Core Curriculum Content Standards

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NJ World Class Standards
Content Area: Science

Content Area



5.4 Earth Systems Science: All students will understand that Earth operates as a set of complex, dynamic, and interconnected systems, and is a part of the all-encompassing system of the universe.


F. Climate and Weather: Earth’s weather and climate systems are the result of complex interactions between land, ocean, ice, and atmosphere.

By the end of grade

Content Statement


Cumulative Progress Indicator (CPI)


Observations and investigations form the basis for young learners’ understanding of weather and climate.


Observe and record weather.


Current weather conditions include air movement, clouds, and precipitation. Weather conditions affect our daily lives.


Observe and document daily weather conditions and discuss how the weather influences your activities for the day.


Weather changes that occur from day to day and across the seasons can be measured and documented using basic instruments such as a thermometer, wind vane, anemometer, and rain gauge.


Identify patterns in data collected from basic weather instruments.


Weather is the result of short-term variations in temperature, humidity, and air pressure.


Explain the interrelationships between daily temperature, air pressure, and relative humidity data.


Climate is the result of long-term patterns of temperature and precipitation.


Create climatographs for various locations around Earth and categorize the climate based on the yearly patterns of temperature and precipitation.


Global patterns of atmospheric movement influence local weather.


Determine the origin of local weather by exploring national and international weather maps.


Climate is influenced locally and globally by atmospheric interactions with land masses and bodies of water.


Explain the mechanisms that cause varying daily temperature ranges in a coastal community and in a community located in the interior of the country.


Weather (in the short term) and climate (in the long term) involve the transfer of energy and water in and out of the atmosphere.


Create a model of the hydrologic cycle that focuses on the transfer of water in and out of the atmosphere. Apply the model to different climates around the world.


Global climate differences result from the uneven heating of Earth’s surface by the Sun. Seasonal climate variations are due to the tilt of Earth’s axis with respect to the plane of Earth’s nearly circular orbit around the Sun.


Explain that it is warmer in summer and colder in winter for people in New Jersey because the intensity of sunlight is greater and the days are longer in summer than in winter. Connect these seasonal changes in sunlight to the tilt of Earth’s axis with respect to the plane of its orbit around the Sun.


Climate is determined by energy transfer from the Sun at and near Earth’s surface. This energy transfer is influenced by dynamic processes, such as cloud cover and Earth’s rotation, as well as static conditions, such as proximity to mountain ranges and the ocean. Human activities, such as the burning of fossil fuels, also affect the global climate.


Explain how the climate in regions throughout the world is affected by seasonal weather patterns, as well as other factors, such as the addition of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere and proximity to mountain ranges and to the ocean.


Earth’s radiation budget varies globally, but is balanced. Earth’s hydrologic cycle is complex and varies globally, regionally, and locally.


Explain variations in the global energy budget and hydrologic cycle at the local, regional, and global scales.