Utah Fourth Grade Science Core Curriculum


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UT.4.I. Students will understand that water changes state as it moves through the water cycle.


UT.4.II. Students will understand that the elements of weather can be observed, measured, and recorded to make predictions and determine simple weather patterns.


UT.4.III. Students will understand the basic properties of rocks, the processes involved in the formation of soils, and the needs of plants provided by soil.


UT.4.IV. Students will understand how fossils are formed, where they may be found in Utah, and how they can be used to make inferences.

  • UT.4.IV.1. Describe Utah fossils and explain how they were formed.


    • UT.4.IV.1.a Identify features of fossils that can be used to compare them to living organisms that are familiar (e.g., shape, size and structure of skeleton, patterns of leaves).

    • UT.4.IV.1.b Describe three ways fossils are formed in sedimentary rock (i.e., preserved organisms, mineral replacement of organisms, impressions or tracks).
      What is a Mineral? video, free
      Sedimentary Rocks video, learnalong
      Definition of a Mineral video, free
      Homemade Fossil Dig text page

    • UT.4.IV.1.c Research locations where fossils are found in Utah and construct a simple fossil map.

  • UT.4.IV.2. Explain how fossils can be used to make inferences about past life, climate, geology, and environments.


    • UT.4.IV.2.a Explain why fossils are usually found in sedimentary rock.
      Sedimentary Rocks video, learnalong

    • UT.4.IV.2.b Based on the fossils found in various locations, infer how Utah environments have changed over time (e.g., trilobite fossils indicate that Millard County was once covered by a large shallow ocean; dinosaur fossils and coal indicate that Emery and Uintah County were once tropical and swampy).

    • UT.4.IV.2.c Research information on two scientific explanations for the extinction of dinosaurs and other prehistoric organisms.

    • UT.4.IV.2.d Formulate questions that can be answered using information gathered on the extinction of dinosaurs.

UT.4.V. Students will understand the physical characteristics of Utah's wetlands, forests, and deserts and identify common organisms for each environment.

  • UT.4.V.1. Describe the physical characteristics of Utah's wetlands, forests, and deserts.


    • UT.4.V.1.a Compare the physical characteristics (e.g., precipitation, temperature, and surface terrain) of Utah's wetlands, forests, and deserts.
      Weather and Climate video, free
      Review Weather-9 practice

    • UT.4.V.1.b Describe Utah’s wetlands (e.g., river, lake, stream, and marsh areas where water is a major feature of the environment) forests (e.g., oak, pine, aspen, juniper areas where trees are a major feature of the environment), and deserts (e.g., areas where the lack of water provided an environment where plants needing little water are a major feature of the environment).

    • UT.4.V.1.c Locate examples of areas that have characteristics of wetlands, forests, or deserts in Utah.

    • UT.4.V.1.d Based upon information gathered, classify areas of Utah that are generally identified as wetlands, forests, or deserts.

    • UT.4.V.1.e Create models of wetlands, forests, and deserts.

  • UT.4.V.2. Describe the common plants and animals found in Utah environments and how these organisms have adapted to the environment in which they live.


  • UT.4.V.3. Use a simple scheme to classify Utah plants and animals.


  • UT.4.V.4. Observe and record the behavior of Utah animals.


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