Fourth Grade

Tennessee Science Standards

4th Grade Science

Checklist for Checks for Understanding

Fourth Grade Academic Vocabulary Words (Quizlet)

Grade 4 : Inquiry

Conceptual Strand Understandings about scientific inquiry and the ability to conduct inquiry are essential for living in the 21st century.

Guiding Question What tools, skills, knowledge, and dispositions are needed to conduct scientific inquiry?

Grade Level Expectations

GLE 0407.Inq.1 Explore different scientific phenomena by asking questions, making logical predictions, planning investigations, and recording data.                                                                                                                                                           

                              Circle Graph PowerPoint

                              Line Graph PowerPoint

                              Bar Graph PowerPoint 

                              Pictograph Power Point

                              Venn Diagram Power Point 

GLE 0407.Inq.2 Select and use appropriate tools and simple equipment to conduct an investigation.

GLE 0407.Inq.3 Organize data into appropriate tables, graphs, drawings, or diagrams. 

                              Circle Graph PowerPoint

                              Line Graph PowerPoint

                              Bar Graph PowerPoint 

                              Pictograph Power Point

                              Venn Diagram Power Point 

GLE 0407.Inq.4 Identify and interpret simple patterns of evidence to communicate the findings of multiple investigations.

GLE 0407.Inq.5 Recognize that people may interpret the same results in different ways.      

GLE 0407.Inq.6 Compare the results of an investigation with what scientists already accept about this question.


Checks for Understanding 


0407.Inq.1Identify specific investigations that could be used to answer a particular question and identify reasons for this choice.


0407.Inq.2Identify tools needed to investigate specific questions.


0407.Inq.3Maintain a science notebook that includes observations, data, diagrams, and explanations.


0407.Inq.4Analyze and communicate findings from multiple investigations of similar phenomena to reach a conclusion.


State Performance Indicators

SPI 0407.Inq.1 Select an investigation that could be used to answer a specific question.

Grade 4 : Technology  & Engineering

Grade Level Expectations

GLE 0407.T/E.1 Describe how tools, technology, and inventions help to answer questions and solve problems

GLE 0407.T/E.2 Recognize that new tools, technology, and inventions are always being developed.

GLE 0407.T/E.3 Identify appropriate materials, tools, and machines that can extend or enhance the ability to solve a specified problem.  

                            Could Australia's Deadly Snakes Put Bite on Cancer?

                            Invention Playhouse



 GLE 0407.T/E.4 Recognize the connection between scientific advances, new knowledge, and the availability of new tools and technologies.  

                            Images of Science.


 GLE 0507.T/E.5 Apply a creative design strategy to solve a particular problem generated by societal needs and wants.

                            Design a Space Station

                            Break It Down Interactive

Checks for Understanding 


0407.T/E.1Explain how different inventions and technologies impact people and other living organisms

                              A Sightseer’s Guide to Engineering



0407.T/E.2Design a tool or a process that addresses an identified problem caused by human activity.

                              Buoyant Boats


0407.T/E.3Determine criteria to evaluate the effectiveness of a solution to a specified problem.

                              Engineering Solution - To use Internet resources to explore the side effects of technology; to design, implement and evaluate solutions related to the problem of waste disposal.



0407.T/E.4Evaluate an invention that solves a problem and determine ways to improve the design.

                              Systems, Up, Up and Away! 

State Performance Indicators

SPI 0407.T/E.1 Select a tool, technology, or invention that was used to solve a human problem.    

                          The Science Toy Maker Home Page

                          Wheelchairs - Podcast

SPI 0507.T/E.2 Recognize the connection between a scientific advance and the development of a new tool or technology.

Grade 4 - Life Science

Grade 4 : Standard 1 -Cells

Conceptual Strand 1 All living things are made of cells that perform functions necessary for life.

Guiding Question 1 How are plant and animals cells organized to carry on the processes of life? 

Grade Level Expectations

GLE 0407.1.1 Recognize that cells are the building blocks of all living things. 

                        Cell Quiz

                        The Virtual Electron Microscope

Checks for Understanding 


0407.1.1Use illustrations or direct observations to compare and contrast the basic structures of plant and animal cells.

                         Interactive Plant and Animal Cells from Cells Alive

                         Parts of the Cell

                         A tour of the Cell

                         Lesson plan—Travel brochure for a cell


0407.1.2Create a basic model of the cell that illustrates different cell structures and describes their functions.

