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Mount Mansfield Unified Union School District

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We believe the main focus of science instruction has shifted from “learning about” to “figuring out. At the anchor of every science unit, students are exploring puzzling phenomena and observable events in their world that lead them to discover relevant scientific ideas. 

In MMUUSD, students are actively developing their science and engineering practices across units. They are not just constructing understanding of core concepts, they are also developing the habits that all scientists use. These science and engineering practices are lifelong skills that endure inside and beyond school.

  • Investigating puzzling questions about our world through Inquiry
  • Modeling to describe the way things work
  • Communicating ideas supported with evidence
  • Engineering to design solutions to problems

This way of teaching science enables students to:

  • Develop a deeper understanding of science beyond memorizing facts, 
  • Connect science ideas to their everyday life and interests
  • Experience engineering as they plan and test their solutions to problems 

Big Science Questions Explored in Grade 2

Organisms: Plants & Animals help Each Other
(Life Science)

  • What different types of plants and animals live in habits around me?
  • What are the needs of plants?
  • What is pollination? How can humans pollinate flowers?

Geology: Erosion & Changes over Time
(Earth & Space Science)

  • How does the earth change over time?
  • What kinds of land and water are in a given area?
  • How does erosion change the shape of the land?
  • How can we use engineering to prevent the effects of erosion?

Matter: Properties and Purposes
(Physical Science)

  • How are materials similar and different from one another?
  • How can we decide what materials are best to use for a particular job?
  • How can materials change?


Helping your student learn outside of school

  • Look for everyday opportunities to have your child to ask questions about their world.
  • Help your child make connections between what they are learning in school and everyday life.
  • Point out where you are curious about science in your everyday life.
  • When your child asks a puzzling question, start by responding “what could we do to figure out more about that?”
  • Praise your child when they make an effort and share in the excitement when they solve a problem or understand something for the first time.
  • Read more about supporting your child’s inner-scientist here

Questions you can ask your student

  • What do you notice? What do you wonder?
  • How do you think that works? Why do you think that?
  • How is that idea like something else you know about?

Links to Parent Resources

Looking back
These ideas are built upon...

How These Ideas Grow
Across the Grades

Looking Forward 
These ideas are next explored

In Kindergarten students explored how organisms get their needs met from their habitats Organisms: 
Plants & Animals help Each Other

In Grade 3 students explore the interdependence of organisms and their habitats
In Kindergarten students investigated the effects of weather on communities Geology: 
Erosion & Changes over Time
In Grade 4 students explore changes to earth’s features due to natural hazards
Students may have sorted objects by their properties or characteristics Matter: 
Properties and Purposes
In Grade 5 students investigate how matter is made up of particles