Idaho State Standards

Here are correlations to the Idaho State Language and Math standards and to the Idaho State Science Standards. For more information about the overall standards, see the complete Idaho Content Standards for Science, the Next Generation Science Standards, and the alignment between Idaho and NGSS Science Standards. You may also access the Idaho English Language Arts/Literacy Standards and Mathematics Standards.


Second Grade


Capitalize holidays, names, and places.

Suggested Lesson

Practice writing the names of significant rivers that are near your location or that have historical value.

Fourth Grade


Explain events, procedures, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text, including what happened and why.

Suggested Lesson

Explain in writing how sediment forms to redirect the flow of a river as in the case of a meander.

Sixth Grade


Write personal or fictional narratives that establish a situation and narrator; engage and orient the reader to the context; use narrative techniques such as description, dialogue, pacing, concrete words and sensory details to develop the characters, event(s), or experience(s); and provide a conclusion that follows from the narrated event(s).

Suggested Lesson

Tell the story of a river's journey from headwater to mouth. Include details that describe common parts of a river, such as a waterfall, an alluvial fan, banks, oxbow lake, etc.


First Grade


Order three objects by length; compare the lengths of two objects indirectly by using a third object.

Suggested Lesson

Using a map of Idaho, order the lengths of the major rivers from smallest to largest. Compare them to the river nearest your location.

Third Grade


Generate measurement data by measuring lengths of objects using rulers marked with halves and fourths of an inch. Record and show the data by making a line plot (dot plot), where the horizontal scale is marked off in appropriate units — whole numbers, halves, or fourths.

Suggested Lesson

Measure the length of one of the pieces of a standard piece of chalkboard chalk broken into 2–3 pieces. Place one broken piece into a small lidded container such as an empty pill bottle or film canister. Fill container to cover chalk with water, place the lid on and shake. Shake the container for several minutes. Pour the contents out and soak up most of the water with a paper towel. This may take a few minutes. Measure the size of the chalk again. Observe the changes in the chalk. Discuss how this is related to erosion. What can you determine about the small particles?

Fifth Grade


Describe and understand the key attributes of the coordinate plane.

a. Use a pair of perpendicular number lines (axes) with the intersection of the lines (the origin (0,0)) arranged to coincide with the 0 on each line and a given point in the plane located by using an ordered pair of numbers, called its coordinates.

b. Understand that the x-coordinate, the first number in an ordered pair, indicates movement parallel to the x-axis starting at the origin; and the y-coordinate, the second number, indicates movement parallel to the y-axis starting at the origin.

Suggested Lesson

Copy a map of Idaho (or some other location) on to graph paper labeled with coordinates. Make sure to include the location's rivers. Play a game of “Battleship” by having students identify the river located at specific coordinates on that map. Have students color in the ones they are able to identify. An opposing player gets to color in the river if it was identified incorrectly.



Earth and Space Sciences: K-ESS-2.3

Communicate ideas that would enable humans to interact in a beneficial way with the land, water, air, and/or other living things in the local environment.

Supporting Content

Things that people do can affect the world around them. People can reduce their effects on the land, water, air, and other living things.

Earth and Space Sciences: 2-ESS-2.1

Use a model to represent the relationship between the needs of different plants and animals and the places they live.

Supporting Content

Living things need water, air, and resources from the land, and they live in places that have the things they need.

Second Grade

Earth and Space Sciences: 2-ESS-2.3

Obtain information to identify where water is found on Earth and that it can be solid or liquid.

Supporting Content

Water is found in the ocean, rivers, lakes, and ponds. Water exists as solid ice and in liquid form.

Earth and Space Sciences: 2-ESS-2.2

Develop a model to represent the shapes and kinds of land and bodies of water in an area.

Supporting Content

Maps show where things are located. One can map the shapes and kinds of land and water in any area.

Earth and Space Sciences: 2-ESS-2.1

Compare multiple solutions designed to slow or prevent wind or water from changing the shape of the land.

Supporting Content

Wind and water can change the shape of the land.

Because there is always more than one possible solution to a problem, it is useful to compare and test designs.

Examples of solutions could include different designs of dikes and windbreaks to hold back wind and water, and different designs for using shrubs, grass, and trees to hold back the land.

Earth and Space Sciences: 2-ESS-1.1

Use information from several sources to provide evidence that Earth events can occur quickly or slowly.

Supporting Content

Some events happen very quickly; others occur very slowly, over a time period much longer than one can observe.

Life Sciences: 2-LS-2.1

Make observations of plants and animals to compare the diversity of life in different habitats.

Supporting Content

There are many different kinds of living things in any area, and they exist in different places on land and in water.