                         Cell Inspector

                         Making 3D Cell Models

                         How big is a cell?

State Performance Indicators

SPI 0407.1.1 Compare basic structures of plant and animal cells.

                      Comparing Pant and Animal Cells:  A Venn Diagram

                      Plant and Animal Cell Graphic Organizer

Grade 4: Standard 2 -Interdependence

Conceptual Strand 2 All life is interdependent and interacts with the environment.

Guiding Question 2 How do living things interact with one another and with the non-living elements of their environment?

Grade Level Expectations

GLE 0407.2.1 Analyze the effects of changes in the environment on the stability of an ecosystem.

                       How changes in the environment keep an ecosystem stable

                       EPA Water and Ecosystems Services

Checks for Understanding 


0407.2.1Analyze how an increase or decrease in competition or predation affects an ecosystem.

                  Reconstruct a barren prairie


0407.2.2Design a simple experiment to illustrate the effects of competition, predation, and interdependency among living things.


State Performance Indicators

SPI 0407.2.1 Recognize the impact of predation and competition on an ecosystem.

                      Wolves and Rabbits

                      This Old Habitat

                      National Geographic Habitats

                      WWF habitats

                      List of animals and their habitats

                      BBC Habitat online activity

                      BBC Habitats offline lesson

                      Reconstruct a barren prairie

Grade 4 : Standard 3 -Flow of Matter and Energy

Conceptual Strand 3 Matter and energy flow through the biosphere.

Guiding Question 3 What scientific information explains how matter and energy flow through the biosphere?

Grade Level Expectations

GLE 0407.3.1 Demonstrate that plants require light energy to grow and survive.

                        I know That - Science Lab Game:  Photosynthesis

                        Grow an Indoor Salad Garden

                        What is Photosynthesis?

                        Biology4Kids: Photosynthesis and Light Energy

GLE 0407.3.2 Investigate different ways that organisms meet their energy needs.

Checks for Understanding 


0407.3.1Create a food web that illustrates the energy relationships between plants and animals and the key issues or assumptions found in the model.

                          Chain Reaction

                          Food Web Game

                          What do animals eat?

  Root factory—explore types of roots and if they are edible or not

  Classify vegetables based on what part we eat


0407.3.2Classify organisms as carnivores, herbivores, or omnivores.

                          Herbivore, Carnivore, Omnivore - PowerPoint

                          Food Chain


0407.3.3Identify how a variety of organisms meet their energy needs.

                          Illuminating Photosynthesis

                          Promethean:  Energy in the Ecosystem

State Performance Indicators

SPI 0407.3.1 Determine how different organisms function within an environment in terms of their location on an energy pyramid.

Grade 4: Standard 4 - Heredity

Conceptual Strand 4 Plants and animals reproduce and transmit hereditary information between generations.

Guiding Question 4 What are the principal mechanisms by which living things reproduce and transmit information between parents and offspring?

Grade Level Expectations

GLE 0407.4.1 Recognize the relationship between reproduction and the continuation of a species.

                        Hatching Baby Chicks


GLE 0407.4.2 Differentiate between complete and incomplete metamorphosi

                        Complete and Incomplete Metamorphosis

Checks for Understanding 


0407.4.1Design a simple demonstration that illustrates the relationship between reproduction and survival of a species.


0407.4.2Study the life cycles of a variety of organisms and determine whether these processes illustrate complete or incomplete metamorphosis.

                          Circle of Life

                          Grow Up- interactive

                          Butterfly life cycle

                          Life cycles--learn about the life cycles of animals

                          Life cycle cards-printable

                          Hatching Baby Chicks

                          DNA Movie

                          Animals, Babies

                          Giant Panda

                          California Condor

                          Turtles in Trouble

                          Life Cycle” Plants” Interactive Whiteboard Activity

                          Life Cycle “Animals” Interactive Whiteboard Activity

State Performance Indicators

SPI 0407.4.1 Draw conclusions about the relationship between reproduction and the survival of a species. 

                       Animals’ Life Cycle - Webquest


 SPI 0407.4.2 Distinguish between complete and incomplete metamorphosis

                       BrainPop Metamorphosis

Grade 4 : Standard 5 -Biodiversity and Change

                          Ology - Biodiversity  A good general page with many activities

Conceptual Strand 5 A rich variety of complex organisms have developed in response to a continually changing environment.

Guiding Question 5 How does natural selection explain how organisms have changed over time?

Grade Level Expectations

GLE 0407.5.1 Analyze physical and behavioral adaptations that enable organisms to survive in their environment.

