Sexual reproduction
21. Extinctions
12. Fossils in SA
22. The cell

m Refer to the following NCS pages with
numbered paragraphs to find the corresponding
details of the above topics

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SECTION 2

Life and Living

The paragraphs below have been extracted from the NCS policy
documents. We have numbered each paragraph and supplied a
heading for each paragraph. This makes the paragraphs easier to
work with.
The paragraphs describe the knowledge and concepts the learners
must know.

CORE KNOWLEDGE AND CONCEPTS IN LIFE AND LIVING

Life Processes and Interactions in Biodiversity, Change
Healthy Living Environments and Continuity
Unifying statement: The huge
Unifying statement: Living things, Unifying statement: Organisms in
diversity of forms of life can be
including humans and invisibly ecosystems are dependent for their
understood in terms of a history of
small organisms, can be understood survival on the presence of abiotic
change in environments and in
in terms of life processes, factors and on their relationship
characteristics of plants and
functional units and systems. with other organisms.
animals throughout the world over
millions of years.

Foundation Phase
1. Human and Animal bodies 3. We depend on plants 6. Sorting plants and animals
Many of our body parts correspond We depend on plants and animals There is a large variety of plants
to parts of animals, such as limbs, for food, and we breed certain and animals, which have
heads, eyes, ears, feet, and in many animals and grow certain plants as interesting visible differences but
cases animals use them for the crops. also similarities, and they can be
same purposes we do. 4. Cultural diversity of foods grouped by their similarities.
2. What living things need We see cultural diversity in the 7. Plant and animal growth
Animals and plants have similar kinds of food people like to eat. Plants and animals change as they
needs to ours, for food, water and 5. Some animals carry germs grow, and as the years pass, and
air. Some animals, like flies and ticks, as the seasons change.
carry germs which can make
people sick.

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SECTION 2

Life Processes and Interactions in Biodiversity, Change
Healthy Living Environments and Continuity

Intermediate Phase
1. Photosynthesis 6. Ecosystems 10. Vegetative Reproduction
Green plants produce their own Ecosystems are self-contained areas where New plants can grow from certain
food and grow by using water a wide variety of plant and animal species parts of a parent plant. This is called
and substances from the air and live and reproduce. They depend on each vegetative reproduction and does not
soil. Energy from light is needed other and on the non-living environment. The need seeds. The new plants have all
to change these simple life and reproduction of all the organisms in the characteristics of the parent plant.
substances into food and plant an ecosystem depend on the continuing 11. Sexual Reproduction
material. Green plants are the growth and reproduction of plants. Sexual reproduction is the process by
only organisms that can produce 7. Habitats and Social patterns which two individual plants or animals
food in their own bodies. Organisms’ habitats are the places where produce another generation of
2. Energy diet and digestion they feed, hide, produce young and, in many individuals. The next generation’s
Living things need food for cases, shelter the young until the young individuals look like the parents but
energy, to move, grow and to have a better chance of survival. Animal always have slight differences
repair damage to their bodies species live in their habitats in a variety of (‘variation’) from their parents and from
(‘tissues’). Animals including social patterns (such as being solitary, each other.
humans have digestive systems pairing for life, or living in packs, prides, 12. Fossils in South Africa
for getting nutrients from food. herds, troops or colonies). South Africa has a rich fossil record of
Humans need a balanced diet 8. Soil in Ecosystems animals and plants which lived many
from certain groups of food to be Ecosystems depend on soil. Soil forms by millions of years ago. Many of those
healthy. natural processes from rock and dead plant animals and plants were different from
3. Sense Organs and animal material, but it takes an the ones we see nowadays. Some
All living things can respond to extremely long time to form. Substances plants and animals nowadays have
their environment in various which plants take from the soil must be strong similarities to fossils of ancient
ways; animals, including humans, replaced to maintain fertility of the soil. plants and animals. We infer from the
have specialised sense organs. (Links with soil in Planet Earth and Beyond) fossil record and other geological
4. Movement, muscles and 9. Water in Ecosystems observations that the diversity of living
skeleton Water plays an important role in ecosystems, things, natural environments and
Living things can move sustaining both plant and animal life. climates were different in those long-
themselves; animals, including Industrial, agricultural and domestic activities ago times. (Links with fossils in Planet
humans, can move themselves may have a serious impact on the quality Earth and Beyond)
from place to place. Many species and quantity of water available in an area.
of animals move themselves by (Links with Planet Earth and Beyond)
means of muscles attached to
some kind of skeleton which is
either inside or on the surface of
the body.
5. Plants and food – food
chains and webs
Animals cannot make their own
food, and so some animals eat
plants for food while some
animals eat other animals. All
animals ultimately depend on
green plants for their food.

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SECTION 2

Life Processes and Interactions in Biodiversity, Change
Healthy Living Environments and Continuity

Senior Phase
1. Puberty 10. Raising children and values 16. Heredity
Humans go through physical Human reproduction is more than Offspring of organisms differ in
changes as they age; puberty conception and birth; it involves small ways from their parents and
means that the body is ready for adults raising children, which generally from each other. This is
sexual reproduction. requires judgement and values and called variation in a species.
2. Fertilisation usually depends on the behaviour of 17. Natural Selection
Human reproduction begins with the other people in a community and Natural selection kills those
fusion of sex cells from mother and environment. individuals of a species which lack
father, carrying the patterns for some 11. Reproductive behaviours the characteristics that would have
characteristics of each. Each species of animal has enabled them to survive and
3. Conception characteristic behaviours which reproduce successfully in their
Conception is followed by a enable it to feed, find a mate, breed, environment. Individuals which have
sequence of changes in the raise young, live in a population of characteristics suited to the
mother’s body, and during this the same species, or escape threats environment reproduce successfully
period the future health of the in its particular environment. These and some of their offspring carry the
unborn child can be affected. behaviours have arisen over long successful characteristics. Natural
4. Prevention of STD and HIV periods of time that the species selection is accelerated when the
Knowledge of how to prevent the population has been living in the environment changes; this can lead
transmission of sexually transmitted same environment. to the extinction of species.
diseases, including the HIVirus, must 12. Survival adaptations 18. Human variation
be followed by behaviour choices. All organisms have adaptations for Variations in human biological
5. Photosynthesis survival in their habitats (such as characteristics such as skin colour,
Green plants use energy from the adaptations for maintaining their height, and so on, have been used
Sun, water and carbon dioxide from water balance, obtaining and eating to categorise groups of people.
the air to make food by the kind of food they need, These biological differences do not
photosynthesis. This chemical reproduction, protection or escape indicate differences in innate
reaction is central to the survival of from predators). abilities of the groups concerned.
all organisms living on Earth. 13. Food webs and Ecocystems Therefore, such categorisation of
6. Nutrition An ecosystem maintains numerous groups by biological differences is
Animals, including humans, require food webs and competition for food neither scientifically valid nor exact;
protein, fat, carbohydrates, minerals, among different individuals and it is a social construct.
vitamins and water. Food taken in is populations. South Africa has certain
absorbed into the body via the ecosystems which have exceptional
intestine. Surplus food is stored as biodiversity. All uses of these areas
fat or carbohydrate. must be based on principles of
7. Circulatory System sustainable development.
Animals, including humans, have a 14. Pollution
circulatory system which includes Pollution interferes with natural
the heart, veins, arteries and processes that maintain the
capillaries, and which carries interdependencies and diversity of
nutrients and oxygen to all parts of an ecosystem.
the body and removes waste
products. Oxygen, which is provided
by the breathing system, reacts with
food substances to release energy.
(Links with Energy and Change)

21
SECTION 2

Life Processes and Interactions in Biodiversity, Change
Healthy Living Environments and Continuity

Senior Phase
8. Excretion 15. Decomposition and diseases 19. Biodiversity and classification of
All living things, including Many biological changes, including animals
humans, have means of decomposition and recycling of matter Biodiversity enables ecosystems to
eliminating waste products in ecosystems and human diseases, sustain life and recover from changes
which are produced during life are caused by invisibly small, quickly- to the environment. Loss of biodiversity
processes. Water plays an reproducing organisms. seriously affects the capacity of
important role in this process. ecosystems and the Earth, to sustain
9. Importance of Water life. Classification is a means to
Water makes up a large organise the great diversity of
proportion of all living things, organisms and make them easier to
and their health depends on study. The two main categories of
water passing through them in animals are the vertebrates and
various ways, using structures invertebrates, and among vertebrates
(such as kidneys, skin or the five classes are amphibians, birds,
stomata) which can fulfil this fish, reptiles and mammals.
function. 20. Factors endangering biodiversity
Human activities, such as the
introduction of alien species, habitat
destruction, population growth,
pollution and over-consumption, result
in the loss of biodiversity. This
becomes evident when more species
become endangered, or, ultimately,
extinct.
21. Extinctions
Extinctions also occur through natural
events. Mass extinctions have occurred
in the past suggesting that huge
changes to environments have
occurred. However, these changes
occurred very slowly, compared to the
fast rate at which humans can destroy
plant and animal species. (Links with
Planet Earth and Beyond)
22. The Cell
The cell is the basic unit of most living
things, and an organism may be
formed from one or many cells. Cells
themselves carry on life processes
such as nutrition, respiration, excretion
and reproduction, which sustain the life
of the organism as a whole.

22
SECTION 2

Life and Living
The following pages show in detail the knowledge and concepts that
teachers can teach in order for their learners to know what is
described in the NCS Core Knowledge and Concepts paragraphs.
Teachers must add 30% more content from their learners’ context.
The 30% is intended to link the Core Knowledge and Concepts of the
NCS to the lives of the learners.

23
24
Core knowledge to be taught in Life and Living – Intermediate Phase
SECTION 2

Life processes and healthy living Life processes and healthy living Life processes and healthy living
1. Photosynthesis 2. Energy, diet and digestion 3. Sense organs
• Energy from sunlight 30% • Food groups 30 % • Five senses 30%
• Chlorophyll = green • Balanced diet = choices • See with eyes e.g. dark/
• Water & mineral salts from all the food groups light
used • Nutrients - carbohydrates, • Hear with ears e.g.
• CO2 and H2O used to proteins, fats & oils, low/high pitch
make glucose vitamins • Taste with tongue e.g.
• O2 added to atmosphere • Parts of digestive systems salt, sour, sweet, bitter
• Plant makes starch to (humans and other • Smell with nose e.g. spices
store glucose animals) • Touch with skin to feel
• Plant makes other sub- • Body needs food to get different textures, hot/
stances such as cellulose, energy to carry out the life cold, pleasure/pain
proteins, oils, vitamins processes • Plants grow towards light
from the glucose and • Sources of energy. • Roots grow towards
mineral salts. gravity.

Life processes and healthy living Interactions in environments Interactions in environments
4. Movement, muscles & skeleton 5. Plants and food 6. Ecosystems
• Muscles attach to skeleton 30% • Ecosystems and habitat of 30% • Variety of plants and 30 %
• Muscles contract and relax animals and plants animals in their different
to move limb • What do plants and habitats = biodiversity
• Limb has joints animals need to live? To • Interdependence between
• Internal skeleton e.g. ver- eat? To care for young? living and non-living
tebrate animals • Life cycles • Sustainability of
• External skeleton e.g. • Food chains and webs ecosystems
insects, crabs • Producers = plants • Effect if one species is
• Skeleton protects internal Consumers = herbivores, removed
organs. omnivores and carnivores • Conservation.
• All organisms depend on
plants.
Interactions in environments Interactions in environments Interactions in environments
7. Habitats and social patterns 8. Soil in ecosystems 9. Water in ecosystems

• Importance of habitat 30 % • Soil comes from parent 30 % • Importance of water for 30 %
• Different ways organisms rock life and in ecosystems
survive • It takes a long time to • Uses of water:
• Adaptations to the form – do we have enough
environment. • Three sizes of particles: water for the future?
clay, silt and sand – Sustainability?
• Loam soil is a mixture of – Pollution of water by
clay, silt and sand and sewage, chemicals and
humus industrial waste
• Humus enriches soil – Conservation of water.
• Soil contains minerals for
plant growth.

