Scope & Sequence

Middle School Scope & Sequence

This Scope and Sequence articulates how OpenSciEd’s middle school program is organized into bundles of performance expectations (PEs) used to design a target outcome, how the ideas in each unit build on prior learning, and how the three dimensions of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) are reflected in the PE bundles.

Scope and Sequence Visual for the OpenSciEd standards across grades 6-8.

The OpenSciEd unit map shows each PE bundle as an object in the diagram. Connections between the PEs are shown as arrows. A connection means more than a simple prerequisite relationship. If two PE bundles are connected, e.g., Units 6.2 to 6.4, that means that the unit designed for the second PE bundle (6.4) will involve students in revisiting and discussing what they learned about a particular PE as they work on understanding the phenomenon in this current unit. Students’ new models in 6.4 will require them to revise and extend the prior versions of some PEs from 6.2. The connections between PE bundles may be within a Disciplinary Core Ideas (DCI) strand or between strands.

Focal Science and Engineering Practices

The Focal Science and Engineering Practices (SEPs) are the SEPs on which the unit focuses. These are the SEPs that play a major role in explaining phenomena and solving problems in the unit. Of course, the NGSS SEPs work together to support explaining phenomena and solving problems, so each unit typically brings in other SEPs as needed.

Like the DCIs, these practices are used and built incrementally across units in our middle school science lesson plans. The symbol “✓✓” indicates a focal practice for which the unit includes explicit supports to further develop elements of the practice. The symbol “✓” indicates a focal practice used in the unit, but for which further development of elements of the practice are not targeted.

Note: These tables represent our current plan. The focal practices may change as each unit is developed.

Focal Crosscutting Concepts

The Focal Crosscutting Concepts (CCCs) are the CCCs on which the unit focuses. These are the CCCs that play a major role in explaining the phenomena and solving problems in the unit. Units typically bring in other crosscutting concepts, as appropriate, in addition to these focal ones. Note: These tables represent our current plan. The focal CCCs may change as our middle school science lesson plans are developed.

To read more about the Middle School Science Curriculum’s Scope and Sequence, including the summary of the heuristics used to construct the sequence, download the document below.

High School Scope & Sequence

This OpenSciEd High School scope and sequence proposes both an order for courses and content within courses. In the OpenSciEd sequence, students would begin by taking biology, then chemistry, and then physics. Earth and space science is integrated throughout. This is informed by the most common ordering of courses across the country. Each course will provide students with multiple opportunities to engage with DCIs, SEPs, and CCCs targeted in the performance expectations, with scaffolding fading over the course of the year in each dimension. All the performance expectations in high school science, including the engineering standards, are included within the three year sequence.

Because the physical science (PS) performance expectations include both chemistry and physics content, these PEs are divided across different courses. Considerations for how these were divided includes: 

  1. which ideas were foundational for subsequent learning; 
  2. advice from state and district science coordinators and high school teachers.

The integration of earth and space science (ESS) and engineering (ETS) standards was thoughtfully considered. The PEs bundled within units were identified as having the potential of working synergistically with and/or supporting students in deepening three dimensional understandings of life and physical science PEs in each course. 

To read more about the High School Science Scope and Sequence, including the summary of the units, download the document below.