                       See how pond life changes based on population of different animals

                       WWF habitats - Biodiversity

GLE 0407.5.2 Describe how environmental changes caused the extinction of various plant and animal species.

Checks for Understanding 


0407.5.1Classify animals according to their physical adaptations for obtaining food, oxygen, and surviving within a particular environment.

                          Scholastic: animal adaptations

                          Rain Forest adaptations

                          EcoKids- Animal Adaptations

                          List of animals and their habitats

                          National Geographic Habitats

                          Compare ways different animals breathe



0407.5.2Describe how animal behaviors such as migration, defense, means of locomotion, and hibernation enable them to survive in an environment.

                           Find Your Way - Salmon migration    


0407.5.3Investigate tropisms that plants exhibit in response to changes in their environment.

                          Plant Tropisms



0407.5.4Gather fossil information to draw conclusions about organisms that exist today.

                          Skeleton Jigsaws

                          If Rocks Could Talk

                          Types of fossils



0407.5.5Analyze the common causes of extinction and explain how human actions sometimes result in the extinction of a species.

                         Endangered Species

                         endangered or threatened?

                         Save or species- EPA


                         Major causes of extinction

                         causes of extinction

State Performance Indicators

SPI 0407.5.1 Determine how a physical or behavioral adaptation can enhance the chances of survival.    

                      Design a Fish to Survive

                      Camouflage Field Guide

                      Rain Forest adaptations

                      Promethean Planet: Animal Adaptations

                      Promethean Planet: Animal Adaptations II


SPI 0407.5.2 Infer the possible reasons why a species became endangered or extinct.

                      Why do Animals Become Endangered? (Fact Monster)

                      Wild Times for Kids: Why Do Animals Become Extinct?

                      Animal Port: Listings of Endangered and Extinct Animals

                      Animals Myths and Legends

Grade 4 - Earth and Space Science

Grade 4 : Standard 6 -The Universe

Conceptual Strand 6  The cosmos is vast and explored well enough to know its basic structure and operational principles. 

Guiding Question 6   What big ideas guide human understanding about the origin and structure of the universe, Earth’s place in the cosmos, and observable  motions and patterns in the sky?

                           math and science integration unit plan

Grade Level Expectations

GLE 0407.6.1 Analyze patterns, relative movements, and relationships among the sun, moon, and earth.

                        Earth’s Rotation

Checks for Understanding 


0407.6.1Chart the movements of the sun, moon, and earth to develop an explanation for the phases of the moon and solar and lunar eclipses.

                          Shadows and Sounds

                          What creates our shadow?

                          Coloring shadows with a sundial



0407.6.2Sequencethe major phases of the moon during a lunar cycle.

                          Lunar Cycle Challenge - an interactive site

                          Simulation of Moon Phases

                          Moon Phases

State Performance Indicators

SPI 0407.6.1 Organize the phases of the moon in the correct sequence.   

                      Lunar Cycle Challenge - an interactive site

                      Simulation of Moon Phases

                      Phases of the moon

                      math science integration

SPI 0407.6.2 Infer that the moon’s phases are caused by the revolution of the moon and

Grade 4 : Standard 7 – The Earth

Conceptual Strand 7 Major geologic events that occur over eons or brief moments in time continually shape and reshape the surface of the Earth, resulting in continuous global change.

                       Layers of the Earth

                       Interactive labeling

                       The Great Plant Escape

                       The Dirt on Soil


Guiding Question 7 How is the earth affected by long-term and short term geological cycles and the influence of man.

Grade Level Expectations

GLE 0407.7.1 Investigate how the Earth’s geological features change as a result of erosion (weathering and transportation) and deposition.     

                       Break It Down: Erosion (Geography4Kids)     

                       Erosion: BrainPop

                       Erosion: Science for Kids

                       Magic School Bus: Rocks and Rolls Experiment

GLE 0407.7.2 Evaluate how some earth materials can be used to solve human problems and enhance the quality of life.  

Checks for Understanding 


0407.7.1Prepare a demonstration to illustrate how wind and water affect the earth’s surface features


0407.7.2Design an investigation to demonstrate how erosion and deposition change the earth’s surface.

                          ppt activity How erosion occurs

                          Scotts Bluff National Monument

                          Arches National Park

                          Mesas and Buttes--pictures

                          canyon pictures

                          summary of world’s 10 best geological features on earth



0407.7.3List factors that determine the appropriate use of an earth material.

