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Guide to the Sample Unit Progressions

Page history last edited by Heather Johnston 11 months, 3 weeks ago



Unit Number and Title

Instructional Resources

OAS-S: List of Oklahoma Academic Standards for Science addressed in this unit

Bundled Standards Analysis: Link to the associated Bundle Standards Analysis 

Driving Question

  • A driving question can be used across lessons within a unit as students build their understanding to it. Driving questions should be intriguing, thought-provoking, and challenging for students. Each sample unit progression will have one driving question.


Essential Questions

  • Essential questions always align to the desired learning goals and can often be answered at the end of a single lesson. While questions should be engaging and lead to inquiry, they do not need to drive learning for more than one lesson. Each sample unit progression will have 3-5 examples.


Example of Student-Developed Initial Questions

  • Student questions can have yes or no answers, be focused on specific content, "easy" to answer, or are "Google-able". These are the types of questions students might have when they initially engage with the information in this unit. Each sample unit progression will have 3-5 example student-developed initial questions.


Prior Knowledge

Each dimension in the Oklahoma Academic Standards for Science grows in complexity and sophistication across the grades. To learn more about the prior knowledge and skills students have developed in previous grades associated with the standards in this bundle, check out the links below.

Science and Engineering Practices 

Disciplinary Core Ideas 

Crosscutting Concepts 

The science and engineering practices (SEP) at every grade level build on the experiences from prior grades. This section will provide a list of the SEPs associated with the identified standards for this unit.


The disciplinary core ideas (DCI) at every grade level build on the experiences from prior grades. This section will provide a list of the DCIs associated with the identified standards for this unit.

The crosscutting concepts (CCC) at every grade level build on the experiences from prior grades. This section will provide a list of the CCCs associated with the identified standards for this unit.

Launch Task: Phenomena Ideas

Phenomena are observable events that occur in the universe and that we can use our science knowledge to explain or predict. Engineering involves designing solutions to problems that arise from phenomena and using explanations of phenomena to design solutions. Instructional sequences are more coherent when students investigate phenomena or design problems by engaging in science and engineering practices. Read this STEM Teaching Tool Brief #28 to learn more about the characteristics of a good phenomenon or design problem for anchoring student learning.


Each unit will have 2 or more phenomena that connect the real world to the Oklahoma Academic Standards for Science, followed by teacher information resources (e.g., information about the phenomenon, data resources, videos simulations). Due to the length or accessibility of the content, teacher should screen the resources and pull sections, photos, quotes and/or data that are appropriate for students in that grade level for students to ask questions about, investigate, analyze, describe, evaluate, etc. 


Phenomenon: Bolded text in this location identifies the phenomenon.

Description and resources are listed below each bolded phenomenon.

Engagement Strategies 


This section provides three things: 


  • A link to the bundled standards analysis that supports this unit. It provides specific ways of engaging students with science ideas through example Student Actions and Teacher Actions.

  • A link to an example science cycle of learning. The 3D Narrative within the "What It Looks Like in the Classroom" using this example to organize how to engage students with the skills and ideas in this unit. 

  • A sample science strategy that can be used to support student engagement with the skills and ideas in this unit and a link to the general Science Engagement Strategies section of the Oklahoma Science Curriculum for more options.


What It Looks Like in the Classroom

In science and engineering, evidence-based effective instruction focuses on students engaging in science and engineering investigations and design to explain phenomena or develop solutions to a problem. This section reflects a science cycle of learning that supports implementing the identified standards within this unit.


"What It Looks Like in the Classroom" is broken into Narrative Parts, written around the different Essential Questions listed at the top. Each Narrative Part includes examples for how to integrate the science and engineering practices, disciplinary core ideas, and crosscutting concepts for each standard, and includes examples of evidence teachers can gather from students that provides information about what they do and do not understand.

Narrative Parts identify how information is structure (e.g., Part 1 of 2)

Essential Question: The essential questions found in this section are originally listed at the beginning of each sample unit.


OAS-S: This identifies the specific science standards addressed in this part of the narrative. Each part of the narrative will address specific standards. All standards will be addressed across all narrative parts. 

 3-Dimensional Narrative

Evidence of Understanding 

The 3-dimensional (3D) narrative is organized around a science learning cycle (linked in the Science Engagement Strategies section). The 3D narrative is color coded to identify where and when the science and engineering practices (SEP) and crosscutting concepts (CCC) are being used. The SEPs are blue and the CCCs are green.


Information for the 3D Narrative is based on Oklahoma science educator experience, the Oklahoma Academic Standards for Science (OAS-S), and the evidence-based research that informed and grounded the vision and development of the OAS-S (The Framework for K-12 Science Education). There are bolded titles within each box that provide a quick overview of the focus for that row.

This section represents observable and measurable component that can provide educators a better understanding of what student do and do not know. Each box on this side is related to each section of the 3D Narrative on the left. Note: This is just an example of ways to identify if students understand the information and is not meant to be a complete list.




Some 3D Narrative have multiple parts (e.g., Narrative Part 2 of 2)

If a 3D Narrative has more than one part, each part will follow the same structure as describe above. 


Essential Question: 



3-Dimensional Narrative

Evidence of Understanding





Navigation Links

2020 OKScience Frameworks Introduction

3D Science Vertical Learning Progressions


Back to:

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