Institute of Human Origins - March 2024


Next Generation Science Standards

Lessons for NGSS

Author Post
Corrie Armstrong Corrie Armstrong 490 Points

I understand that NGSS is very new, but I was curious if anyone knew of a website that has a lot of lesson plans for NGSS. I feel like it is difficult to come up with the lessons on my own, so it would be great if anyone had information about where I could find lesson plans? Or if there is any future plans for lesson plans to be posted anywhere? Let me know!

Jessica Sawko Jessica Sawko 385 Points

CSTA has posted a few tips and ideas on lessons and NGSS, I recommend: and

Julius Dease Julius Dease 830 Points

I am currently completing a science methods course that is focused on the NGSS. From what we have learned, we're a little ahead of the lesson plans being available for use online somewhere. There may be some out there created by some teachers who are implementing the new standards already but we're currently a part of that group to get the ball rolling in the classrooms. One thing I've learned through making a handful of my own science lessons is that if you focus on aspects of the performance expectations in individual lessons and work towards bringing those smaller focuses together over the course of a unit, the students could more completely gain an understanding of the Performance Expectation as a whole.

Katie Weiss Kathleen Graf 435 Points

Corrie, I echo what Julius stated about seeing how your current lessons match with parts of the NGSS. As you mentioned, this process is new for everyone involved and we as educators will be works-in-progress along the way as more tools, resources, and lessons come available. I'm attaching a sample lesson outline document I created that I'm going to try out as I adapt lessons around the NGSS. It includes the NGSS (and our state standards as my state has not yet adopted the NGSS) and the Science and Engineering practices as outlined in the NGSS. I have not yet included the Cross-Cutting Concepts. It also includes the course in which I plan teach this lesson and the unit progression of lessons. I am going to try to organize my lessons around the 5E model. Overall, I hope this document will help me organize my thoughts. Feel free to take a look, ask questions, let me know if you have any ideas, or if you want - use it! Note on the lesson: It addresses PS2-1 (Newton's 2nd law), but serves as an introduction to it, setting a solid based around what constant velocity is. I don't think my students would fully understand acceleration (and, thus, Newton's 2nd law) without first fully grasping constant velocity. Best of luck! Katie Graf


Sandy Gady Sandy Gady 43175 Points

Corrie, I really appreciate your starting this discussion. There are so many times I feel inadequate for the new transition. What I think I have finally figured out is this, if a lesson was a solid lesson where students learned and build a foundation for understanding more difficult concepts, the lesson will remain strong when we cross to the new standards. What I am still struggling with is where things are in the new standards. The sheer size of them is daunting. It is my intention to spend some time this summer getting a whole lot more familiar with them and aligning them to actual lessons I intend to use next year.

Carolyn Higgins Carolyn Higgins 1610 Points

NSTA has already started getting a collection of lessons/resources together for teachers to access. I am one of the 55 curators that NSTA chose and trained for this task. Since last winter, we have been working on finding resources of all levels for all of the PEs of the NGSS. Since NOTHING is currently aligned to NGSS, the resources will be accompanied by a review that we have written that tells the user how to modify/what to add to make the resource a better fit to the NGSS. Since we are all full time teachers of the level that we are finding lessons for, the resources will be chosen wisely and be useful in a real classroom. The teacher will have to be sure to employ them in the truly integrated NGSS style, blending the 3 dimensions. If you visit the NGSS@NSTA hub, there is already quite a bit of material to learn from. The vetted resources from curators will be on the pages of standards (on the hub, click the tab "The Standards" at top, then choose a standard at your grade level) in the section at the bottom right labeled "Resources & Lesson Plans". But, even as we vet resources now, realize that better resources will be released as people experience NGSS. The head writer of the NGSS, Stephen Pruitt, told us that what is good today will not be good enough 3 years from now. So, consider these resources a starting point to get us all moving in the right direction. I hope that helps!! Carolyn Higgins Middle Level Science Teacher Rhode Island

Cynthia Seibert Cindy Seibert 290 Points

I think it is great that NSTA is helping to find resources that align with NGSS. When I went to the site you suggested to look at lesson plans that align with NGSS. I did not find any for the high school standards. I spot-checked younger grades and found none there also. Can you provide a timeline when some of these resources might be available? Thanks. Cindy

Sandy Gady Sandy Gady 43175 Points

Thank you Carolyn for your information on collections of lessons and resources. I was wondering when the curator work would emerge. I really like you shared Stephen Pruitt’s thoughts, “What is good today will not be good enough 3 years from now.” Definite truth. The link to the hub is To access the standards by topics to access resources, follow the link When you go into the topic, scroll to the bottom where you will see the “Resources and Lesson Plan” active link. Carolyn is correct, for many of the topics, there isn’t anything in the resources area because this whole work is all new and materials are not yet, or are being developed. I believe when we see the first resources rolled out, we will all have a better idea how to move ahead.

Carolyn Higgins Carolyn Higgins 1610 Points

Current estimate is late fall. The work to curate and load them onto the site has taken more time than expected. It will be a great collection with great suggestions once it is opened. And the plan is to continue to add resources, so the selection will only get better once more teachers embrace NGSS.

Carolyn Higgins Carolyn Higgins 1610 Points

Current estimate is late fall. The work to curate and load them onto the site has taken more time than expected. It will be a great collection with great suggestions once it is opened. And the plan is to continue to add resources, so the selection will only get better once more teachers embrace NGSS.

Kathy Renfrew Kathleen Renfrew 37148 Points

I want to expand on Carolyn's answer. I am an elementary school teacher and I can honestly tell you it is very difficult to find instructional sequences that meet the expectations of NGSS. It is no longer okay to try to squish a lesson into one 45-50 minute period. Quality concept development will most likely need a series of well-planned coherent lessons. The best lessons will have a storyline that defines the sequence of lessons. It will begin with an "anchoring event". An anchoring event might be a video, a compelling piece of information or problem.The anchoring event is more than the engage of the 5Es. While it is usually very engaging, it is engagement with the content setting a rich, relevant context for the science investigations that will follow where students will be doing science, implementing science and engineering practices, grappling with the concepts as well as the cross-cutting concepts. These ideal instructional sequences will involve natural literacy and mathematical connections where standards from the Common Core can be met. My best guesstimate for an amount of time would be anywhere from 5-10 class periods of an hour or so a day. These instructional sequences will come but they will take time. For many this is the first of 3-4 years of implementation. Lots of time for development and classroom assessments to be built. Transitioning to NGSS is both revolutionary and evolutionary. NGSS is our opportunity to improve science instruction for all learners. Kathy

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