Syllabus 2012-2013


Massachusetts Frameworks for Inquiry

Upon completion of 7th grade, students in the Franklin Public School will be able to:

1. Formulate a testable hypothesis.

2. Design and conduct an experiment specifying variables to be changed, controlled, and measured.

3. Select appropriate tools and technology (e.g., calculators, computers, thermometers, meter sticks, balances, graduated cylinders, and microscopes), and make quantitative observations.

4. Present and explain data and findings using multiple representations, including tables, graphs, mathematical and physical models, and demonstrations.

5. Draw conclusions based on data or evidence presented in tables or graphs, and make inferences based on patterns or trends in the data.

6. Communicate procedures and results using appropriate science and technology terminology.

7. Offer explanations of procedures, and critique and revise them.

We will also strive to sharpen student’s attention to detail as they go about designing, conducting and analyzing the results of experiments..


Massachusetts Frameworks for Earth and Space Science

Upon completion of 7th grade, students in the Franklin Public Schools will be able to:

1. Differentiate among radiation, conduction and convection, the three mechanisms by which heat is transferred through the Earth’s system.

2. Explain the relationship among the energy provided by the sun, the global patterns of atmospheric movement and the temperature differences among water, land and atmosphere.

3. Recognize that gravity is a force that pulls all things on and near the Earth toward the center of the Earth.  Gravity plays a major role in the formation of the planets, stars, and solar system and in determining their motions.

4. Compare and contrast properties and conditions of objects in the solar system (i.e., sun, planets and moons) to those on Earth (i.e., gravitational force, distance from the sun, speed, movement, temperature and atmospheric conditions).

5. Explain how the tilt of the Earth and its revolution around the sun result in an uneven heating of the Earth, which in turn causes the seasons.

6. Recognize that the universe contains many billions of galaxies, and that each galaxy contains many billions of stars.


Massachusetts Frameworks for Life Science

Upon completion of 7th grade, students in the Franklin Public Schools will be able to:

1. Give examples of ways in which organisms interact and have different functions within an ecosystem that enable the ecosystem to survive.

2. Explain the roles and relationships among producers, consumers, and decomposers in the process of energy transfer in a food web.

3. Explain how dead plants and animals are broken down by other living organisms and how this process contributes to the system as a whole.

4. Recognize that producers (plants that contain chlorophyll) use the energy from sunlight to make sugars from carbon dioxide and water through a process called photosynthesis.  This food can be used immediately, stored for later use, or used by other organisms.

5. Identify ways in which ecosystems have changed throughout geologic time in response to physical conditions, interactions among organisms, and the actions of humans.  Describe how changes may be catastrophes such as volcanic eruptions or ice storms.


Massachusetts Frameworks for Physical Science

Upon completion of 7th grade, students in the Franklin Public Schools will be able to:

1. Differentiate between weight and mass, recognizing that weight is the amount of gravitational pull on an object and mass is the amount of matter in an object.

2. Differentiate between volume and mass. Define density.

3. Recognize that the measurement of volume and mass requires understanding of the sensitivity of measurement tools (e.g., rulers, graduated cylinders, balances) and knowledge and appropriate use of significant digits.

4. Explain and give examples of how the motion of an object can be described by its position, direction of motion, and speed.

5. Graph and interpret distance vs. time graphs for constant speed.

6. Differentiate between potential and kinetic energy.  Identify situations where kinetic energy is transformed into potential energy and vice versa.

7. Recognize that heat is a form of energy and that temperature change results from adding or taking away heat from a system.

8. Explain the effect of heat on particle motion through a description of what happens to particles during a change in phase.

9. Give examples of how heat moves in predictable ways, moving from warmer objects to cooler ones until they reach equilibrium.