Biodiversity, change and continuity Biodiversity, change and continuity Biodiversity, change and continuity
10. Vegetative reproduction 11. Sexual reproduction 12. Fossils in South Africa
• Plant structure 30 % • Stages and processes in 30 % • Fossils formed in 30 %
• Lifecycle of plants life cycles sedimentary rocks over
• Why can plants reproduce • Sex cells from male and millions of years
in two ways – sexual and female • Hard parts of body,
asexual reproduction? • Plants: flowers produce e.g. bones and teeth
• Sexual reproduction is pollen become fossilized
with seeds • Wind/ animal carries • Earth’s climate has
• Asexual reproduction is pollen to female part of changed many times
without seeds flower • Evolution = change over
– Cuttings from stems • Pollination, fertilization time in response to
or leaves and seed production changes in the
– Bulbs, corms or runners • Animals: egg and sperm, environment
mating, fertilisation, • Certain fossils in certain
growth and development. layers.

25
SECTION 2
SECTION 2

Energy and Change
Summary of the topics required in the NCS Core Knowledge
and Concepts
Foundation Phase
1. Energy makes us move and work
2. We need food to give us energy

Intermediate Phase
1. Sources of energy
2. Energy transfer systems
3. Systems for storing energy
4. Electrical circuits
5. Energy brings about changes to substances
6. Sound Energy
7. Humans and animals get energy from plants
8. Electricity and safety

Senior Phase
1. Potential energy
2. Kinetic energy
3. Systems to transfer energy
4. Energy loss from systems
5. Heat transfer
6. Energy in ecosystems
7. Light transfer, reflection and absorption
8. Forces
9. Renewable and non-renewable sources of energy
10.Energy, poverty and development
11.Electricity generation and supply
12.Energy-saving systems
13.Plants as renewable sources of energy

m Refer to the following NCS pages with numbered
paragraphs to find the corresponding details of
the above topics

26
SECTION 2

Energy and Change

The paragraphs below have been extracted from the NCS policy documents.
We have numbered each paragraph and supplied a heading for each
paragraph. This makes the paragraph easier to work with.
The paragraphs describe the knowledge and concepts the learners must know.

CORE KNOWLEDGE AND CONCEPTS IN
ENERGY & CHANGE
Energy Transfers and Systems Energy and Development in
South Africa
Unifying statement: Energy is transferred through Unifying statement: Energy is available from a limited
biological or physical systems, from energy sources. number of sources, and the sustainable development
With each energy transfer, some of the energy of countries in our region depends on the wise use of
becomes less available for our use, and therefore we energy sources.
need to know how to control energy transfers.

Foundation Phase

1. Energy makes us move and work 2. We need food to give us energy
When we say we feel ‘full of energy’, we mean we feel People who do not have enough food or the right kind food
ready to move fast or do a lot of work. to eat, feel tired and lack energy.

Intermediate Phase

1. Sources of energy 7. Humans and animals get energy from plants
There are sources of energy in nature which can be Humans and animals get energy from eating plants and
used for doing useful work; examples are wind, the from eating animals that ate plants. The Sun provides
Sun, fire, animals’ muscles and falling water. Energy energy for plants to grow and produce food. (Links with Life
sources can be dangerous but can also be used in and Living)
systems which people design, such as boats, 8. Electricity and safety
windmills, carts, cookers and turbines. Energy from electrical sources can be dangerous and so
2. Energy transfer systems we need safety rules for using electricity.
A system is made of two or more parts that work
together or affect each other. Systems may be as
simple as two grindstones that crush grain between
them, or have several parts, like an electrical circuit, or
have many parts, like an ecosystem. Systems transfer
energy from one part of the system to other parts.
3. Systems for storing energy
We can design and make systems which store energy.
Electric cells, stretched springs, food and chemicals
which can react are examples of such systems.

27
SECTION 2

Energy Transfers and Systems Energy and Development in
South Africa

Intermediate Phase

4. Electrical Circuits (There are no further core knowledge statements for
An electrical circuit is a system. It is a path of electrical Energy and Development in South Africa in this
components and conductors with no breaks in it, and an Phase.)
energy source to make electric charges flow around the
conducting path. The energy source may be cells or the
‘mains’ electricity supply.
The circuit transfers energy from the source to resistors
such as: bulbs, heating-wires, solenoids or motors in the
circuit. (Links with the Technology Learning Area)
5. Energy brings about changes to substances
Whenever a substance changes by expanding,
contracting, melting, evaporating, condensing or
solidifying, it means that the substance has gained or
given away some energy. (Links with Matter and
Materials)
6. Sound energy
Sound transfers energy from a vibrating body to our ears.
Vibrations travel through a medium, which may be a solid,
a liquid or a gas. We hear a change in the rate of vibration
as a change in pitch.

Senior Phase

1. Potential energy 9. Renewable and non renewable sources of energy
Energy can be stored in a system as potential energy, Energy sources such as wind, sun, and water in high
either by the positions of the bulk parts of the system or dams are renewable. Fuels such as coal, gas and oil are
by its particles (atoms and molecules) which have the not renewable energy sources, because they cannot be
potential to react with each other and release energy. replaced. (Links with Planet Earth and Beyond)
Examples of potential energy are the stored energy of a 10. Energy , poverty and development
compressed spring or the stored energy of particles which Development and relief of poverty depends on energy
could react in a fuel-and-air mixture, or in the food and supplies, particularly electrical energy, and the systems
body of a living thing. to deliver the energy to where it is needed.
2. Kinetic energy
11. Electricity generation and supply
Potential energy can be released as kinetic energy in the
Large-scale electricity supply depends on generation
motion of parts of the system, either in the motion of bulk
systems which use a few energy sources such as
parts of the system or in the motion of particles of the
burning coal, nuclear reactions, burning gas and falling
system. Examples of the release of kinetic energy are the
water. Use of any of these sources has environmental
motion of a released spring or the faster motion of the
implications. For example, when coal is burned to
particles of hot gases when a fuel-air mixture burns, or
generate electricity, gases are produced that affect the
the body movement of humans and animals.Kinetic
atmosphere and local and global environments. (Links
energy is transferred to parts within the system and
with Planet Earth and Beyond)
energy is also transferred to the system’s surroundings.
When energy is transferred, it causes changes in the
system and the system’s surroundings.

28
SECTION 2

Energy Transfers and Systems Energy and Development in
South Africa

Senior Phase
3. Systems to transfer energy 12. Energy-saving systems
There is an unlimited number of systems which can be Other electricity-generation systems have smaller
made to store or transfer energy. The possible systems environmental impact but may cost more in the short
include electrical, mechanical (including spring and term. Better design of buildings and appliances, and
friction systems), chemical, gravitational, nuclear, solar, better practices in using energy, can save costs to
biomass, optical (light), acoustical (sound) and thermal consumers and lessen the environmental impact of
(heat) systems as well as human bodies and exploiting energy sources.
ecosystems. 13. Plants as renewable sources of energy
4. Energy loss from systems Many people in South Africa use wood for heating and
All physical systems that people use (for example, cooking. Plants such as trees can be a renewable energy
appliances, vehicles and human bodies) waste some of source if more trees are planted and the soil is managed
the energy they receive, and the wasted energy goes to well. (Links with Planet Earth and Beyond)
heat up the surroundings. When the energy has gone
into heating the surroundings, we can no longer use that
energy to do work for us.
5. Heat Transfer
Hot objects transfer energy to colder objects, until the
objects reach the same temperature. Hot objects transfer
their energy, as heat, in three ways: by conduction, by
convection and by radiation. These transfers may be
useful or wasteful. Wasteful heat transfer can be
controlled by reducing conduction, convection and
radiation in a system. Similarly, useful heat transfer can
be increased by improving conduction, convection and
radiation in a system.
6. Energy in ecosystems
All organisms in an ecosystem need energy from other
parts of the ecosystem. Energy is transferred from part
to part of an ecosystem and each part retains only a
fraction of the energy it received. (Links with Life and
Living)
7. Light transfer, reflection and absorption
Light travels away from a light-giving body until it strikes
an object. The object may then absorb the light, or
refract it or reflect it. Light transfers energy to other
objects. (Links with Life and Living)
8. Forces
Objects can exert forces on each other, thereby forming
a system which can store or transfer energy. They may
do so by physical contact or by forces which act through
a field. Field forces are the magnetic, electric and
gravitational forces. All forces act in pairs, so that if body
A exerts a force on body B, B exerts an equal and
opposite force on A.

29
SECTION 2

Energy and Change

The following pages show in detail the knowledge and concepts that
teachers can teach in order for their learners to know what is
described in the NCS Core Knowledge and Concepts paragraphs.
Teachers must add 30% more content from their learners’ context.
The 30% is intended to link the Core Knowledge and Concepts of the
NCS to the lives of the learners.

Core knowledge to be taught in Energy and Change –
Intermediate Phase
Energy transfers and systems

30%
1. Sources of energy
• Sources
– Wind
– Sun
– Fire (Fuels)
– Animal Muscles
– Falling water
• Dangers of sources, e.g. fire, electrical wires
• Systems e.g. boats, windmills, carts, cookers, turbines,
etc
• Forms of energy (movement energy, sound energy, light
energy, heat energy, electrical energy, stored energy).
2. Energy transfer systems

30%
• System made of more than one part working together
– Traditional systems (e.g. grindstones, catapults,
mealie stamper) – two parts
– Electric circuits (simple circuits and appliances) –
several parts
– Ecosystems (food pyramids and food web) –
many parts
• Energy is transferred from one part to the other, e.g.
electric current, movement energy, chemical energy.

30%
3. Storing energy
• Electric cells (chemical energy)
• Stretched springs (elastic energy)
• Food (chemical energy).

30
SECTION 2

4. Electrical circuits 30%
• A circuit is a system
• Conducting wire – pathway for electricity
• Components – parts of a circuit, e.g. light bulbs, wires,
switches, cells, resistors, solenoids, motors.
• Energy transfer (movement of energy from one place to
another)
• Energy transformation (energy is changed from one form
to another e.g. in a light bulb)
• “Mains” electricity supply – from power station.

5. Energy brings about changes to 30%
substances
• Physical changes are a result of an energy change
– heating / cooling, expansion / contraction
• A phase change is also an energy change – melting,
evaporation, condensation, solidifying.

6. Sound energy 30%
• Sound is a vibration (it travels from a vibrating body to
our ears)
• Vibration travels through solids, liquids and gases
• Change in the rate of vibration – causes a change in
pitch of the sound
• Faster vibration – higher pitch
• Slower vibration – low pitch
• We can hear high and low pitched sounds.

Energy and development in South Africa

7. Energy (Plants and Animals) 30%
• Plants get energy from sunlight
• Animals and people get energy from plants
• Food chains
• Food availability.

8. Electricity and Safety 30%
• Dangers from “mains” electricity supply – power lines,
substations, faulty plugs.
• Correct use of “mains” supply
• Consequences of incorrect use – shocks, burns, fires.
• Safety rules.

31
SECTION 2

Planet Earth and Beyond
Summary of the topics as required in the NCS Core Knowledge and Concepts

Foundation Phase Senior Phase
1. Observing the sky 1. The Earth and Solar System
2. Observing, recording and predicting the 2. Movement of the Earth and Moon
weather 3. Gravity
3. Observing and investigating soil and 4. Sun as a source of energy
rocks 5. Space Exploration and telescopes
6. Atmosphere, hydrosphere,
Intermediate Phase
lithosphere and biosphere
1. Earth’s rotation – day and night
7. Climatic regions
2. Phases of the Moon and cultural
8. Composition of the atmosphere
traditions
9. Role of the atmosphere in regulating
3. Star patterns and cultural traditions
Earth’s temperature
4. Measuring changes in the weather
10. Effects of human activities on
5. Annual and seasonal changes in the atmosphere
weather
11. Layers of the Earth
6. The water cycle
12. Continental drift and geological events
7. Continents, oceans and polar ice caps
13. Formation of the crust and landforms
8. Rocks, soils, water and air
14. SA’s fossil record
9. Erosion and deposition, and landforms
15. Formation of fossil fuels
10. Igneous, sedimentary and
16. Mining
metamorphic rocks
11. Soils and their properties
12. Fossils
13. Water resources

m Refer to the following NCS pages with
numbered paragraphs to find the
corresponding details of the above topics

32
SECTION 2

Planet Earth and Beyond

The paragraphs below have been extracted from the NCS policy
documents. We have numbered each paragraph and supplied a
heading for each paragraph. This makes the paragraphs easier to
work with.
The paragraphs describe the knowledge and concepts the learners
must know.