                          Minerals in our environment

                          Earth water filter

                          A sticky situation: Designing walls

                          NASA: Soil Science Education

                          Discovery Science: The Dirt on Soil

                          Sammy Soil: A coloring book


0407.7.4Use data from a variety of informational texts to analyze and evaluate man’s impact on non-renewable resources.

                         energy sources

                         renewable and non renewable resources

                         online quiz

                         Is it environmentally friendly?


State Performance Indicators

SPI 0407.7.1 Design a simple model to illustrate how the wind and movement of water alter the earth’s surface.   

                      How does rain shape the Earth?

                      erosion and weathering     

SPI 0407.7.2 Analyze how different earth materials are utilized to solve human problems or improve the quality of life.

Grade 4 : Standard 8 -The Atmosphere

Conceptual Strand 8 The earth is surrounded by an active atmosphere and an energy system that controls the distribution life, local weather, climate, and global temperature.

Guiding Question 8 How do the physical characteristics and the chemical makeup of the atmosphere influence surface processes and life on Earth?

                      Weather PowerPoint (also includes instruments)

                      Cloud Types – Power Point Presentation

                      Cloud Clues - Activity

                      Cloudy Weather Crossword

                      How Clouds Form Lesson Plan

                      Sunken Treasures Game (weather conditions and instruments)

                      Weather Watch

                      weather instruments


                      Interactive Weather

Grade Level Expectations

GLE 0407.8.1 Recognize the major components of the water cycle.

                        Diagram of Water Cycle

                        TIC TAC KNOW Game on Water Cycle 

                        Water Cycle (NASA)

                        The Water Cycle

                        Water Cycle animation

                         Water cycle movie

                        Diagram of Water Cycle


GLE 0407.8.2 Differentiate between weather and climate.

                        Weather vs. Climate

                        EPA Weather vs. Climate

Checks for Understanding 


0407.8.1Prepare a model that illustrates the basic features of the water cycle.

                       Droplet and the Water Cycle

The Incredible Journey activity can be downloaded as a sample activity from the Project WET Curriculum and Activity Guide at              


0407.8.2Use long term weather data to distinguish between weather and climate.


0407.8.3Use an illustration to predict and draw conclusions about how weather and climate affect the water cycle.

                 Be a Weather Watcher


                      Unit Oceans and Weather

State Performance Indicators

SPI 0407.8.1 Identify the basic features of the water cycle and describe their importance to life on earth.  

                     Evaporation Cleanup

                     Diagram of Water Cycle

 SPI 0407.8.2 Distinguish between weather and climate

                    Air Pressure

                    NASA Wild Weather Adventure Game

                    Weather Tools 

                    Weather Instruments

Grade 4 - Physical Science

Grade 4 : Standard 9 -Matter

Conceptual Strand 9  The composition and structure of matter is known, and it behaves according to principles that are generally understood. 

Guiding Question 9 How does the structure of matter influence its physical and chemical behavior?

Grade Level Expectations

GLE 0407.9.1 Collect data to illustrate that the physical properties of matter can be described with tools that measure weight, mass, length, and volume.     



GLE 0407.9.2 Explore different types of physical changes in matter. 

                       Changing matter 

                       physical changes

                       Quia: chemical or physical changes

                       Chemistry 4 kids

                       The Mixtures Lab

                       The Unmixables

                       States of Matter Flash Cards (

                       What is Matter? Pod Cast

                       What is Matter? Pod Cast Worksheet

Checks for Understanding 


0407.9.1Use appropriate tools to measure and compare the physical properties of various solids and liquids.


0407.9.2Compare the causes and effects of various physical changes in matter.

                  The Mixtures Lab

                  Physical changes

                  Quia: chemical or physical changes

                  Chemistry 4 kids

State Performance Indicators

SPI 0407.9.1 Choose an appropriate tool for measuring a specific physical property of matter.  

                      Using a Microscope

SPI 0407.9.2 Determine the mass, volume, and temperature of a substance or object using proper units of measurement.


                      Characteristics of Materials

                      Changing State

SPI 0407.9.3 Interpret the causes and effects of a physical change in matter.

                      Changing matter

                      BBC: States of Matter

                      Chemistry 4 Kids

                      States of Matter

                      Webquest: Matter

                      What is matter?

                      Gases Around Us

                      Reversible and Irreversible Changes

Grade 4 : Standard 10 -Energy

Conceptual Strand 10 Various forms of energy are constantly being transformed into other types without any net loss of energy from the system.

