8th Grade Unit Plan
2009 - 2010
UNIT 1: SCIENTIFIC METHOD AND UNIT 5: MATTER AND EARTH
MONARCH PROJECT MATERIALS
UNIT 2: MOTION, FORCES AND UNIT 6: INTERACTIONS OF MATTER
UNIT 3: ENERGY IN MOTION UNIT 7: GENETICS
UNIT 4: FORMS OF ENERGY
UNIT 1: Basic Science Skills and Monarch Project – Chapters 1 and 2
2. International System of Units – Mass, Volume and Density
4. Scientific Method Review
5. Global Needs
6. Monarch Project = see below*
UNIT 2: Motion, Forces and Energy – Chapter 3, 4 and 5
1. Describing Motion
3. Motion and Forces
4. Newton’s 3 Laws of Motion
5. Nature and Conservation of Energy
UNIT 3: Energy in Motion – Chapters 9,10,11 and 12
1. Heat and States of Matter
3. Sound and Light
4. Earth’s Interval Processes
UNIT 4: Forms of Energy
3. Electromagnetic Radiation
4. Energy Sources
5. Weather and Climate
UNIT 5: Matter and Earth Materials
1. Classification of Matter
2. Properties of Atoms and the Periodic Table
3. Earth Materials
4. Earth’s Changing Surface
UNIT 6: Interactions of Matter
1. Chemical Bonds
2. Chemical Reactions
3. Solutions, Acids and Bases
4. Nuclear Changes
5. Stars and Galaxies
UNIT 7: Genetics
1. Variety within species and sources of variation
2. Punnett Squares and Monohybrid Crosses
MST4.LE7.A: Students describe how living things, including humans depend upon the living and nonliving
environment for their survival.
MST4.LE7.B: Students describe the effects of environmental changes on humans and other populations.
MST1.S13.A: Students design charts, table, graphs, and other representations of observations in conventional and
creative ways to help them address their research question or hypothesis.
MST4.LE7.B.8.0: TECHNOLOGY INTEGRATION: Engage in technology integration opportunities to
research or describe the effects of environmental changes on various populations.
MST7.1.A.10: Work collaboratively to analyze a problem or issue facing the local, national, or global community.
MST4.LE7.A.4 : Demonstrate understanding of the factors that affect population sizes in an ecosystem.
MST4.LE7.A.5 : Dinstinguish between the ways in which organisms interact with each other ; competitive,
harmful or beneficial.
MST4.LE7.A.8 : Communicate that the environment may contain dangerous levels of substances that are harmful
MST4.LE7.A.9 : Understand that in order to keep the environment and organisms healthy soil, water and air need
to be monitored and kept safe.
Standard 1: Analysis, Inquiry Design:
Mathematical Analysis: M1.1 a,b and c and M2.1 b
Scientific Inquiry: S1.3, S 2.1 a,b,c,d
Science concepts: Graphing, metric system, scientific method, use of triple beam balance, charting, recording data, life
cycle of insects, impact of humans on the environment, plant life, soil composition, and scientific classification
English: writing a paper, using a bibliography
Bloom’s Taxonomy: This project incorporates every level of Bloom’s Taxonomy.
Through this series of lessons related to the life cycle and ecology of Monarch butterflies, students will engage in
inquiry processes which will help them ask questions, plan and conduct investigations, use appropriate tools and
techniques to gather data, think critically and logically about relationships between evidence and explanations,
construct and analyze alternative theories, and communicate scientific ideas.
Students will work cooperatively in small groups.
Students will participate in an on-going national research project with Ecology professor Orley “Chip” Taylor of
the University of Kansas. Students will send in the results of the Class Research Project to contribute to the
program MONARCH WATCH – an effort by the University of Kansas to track the Monarch’s migration and
conserve its habitats.
Population Biology Research Project
Collaboration with the University of Kansas
How much leaf tissue (in Mass) does a Monarch larva consume through all of its larval stages?
Since male Monarchs are larger and heavier than females, do male larvae eat more leaf tissue? Students will learn
how to determine the sex of the butterflies.
1. Monarch eggs and/or caterpillars will be gathered in nature by Ms. Africano.
2. Place eggs/caterpillars in plastic containers with holes in top.
3. Label each jar with:
NAME OF CATERPILLAR
DATE THAT THE CATERPILLAR WAS PLACED IN CONTAINER
DATE OF CHRYSALIS STAGE
DATE OF BUTTERFLY HATCHING.
4. IN GROUPS OF 2:
Use a triple-beam balance and weigh (in grams)
1. ALL milkweed that is fed to the caterpillar or goes into the container
2. Weigh all milkweed that comes OUT of the jar.
Record the data on the data sheet in Science Journal.
You must keep accurate records in order to determine how much the caterpillar is eating
Measure approximate length of caterpillar (in centimeters) every two days. Record the measured length
(in centimeters) on the data sheet in Science Journal.
5. Journal writing: Students will keep a journal of their project. The journal will include sketching,
observations, information gathered on milkweeds and monarchs. Students will be given a rubric for grading their
6. Excel Data Sheets and Graphs: the data will be entered into Excel and graphs will be
You will turn in your journals, data sheets, Excel data sheets and Excel graphs at the end of the