CORE KNOWLEDGE AND CONCEPTS IN
PLANET EARTH AND BEYOND
Our Place in Space Atmosphere and The Changing Earth
Weather
Unifying statement: Our planet is Unifying statement: The Unifying statement: The Earth is
a small part of a vast solar atmosphere is a system which composed of materials which are
system in an immense galaxy. interacts with the land, lakes continually being changed by
and oceans and which transfers forces on and under the surface.
energy and water from place to
place.

Foundation Phase
1. Observing the sky 2. Observing, recording and 3. Observing and investigating soil
Many different objects can be predicting the weather and rocks
observed in the sky. Examples are Weather changes from day to day in Soil and rocks vary in appearance
birds, clouds, aeroplanes, the Sun, ways that can be recorded and and texture from place to place. By
stars, the Moon, planets and sometimes predicted. There are investigation, learners can find out
satellites. All these objects have occasional unusual weather events that some soils erode more easily
properties, locations and like storms, floods or tornados than others do, while some soil
movements that can be investigated which impact on people’s lives. types support plant life better than
with a view to determining patterns, others. They could investigate what
relationships and trends. some of the factors involved might
be.

33
SECTION 2

Our Place in Atmosphere and The Changing Earth
Space Weather

Intermediate Phase
1. Earth’s rotation – day and 4. Measuring changes in the 8. Rocks, soils, water and air
night weather Earth materials are solid rocks and soils,
Day and night may be Weather may change from day water, and the gases of the atmosphere.
explained by the rotation of the to day. Weather can be 9. Erosion, deposition and landforms
Earth on its own axis as it described by measurable Erosion of the land creates the landforms that
circles the Sun. quantities, such as temperature, we see and also results in the deposition of
2. Phases of the Moon and wind direction and speed, and rock particles that may be lithified to form
cultural traditions precipitation. sedimentary rocks.
The Moon’s apparent shape 5. Annual and seasonal Erosion and deposition can be very slow and
changes in a predictable way changes in the weather gradual or it can occur in short catastrophic
and these changes may be Other changes take longer to events like floods.
explained by its motion relative occur. An example of this type of 10. Igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic
to the Earth and Sun. Many medium-term change is annual rocks
cultural traditions and special seasonal changes, which may Rocks may be classified into igneous,
occasions are related to the be described in terms of sedimentary and metamorphic types. This
shape or position of the Moon. changes in rainfall, average classification is based on the origins and
3. Star patterns and cultural wind direction, length of day or history of the rocks.
traditions night and average maximum 11. Soils and their properties
The stars’ apparent positions and minimum temperatures. Soil consists of weathered rocks and
in relation to each other do not 6. The water cycle decomposed organic material from dead
change, but the nightly Water changes its form as it plants, animals, and bacteria. Soil forms by
position of the star pattern as moves in a cycle between the natural processes, but it takes an extremely
a whole changes slowly over hydrosphere, atmosphere and long time to form. Soils have properties of
the course of a year. Many lithosphere in what is known as colour and texture, capacity to retain water,
cultures recognise and name the ‘water cycle’. and ability to support the growth of many
particular star patterns, and 7. Continents, oceans and polar kinds of plants, including those in our food
have used them for navigation ice caps supply. (Links with Life and Living)
or calendars. Most of planet Earth is covered 12. Fossils
by water in the oceans. A small Fossils are the remains of life forms that have
portion of the planet is covered been preserved in stone. Fossils are evidence
by land that is separated into that life, climates and environments in the
continents. At the poles there past were very different from those of today.
are ice caps. Only a small (Links with Life and Living)
amount of the water is available 13. Water resources
for living things on land to use The quality of water resources is determined
and only a small portion of the by the quality of the catchment area. Proper
land is easily habitable by care and management of catchment areas
humans. and water resources is essential, and factors
affecting the quality of water resources and
catchment areas may be investigated. (Links
with Life and Living)

34
SECTION 2

Atmosphere and
Our Place in Space The Changing Earth
Weather

Senior Phase
1. The Earth and solar system 6. Atmosphere, hydrosphere, 11.Layers of the Earth
The Earth is the third planet from lithosphere and biosphere The planet Earth has a layered
the Sun in a system that includes The outer layers of the Earth are the structure, with a lithosphere, a hot,
the Moon, the Sun, eight other atmosphere, the hydrosphere and convecting mantle and a dense,
planets and their moons, and the lithosphere. We live in the metallic core.
smaller objects, such as asteroids biosphere, which is where all these 12.Continental drift and geological
and comets. layers interact to support life. events
The Sun, an average star, is the 7. Climatic regions Lithospheric plates larger than some
central and largest body in the solar Climate varies in different parts of continents constantly move at rates
system. the globe. It tends to be cold in the of centimetres per year, in response
2. Movement of the Earth and Moon polar regions and hot in the tropics. to movements in the mantle. Major
Most objects in the solar system are Different types of plants and geological events, such as
in regular and predictable motion. animals are adapted to living in Earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and
The motions of the Earth and Moon different climatic regions. (Links mountain building, result from these
explain such phenomena as the day, with Life and Living) plate motions.
the year, phases of the Moon, and 8. Composition of the atmosphere 13.Formation of the crust and
eclipses. The atmosphere is a mixture of landforms
3. Gravity nitrogen and oxygen in fairly Landforms are the result of a
Gravity is the force that keeps constant proportions, and small combination of constructive and
planets in orbit around the Sun and quantities of other gases that destructive forces.
governs the rest of the motion in the include water vapour. The Constructive forces include crustal
solar system. Gravity alone holds us atmosphere has different properties deformation, volcanic eruption, and
to the Earth’s surface. at different elevations. deposition of sediment, while
destructive forces include
weathering and erosion.

35
SECTION 2

Atmosphere and
Our Place in Space The Changing Earth
Weather

Senior Phase
4. Sun as a source of energy 9. Role of the atmosphere in 14. SA’s fossil record
The Sun is the major source of regulating Earth’s temperature Many of the organisms in South
energy for phenomena on the The atmosphere protects the Earth Africa’s fossil record cannot be
Earth’s surface, such as growth of from harmful radiation and from easily classified into groups of
plants, winds, ocean currents, and most objects from outer space that organisms alive today, and some are
the water cycle. would otherwise strike the Earth’s found in places where present-day
5. Space exploration and surface. The atmosphere is the most conditions would not be suitable for
telescopes important factor in keeping the them. This is evidence that life and
Space exploration programmes Earth’s surface temperature from conditions on the surface of Earth
involve international collaboration in falling too low or rising too high to have changed through time. (Links
the use of Earth-based telescopes sustain life. with Life and Living)
(such as SALT in South Africa) and 10. Effects of human activities on 15. Formation of Fossil fuels
telescopes in orbit. Robotic atmosphere Fossil fuels such as coal, gas and oil
spacecraft travel long distances to Human activities and natural events are the remains of plants and
send back data about the planets can slightly change the composition animals that were buried and
and other bodies in our solar and temperature of the atmosphere. fossilised at high pressures. These
system, and research is being done Some effects of these small fuels are not renewable in our
on ways to send people to changes may be changes in annual lifetimes. (Links with Energy and
investigate the planet Mars. weather patterns and long-term Change)
changes in rainfall and climate. 16. Mining
Mining is a major industry in South
Africa, with local examples in all the
nine provinces. It is important in
terms of the supply of coal for
energy, essential raw materials for
other industries, employment and
earnings for the country. A great
number of other industries depend
on the mining industry. Legislation
controls mining, with regard to
safety and environmental effects.

36
SECTION 2

Planet Earth and Beyond

The following pages show in detail the knowledge and concepts that
teachers can teach in order for their learners to know what is
described in the NCS Core Knowledge and Concepts paragraphs.
Teachers must add 30% more content from their learners’ context.
The 30% is intended to link the Core Knowledge and Concepts of the
NCS to the lives of the learners.

37
SECTION 2

Core knowledge to be taught in
Planet Earth and Beyond – Intermediate Phase

Our place in space
1. Earth’s rotation – day and night 30%
• Day and night
• Rotation of the Earth around own axis
• Rotation of the Earth in relation to the Sun.

2. Phases of the Moon and cultural traditions 30%
• Phases of the Moon
• Movement of the Earth around the Sun
• Movement of the Moon around the Earth
• The Moon reflects the Sun’s light and we see it on Earth
• Cultural traditions and beliefs
• The Moon’s position in relation to the Sun and Earth.
3. Star patterns and cultural traditions 30%
• Position of stars
• Star patterns – constellations
• Using stars to find own position e.g. Southern Cross
• Cultural stories about stars
• Navigation
• Calendars.

Atmosphere and weather
4. Measuring changes in the weather 30%
• Describe by measuring quantities.
– Temperature, Wind, Rainfall
• Predicting changes from day to day.

5. Annual and seasonal changes in the weather
30%
• Seasons caused by
– movement of the Earth around the Sun
– tilt of the Earth’s axis
• Seasons – Opposite in different hemispheres. Seasons don’t change too much at equator
• Weather – Long term and seasonal changes in weather
– Temperatures min/max
– Rainfall
– Wind direction
– Weather chart
• Effects of different weather.

6. The water cycle 30%
• Water cycles between the following layers of the Earth:
– Atmosphere – the air around planet Earth
– Lithosphere – the rocks and soil of planet Earth
– Hydrosphere – the water and ice of planet Earth
• Processes in the water cycle: Evaporation,
Condensation, Precipitation.

38
SECTION 2

7. Continents, oceans and polar ice caps 30%
• Large portion of Earth is ocean
• Small portion of land (continents)
• Ice caps at poles
• Small amount of fresh water for living
• Small amount of land for humans (habitable).

The changing Earth
8. Rocks, soil, water and air 30%
• Earth’s materials are solids, liquids and gases
• Solid rocks and soil
• Water
• Gases (nitrogen, oxygen and carbon dioxide).

9. Erosion, deposition and landforms 30%
• Erosion as a result of weathering by
– Wind
– Water
– Human/ animals
• Deposition of rock particles
• Floods
• Rivers, vleis (estuaries), mountains, lakes, hills, valleys, waterfalls,
etc.

10. Igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks 30%
• Classification of rocks
– Igneous – rocks from volcanoes
– Sedimentary – deposited in layers and pressed
– Metamorphic – changed by pressure and heat
• Origins and history of rocks.

11. Soils and their properties 30%
• Soil comes from rock
• Soil is made of particles – clay, silt and sand
• Types of soil – Clayey soil, sandy soil, Loam soil
• Loam soil is a mixture of sand, silt and clay and humus
• Humus enriches the soil
• Air and water in soil
• Properties of soil – appearance, texture, water-holding capacity.

12. Fossils 30%
• Remains of plants & animals in rocks
• Formed in sedimentary rock
• Proof of different forms of life in the past.

13. Water resources 30%
• Catchment areas – mountains, rivers, dams, lakes, wetlands
• Quality of water in catchment area
• Factors that influence water resources – pollution
• Proper care and management of catchment area.

