School Improvement in Maryland

Using the State Curriculum: Science, Grade 6




State Curriculum Toolkit

Tools aligned to State Curriculum indicators and/or objectives.

  • Introduction for Standard or Indicator
  • Public Release Items
    Actual MSA items and annotated student responses as appropriate

Standard 6.0 Environmental Science

Students will use scientific skills and processes to explain the interactions of environmental factors (living and non-living) and analyze their impact from a local to a global perspective.


A. Natural Resources and Human Needs


  • 1. Recognize and compare how different parts of the world have varying amounts and types of natural resources and how the use of those resources impacts environmental quality.
  1. Identify and describe natural resources as
    • Land
    • Fossil Fuels
    • Forests
    • Water
    • Wind
    • Minerals
    • Wildlife
  2. Identify and describe the distribution of natural resources around the Earth
  3. Identify and describe how the natural change processes may be affected by human activities.
    • Agriculture
    • Beach Preservation
    • Mining
    • Development/construction
    • Stream/river alteration
  4. Identify and describe problems associated with obtaining, using, and distributing natural resources.
  5. Identify possible solutions to problems associated with obtaining, using, and distributing natural resources.


B. Environmental Issues


  • 1. Recognize and explain that human-caused changes have consequences for Maryland's environment as well as for other places and future times.
  1. Identify and describe a range of local issues that have an impact on people in other places.
  2. Recognize and describe how environmental change in one part of the world can have consequences for other parts of the world.
  3. Identify and describe that ecosystems can be impacted by human activities.
    • Protection of the Chesapeake Bay watershed
    • Resource acquisition and use
    • Land use decisions (agriculture, mining, and development)
    • Recycling
    • Use and disposal of toxic substances

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