Building Blocks of Science | 3DSmithsonian Programs
Learning Framework
Smithsonian Science for the Classroom logo
20 phenomena- and problem-based modules from the Smithsonian that are setting the standard in 3D learning and 3D assessment

Learning Framework for Grades 1–5

An integrated approach to teaching science and engineering
Life Science Earth and Space Science Physical Science Engineering Design
Grade 1
How Do Living Things Stay Safe and Grow? *

1-LS1-1 • 1-LS1-2 • 1-LS3-1 • K-2-ETS1-1

Supporting: Engineering Design

How Can We Predict When the Sky Will Be Dark? *

1-ESS1-1 • 1-ESS1-2 • 1-PS4-2

Supporting: Physical Science

How Can We Light Our Way in the Dark? *

1-PS4-2 • 1-PS4-3 • 1-LS1-1 • K-2-ETS1-1

Supporting: Life Science and Engineering Design

How Can We Send a Message Using Sound?

K-2-ETS1-1 • K-2-ETS1-2 • K-2-ETS1-3 • 1-PS4-1 • 1-PS4-4

Supporting: Physical Science

Grade 2
How Can We Find the Best Place for a Plant to Grow? *

2-LS2-1 • 2-LS2-2 • 2-LS4-1 • K-2-ETS1-1

Supporting: Engineering Design

What Can Maps Tell Us About Water on Earth? **

2-ESS2-2 • 2-ESS2-3 • 2-PS1-1

Supporting: Physical Science

How Can We Change Solids and Liquids? *

2-PS1-1 • 2-PS1-2 • 2-PS1-3 • 2-PS1-4 • K-2-ETS1-1

Supporting: Engineering Design

How Can We Stop Soil from Washing Away?

K-2-ETS1-1 • K-2-ETS1-2 • K-2-ETS1-3 • 2-ESS1-1 •2-ESS2-1

Supporting: Earth and Space Science

Grade 3
What Explains Similarities and Differences Between Organisms?

3-LS1-1 • 3-LS3-1 • 3-LS3-2 • 3-LS4-2 • 3-ESS2-2

Supporting: Earth and Space Science

How Do Weather and Climate Affect Our Lives?

3-ESS2-1 • 3-ESS2-2 • 3-ESS3-1 • 3-5-ETS1-1

Supporting: Engineering Design

How Can We Predict Patterns of Motion?

3-PS2-1 • 3-PS2-2 • 3-PS2-3 • 3-PS2-4 • 3-5-ETS1-1

Supporting: Engineering Design

How Can We Protect Animals When Their Habitat Changes?

3-5-ETS1-1 • 3-5-ETS1-2 • 3-5-ETS1-3 • 3-LS2-1 • 3-LS4-1 • 3-LS4-3 • 3-LS4-4

Supporting: Life Science

Grade 4
How Can Animals Use Their Senses to Communicate?

4-LS1-1 • 4-LS1-2 • 4-PS4-2 • 4-PS4-3 • 3-5-ETS1-1

Supporting: Physical Science and Engineering Design

What Is Our Evidence That We Live on a Changing Earth?

4-ESS1-1 • 4-ESS2-1 • 4-ESS2-2 • 4-ESS3-2 • 4-PS4-1 • 3-5-ETS1-1

Supporting: Engineering Design and Physical Science

How Does Motion Energy Change in a Collision?

4-PS3-1 • 4-PS3-2 • 4-PS3-3 • 4-LS1-1 • 3-5-ETS1-1

Supporting: Engineering Design and Life Science

How Can We Provide Energy to People’s Homes?

3-5-ETS1-1 • 3-5-ETS1-2 • 3-5-ETS1-3 • 4-PS3-2 • 4-PS3-4 • 4-ESS3-1

Supporting: Physical Science and Earth and Space Science

Grade 5
How Can We Predict Change in Ecosystems?

5-LS1-1 • 5-LS2-1 • 5-PS1-1 • 5-PS3-1

Supporting: Physical Science

How Can We Use the Sky to Navigate?

5-ESS1-1 • 5-ESS1-2 • 5-PS2-1 • 3-5-ETS1-1

Supporting: Physical Science and Engineering Design

How Can We Identify Materials Based on Their Properties?

5-PS1-1 • 5-PS1-2 • 5-PS1-3 • 5-PS1-4 • 5-LS1-1

Supporting: Life Science

How Can We Provide Freshwater to Those in Need?

3-5-ETS1-1 • 3-5-ETS1-2 • 3-5-ETS1-3 • 5-ESS2-1 • 5-ESS2-2 • 5-ESS3-1

Supporting: Earth and Space Science

** Available January 2020
* Available Spring 2020