39
SECTION 2

Matter and Materials

Summary of the topics required in the NCS Core Knowledge
and Concepts

Matter and Materials
Foundation Phase
1. Sorting materials according to their different properties
2. Mixing different substances

Intermediate Phase
1. Boiling and melting points of different substances
2. Materials, their properties, and classifying them
3. Metals, ceramics, polymers and composite materials
4. Temporary and permanent changes to materials
5. Changes brought about by heating
6. Dissolving – factors that affect the speed of dissolving

Senior Phase
1. Different states of matter and their properties
2. Absorption and radiation by different surfaces
3. Magnetism and electrical charging
4. Conductors and resistors
5. Separating and purifying mixtures
6. Oxygen, carbon dioxide and hydrogen – properties reactions and
commercial uses
7. Extraction of raw materials
8. Processing and producing raw materials – effect on the
environment
9. Particle model of matter
10.Acids and bases, reaction of acids
m Refer to the following NCS
11.Energy in chemical reactions
pages with numbered
12.Atoms, elements and compounds paragraphs to find the
13.Reactions with Oxygen corresponding details of the
above topics
14.Cellular Respiration

40
SECTION 2

Matter and Materials

The paragraphs below have been extracted from the NCS policy
documents. We have numbered each paragraph and supplied a
heading for each paragraph. This makes the paragraphs easier to work
with.The paragraphs describe the knowledge and concepts the learners
must know.

CORE KNOWLEDGE AND CONCEPTS IN
MATTER AND MATERIALS

Structure, Reactions and
Properties and Uses of Materials
Changes of Materials
Unifying statement: We can classify materials by their Unifying statement: We can modify materials in ways
properties, in order to establish types and patterns. we choose, through our understanding of their
Properties determine the selection of materials for sub-structure.
particular uses.

Foundation Phase
1. Sorting materials according to their different 2. Mixing different substances
properties Substances can be mixed and sometimes changes can
Materials have different properties such as texture, colour, be seen, such as the dissolving of a solid, or new
strength and heaviness, and can be classified by these colours when food colourings/paints are mixed.
properties. We make things with materials which have the
properties we want.

Intermediate Phase
1. Boiling and melting points of different substances 4. Temporary and permanent changes to materials
Pure substances have melting temperatures and boiling Some changes to materials are temporary but other
temperatures which are characteristic for each substance, changes are permanent.
and help us to identify the substance. 5. Changes brought about by heating
2. Materials, their properties and classifying them Substances change when they receive or lose energy
Materials are evaluated and classified by their properties as heat. These changes include contraction and
(such as hardness, flexibility, thermal conductivity or expansion, melting, evaporation, condensation and
insulation, electrical conductivity or insulation whether solidification. (Links with Energy and Change)
they can be magnetised, solubility and rusting). 6. Dissolving-factors that affect the speed of
3. Metals, ceramics, polymers and composite materials dissolving
Major classes of materials are metals, ceramics (including The dissolving of a substance in a solvent depends on
glasses) and polymers (including plastics and fibres). variables which affect the rate of dissolving.
Composite materials combine the properties of two or
more materials.

41
SECTION 2

Structure, Reactions and
Properties and Uses of Materials
Changes of Materials

Senior Phase
1. Different states of matter and their properties 9. Particle model of matter
Substances in different states (‘phases’) have distinct properties A particle model of matter can explain physical
such as crystalline structures, or compressibility/incompressibility, changes of substances such as melting,
or tendency to diffuse. evaporation, condensation, solidification,
2. Absorption and radiation by different surfaces diffusion and heating by conduction.
Dark-coloured surfaces get hotter than light-coloured surfaces 10.Acids and bases, reaction of acids
when exposed to radiating sources of energy like the Sun. Dark- Many household substances are acidic or basic.
coloured objects radiate their energy as heat more readily than Indicators are substances that react with acids
shiny light-coloured objects. (Links with Energy and Change) and soluble bases to produce products that
3. Magnetism and electrical charging have distinctive colours. Acids and bases
Some materials are magnetised by electric currents or magnets. neutralise one another to form salts. Acids have
Some materials can be electrically changed by rubbing them with characteristic reactions with metals, metal
a different material. (Links with Energy and Change) oxides, hydroxides and carbonates.
4. Conductors and resistors 11.Energy in chemical reactions
Some conductors and circuit components reduce the current in an Many chemical reactions need some energy to
electric circuit to a significant extent and are called resistors. get started; many chemical reactions give off
Resistors can be selected or designed to control currents. energy as they happen.
5. Separating and purifying mixtures 12.Atoms, elements and compounds
A pure substance cannot be separated into different substances Elements are made of just one kind of atom,
while a mixture can be separated usually by physical means. whereas compounds are made of two or more
Differences in properties can be used to separate mixtures of kinds of atoms in fixed proportions. Elements
different substances (by methods such as filtration, distillation, may react to form compounds, and compounds
evaporation, chromatography or magnetism). (Links with Matter may be decomposed into their elements. Energy
and Materials) input is needed to break a compound into its
6. Oxygen, carbon dioxide and hydrogen – properties reactions elements, whereas energy is given out when
and commercial uses elements react to form a compound.
Specific gases may be separated from the air or produced in 13.Reactions with Oxygen
reactions, and have many uses in industry and other sectors of the Oxygen has characteristic reactions with metals
economy. Oxygen, hydrogen and carbon dioxide have characteristic and non-metals, forming oxides. Some of these
properties and reactions by which we can identify them. oxides dissolve in water to form acidic or
7. Extraction of raw materials alkaline solutions. Some metals react more
Extracting useful materials from raw materials depends on readily with oxygen than other metals. Corrosion
chemical reactions and methods of separation. of iron is an economically important reaction
8. Processing and producing raw materials – effect on the which can be prevented through an
environment understanding of the reactions between iron,
Raw materials, from which processed materials are made, must be water and oxygen.
mined, grown or imported from other countries. Raw materials that 14.Cellular Respiration
are mined are non-renewable and mining has environmental costs. The reaction of oxygen with food releases
Growing raw materials involves choices about the use of arable energy in the cells of living things. (Links with
land and water catchment areas Life and Living)

42
SECTION 2

Matter and Materials
The following pages show in detail the knowledge and concepts that
teachers can teach in order for their learners to know what is
described in the NCS Core Knowledge and Concepts paragraphs.
Teachers must add 30% more content from their learners’ context.
The 30% is intended to link the Core Knowledge and Concepts of the
NCS to the lives of the learners.

43
SECTION 2

Core knowledge to be taught in
Matter and Materials – Intermediate Phase

Properties and uses of materials
1. Boiling and Melting Points 30%
• Find boiling points of: water, Coca-Cola, orange juice etc.
Record temperature and draw graphs
• Boiling and melting points of pure substances, e.g.
Water, iron, sulphur, salt, diamond etc
• Boiling and melting points are properties of a substance.

2. Properties of materials 30%
• Classification of Materials
• Testing different materials
• Describing properties
– Hard or Flexible
– Insulator or Conductor
– Thermal/Electrical
– Soluble or insoluble
– It rusts or is rust-proof.

3. Classes of Materials 30%
• Name describe and classify materials
• Raw materials (clay, stone, sand, plant and animal
material, oil, etc)
• Classes of materials (ceramics and glass); Polymers
(plastics and fibres).

44
SECTION 2

Structures, reactions and changes of materials
4. Permanent and temporary changes 30%
• Permanent – burning, decomposition, firing, chemical
reactions
• Temporary – change phase, melting, dissolving, bending,
etc, e.g. chocolate, jelly, wax, dissolving salt, sugar etc.

5. Changes brought about by heating and cooling 30%
• Expansion e.g. heating bottle top to unscrew it, water
expands as it freezes etc
• Contraction e.g. cake cooling and contracting in baking
tin
• Phase changes
– Melting
– Evaporation
– Solidification
– Condensation.

6. Dissolving 30%
• Soluble and insoluble (mixture, solution, solvent, solute)
• Variables that affect rate of dissolving (size of particles,
temperature of water, amount of solute and solvent,
stirring and shaking)
• Crystallization.

45
SECTION 3
Developing Learning Programmes
and Work Schedules (phase and
grade plans)
Information about the Learning Programme (phase plan) . . . . . . . . . . . . .47
Format for a Learning Programme for one term . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .48
Information about the Work Schedule (grade plan) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .50
Format for a Work Schedule for one term . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .51

46
The Learning Programme (phase plan)
Organisation
Ideally all the teachers in a phase should sit together to develop the
phase plan.

Purpose of the Learning Programme (phase plan)
To select outcomes and content to teach for grades 4-6 for a focus
strand.

Important checkpoints
The phase plan must show:

Outcomes
K All three Natural Sciences Learning Outcomes are being worked on
throughout each year and through the phase.
K The outcomes and Assessment Standards selected are matched
with suitable content so that the outcomes can be achieved.

Core knowledge and concepts
K Teachers make a suitable selection of content, from the statements
in the NCS, for each grade.
K The selection of content forms a logical sequence that builds the
knowledge and concepts from grade 4 through to grade 6.

Integration
K The phase plan can be integrated with other strands in the Natural
Sciences, and with other Learning Areas.

Duration
K The phase plan should encompass enough work for a whole phase.
(You have to give equal time to each strand. This means you have
to have a term’s worth of work for each strand in each year over
three years).

47
SECTION 3

48
SECTION 3

49
SECTION 3

The Work Schedule (grade plan)
Organisation
Ideally groups of teachers from the same grade should sit together to
develop the grade plan from the phase plan.

Purpose of the grade plan
To make a detailed plan from week to week showing what will be
taught in each grade for a focus strand.

Important checkpoints
The grade plan must show:

Outcomes
K All three Natural Sciences Learning Outcomes are being worked on
throughout the term. The Learning Outcomes and Assessment
Standards to be worked on must be shown.
K The outcomes and Assessment Standards selected are matched
with suitable content so that the outcomes can be achieved.

Core knowledge and concepts
K The work to be done must follow a logical teaching sequence
week by week. The duration must be specified.
K The topics to be taught must form a logical sequence that builds
the knowledge and concepts through the grade.
K The resources to be used are specified.

Integration
K The integration with other strands and Learning Areas is specified.

Assessment
K The times when the assessment tasks will be done are identified.
K The form of the assessment tasks is specified.

50
SECTION 3

Example format
Grade Work Schedule (one for each term)
Teacher . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Grade . . . .Term . . . . .
Focus Knowledge Strand . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Week Sequence of topics
LO1 LO2 LO3 Resources

Form of assessment
Para No. on NCS
or date to be taught
Science, society and the
Scientific investigations

Integration
Constructing science

Environment
knowledge

AS AS AS

m See an example of a Work Schedule for Natural Sciences from page 104

51
SECTION 4
Developing Lesson Plans,
Assessment Tasks and Assessment
Criteria
Example formats
Lesson Plan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .54
Assessment Task . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .57
Assessment Tool . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .59

yes, but your teaching
oh! it is much easier to plan has to provide learners
my assessment while i plan my with enough input from
lessons. the assessment
standards before you
expect output from the
learners.

52
We plan lessons, assessment tasks and
criteria at the same time
K Use the Assessment Standards and Core K Learners learn in different ways. It is
Knowledge and Concepts to plan your therefore important to provide learners
lessons. The lessons must provide a with different ways or approaches to
teaching process that ensures that learning. We also need to provide
learners acquire the necessary different ways in which they can
knowledge and skills. communicate their learning.
K When we assess learners we require (See “Multiple intelligences” and
them to show evidence of what “The Big 8” page 65)
they know and what skills they
have acquired.

Lesson plans, assessment tasks and assessment criteria
Organisation Lesson plan
Ideally teachers should work together to Important checkpoints
develop and share their lesson plans, K Learning Area and Grade are specified.
assessment tasks and criteria.
K Suitable topic taken from the grade
Purpose of the lesson plans, plan.
assessment tasks and criteria K Suitable duration of lesson(s).
K To think through how and what you K Science knowledge and concepts to be
will teach and assess, in advance. taught are unpacked into a mind map
or list.
K To write down your plans so that you
can improve on them for next time. K There is a full description of the
learning experience including
K To have plans that can be shared with
introduction, science knowledge,
others and passed on to those who will
learning tasks and consolidation.
teach after you.
K Suitable lesson support for learners with
K To provide plans that link the same
barriers, and also enrichment.
Learning Outcomes and concepts from
the lesson plans, through to the K A place to write a reflection after
assessment tasks and finally through to teaching the lesson as well as notes for
the assessment criteria. the future.
K The lesson should challenge the learners.
K The lesson should be of a suitable level,
depth and quality for learners in this
grade.
K The teacher should use suitable LOs, ASs
and concepts from the NCS to plan the
lesson so that the required skills and
knowledge are taught.

