School Improvement in Maryland

Using the State Curriculum: Science, Grade 4




State Curriculum Toolkit

Tools aligned to State Curriculum indicators and/or objectives.

  • Clarification of Indicator and/or Objective
    Explanation and/or examples of indicator and/or objective
  • Introduction for Standard or Indicator
  • Lesson Seeds
    Ideas/seeds for an objective-aligned activity
  • Public Release Items
    Actual MSA items and annotated student responses as appropriate

Standard 5.0 Physics

Students will use scientific skills and processes to explain the interactions of matter and energy and the energy transformations that occur


B. Thermodynamics


  • 1. Provide evidence that heat can be transferred in different ways.
  1. Recognize and explain that heat can be transferred either by direct contact between objects at different temperatures or without direct contact.
    • A spoon in hot water
    • Heat from a flame
  2. Observe, describe, and compare materials that readily conduct heat and those that do not conduct heat very well.
  3. Classify materials as conductors or insulators based on how easily heat flows through them.



  1. Observe and describe how to produce static charges by friction between two surfaces.
  2. Observe the phenomena produced by the static charges.
    • Light
    • Sound
    • Feeling a shock
    • Attracting lightweight materials over a distance without making contact


  • 2. Investigate and provide evidence that electricity requires a closed loop in order to produce measurable effects.
  1. Identify the source of electricity needed to produce various effects:
    • Light - flashlight (battery)
    • Heat - hot plate, hairdryer (outlet, battery)
    • Sound - Ipod (battery) , doorbell(electrical wiring)
    • Movement - mechanical toys (battery, outlet)
  2. Investigate and describe (orally or with diagrams) how to light a light bulb or sound a buzzer given a battery, wires, and light bulb or buzzer.
  3. Describe and compare the path of electricity (circuit) within this system that caused the light to light or the buzzer to sound to those that do not affect the light or buzzer.
  4. Observe, describe and compare materials that readily conduct electricity and those that do not conduct electricity.
  5. Provide evidence from observations and investigations that electrical circuits require a complete loop through which electricity can pass.


  • 3. Cite evidence supporting that forces can act on objects without touching them.
  1. Investigate and describe the effect that two magnets have on each other.
    • Like poles repel
    • Opposite poles attract
  2. Based on observations, describe the effect of a magnet on a variety of objects including those that are metallic or non-metallic; those made with iron or made with other metals; and on other magnets.
  3. Compare a compass to a magnet based on observations of the effect a variety of objects (metallic or non-metallic; those made with iron or other metals; and magnets) have on a compass.
  4. Provide examples to demonstrate the different ways a magnet acts on objects and how the objects respond.
  5. Investigate and describe how electricity in a wire affects the needle of a compass.
  6. Describe how to make a simple electromagnet with a battery, a nail, and wire.
  7. Cite examples showing that magnetic, electrical, and gravitational forces can act at a distance.

Note: Highlighting identifies assessment limits. All highlighted Indicators will be tested on the Grades 5 and 8 MSA. The highlighted Objectives under each highlighted Indicator identify the limit to which MSA items can be written. Although all content standards are tested on MSA, not all Indicators and Objectives are tested. Objectives that are not highlighted will not be tested on MSA, however are an integral part of Instruction.

January 2008