Learning About the World


Earth and Space Sciences

Goal 1: Children construct concepts about Earth’s systems, the impacts of human activity on these systems, and Earth’s place in the universe through observations, exploration, and investigations.

By the end of each age group or grade level, most children will have met prior age group or grade level standards in this domain.

Infants Through Older Toddlers


(0-12 Months)

  1. Explore water, soil, sand and rocks with adult guidance and support

Young Toddlers

(9-18 Months)

  1. Use senses and simple tools to explore earth materials (e.g., digging soil, tapping rocks, pouring sand)
  2. Match basic weather to types of clothing needed for weather (e.g., raincoat for rain, boots for snow)
  3. Point or attend to the objects in the sky during daytime and nighttime (e.g., moon, sun, stars, clouds)

Older Toddlers

(18-36 Months)

  1. Explore properties of water, soil, rocks and sand independently
  2. Observe and discuss weather using basic terms (e.g., sunny, rainy)
  3. Name the objects in the sky during daytime and nighttime (i.e., moon, sun, stars, clouds)
Younger Preschoolers Through Kindergartners

Younger Preschoolers

(36-48 months)

  1. Observe and discuss changes in weather from day to day
  2. Compare and describe texture of different earth materials.

Older Preschoolers

(48-60 months)

  1. Record daily weather (e.g., sunny, rainy, snowy)
  2. Describe patterns of weather over time (e.g., in the winter it is cold and snowy)
  3. Recycle materials appropriately (e.g., compost food scraps)
  4. Investigate and ask questions about the properties of earth materials including water, soil, rocks, and sand.


Earth's Systems

  1. Use and share observations of local weather conditions to describe patterns over time.
  2. Construct an argument supported by evidence for how plants and animals (including humans) can change the environment to meet their needs.

Earth and Human Activity

  1. Use a model to represent the relationship between the needs of different plants and animals (including humans) and the places they live.
  2. Ask questions to obtain information about the purpose of weather forecasting to prepare for, and respond to, severe weather.
  3. Communicate solutions that will reduce the impact of humans on the land, water, air, and/or other living things in the local environment.
First Graders Through Third Graders

First Graders

Earth's Place in the Universe

  1. Use observations of the sun, moon, and stars to describe patterns that can be predicted.
  2. Make observations at different times of year to relate the amount of daylight to the time of year

Second Graders

Earth's Place in the Universe

  1. Use information from several sources to provide evidence that Earth events can occur quickly or slowly

Earth's Systems

  1. Compare multiple solutions designed to slow or prevent wind or water from changing the shape of the land.
  2. Develop a model to represent the shapes and kinds of land and bodies of water in an area.
  3. Obtain information to identify where water is found on Earth and that it can be solid or liquid.

Third Graders

Earth's Systems

  1. Represent data in tables and graphical displays to describe typical weather conditions expected during a particular season.
  2. Obtain and combine information to describe climates in different regions of the world.

Earth and Human Activity

  1. Make a claim about the merit of a design solution that reduces the impacts of a weather-related hazard.

Vermont Agency of Education
Secretary Daniel M. French
219 North Main Street, Suite 402
Barre, VT 05641

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