53
SECTION 4

Example format
Lesson plan
Teacher . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Grade . . . . . . . . Duration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Learning Area/s . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Focus strand . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Topic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

LO(s): . . . . . . . Assessment Standard . . . . . . . . . . . . Integration

Key skills in assessment standard/s

Science knowledge to be taught Concepts to be built
m Physical structures
m Biological structures
m Chemical structures
m Properties of matter
m Properties materials
m Energy transfer
m Energy transformation
m Chemical transformation
m Physical transformation
m Evolution
m Sustainability
m Relative position
m Relative movement
m Measurable quantities
m Time
m Interdependence
m Diversity

Description of learning experience
(Introduction, knowledge input, learning tasks, consolidation)
....................................................................
....................................................................
....................................................................
....................................................................

m See examples of lesson plans for Grades 4, 5 and 6 from page 106

54
SECTION 4

....................................................................
....................................................................
....................................................................
....................................................................
....................................................................
....................................................................
....................................................................
....................................................................
....................................................................
....................................................................

Process Skills Resources

m Observing
m Comparing
m Measuring
m Recording information
m Sorting
m Classifying
m Predicting
m Raising questions
m Planning investigations
m Conducting investigations
m Communicating information

Lesson support
• Learners with barriers (e.g. differentiated tasks, etc.)
...............................................................................
...............................................................................
• Enrichment
...............................................................................
...............................................................................

Teacher’s reflection after the lesson (What to change and improve in the future)
....................................................................
....................................................................
....................................................................
55
SECTION 4

Assessment Tasks

Important checkpoints
K The assessment task should be in line with the chosen Learning
Outcomes (LOs) and Assessment Standards (ASs).
K The form of assessment and mode of communication should be
identified.
K The core knowledge and concepts of the assessment task must
relate to that of the learning experience.
K The instructions of the task should be clear and should include an
instruction to aim for excellence.
K There should be differentiated tasks for learners with barriers (if
necessary).
K The task should challenge the learners sufficiently. It should also be
of an appropriate level and depth for the learners in this grade.

56
SECTION 4

Example format
Assessment Task
Teacher . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Name of learner . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Grade and class . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Date . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Learning Area/s . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Focus Strand . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

LO/s: . . . . . . . . . . . AS/s . . . . . . . . . . .

Topic/Title of task ............................

Instructions

TO EARN 80% OR MORE

Learners with barriers

57
SECTION 4

Assessment Criteria

Important checkpoints
The assessment criteria should:
K Be in line with the skills, Learning Outcomes and Assessment
Standards of the assessment task.
K Be contexualised in line with the content of the assessment task.
K Be appropriate to the form of assessment and the mode of
communication (form of assessment is presentation of the task and
the mode of communication is eg speaking, drawing etc.).
K Provide differentiated criteria for learners with barriers to
learning.
K Challenge the learners and be appropriate to the level, grade and
context of the learners.

58
SECTION 4

Example format
Assessment tool
Assessor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Date . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Name of learner . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Grade and class . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Learning Area . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . LO . . . . . . . . . . . AS/s . . . . . . . . .

Assessment task Yes/No (tick if done,

cross if not done)
Assessment criteria

To earn 80% or more

Criteria for learners with barriers

Reporting Code

1/2/3/4
Comments

Codes and percentages for recording (Grade R – 6)
Rating Code Percentages Description of competence
4 70–100 Outstanding or excellent achievement
3 50–69 Satisfactory achievement
2 35–49 Partial achievement
1 1–34 Not achieved
Forms of assessment Modes of communication for assessment task
Assessor / Evaluator m Acting out m Educator
m Project m Speaking m Self
m Assignment m Drawing m Peer
m Translation tasks m Models m Another Educator
m Tests and exams m Doing science practical work m Outside expert
Etc m Working for the environment m Class panel
m Doing calculations
m Writing

59
SECTION 5
Resources for developing lessons,
assessment tasks and criteria
Learning experiences . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .61
A developmental assessment process . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .63
Multiple Intelligences . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .64
The big 8 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .65
Assessment Tasks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .66
Developing criteria for Assessment Tasks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .68
Forms of assessment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .77
A language-rich classroom and strategies for developing language
in the science classroom . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .78

60
61
SECTION 5

62
SECTION 5

A developmental assessment process
The following pages take you through a developmental assessment
process in which you will develop criteria for your assessment tasks
and their different modes of communication. You will also take into
account the language and developmental level of your learners. You
will also see how to keep records of your assessment.

A developmental assessment process

7. Transfer the code onto the
1. Use the Outcomes and Assessment
learners’ Report Cards.
Standards to develop teaching and
Assessment Tasks.
7
1

2
6 2. Develop criteria to assess the
task. These criteria should be
6. Analyse the results and decide on further contextualised to the task.
intervention if necessary. Provide another
opportunity for assessment if necessary.

3
3. Use the criteria to assess
5 the learners’ work and
5. Record the codes to give them feedback.
onto a class list under
the outcomes assessed.

4

4. Also use the criteria and national codes
to translate the learners’ performance
into a code.

63
SECTION 5

Multiple Intelligences
Howard Gardner, a Harvard University psychologist, identified seven
different kinds of learning styles.
It is useful to be aware of these kinds of intelligences because we often
wonder why some learners learn mathematics more easily than others,
why some can draw well and some can speak or act easily.
Knowing about these multiple intelligences can help teachers to think
of different ways in which learners can communicate what they know
and can do.

The seven intelligences
proposed by Gardner
K Linguistic intelligence (being able to
use language well)
K Logical-mathematical intelligence
(being able to think logically)
K Visual-spatial intelligence (being able
to think in images and pictures
K Bodily-kinesthetic intelligence (learning
through physical sensations)
K Musical intelligence
K “Intra-personal’ intelligence (to
understand one’s thoughts and feelings
and to use this in directing your own
life)
K Naturalistic intelligence (to think about
animals, clouds, rocks, stars and other
natural phenomena)

m When we notice learners who are stronger in
one or more of the intelligences we should try
to help them to develop and become strong at
other intelligences as well.

64
SECTION 5

The Big 8
Useful forms or modes of communication for assessment
In order for us to assess learners’ progress, they will have to communicate what they
know and can do. There are a number of different forms of communication that they
can use to do this.
Here are eight common forms or modes of communication, which are useful in science.
They reflect the different ways of learning (from Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences) and
also different ways of communicating.

Acting out
Showing with your body by miming or gesturing or
dramatising, etc
Speaking
Talking, singing, oral reports, explanations, discussion,
description, role play, speeches, debates, etc
Drawing
Charts, graphs, diagram, maps, plans, etc
Models
Making or constructing things from different materials
Doing science practical work
Using a thermometer correctly, measuring, carrying out
a procedure, making crystals, filtering dirty water, using
a microscope, etc
Working in the environment
Looking after plants and animals, cleaning up the
school grounds, making compost, growing a food
garden, going on field trips and outings in the
environment, etc
Writing
Writing a sentence, paragraph, poem, letter, dialogue,
summary, report, explanation, conclusion, comparison,
etc
Calculations
Calculating area, volume, average temperature over a
week, how much electricity is used over a month, how
much water the family uses per day, etc

65
SECTION 5

Assessment Tasks
Outcomes-based education (OBE) requires us to assess learners as part
of our everyday classroom practice. So when we plan learning
experiences for our learners, we have to plan our assessment tasks at
the same time.
An Assessment Task brings together two things
Firstly, the task must allow learners to provide evidence that they have
gained a certain attitude or knowledge or skill in line with the learning
outcomes developed in the lesson. Secondly, learners will have to
communicate this in a certain form or mode, for example by speaking
or by writing.

How to develop an Assessment Task
The example below shows how to develop an assessment task about
sequencing the life cycle of a butterfly.

Grade 6 LO2
Assessment Standard (AS) 3:
Interprets information by using alternative forms of the same information

Content
Bring these together to Mode of
eg correct knowledge of stages
develop an assessment communication
and processes in the life cycle of
task eg draw and label
a butterfly

Assessment task
K Draw a picture of the life cycle of a butterfly.
K Show the correct sequence of stages and processes.
K Label your picture.

For successful completion of the task above, the
learners must meet these assessment criteria:
K There must be a heading about the life cycle
K Each stage must be clearly and correctly drawn
and labelled, i.e. egg, larva, pupa and adult
K The processes must be labelled using key words
such as: hatch, lay eggs, spin a cocoon, emerge
from the cocoon, feed, grow bigger, change, etc
K The drawing must be in the form of a cycle
K The stages must be in the correct sequence.
Some criteria refer to the content part and some to the
communication skill part.

66
SECTION 5

Assessing a product or a process
Assessing a product
Some tasks result in the learners producing something such as a
paragraph of writing, or a model or a drawing. These are called the
products of the Assessment Task. We can take these products and
assess them.

that’s right, nandi. Assessing a process
your eye must be level with the surface However some tasks do not result
to get an accurate reading. in a product but rather in
processes. For example, using a
thermometer to measure the
temperature is a process.
Carrying out a procedure is also a
process. You will have to assess
this by watching what the
learner is doing whilst he or she
is measuring or carrying out the
procedure, and assess whether
s/he is doing it correctly and with
confidence.
This is the moment where you
give the learners immediate
feedback so that they can correct
their mistakes and feel
encouraged. Then they can try
again if necessary.

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Developing criteria for Assessment Tasks
In the following section we have provided examples of assessment tasks
and criteria. These tasks are examples of the everyday tasks that are
assessed, and will build up the learner’s competence in small ways until
they reach the level of the Assessment Standards for each outcome.
The modes of communication which follow can be used to assess any of
the LOs.

hmm. how do i write
criteria for this
assessment task?

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Acting out
Drama, role play, dialogue, play, mime, gestures, acting out,
whole body movements, etc
Descriptions that apply to acting out
K Relevant to the topic – show correct understanding of the science
knowledge and concepts
K Talks clearly (in the language of choice)
K Spontaneous
K Makes sense
K Creative / innovative
K Uses dialect of the community
K Uses appropriate body language, movements and expressions
K Costumes
K Stage scenery should we let
K Original / own effort learners make the
Etc stage scenery?
not this year –
let’s concentrate
on movement and
costume.

Examples of contextualised criteria developed from descriptors above

LO2
Assessment Task
Describe how the nine planets move around the Sun and act out how they move in their
own orbits. You must dress to show the Sun and planets clearly

Criteria
Learners must move in the following way
3 Rotate and revolve at the same time around the Sun
3 Each ‘planet’ or child stays in his/her own orbit
3 Planets are in the correct order or position from the Sun
3 Children hold name cards or wear costumes to represent their planet.

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SECTION 5

Speaking
Telling, singing, oral reports, discussions, explanations,
describing a process, dialogues, role play, speeches, debates,
etc
Descriptors that apply to speaking
K Relevant to the topic – show correct understanding of the science
knowledge and concepts
K Speaks audibly
K Speaks freely / openly / spontaneously shall we use a yes, i’ve got
(in the language of choice) bilingual flashcards in
K Makes sense approach? isixhosa and
K Speaks logically english to help
K Uses keywords (in English) learners
K Uses eye contact
K Uses dialect of the community
K Uses body language / expressions
K Presentation
K Creativity/initiative
Etc
.

Examples of contextualised criteria developed
from descriptors above

LO1

Assessment Task
Investigate the best way to make dirty water clean again. Explain the steps
you used to make the water clean again.

Criteria
3 Speak clearly, audibly and must make sense
3 Explain the method of making water clean (Explain all the steps correctly
and in detail)
3 Use relevant key words such as: dirty, clean, filter, solute, solvent
3 Use eye contact and relevant gestures.

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Drawing
Charts, graphs, diagrams, maps, plans, directions, posters,
illustrations, etc
Descriptors that apply to drawing
K Relevant to the topic – show correct understanding
of the science knowledge and concepts
K Heading
K Represents the object
K Clear lines
K Relevant labels
K Appropriate measurements (e.g. maths,
technology, geography, etc)
K Scale / proportion some of my learners
K Creativity / initiative already know the i write them
K Own effort words for the labels. on the board
K Presentation anyway.
K Colour (if possible)
K Key
K Graph (suitable scale,
heading, axes labelled,
points correctly plotted)
Etc

Examples of contextualised criteria developed from descriptors above

LO2
Assessment task
Read about the layers which make up the inside of the Earth.
Draw and label a diagram to describe the inside of the Earth. Show the
thickness and the positions of the layers. Name the layers.

