Elementary Science and the North Carolina Science Essential Standards

    ES science

    The North Carolina Science Essential Standards are the curriculum articulated for students in grades K-12 science. The Science Essential Standards are categorized into three strands: Earth Science, Life Science and Physical Science. At each grade level, the Essential Standards are further described as they relate to the Next Generation of Science Standards (eg. Earth History, Molecular Biology, and Matter: Properties and Change). All WS/FCS students should receive rigorous and engaging instruction based on the NC Science Essential Standards. Referencing these documents will support science educators and parents in planning experiences that support student mastery of the science curriculum “to ensure that they graduate from high school" and they are "prepared for life in the 21st Century."


    K-12 Science Essential Standards

    Unpacked Content
    Unpacked Content contain descriptions of what each standards means a student will know, understand, and be able to do. The "unpacking" of the standards done in these documents reflect an effort to answer a simple question, " What does this standard mean that a student must know and be able to do?" The following Unpacked Content documents are grade specific and should help with planning engaging activities for students:

    Grade Unpacked Documents


    Kindergarten Unpacked

    1st Grade

    First Grade Unpacked 

    2nd Grade   

    Second Grade Unpacked

    3rd Grade

    Third Grade Unpacked

    4th Grade

    Fourth Grade Unpacked

    5th Grade

    Fifth Grade Unpacked

    Elementary Science Scope and Sequence

    By definition, scope is the breadth and depth of content to be covered in curriculum at any time (eg. week, term, year, over a student's school life). Sequence is the order in which content is presented to learners over time. It is the order in which you do it. Together a scope and sequence bring order to the delivery of content, supporting the maximizing of student learning and offering sustained opportunities for learning. Absent an articulated scope and sequence, there is a risk of fragmented content delivery and gaps in learning progressions. Below is the WS/FCS Elementary Science Scope and Sequence.

    WS/FCS Elementary Science Scope and Sequence 2020-2021


    Course Blueprints

    To assist with pacing, we recommend the following course blueprint documents for planning purposes. 

    Course Blueprint (2020-2021)


    Kindergarten Course Blueprint

    First Grade

    First Grade Course Blueprint

    Second Grade

    Second Grade Course Blueprint

    Third Grade 

    Third Grade Course Blueprint 

    Fourth Grade

    Fourth Grade Course Blueprint

    Fifth Grade  

    Fifth Grade Course Blueprint

    STC and Inquiry for K-5 Science
    The use of Science and Technology for Children (STC) kits has been a sustainable instructional practice in providing stimulating experiences for students in science. The use of STC kits provide students opportunities to think critically and problem-solve. Below is the correlation document for the STC kits adopted by Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools.

     Science Grading Rubrics
    Students in Kindergarten, First, and Second Grades do not receive grades based on the traditional grading scale. However, grades in K-2 Science are determined by levels of content mastery. To assist with grading, we recommend the following rubrics for assessing mastery in science. Rubrics have been created for grades 3-5 as well.  



    North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) Science Updates

    The Department of Public Instruction is developing a wide array of instructional resources to support educators in the implementation of the North Carolina Science Essential Standards.These resources include but are not limited to formative assessment resources, literacy resources, assessment samples, references tables (HS), and unit support packs (ES). Visit https://sites.google.com/dpi.nc.gov/k-12science/home to view these resources. The navigation bar provides links to resources developed by NC DPI Science consultants. Membership is not required for use of the contents of this google site.

    WS/FCS Science Teacher Resources

    The Elementary Science Department uses PowerSchool Learning Management System for sharing state and local planning and lesson resources.  For access to PowerSchool Learning, contact your schools Technology Specialist to help you with your personal login and password.  The Technology Specialist can get you into the Science Resources Pages.  With PowerSchool Learning you can create their own safe virtual classrooms with ease. All curriculum resources have been included in PowerSchool Learning for your access.