                           The Energy Story  covers all aspects of energy divided into 20 online chapters

Guiding Question 10 What basic energy related ideas are essential for understanding the dependency of the natural and man-made worlds on energy?

Grade Level Expectations

GLE 0407.10.1 Distinguish among heat, radiant, and chemical forms of energy. 

                          Energy Quest                                                     

 GLE 0407.10.2 Investigate how light travels and is influenced by different types of materials and surfaces.

Checks for Understanding 


0407.10.1Design an investigation to demonstrate how different forms of energy release heat or light.

                           Brain Pop: forms of energy

                           Types of energy

                           Information on forms of energy

                           Kinetic vs. potential class activity

                           Guide to electricity


0407.10.2Design an experiment to investigate how different surfaces determine if light is reflected, refracted, or absorbed


0407.10.3Gather and organize information about a variety of materials to categorize them as translucent, transparent, or opaque.

State Performance Indicators

SPI 0407.10.1 Identify different forms of energy, such as heat, light, and chemical.

                        Brain Pop: forms of energy

                        Information on forms of energy

                        Renewable vs. non-renewable energy

                        Kinetic vs. potential class activity

                        Types of energy

SPI 0407.10.2 Determine which surfaces reflect, refract, or absorb light. 


SPI 0407.10.3 Determine whether a material is transparent, translucent, or opaque.



Grade 4 : Standard 11 -Motion

Conceptual Strand 11 Objects move in ways that can be observed, described, predicted, and measured.

Guiding Question 11 What causes objects to move differently under different circumstances?

Grade Level Expectations

GLE 0407.11.1 Recognize that the position of an object can be described relative to other objects or a background.  

GLE 0407.11.2 Design a simple investigation to demonstrate how friction affects the movement of an object.


                          Forces in Action

                          Force, Gravity, Friction

GLE 0407.11.3 Investigate the relationship between the speed of an object and the distance traveled during a certain time period. 

Checks for Understanding 


0407.11.1Identify the position of objects relative to fixed reference points.


0407.11.2Design an investigation to identify factors that affect the speed and distance traveled by an object in motion.

                           Amusement Park Physics Includes a Design You Own Roller Coaster


0407.11.3Complete a coordinate graph to describe the relative positions of objects.

                          Forces in Action  


0407.11.4Plan and execute an investigation that demonstrates how friction affects the movement of an object.


0407.11.5Design and implement an investigation to determine that the speed of an object is equal to the distance traveled over time.

                           Speed, distance, and time visual

State Performance Indicators

SPI 0407.11.1 Describe the position of an object relative to fixed reference points.  

SPI 0407.11.2 Identify factors that influence the motion of an object.

                        Grade 4: Force and Motion

                        American Museum of Natural History (Where is our Place in Space?)

                        Gravity in Action

                        Friction game

                        BBC: Friction interactive

                        Let it Roll friction activity

 SPI 0407.11.3 Determine the relationship between speed and distance traveled over time.


Grade 4 : Standard 12 -Forces in Nature

Conceptual Strand 12 Everything in the universe exerts a gravitational force on everything else;  there is an interplay between magnetic fields and electrical currents.

Guiding Question 12 What are the scientific principles that explain gravity and electromagnetism?

Grade Level Expectations

GLE 0407.12.1 Explore the interactions between magnets 

GLE 0407.12.2 Observe that electrically charged objects exert a pull on other materials.

GLE 0407.12.3 Explain how electricity in a simple circuit requires a complete loop through which current can pass.

                         Circuit Builder

Checks for Understanding


0407.12.1Explore the interactions between an electrically charged object and other materials.


0407.12.2Design an experiment to investigate how a simple electromagnet affects common objects.

                         Design and test an Electromagnet - Inquiry lab



0407.12.3Describe how electricity passes through a simple circuit that includes a battery, wire, switch, and bulb.

                        Simple Circuits Interactive site

                        How Circuits Work

                        The NASA SciFiles Circuits

State Performance Indicators

SPI 0407.12.1Identify how magnets attract or repel one another

Online, Interactive Electricity and Magnetism Module

SPI 0407.12.2Determine how an electrically charged material interacts with other objects.

The Famous Wire, Battery, and Nail Magnet

SPI 0407.12.3Determine the path of an electrical current in a simple circuit.

Circuits and Conductors

BlobzCircuit Guide

BBC: circuit interactive

Guide to electricity