Criteria
3 Write a suitable heading for the diagram
3 Draw clear lines showing the crust, mantle, outer core and inner
core correctly (and their relative thickness and proportion)
3 Colour the different layers
3 Label the crust, mantle, outer core and inner core correctly.

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SECTION 5

Models
Making or constructing things from different materials, etc
Descriptors that apply to models
K Relevant to the topic – show correct understanding of the science
knowledge and concepts
K Represents the object
K Scale/proportion i am going to let the
K Labels (in English) learners tell me about . . . and ask them
K Colour
the model in their own to use english to
K Key
language... label the parts.
K Explanations (paragraph)
K According to specifications
(e.g. size, materials, etc)
K Cost effective
K Creativity/initiative
K Environmentally friendly
K User friendly
K Own effort
K Presentation
Etc

Examples of contextualised criteria developed from descriptors above

LO2
Assessment Task
Describe the Earth by making a model of the Earth showing the continents, the oceans
and the air. Colour the water and the land in different colours and label them. Label
any other features that you think are important.

Criteria
Learners must be able to describe the Earth in terms of a labelled model. The model must
have the following features
3 The Earth must be a sphere
3 The continents and oceans must be more or less in the correct position
3 The continents and oceans must be labelled correctly as well as other features
chosen by the learner
3 The land and water must be coloured differently
3 Only biodegradable waste materials can be used (eg paper)
3 The model must show that the learner has made an individual effort.

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SECTION 5

Doing science practical work
Using a thermometer, measuring, carrying out a procedure,
making crystals, filtering dirty water, using a microscope
Descriptors that apply to science practical work
K Relevant to the topic – show correct understanding of the science
knowledge and concepts
K Can follow instructions
K Can carry out a method or procedure
K Can design or devise a method or procedure
K Is actively involved in doing the practical work, e.g. measuring,
manipulating equipment, etc.
K Can use objects, materials and
apparatus appropriately
K Can manipulate the apparatus
appropriately i will help the learners to name
K Can work in a careful, patient,
the apparatus in english.
logical way
K Can make the appropriate
observations
K Follow the correct safety
measures
K Can keep to the allotted time
Etc

good!
but first we must let them discuss
and think about the experiment in
their own language.
Examples of contextualised criteria developed from descriptors above

LO1
Assessment Task
Investigate the best way to grow crystals from a saturated solution of alum

Criteria
Learner must:
3 Devise his/her own method to grow the crystals
3 Set up and carry out the procedure, for example
1. Make a saturated solution
2. Grow alum crystals by evaporating some of the solution
3. Tie the alum crystal onto a thread and suspend it in the solution to grow bigger
4. Patiently see the process through to its successful conclusion.

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SECTION 5

Working in the environment
Looking after plants and animals, cleaning up the school grounds, making
compost, growing food gardens, going on field trips and outings in the
environment, etc
Descriptors that apply to working in the environment
K Relevant to the topic – show correct understanding of the
science knowledge and concepts
K Shows empathy for plants and animals
K Shows interest in growing plants and caring for them
K Cares for animals or keeps pets, etc
K Takes initiative in caring for living plants and animals in
the environment eg feeds birds, rescues animals, etc
K Enjoys being part of the natural
environment
i found some good books for
K Shows concern about threats to plants
and animals and environment identifying birds...
K Notices and records natural
phenomena
K Is keen to participate in solving social
issues to improve the local
environment, as well as the provincial,
national and international
environments
K Is keen to raise awareness about can i use them
plants, animals, and the environment next week?
K Is keen to co-opt other people into
caring for plants and animals and the environment
Examples of contextualised criteria developed from descriptors above

LO1
Assessment Task
Think of many ways to attract birds to your school garden. Write these ideas on a mind map.
Show at least two ideas on the mind map that you could investigate further to see which would
attract the most birds. Write down how you would do these investigations to find out which is
the best way to attract birds. You can write your plans of action in point form.

Criteria
Learners must:
3 Produce a mind map of feasible ideas for attracting birds to the school garden
3 Show the two ideas on the mind map that would be possible to investigate further in the school
time. (eg provide different types of food in a bird feeder or put bird feeders in different places)
3 Write a method in point form showing the sequence of steps in each investigation.

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SECTION 5

Writing
Sentences, paragraphs, poetry, letters, summaries, reports,
speeches, dialogue, debate, explanations, conclusions,
comparisons, etc
Descriptors that apply to writing
K Relevant to the topic – show correct understanding of the science
knowledge and concepts
K Heading
K Sentences
K Sentences must make sense/relevant to the topic/content
K Use of keywords
K Logical sequence
i have learners at
K Spelling me too! but some of
all language
K Punctuation my kids can already
levels in my write good english
K Grammar
class. sentences.
K Creativity/initiative
K Own effort
K Presentation
Etc

Examples of contextualised criteria developed
from descriptors above
LO3
Assessment Task
Write a paragraph on energy and the future. Name the sources of energy we use at present.
Explain why we have to find other sources of energy in the future. Give some examples
of other energy sources and how they work.

Criteria
Learners must:
3 Write a list of the energy sources we use at present
3 Write a suitable heading about energy and the future
3 Write a topic sentence explaining why we need other sources of energy
3 Write full sentences that make sense with correct punctuation
3 Use key words correctly in the explanation, for example, coal, oil, fossil fuels, non-
renewable, renewable, alternative energy sources, wind, waves, solar energy.

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SECTION 5

Doing calculations
Calculating area, volume, average temperature over a week, average
rain over a week, calculating how much electricity is used over a month,
calculating how much water the family used over a month.
Descriptors that apply to calculations
K Relevant to the topic – show correct understanding of the science knowledge and
concepts
K Use appropriate formula
K Use an appropriate mathematical method
K Use appropriate units
K Do accurate calculating
now before we start... i want
K Show the steps in the calculation
to check that everyone knows
K Complete the calculation
the formula and the units!
K Achieve the correct answer
Etc

Examples of contextualised
criteria developed from descriptors above

LO2

Assessment Task
Use the information in the diagram of the cross section of the Earth to calculate the distance around
the equator of the Earth.

Criteria
Learners must:
3Use the measurements recorded on the diagram and the formula (2πr) for calculating the
circumference
3Calculate the circumference accurately showing logical steps in the method
3Achieve the correct answer and express it in km.

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SECTION 5

Forms of assessment
Different forms of assessment are recommended for each of the different Learning
Areas. The following forms of assessment are recommended for the Natural Sciences.

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SECTION 5

A language-rich classroom

Inside the Earth
what happens in a volcano?
volcano volcano
lava

erupts
crust
lava
mantle
hot

core

when a
lava
volcano
comes
erupts, lava erupts.
out.
comes out.

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SECTION 6
Recording and reporting

Example formats
Class recording sheet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .84
Report card . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .86

83
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Example
SECTION 6

Class Recording Sheet
Learning Area .................................Class ...........Year .............Term .............

Educator ..........................................

TEACHER TASK ASSESSMENT COMMENTS Action/
Grade: Continuous Assessment Reporting
National Codes
Rating Percentages Description of
Code competence
4 70 - 100 Outstanding/
excellent
achievement
3 50 - 69 Satisfactory
achievement
Parents
Learners

Teachers

Reportcode
2 35 - 49 Partial
Support Services

achievement
1 1-34 Not achieved

Learning Outcome

Date

Learner names
SECTION 6

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SECTION 6

Example Report Card
Primary School . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

School badge

Report card for (Name): . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

...............................................

Grade / class:

Term . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Date . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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SECTION 7
Examples
Example Learning Programme (grades 4 – 7) for one term on focus strand:
Life and Living . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .91
Energy and Change . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .94
Planet Earth and Beyond . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .97
Matter and Materials . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .100
Example Work Schedule for grade 5 on focus strand
Planet Earth and Beyond . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .104
Example Lesson Plans, Assessment Tasks and criteria for focus strand
Planet Earth and Beyond
Grade 4 lesson and support material on
“Star patterns and cultural traditions” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 106
Grade 5 lesson and support material on
“What will the weather be like for the next week?” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 116
Grade 6 lesson and support material on
“Rocks and land forms” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .126

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Teacher’s Notes
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Example Lesson Plan, Assessment Task and criteria – Grade 4
Lesson Plan

Teacher . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Learning Area/s Natural Sciences
Focus strand Planet Earth and Beyond Grade 4 Duration 3 periods

Topic: Star patterns and cultural traditions
LO(s) 3 Assessment Standard(s) 1 Integration
Key skills in assessment standard/s: Life and Living
AS1 HSS (History)
Learners: Languages
Describe how some indigenous stories about the stars were used to
remember the stars/ patters of stars in the sky.
Describe how different star patterns were used to remind people of when to
dig and when to plant, and when young lovers should come home.

Science knowledge to be taught Concepts to be built
We see the Moon, stars, aeroplanes etc in the sky. The Sun is a star, a ball 3 Physical structures
of fire in the sky and the nearest star to us. k Biological structures
k Chemical structures
All stars are like our Sun, but very far away. They are always there. We
can’t see them in the day because the Sun is too bright. k Properties of matter
k Properties materials
The stars in the sky stay in the same pattern all the time, but move slowly
k Energy transfer
across the sky (in the same pattern) as the seasons change.
k Energy transformation
We give names to certain groups of stars that we can easily recognise. (We k Chemical transformation
call them constellations). They have different cultural names such as the k Physical transformation
Thutlwa (giraffes), Isilimela, the “digging stars”. They also have Western k Evolution
names e.g. .the Southern Cross, the Pleiades, Orion.
k Sustainability
Stars are used for navigation and bird migration, telling the future 3 Relative position
(astrology). The Southern Cross is used to tell us where South is. k Relative movement
k Measurable quantities
k Time
k Interdependence
k Diversity

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Example continued
Description of learning experience
(Introduction, knowledge input, learning tasks, consolidation)
Before the lesson (preferably over a weekend)
Learners look at the night sky and draw what they see. Bring drawings to class next day for
discussion.
Introduction
Learners show and tell what they saw in the sky. Teacher asks” What did you see in the sky?’ (Moon,
Stars, Clouds, Aeroplanes, etc). “How many stars did you see? Did they make a pattern of any kind
or were they evenly spread all over the sky?”
Teacher knowledge input
Teacher explains that the Sun is a star, a huge ball of fire. Some stars are brighter than others and
very far away. Teacher explains about star patterns – constellations.
Ask learners if the stars they saw formed a pattern of any kind. Ask learners if they know any
stories about the stars. Learners tell any stories they know. Teacher shows learners the sky map
from the astronomy card (See astronomy card called “Stories from the stars”) and explains how the
stars have been connected or joined up into patterns. Learners read the names of some of the stars
e.g. Betelgeuse, Aldebaran (near Orion) the Pointers (Alpha and Beta) and Alpha in the Southern
Cross, the Pleiades and Formalhout.
Learning task
AS 2 Learners work in pairs. Learners look for the Southern Cross and Orion and the Pleiades on
the star map, Canopus and Formalhout.
Teacher reads and tells the stories about the Orion and Pleiades constellations of Isilimela and the
hunter and the zebras. (See astronomy card called ‘Stories from the stars’)
Teacher tells the story about the Southern Cross and Pointers (Thutlwa – Giraffes above the tree
tops.)
Teacher tells the stories of Formalout, the ‘Kissing star’, the stars that ‘shimmer and shine’, and the
‘horn star’ Canopus.
Teacher asks the following questions and learners discuss them in groups followed by a class
discussion. Learners act out the stories.
Why did people make up stories about the stars? What do they tell us? What kind of stories would
people make up about the stars today? Why?
Teacher asks learners to ask people at home about any stories or any information they have about
the stars.

Consolidation
Learners report back what they have learnt about the stars from home. Class discussion about
stories from home.
Teacher and learners together write a summary, which includes the following:
Some facts about stars; some names of constellations; how people used the constellations and star
patterns.

