• 4th Grade Big Questions

    For Science and Social Studies


    Big Questions for Science:

    Unit 1:

    SC1: How can water, ice, wind and vegetation change the land?

    SC2: What patterns of Earth’s features can be determined with the use of maps?

    SC3: How do rock formations and fossils in rocks help to explain changes in a landscape?

    SC4: How can the engineering design process be used to solve a problem?


    Unit 2:

    SC1: How does motion relate to energy?

    SC2: How is energy transferred, how does it move from place to place?

    SC3: What is the relationship between the speed of an object and the energy of that object?

    SC4: What happens to energy when objects collide?

    SC5: How can one use energy to solve a design problem?

    SC6: How does human use of energy and fuels derived from natural resources affect the environment?

    Unit 3:

    SC1: What are the characteristic properties and behaviors of waves?

    SC2: Where can we use patterns to transfer information?


    Unit 4:

    SC1: How do external structures support the survival, growth, behavior, and reproduction of plants and animals?

    SC2: How do internal structures support function in animals?

    SC3: How do animals detect, process, and use information about the environment?

    SC4: How does light play a role in what we see?


    Big Questions for Social Studies:

    Chapter 1:

    SS1: How does climate, natural resources, and landforms affect how plants, animals, and people live? (focus on effect of rainfall)

    SS2: How do climate and geography vary throughout the state? How do these features affect how people live?

    SS3: How does the natural environment affect the type of house you build and how many neighbors you have? or, How does the environment affect the type and quantity of food you eat?


    Chapter 2:

    SS1: Why did Europeans come to California?

    SS2: How did European explorers change the region?

    SS3: How did the region’s geography impact settlement?


    Chapter 3:

    SS1: Why did Spain establish missions? And how did they gain control?

    SS2: How were people’s lives affected by missions?

    SS3: How did the region change because of the mission system?

    SS4: What impact did this encounter (mission system) have upon Native peoples, Spanish missionaries and military, the Spanish / Mexican settler population, and California’s natural environment?

    SS5: How did the lives of California Indians change during the Mission Period? How did they stay the same?

    SS6: How were people’s lives affected by missions?


    Chapter 4:

    SS1: How did the discovery of gold change California?

    SS2: How did California become part of the United States?

    SS3: Why did people come to California?


    Chapter 5:

    SS1: How did California grow after it became a state?

    SS2: Why did people choose to move to California in the last half of the nineteenth century? And why did some Californians oppose migrants?

    SS3: What role did immigrants play in California’s economic growth and transportation expansion?

    SS4: Why was water important to the growth of California?

    SS5: Why did people migrate? Why did some of these migrants face opposition and prejudice?


    Chapter 6:

    SS6: How did the state government form? Who held power in the state?

    SS7: What was life like for California’s increasingly diverse population at the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth century?

    SS8: Did California’s growth have to happen the way it did? What conditions fostered the state’s rapid expansion?


    Chapter 7:

    SS1: How did California grow in the second half of the twentieth century compared to how it had grown for the previous one hundred years?

    SS2: Who came to California? And what was life like for newly arrived migrants as opposed to people who had lived in the state for many years?

    SS3: Return to BIG earlier questions: Why did people come to California? How did people shape their environments? and How and why did the state grow?


    Chapter 8:

    SS1: What was the makeup of the population of migrants and immigrants that came to California in the late 1800s and early 1900s?

    SS2: What conflicts and agreements (accords) occurred amongst different groups in California?

    SS3: What were Colonel Allen Allensworth’s values, and what was his life like?


    Chapter 9:

    SS1: What events led up to the Great Depression?

    SS2: What was the Dust Bowl?

    SS3: How did programs help Californians during the Great Depression?

    SS4: How did California change as a result of WWII?

    SS5: What were the effects of WWII on Japanese Americans in California?


    Chapter 10:

    SS1: Describe the struggle for equal rights.

    SS2: Analyze the effects of the Civil Rights movement in California.

    SS3: How did Cesar Chavez fight for migrant farm workers?


    Chapter 11-Chapter 12:

    SS1: How is the state government organized?

    SS2: What does the local government do?

    SS3: What power does the State of California have?

    SS4: How do ordinary Californians know about their rights and responsibilities in the state and their community?