Creating CLEAR Curriculum Activities

We are creating curriculum materials for research on cumulative learning by identifying core scientific ideas, adding new mechanisms for knowledge integration, and following a partnership design process. Core energy concepts will be provided in four common TELS instructional units: Plate Tectonics, Thermodynamics, Global Climate Change, and Photosynthesis. One of these instructional units will be administered at the beginning of each grade level.

These units serve three main goals:

  1. They introduce centralizing concepts about energy
  2. They introduce and scaffold student use of energy stories, MySystem diagrams, models and simulations, and experiments involving probes and sensors
  3. They provide the energy underpinnings necessary for the CLEAR curricular units students will encounter during that grade level
The introductory units supplement basic experiments with interactive models and simulations that allow students to experience the molecular and phenomenological roots of the units' energy ideas. Additional CLEAR curriculum units build on the basis supplied by the introductory units. Common concepts carry through the year or across grade levels.

The current CLEAR curriculum focuses on improving 6th and 7th grade students’ understanding of energy concepts, but it has potential advantages for preparing students to continue developing cumulative knowledge of energy in 8th grade and beyond.