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Example continued

Process Skills Resources

k Observing Astronomy cards
k Comparing Star maps
k Measuring
3 Recording information
k Sorting
k Classifying
k Predicting
k Raising questions
k Planning investigations
k Conducting investigations
k Communicating information

Lesson support
Learners with barriers (e.g. differentiated tasks, etc.)
Teacher will help learners to find the stars on the star map.

Enrichment
Learners draw and write about what they have learnt about stars
Teacher’s reflection after the lesson (What to change
and improve in the future)

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Assessment task
Teacher . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Learning Area/s Natural Sciences

Name of learner ...................................................... Grade and class 4
Focus strand Planet Earth and Beyond

Date . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . LO/s 3 AS/s 1

Topic/Title of task: Stories about the stars
Instructions
AS 1 (individual work)
Different cultures have different stories about the stars
1. Use the sky map to find the stars listed below. Draw a ring around each star or group of stars
when you find it on the star map.
The ‘giraffe’ stars (Southern Cross)
The ‘horn’ star (Canopus)
The ‘kiss me’ star (Formalhout)
The ‘planting stars’ (Isilimela or the Pleiades)
The star that ‘shimmers’ and the star that ‘shines’ (Canopus)
The ‘daughters of the sky god’ (the Pleiades).
The ‘lion watching the zebras’ (Betelgeuse)
The ‘husband’ of the sky gods daughters (Aldebaran)
2. Here is a pattern of stars in the sky.
Join the stars up to make an interesting looking constellation
Tell your story about your constellation.
The Southern Cross
and surrounding
Learners with barriers stars
Learners work in pairs to find the stars on the star maps.
To earn 80% or more
Make up a story (draw and write) about your pattern of stars in the
constellation above.

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Assessment tool
Name of learner .................................................................... Grade 4

Learning Area/s Natural Sciences Focus strand Planet Earth and Beyond

Assessor ................................................... LO/s 3 AS/s 1 Date ........................

Assessment task Y/N (tick if done,
cross if not done)
Stories about the stars
Assessment criteria
AS 1: The learners must be able to:
I Correctly identify the stars on the star map
I Join up the dots in the star pattern to make an interesting shape from which they
can develop an imaginative story
I Tell their story clearly and creatively.
To earn 80% or more
AS 1: Learners must be able to:
I Make good drawings to tell their story
I Write sentences to tell their story
I The story must make sense but can be imaginative.
Learners with barriers
Learners must be able to:
I Correctly identify the stars in the star map with help
I Act out any story about the stars.

Reporting Code 1/2/3/4

Comments

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Teacher’s Notes
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Example Lesson Plan, Assessment Task and criteria – Grade 5
Lesson Plan
Teacher . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Learning Area/s Natural Sciences
Focus strand Planet Earth and Beyond
Grade 5 Duration: 1 period plus daily readings and recording (10 minutes per day)

Topic: What will the weather be like next week?

LO(s) 1 Assessment Standard(s) 1, 2, 3 Integration
Key skills in assessment standard/s: Energy and Change
AS 1 HSS (Geography)
Learners must: Languages
List what they know about weather Mathematics
Suggest questions for investigating weather
AS 2
Carry out weather readings and draw graphs
AS 3
Report on what they have learnt from the weather readings

Science knowledge to be taught Concepts to be built
Weather is the local conditions in the atmosphere which we experience k Physical structures
every day. k Biological structures
k Chemical structures
Weather reports on TV and in synoptic charts tell us what weather to expect.
They are merely predictions. k Properties of matter
k Properties materials
We can keep a record of the weather by measuring temperature, wind speed,
k Energy transfer
3 Energy transformation
and the amount of rainfall.
Units for measuring: k Chemical transformation
Temperature = ºC 3 Physical transformation
Wind speed = km per hour using the Beaufort scale k Evolution
k Sustainability
Rainfall = mm
k Relative position
Symbols on synoptic chart k Relative movement
3 Measurable quantities
k Time
k Interdependence
k Diversity

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Example continued

Description of learning experience
(Introduction, knowledge input, learning tasks, consolidation)

Introduction
Class discussion and questions about the weather. We usually take notice of the weather
every day. Why do we? How does rainy, windy and hot or cold weather affect us? Why do
we sometimes say the weather is bad? Discuss the TV weather report. Are the weather
reports always correct? Why not?
AS 1: Make a list on the board with learners of everything they know about weather.
Learners in groups think up some questions about the weather. Record the questions on
the board and decide which are testable and which are researchable. Lead them to the
question “How do we record changes in the weather?” “What will the weather be like for
the next week?”

Teacher knowledge input
Learners read weather (synoptic) charts from the newspaper. Teacher explains what the
symbols mean and how to read synoptic charts. Learners read the temperature in their
own city for the day and read the wind speed off the chart.
Teacher shows learners how to use thermometers and the Beaufort scale. Helps learners
set up a coffee jar in the garden to catch rainwater. Shows them how to measure the
depth in mm with a ruler.

Learning task
AS 2: Learners work in groups of three and measure the temp and the wind speed and
the rainfall (if any for the day). Draw a chart and record the weather readings in their
books.

Day and date Rain Sunny or cloudy Symbol Wind speed Temperature

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Example continued

Consolidation
AS3 Teacher helps groups to compare readings and discuss how accurate they were.
Teacher assists learners who had difficulties when taking readings.

Process Skills Resources

3 Observing
Synoptic charts, thermometers, jam jars
and rulers, Beaufort scale chart, science
3 Comparing notebooks for recording
3 Measuring
3 Recording information
k Sorting
k Classifying
3 Predicting
3 Raising questions
3 Planning investigations
3 Conducting investigations
3 Communicating information

Lesson support
Learners with barriers (e.g. differentiated tasks, etc.)
Teacher will help learners to do their measurements and record them.

Enrichment
Learners draw and write to tell about what they have learnt about weather.

Teacher’s reflection after the lesson (What to change and improve in the
future)

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Assessment task
Teacher . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Learning Area/s Natural Sciences

Name of learner . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Grade and class 5

Focus strand Planet Earth and Beyond

Date ............................ LO/s 1 AS/s 1, 2, 3

Topic: What will the weather be like for the next week?

Instructions
AS 1 (individual work)
1. Write down two questions you would like to ask about the weather.
Questions 1:
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Question 2:
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.....................................................................................
AS 2 (Group work)
2. Observe the weather every day for a week.
Measure the temperature of the air every day at the same time.
Measure the rainfall. Place an empty coffee bottle outside to catch the rain. Measure how
deep the water is every day in mm (millimetres). Empty the bottle out again after you have
measured the amount of water for that day. Then leave it outside again to catch any rain in
the next 24 hours until you measure it again.
Use the wind chart (Beaufort scale) to observe and decide on the wind speed.
Make a chart like the one below and record the weather every day.

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SECTION 7

Example continued

Sunny or
Day Rain Symbol Wind speed Temperature
cloudy

Sunday

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

Learners with barriers
Teacher helps learners to use the instruments correctly for the first few times, to
measure the weather. Teacher helps them to record their readings correctly on the table.
AS 3 (Individual work)

To earn 80% or more
Draw 3 bar graphs to show:
The changes in the temperature readings over the whole week: x-axis (horizontal) = days
of the week; y-axis (vertical) = temperature
The changes to the wind speed over the whole week: x-axis (horizontal) = days of the
week; y-axis (vertical) = wind speed
The changes to the rainfall over the whole week: x-axis (horizontal) = days of the week;
y-axis (vertical) = amount of rain
If there was no wind and no rainfall then you will not be able to draw the graphs.
Or
Cut out the synoptic charts from the newspaper every day in the same week when you are
taking weather measurements.
Then make a table like the one above and record the temperature, wind speed and
rainfall from the synoptic chart onto your table.
Compare it with the actual readings you took for the same week. Are they the same? Can
you explain why or why not?

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SECTION 7

Assessment tool
Name of learner .................................................................... Grade 5

Learning Area/s Natural Sciences Focus strand Planet Earth and Beyond

Assessor ................................................... LO/s 3 AS/s 1 Date ...............

Assessment task Y/N (tick if
done, cross if
What will the weather be like for the next week? not done)

Assessment criteria
AS 1
The learners must be able to:
I Write two appropriate questions about the weather. Each question must be in the proper
form of a question and must make sense.
AS 2
I Take and record readings every day on the chart
I Use a thermometer correctly and record the temperature in ºC
I Set up a bottle to collect rainwater and correctly measure the amount collected in mm
I Use the Beaufort wind scale correctly to decide on the wind strength. Record it correctly
in Km/h.
To earn 80% or more
AS 3
Learners must be able to:
I Draw the bar graphs correctly. The following must be present
– The axes must be correctly labelled
– There must be a suitable heading
– The scale must be correct
– The points must be correctly plotted
– The graphs must be neat.
Or
The learners must:
I Show the synoptic charts cut from the newspaper every day in the same week that they
took measurements
I Correctly read the temperature, wind speed and rainfall from the synoptic chart and
record it onto their table
I Give good reasons why their readings may not be the same as those in the synoptic charts
(because the synoptic charts are predicted weather whilst their own readings are actual).

Learners with barriers
Learners must be able to take weather recordings with the help of the teacher.

Reporting Code 1/2/3/4

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SECTION 7

Example continued

Assessment task: What will the weather be like for the next week? (cont.)
Comments

122
SECTION 7

My own weather chart

Day Rain Sunny or cloudy Symbol Wind speed Temperature

Sunday

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

KEY

cloudy Rain

Sunny Partly cloudy

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SECTION 7

Beaufort Scale of Wind Speed

Beaufort Official Speed of What you will see
number description wind km/h

0 Calm Less than Leaves and trees are
1 km/h not moving; smoke
rises straight up.

1 Light air 1km/h Smoke follows the
direction of the wind.

2 Light breeze 2km/h You can feel the wind
on your face; you
can see leaves
moving a little bit.

3 Gentle breeze 10km/h Leaves and small
twigs are moving all
the time; washing will
flap in the wind.

4 Moderate 20km/h The wind blows dust
breeze and small papers;
small branches are
moving.

5 Fresh breeze 30km/h Small leafy trees
begin to sway; the
wind makes waves
on water.

6 Strong breeze 40km/h Large branches are
moving; the wind
whistles through the
telephone wires; it
becomes difficult to
use an umbrella.

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SECTION 7

7 Near gale 60km/h Whole trees move
and sway; it is not
easy to walk against
the wind.

8 Gale 80km/h Twigs break off the
trees and fly away in
the wind; it becomes
very difficult to walk
against the wind.

9 Strong gale 90km/h The wind begins to
damage houses (e.g.
tiles blow off roofs)

10 Storm 100km/h A strong wind like
this does not happen
very often on land.
Trees fall over and a
lot of damage is
done to houses.

11 Violent storm 200km/h This very seldom
occurs. This wind
causes damage to
trees, plants,
buildings, ships, etc

12 Hurricane More than This is a very bad
200km/h and dangerous
storm.

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SECTION 7

Example Lesson Plan, Assessment Task and criteria – Grade 6
Lesson Plan
Teacher . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Learning Area/s Natural Sciences
Focus strand Planet Earth and Beyond
Grade 6 Duration: 4–6 periods

Topic: Rocks and land forms

LO(s) 2 Assessment Standard(s) 1, 2, 3 Integration
Key skills in assessment standard/s SS (Geography)
Learners must: Languages
AS 1
Name igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks
Describe landforms and how different rocks are made
AS 2
Categorise the different rock types using more than one variable
AS 3
Interpret information from readings and from the drawing of the rock cycle

Science knowledge to be taught Concepts to be built
Inside structure of the Earth: (Inner core, outer core, mantle, crust) 3 Physical structures
k Biological structures
Igneous rock e.g. pumice, granite (most common rock in continents) formed
k Chemical structures
from magma which pushes up into the crust or erupts through volcanoes
3 Properties of matter
and hardens to form rock.
3 Properties materials
Sedimentary rocks e.g. sandstone, limestone and coal. Sedimentary rock
k Energy transfer
formed by weathering (wind, water, heat & cold, wave action) and deposition
k Energy transformation
of sediments in successive layers (in the river, next to river after floods, in
k Chemical transformation
the sea). Sediments settle in layers or strata on the surface of the Earth or
under the sea. 3 Physical transformation
k Evolution
Metamorphic rocks. e.g. slate and marble and gemstones. These are formed
k Sustainability
by further bending, squeezing and heating of igneous and sedimentary rocks
k Relative position
deep inside the Earth’s crust.
k Relative movement
Landforms: mountains, river, flood plain, lake, river delta, volcano, seashore, k Measurable quantities
estuary, strata under the sea.
k Time
k Interdependence
k Diversity

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SECTION 7

Example continued
:

Description of learning experience
(Introduction, knowledge input, learning tasks, consolidation)

Introduction
Ask each learner to bring a few rocks and stones to school. Some will also bring
concrete and bricks. Help learners to sort them into man made and natural “rocks”.
Discard the bricks and concrete.
Learning task 1: Get learners to talk and write. They must describe the colour &
appearance, and texture of the natural rocks, and then write it. Help them with any new
vocabulary. Ask learners to think up some questions about their rocks. (How? What?
Why? Where?)

