Next Generation Science Standards Correlation Guides

The California Education and the Environment (EEI) Curriculum contains a wide array of resources to support your transition to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). The EEI Curriculum uses the environment as an authentic, engaging, and highly effective context in which students can more readily see the relevance of science and engineering to their lives. Although the EEI Curriculum was based on California’s 1998 science content standards, it contains diverse instructional resources that, if thoughtfully integrated, can enrich lessons and units of study focused on California’s NGSS.

California’s new Science Curriculum Framework provides several examples of how the EEI Curriculum can be integrated into NGSS-focused instruction.

New state-adopted science materials are not expected to be available until early 2019. In the meantime, many teachers are looking for instructional materials to incorporate into their own NGSS-focused lessons. Until new instructional materials are adopted by the State Board of Education, the California Department of Education is encouraging teachers to use and adapt existing resources, such as the EEI Curriculum, as they develop their own three-dimensional lessons. California’s Environmental Principles and Concepts (EP&Cs) are an integral part of the new Science Curriculum Framework and are a required component of the criteria for adopting new instructional materials. The EEI Curriculum, was designed specifically to model how to teach the EP&Cs in the context of state standards and, therefore, provides a good opportunity to help students understand the “big ideas” contained within the EP&Cs.

The NGSS correlation guides, provided below, were designed to help teachers see how the content of the EEI Curriculum can support NGSS-focused instruction. Each unit-specific correlation guide shows which performance expectations (PEs) are related to and are supported by the EEI Curriculum unit and elaborates on how the units can be used to support the related Science and Engineering Practices (SEPs), Disciplinary Core Ideas (DCIs), and Crosscutting Concepts (CCCs). Please note that some EEI Curriculum units correlate to PEs for more than one grade level or a different grade level than that for which the units were originally written.

No, EEI Curriculum units are not NGSS lessons. As written, most EEI Curriculum lessons would not be considered three-dimensional. However, the EEI Curriculum provides extensive instructional resources for teachers who are developing their own three-dimensional lessons. These resources include:

  • Engaging and relevant real-world connections in science;
  • A focus on the DCIs directed at Earth and Human Activity, as well as crosscutting concepts like cause and effect relationships between human activities and impacts on the environment;
  • Many lessons task the students with engaging in argument from evidence—a Science and Engineering Practice. Other EEI Curriculum units offer opportunities to explore additional SEPs including obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information and analyzing and interpreting data; and
  • Beautiful maps, visual aids, and readings that serve as great resources for supporting NGSS lessons.

The EEI can be a valuable resource no matter where you are in your transition to NGSS. You can draw materials from EEI Curriculum units and adapt them to support your NGSS-focused lessons. Here are some tips:

  • Use EEI Curriculum materials as the starting point for “phenomena-based” instruction that will frame NGSS lessons in a relevant and engaging environmental context;
  • Use EEI Curriculum maps, readings, visual aids, alternative assessments, etc. as components of new three-dimensional lessons. EEI Curriculum materials are a particularly good source of data related to natural systems and human influence on those systems.
  • Adjust existing procedures to make them more student-driven. For example, rather than telling students new information, ask them questions such as “What do you wonder about…?” to stimulate conversation;
  • “Flip” lessons within units and begin with having students develop questions, before they learn the facts, about the phenomena featured in the unit;
  • Have students engage in activities that the lesson procedures currently describe as teacher demonstrations; and
  • Have students develop and revise models (e.g. drawings) to demonstrate their understanding of phenomena that are described in the EEI Curriculum lessons.