Phenomenal Science

Phenomenal Science is a complete K-5 curriculum that has been designed for meeting the vision of the NRC Framework,  the NGSS, and the Michigan Science Standards.  The units are phenomena-based, and integrate engineering, math, and language arts.  The units include scripted lessons to support teachers with implementation, multiple assessment opportunities, handouts, and additional links to resources to engage students in sense-making around phenomena.  Student sense-making is enhanced by instructional routines woven throughout the lessons such as conducting investigations that lead to evidence based discussions, making thinking visible through scientific models and notebooks, and constructing refined explanations through the process of argumentation.   The development and sustainability of Phenomenal Science has been made possible through collaborations between and support from many partners. 

Adding Phenomenal Science to the Collabrify Roadmap Platform elevates the units to the next level. Now, the units are deeply-digital using a visual pathway of exploration, allowing for digital modeling and collaborative student work online.  These units can be used by the teacher in a whole group setting using a smartboard, by students in small groups, or by a student individually.  

The first unit for each grade level on Roadmaps is offered free from the University of Michigan Center for Digital Curricula (see list below). To use the Phenomenal Science curricula on the Collabrify Roadmap Platform please contact us.

Phenomenal Science Background

Phenomenal Science meets three critical needs lacking in elementary science: lack of time for science instruction, accessible quality resources, and teacher comfort with teaching science. It promotes science instruction as a process of student sense-making. 

Science learning research is foundational to Phenomenal Science and includes constructivist approaches, social learning theories, neuroscience applications, higher order thinking, inquiry, and the crucial evidence of A Framework for K-12 Science Education. (NAP, 2011) 


Supported by research, the units were developed by teachers to address the lack of updated curricular materials and provide resources to shift instruction to meet all three dimensions of NGSS. These free, phenomena-based units include assessments, lessons, handouts, and links to resources to engage students in sense-making around science phenomena.