Knowledge input
Teacher asks: How is concrete made? (Mix water, cement and sand. A chemical reaction
occurs and it hardens into concrete) How is brick made? (Mix clay, coal dust and straw
and then bake until hard). But how are natural rocks made? Teacher explains about the
layers inside the Earth using a diagram. Teacher explains that the mantle is made of hot
molten rock, which heats up the lower layers of the crust. (see support material)
Teacher explains how igneous rock is formed. Teacher shows learners some pumice stone
and some granite.
Learner task 2: Learners read support material about volcanoes and igneous rock and
write answers to the following questions: What does the name “igneous” mean? What is
magma? How are igneous rocks made?

Knowledge input
Teacher asks “What happens to rocks after they are made? “How did rock get into the
small pieces like the ones you brought?” Teacher explains about weathering and
deposition. Teacher demonstrates how particles are deposited in layers to make
sedimentary rock:
I Mix sand and red lentils in a bottle of water. Shake it up and allow to settle in
layers.
I Make layers of sliced white and brown bread to show strata. Squash them down to
show how the strata become squashed and eventually formed rock.
Teacher shows example of sandstone and coal.
Learner task 3: Learners read about sedimentary rocks. Write answers to the following
question. “Why do sedimentary rocks have layers (strata)?”

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SECTION 7

Example continued
Knowledge input
Teacher explains how metamorphic rocks are formed. Teacher bends and squeezes the pile of
bread strata to show how the forces and heat in the Earth’s crust change sedimentary rock
into metamorphic rock. Shows examples of slate and marble, and pictures of gemstones.
Learner task 4: Learners write answers to the following question. “What happens to
sedimentary rock as it turns into metamorphic rock?”
Consolidation
Teacher explains the rock cycle using a diagram (see support materials).
Teacher makes sure the learners know the following landforms: mountains, river, flood plain,
lake, river delta, volcano, seashore, estuary, strata under the sea.
Process Skills Resources

k Observing
Textbooks with articles about rocks and
k Comparing how they are made.
k Measuring Rock samples: slate, pumice, sandstone,
3 Recording information granite, marble
k Sorting
3 Classifying Pictures of gemstones
k Predicting Rock cycle pictures
k Raising questions
k Planning investigations
k Conducting investigations
k Communicating information

Lesson support
Learners with barriers (e.g. differentiated tasks, etc.)
Learners draw and label examples of rocks and the bread strata with help from teacher

Enrichment
Learners will research about gemstones in a library. Visit to the Mineral World, museum, quarry, a mine, a road
cutting where you can see strata.

Teacher’s reflection after the lesson (What to change and improve in the future)
........................................................................

........................................................................

........................................................................

........................................................................

........................................................................

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SECTION 7

Assessment task
Teacher . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Learning Area/s Natural Sciences

Name of learner . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Grade and class 6
Focus strand Planet Earth and Beyond
Date ............................
LO/s 2 AS/s 1, 2, 3

Topic/Title of task: Igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks
Instructions
1. Look at the examples/pictures of different rocks. Sort them into igneous,
sedimentary and metamorphic rocks. Then complete the table below.

Questions Igneous Rocks Sedimentary Rocks Metamorphic Rocks

Draw and label examples

Write:
What do they look like?

Write:
How are they made?

2. What would you still like to know about rocks? Write at least three questions that
you still have about rocks.

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SECTION 7

Example continued
3. Look at the picture of the rock cycle. Write the labels in the correct places.
Labels:
River
Lake
River delta
River estuary
Magma (molten rocks)
Volcano making igneous rock
Mountains made of rock
Rain causing weathering
Sediment washing down in the river to the sea
Sediment deposited on the flood plain
Land
Seashore
Land under the sea
Sediments deposited under the sea in layers to make sedimentary rock.
Some sediments are melting and bending to make metamorphic rock
To earn 80% or more
Write to explain what is happening in the rock cycle and how the different kinds of rocks are made.
Learners with barriers:
1. Draw the pictures of the different kinds of rock
2. Make labels to tell something about each one
3. Teacher provides the information in the table and learners sort it into the correct column in the table.
4. Information for the table for learners with barriers. Information to be supplied by teacher.

Questions Igneous Rocks Sedimentary Rocks Metamorphic Rocks

Draw and label Pumice and granite Sandstone and coal Marble, slate and
examples gemstones

What do they They have small crystals They have layers (strata). They are very hard,
look like? in them. Sandstone is rough and coal smooth, shiny or glassy.
Pumice is grey and feels is black.
light. Granite is black and
grey mottled.
How are they Made from molten rock By weathering of the rocks. By bending and heating
made? that is pushed up into the The pieces and particles are igneous and sedimentary
crust or through washed into rivers and into rocks deep in the Earth’s
volcanoes onto the the sea and deposited in crust
surface of the Earth. layers. Layers are squashed
over time.

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SECTION 7

Assessment tool
Name of learner .................................................................... Grade 6

Learning Area/s Natural Sciences Focus strand Planet Earth and Beyond

Assessor ................................................... LO/s 2 AS/s 1, 2, 3 Date . . . . . . . . . . . .

Assessment task
Y/N (tick if
Naming, describing and sorting rocks.
done, cross
Interpreting a diagram of the rock cycle if not done)
Writing about the rock cycle

Assessment criteria
AS 1 and 2
The learners must be able to:
I Correctly describe information in a table about each kind of rock.
I Correctly describe at least two distinguishing features of each rock type.
I Correctly describe in a table how each rock type is made (igneous from molten rock,
sedimentary from weathering and deposition, metamorphic rocks form from heat and
bending and squeezing of rocks in the Earth’s crust.)
I Write three appropriate questions that they still have about rocks.
AS 3
I Learners write the given labels on the diagram of the rock cycle.

Learners with barriers
AS 1 and 2
I Learners draw examples of igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks. Teacher helps
learners to write correct headings and labels to describe rocks correctly. (Colour, textures,
etc.)
I Learners sort the given information from the table into the correct column in the table.

To earn 80% or more
I Learners write and draw a correct description of the rock cycle.
I The writing follows a logical sequence.
I Learners use the key words correctly when describing the processes in the rock cycle.

Reporting Code 1/2/3/4

Comments

131
132
The rock cycle
SECTION 7

Description of the processes of rock formation

Land being
pushed up to 6. Rivers transport particles of
5. Rocks and mountains undergo form mountains weathered rock (sediments) to flood
weathering from heat, cold, wind
and water.

Flood plain plains and the
sea.
4. Magma forms Sea 7. Sediments sink to
igneous rock the bottom of the
sea in layers near
3. Some magma the edge of the
escapes to the continent. The
surface through Sediment
Continent Crust under the sea
a volcano. Magma
layers are called
2. Pools of magma strata.
form in the crust. 8. Sediments eventually
Crust under the form layers of
Some stays there continent
and cools down to Mantle sedimentary rock due
form igneous rock. to pressure from the
Melting rocks
layers of sediment and water
1. Molten rock rises. above.
9. As the ocean crust moves and
bends it pushes against the
continent crust. Because the
10. Later more rock can be pushed further below
ocean crust is weaker it gets
the crust where it melts and becomes magma
pushed under the continent.
again.
During this pushing the
The rock cycle
Land being pushed up to form mountains

Flood plain

Sea

Sediment Crust under the sea
Continent
Magma

Crust under the continent
Mantle

Melting rocks

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SECTION 7
SECTION 7

Support material
Layers inside the Earth
The inner core is made of metals. It is solid and very hot. The outer
core is made of hot melted (molten) metals. The mantle is very hot. It
is made of melted (molten) rock called magma. The magma of the
mantle is moving all the time.
The crust is made of cooled rocks but the crust moves and bends all
the time. The crust can also crack in places where it is weak. We can
feel it moving and cracking when there is an earthquake.

The internal structure of the Earth Crust

Mantle
This drawing of our Earth cut through the
Outer core
middle, shows the layers that scientists
think make up the Earth. Earth’s crust is Inner core
about 35km deep under the continents.
It is only 5km deep under the sea.

Igneous rocks
Magma cools down
Igneous rocks are made from
magma (melted rock).
Magma is very hot and it comes
from underneath the outer crust
of the Earth.
It pushes up inside the crust and
slowly cools to form rocks such as
granite. We often use granite to
make gravestones and buildings
because it looks good and is very
hard.
Granite is a grey and black
spotted rock with small crystals in
it. Another igneous rock is Basalt.
It is a smooth hard black rock.
Igneous means ‘made by heat
and fire’. Granite

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SECTION 7

Igneous rocks (cont.)
Lava erupts out of volcanoes
Sometimes the magma pushes all the way
up to the surface (erupts) and explodes
out of the crust through a volcano (a
weak spot on the crust causing an
opening in the crust).
When the burning hot magma comes out
of the crust it is called lava. It mixes with
the air and gets air bubbles trapped
inside it. When it cools it forms a rock
called pumice stone. We sometimes use
pumice stone to rub our feet when we
soak our feet. Pumice is rough like
We use pumice stone to make our feet
sandpaper. It makes our feet smooth.

Sedimentary rocks
Rocks broken down by
weathering
Sedimentary rocks are formed
from other rocks that have been
broken into pieces by the weather
(rain, wind, snow, heat and cold).
The small pieces of broken rock
are called sediments. They wash
down into the river when it rains.
When the river floods the
sediments are carried by the
water over the banks of the river
and deposited next to the river in
the flood plain. More sediments
are deposited on top of the first
sediment every time the river
floods. A lot of sediment also
washes into the sea where it Sandstone
forms layers.

Sediments make layers called Layers or strata
strata
Eventually the top layers of
sediments begin to squash down
on the lower layers. They squeeze
together to form rock again. Rock
made in this way is called
sedimentary rock. Sedimentary
rock always has layers like a
sandwich. The layers are called
strata.
Sandstone is a sedimentary rock. Sedimentary rock

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SECTION 7

Sedimentary rocks (cont.)
Rocks from plants and animals
Some sedimentary rocks are made from
layers of dead animals that fall to the
bottom of the sea. Over a long time there
will be many layers of dead animals and
seashells. They form a sedimentary rock called
limestone.
Coal is also a sedimentary rock. It was made
from dead trees and plants that died and were
buried under sediments a long time ago. They have Coal
been squeezed into hard black rock.
Sedimentary means, “Made from layers of sediment”

Metamorphic rocks
Metamorphic rocks are
made from igneous and
sedimentary rocks that
have been pressed or
heated so much that they
melt and change. Then
they cool down again. The
pressing and heating can
happen under the sea or
under the continents
where it is hot.
When the Earth heats
limestone it changes to a
rock called marble. Marble
is a very beautiful, hard,
white stone. We use it for
making statues and
beautiful floor tiles. Marble

Slate
Sedimentary rock called
shale can be changed into
a hard black metamorphic
rock called slate. Some old
school chalkboards were
made of slate. We also use
slate for floor tiles.
Metamorphic means,
“changed”.

Slate

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