Public District School Board Writing Partnership

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Course Profiles

Public District School Board Writing Partnership

Course Profile


Grade 9


for teachers by teachers

Units 1 and 2

Course Profiles are professional development materials designed to help teachers implement the new Grade 9 secondary school curriculum. These materials were created by writing partnerships of school boards and subject associations. The development of these resources was funded by the Ontario Ministry of Education and Training. This document reflects the views of the developers and not necessarily those of the Ministry. Permission is given to reproduce these materials for any purpose except profit. Teachers are encouraged to amend, revise, edit, cut, paste, and otherwise adapt this material for educational purposes.

Any references in this document to particular commercial resources, learning materials, equipment, or technology reflect only the opinions of the writers of this sample Course Profile, and do not reflect any official endorsement by the Ministry of Education and Training or by the Partnership of school Boards that supported the production of the document.

© Queen’s Printer for Ontario


Public District School Board Writing Teams - Science

Course Profile Writing Team

Arthur Prudham, Lead Writer, Waterloo Region District School Board and

Science Co-ordinators and Consultants Association of Ontario

Tom Card, Peel District School Board

Nancy Clarke, York Region District School Board

Chuck Hammill, Peel District School Board

Heather Troup, Peel District School Board

Peter Tse, York Region District School Board


Dave Arthur, Ontario Society for Environmental Education (OSEE); Cecil Knight, Kawartha Pine Ridge DSB; Phil Logan, Ed Mahfouz, Patricia Thomas, Ottawa Carleton DSB; Paulette Luft, Philip Marsh, Elaine Sturm, Peel DSB; Dennis Wendland, Waterloo Region DSB and OSEE; Fiona White, Kawartha Pine Ridge DSB and STAO

Lead Board

Peel District School Board

Allan Smith, Project Manager

Partner Boards

Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board, Ottawa Carleton District School Board, Waterloo Region District School Board, York Region District School Board


Ontario Society for Environmental Education (OSEE)

Science Co-ordinators and Consultants Association of Ontario (SCCAO)

Science Teachers Association of Ontario (STAO)

Unit 1: Weird Water - Skill Builders

Time: 865 minutes

Unit Description

This unit uses some of the unique properties of water as a unifying theme and provides opportunities for the teacher to assess the current status of students with respect to their skills in science inquiry, their knowledge of the safe and appropriate use of equipment, and their ability to work independently, in small groups and as a whole class during instruction. The second overall expectation in each of the Ministry Strands describes the development of cognitive and manipulative science skills, and it is these Expectations that are the focus of this unit.

Strand(s) & Expectations

Strands: Biology, Chemistry, Earth and Space Science, Physics



postulates of Cell Theory, process of cell division, BY1.01

properties of static electric charges, PH1.01

properties, motion and components of solar system, ES1.03

models - atomic, subatomic ..... CH1.07

density CH1.13

Skills - inquiry, communication

initiating and planning

• plan and conduct investigation, using tools, BY2.01

• plan and conduct investigation, using tools, CH2.03

• formulate questions PH2.02

• formulate questions CH2.02

performing and recording

• manipulation of lab equipment calculator, PH2.01

• manipulation of lab equipment microscope, BY2.02

• manipulation of lab equipment glassware, CH2.02

• gather, organize and record information ES2.05

analyzing and interpreting

• research, evaluate and integrate ES2.04

• research, evaluate and integrate PH2.04

• analyze qualitative and quantitative data ES2.06

• using model CH2.09


• scientific ideas BY2.05

• scientific ideas PH2.06

• scientific ideas CH2.06


how data from different sources contribute to knowledge ES3.03

Activity Titles (Time and Sequence)



Time (minutes)


Working with Water



Pond Water



Properties of Water



Water and Space



Models of Atoms and Molecules



Culminating Task


Prior Learning Required

Teachers should examine the Teacher Support Material (TSM - Ontario Curriculum, Grades 1 - 8: Science and Technology) to gain an understanding of content and skills with which students arrive. This is a diagnostic unit, providing opportunities to assess the knowledge and skills of students as they begin this course.

Unit Planning Notes

Student notebooks should be divided into two parts - Science Notes where students copy or create their notes and a Science Journal where students record questions and reflect on their learning.

The ‘Wonder Wall’, or a bulletin board where students post Thought Provoking Questions (TPQ.) needs to be organized before the first class. Its use is explained in Activity 1.