The emphasis is on the diversity of living things in each of a variety of different habitats.

Third Grade

Earth and Space Sciences: 3-ESS-2.1

Make a claim about the merit of a design solution that reduces the impacts of a weather-related hazard.

Supporting Content

A variety of natural hazards result from natural processes. Humans cannot eliminate natural hazards but can take steps to reduce their impacts.

Examples of design solutions to weather-related hazards could include barriers to prevent flooding, wind-resistant roofs, and lightning rods.

Fourth Grade

Earth and Space Sciences: 4-ESS-3.1

Obtain and combine information to describe that energy and fuels are derived from natural resources and their uses affect the environment.

Supporting Content

Energy and fuels that humans use are derived from natural sources affect the environment in multiple ways.

Examples of renewable energy resources could include wind energy, water behind dams, and sunlight; non-renewable energy resources are fossil fuels and atomic energy. Examples of environmental effects could include biological effects from moving parts, erosion, change of habitat, and pollution.

Earth and Space Sciences: 4-ESS-2.1

Make observations and/or measurements to provide evidence of the effects of weathering or the rate of erosion by water, ice, wind, or vegetation.

Supporting Content

Rainfall helps to shape the land and affects the types of living things found in a region. Water, ice, wind, living organisms, and gravity break rocks, soils, and sediments into smaller particles and move them around.

Examples of variables to test could include angle of slope in the downhill movement of water, amount of vegetation, relative rate of deposition, cycles of freezing and thawing of water, cycles of heating and cooling, and volume of water flow.

Earth and Space Sciences: 4-ESS-1.1

Identify evidence from patterns in rock formations and fossils in rock layers for changes in a landscape over time to support an explanation for changes in a landscape over time.

Supporting Content

Examples of evidence from patterns could include rock layers with marine shell fossils above rock layers with plant fossils and no shells, indicating a change from land to water over time; and a canyon with different rock layers in the walls and a river in the bottom, indicating that over time a river cut through the rock.

Fifth Grade

Life Sciences: 5-LS-2.4

Make a claim about the merit of a solution to a problem caused when the environment changes and the types of plants and animals living there may change.

Supporting Content

When the environment changes, some organisms survive and reproduce, others move to new locations, yet others move into the transformed environment, and some die.

Populations live in a variety of habitats, and change in those habitats affects the organisms living there.

Examples of environmental changes could include changes in water distribution.

Earth and Space Sciences: 5-ESS-3.1

Obtain and combine information about ways communities protect Earth's resources and environment using scientific ideas.

Supporting Content

Human activities in agriculture, industry, and everyday life have effects on the land, vegetation, stream, ocean, air and even outer space. Individuals and communities can often mitigate these effects through innovation and technology.

Earth and Space Sciences: 5-ESS-2.2

Describe and graph the relative amounts of fresh and salt water in various reservoirs, to interpret and analyze the distribution of water on Earth.

Supporting Content

Nearly all of Earth's available water is in the ocean. Most freshwater is in glaciers or underground; only a tiny fraction is in streams, lakes, wetlands, and the atmosphere.

Sixth Grade

Earth and Space Sciences: MS-ESS-3.3

Apply scientific practices to design a method for monitoring human activity and increasing beneficial human influences on the environment.

Supporting Content

Examples of the design process include examining human interactions and designing feasible solutions that promote stewardship. Examples can include water usage (such as stream and river use, aquifer recharge, or dams and levee construction); land usage (such as urban development, agriculture, wetland benefits, stream reclamation, or fire restoration); and pollution (such as of the air, water, or land).

Earth and Space Sciences: MS-ESS-3.1

Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence for how Earth’s mineral, energy, and groundwater resources are unevenly distributed as a result of past and current geologic processes.

Supporting Content

Resources such as fresh water are limited, and distributed unevenly around the planet as a result of past geologic processes.

Earth and Space Sciences: MS-ESS-2.4

Develop a model to describe the cycling of water through Earth's systems driven by energy from the Sun and the force of gravity.

Supporting Content

Water continually cycles among land, ocean, and atmosphere via transpiration, evaporation, condensation and crystallization, and precipitation, as well as downhill flows on land.

Global movements of water and its changes in form are propelled by sunlight and gravity.

Emphasis is on the ways water changes its state as it moves through the multiple pathways of the hydrologic cycle.

Earth and Space Sciences: MS-ESS-2.2

Construct an explanation based on evidence for how geoscience processes have changed Earth's surface at varying time and spatial scales.

Supporting Content

Water's movements-both on the land and underground cause weathering and erosion, which change the land's surface features and create underground formations.

Examples of geoscience processes include surface weathering and deposition by the movements of water, ice, and wind.