(TSM - Glossary:Wonder Wall)

Specific planning for each activity is described in the subsequent pages. However, the following should be noted in advance:

• pond water is required for Activity 2

• access to the Resource Centre/Library materials is required for Activities 4 and 6

Learning/Teaching Strategies or Activities





Mind Map

Diagnostic in nature, where students record what they know about water related to the four strands. The students will work in a whole-class setting and individually.


Using equipment

The activity reviews microscope use and the completion of scientific diagrams. The students will work individually or in pairs depending on the availability of microscopes.



This is a hands-on activity on measurement, collecting and organizing data. The students will work in small group settings including a jigsaw activity.



This is a research activity conducted in the Resource Centre. The students will work individually.


Using models

This is a teacher-directed activity on the role and importance of models. The students will work in small groups.


Culminating Task

Students will work individually.



Assessing and Evaluating

Method or Instrument


Prior Knowledge

Mind Map


Microscope Usage

Peer check-list

Scientific Diagrams

Teacher evaluated


Communication and Group skills


Recording data


Interpreting and analyzing data



Communication skills


Research skills



Prior Knowledge

Science Journal and checklist

Understanding concepts

Science Journal and Quiz


Inquiry Skills

Culminating Task Rubric

Understanding concepts

Mind Map revision and Quiz


Scales of Scientific Inquiry and Technological Design, Peel District School Board, 1998.

Activity 1: Working with Water (Introduction to Course Expectations)

Time: 80 - 100 minutes


The first activity serves to introduce the course content, the assessment and evaluation practices employed, the notebook organization, and to begin some diagnostic tasks. There are four parts to this activity and they should be presented in the order suggested here. Other course-beginning procedures, as determined by individual schools, can be integrated into this first activity.

Strand(s) & Expectations

Strands: Biology, Chemistry, Physics

Expectations: BY2.01, BY2.05, CH2.02, CH2.06, PH2.02, PH2.06

These expectations relate to formulating questions and communicating ideas, two aspects of the inquiry process which are stressed in this activity. These will be assessed on many occasions throughout the course.

Planning Notes

Equipment required:

ebonite rod wool or fur

rubbing alcohol paraffin wax

dry cell copper wire (depending on the demonstrations planned)


mind map template Achievement Chart for Science

outline of the Culminating Task rubric used to evaluate the Culminating Task

Any demonstration should be practised ahead of time. As well, it is necessary to be conversant with the Achievement Chart for Science and the rubrics for inquiry and the final assessment task.

Prior Learning Required

None is specifically required but many students will arrive being familiar with some aspects of inquiry. For a summary of students’ previous learning refer to TSM - Ontario Curriculum, Grades 1 - 8: Science and Technology.

Teaching/Learning Strategies

1.1 Student Activity: Students will observe a number of discrepant event demonstrations related to water. Students will work on developing their questioning skills. Questions, observations and inferences should be recorded in the Science Journal. Students will also post their questions on a bulletin board (the Wonder Wall - see TSM - Glossary).

Teacher Facilitation: The teacher will perform a number of discrepant event

demonstrations that are related to water. These could include:

• bending of water: charge an ebonite rod by rubbing it with a piece of wool or fur and hold the charged rod close to a narrow stream of water

• paraffin in water and in alcohol: set up two beakers, one containing alcohol and the other containing water, and place a piece of paraffin wax in each. [Take appropriate safety precautions using flammable alcohol; some individuals have skin sensitivities or allergies to alcohols.]

• mini-electrolysis: attach each terminal of a dry cell to two separate pieces of copper wire and immerse the ends of the wires in a beaker of acidified water.

The intent of these activities is to develop the questioning skills of the students. (Refer to Teacher Support Material, TSM - Questions.) At no time should you explain the events. Discuss observations and inferences with students. Prompt students to modify their questions until they are in a form that could be subjected to investigation – a question on an issue which could be researched, or one which identifies variables which could be subjected to experimental investigation. (Refer to Teacher Support Material, TSM - Questions.) A bulletin board should be set aside for students to post questions. This could be called “The Wonder Wall” or “TPQ” (thought provoking questions) (TSM - Glossary: Wonder Wall). Throughout the course, as questions are answered, solutions are posted, and as new questions evolve they are added. Questions from the Wonder Wall and Science Journal may provide a starting point for the end-of-course Final Assessment (Unit 6: Making Connections).

1.2 Student Activity: Students working in groups will complete the mind map template to the best of their abilities. At the end of the unit, students will revise their original mind map.

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