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Lessons for Life Science Standards (Appendix E.)

Appendix E. Life Science Standards (LINKS to Examples)

LS1 Structure and Processes (From Molecules to Organisms):

LS1.A Structure and Function

K-2 All organisms have external parts that they use to perform daily functions.

3-5 Organisms have both internal and external macroscopic structures that allow for growth, survival, behavior, and reproduction.

6-8 All living things are made up of cells. In organisms, cells work together to form tissues and organs that are specialized for particular body functions.

9-12 Systems of specialized cells within organisms help perform essential functions of life. Any one system in an organism is made up of numerous parts. Feedback mechanisms maintain an organism’s internal conditions within certain limits and mediate behaviors.


Cells Structure, Function, Activities

Name the Cell Structures of Animal and Plant Cells

Cell Organelle Quiz

Body Tissues and Body Systems

Levels of Organizations in the Body

Organization of the Body Activity (Assessment)

Body System Graphic Organizer

Body Systems and Activities


LS1.B Growth And Development Of Organisms

K-2 Parents and offspring often engage in behaviors that help the offspring survive.

3-5 Reproduction is essential to every kind of organism. Organisms have unique and diverse life cycles.

6-8 Animals engage in behaviors that increase the odds of reproduction. An organism’s growth is affected by both genetic and environmental factors.

9-12 Growth and division of cells in organisms occurs by mitosis and differentiation for specific cell types.

Animal Life Cycles

Adaptation (for Reproductive Success)


Male Reproductive System Quiz

Female Reproductive System Quiz


LS1.C Organization For Matter And Energy Flow In Organisms

K-2 Animals obtain food they need from plants or other animals. Plants need water and light.

3-5 Food provides animals with the materials and energy they need for body repair, growth, warmth, and motion. Plants acquire material for growth chiefly from air, water, and process matter and obtain energy from sunlight, which is used to maintain conditions necessary for survival.

6-8 Plants use the energy from light to make sugars through photosynthesis. Within individual organisms, food is broken down through a series of chemical reactions that rearrange molecules and release energy.

  9-12 The hydrocarbon backbones of sugars produced through photosynthesis are used to make amino acids and other molecules that can be assembled into proteins or DNA. Through cellular respiration, matter and energy flow through different organizational levels of an organism as elements are recombined to form different products and transfer energy.


Energy Flow in an Ecosystem - Inquiry-based Activity

Food Webs

Understanding Food Webs

Trophic Level Graphic Organizer

The Digestive Tract and Activities

The Importance of Proteins

The Structure and Function of DNA


LS1.D Information Processing

K-2 Animals sense and communicate information and respond to inputs with behaviors that help them grow and survive.

3-5 Different sense receptors are specialized for particular kinds of information; Animals use their perceptions and memories to guide their actions.

6-8 Each sense receptor responds to different inputs, transmitting them as signals that travel along nerve cells to the brain; The signals are then processed in the brain, resulting in immediate behavior or memories.

9-12 N/A

The Nervous System

Special Senses

Graphic Organizer for the Senses

Sense Organs of the Skin



LS2 Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy and Dynamics:

 LS2.A Interdependent Relationships In Ecosystems

K-2 Plants depend on water and light to grow, and also depend on animals for pollination or to move their seeds around.

3-5 The food of almost any animal can be traced back to plants. Organisms are related in food webs in which some animals eat plants for food and other animals eat the animals that eat plants, while decomposers restore some materials back to the soil.

6-8 Organisms and populations are dependent on their environmental interactions both with other living things and with nonliving factors, any of which can limit their growth. Competitive, predatory, and mutually beneficial interactions vary across ecosystems but the patterns are shared.

9-12 Ecosystems have carrying capacities resulting from biotic and abiotic factors. The fundamental tension between resource availability and organism populations affects the abundance of species in any given ecosystem.


Plant Adaptations For Pollination And Seed Dispersal

Adaptation Structure and Function in Animals

An Example of Pollination Adaptation

Food Webs

Understanding Food Webs

Trophic Level Graphic Organizer

Biotic Vs. ABiotic

Food Webs - The Nutrient Cycle

The Right Beak for the Right Job

Food Wed Activities



LS2.B Cycles Of Matter And Energy Transfer In Ecosystems

K-2 Animals obtain food they need from plants or other animals. Plants need water and light. (LS1.C)

Living things need water, air, and resources from the land, and they live in places that have the things they need. Humans use natural resources for everything they do. (ESS3.A)

3-5 Matter cycles between the air and soil and among organisms as they live and die.

6-8 The atoms that make up the organisms in an ecosystem are cycled repeatedly between the living and nonliving parts of the ecosystem. Food webs model how matter and energy are transferred among producers, consumers, and decomposers as the three groups interact within an ecosystem.

9-12 Photosynthesis and cellular respiration provide most of the energy for life processes. Only a fraction of matter consumed at the lower level of a food web is transferred up, resulting in fewer organisms at higher levels. At each link in an ecosystem elements are combined in different ways and matter and energy are conserved. Photosynthesis and cellular respiration are key components of the global carbon cycle.


Life Cycles

Food Webs and Trophic Levels

Examples of Food Webs


LS2.C Ecosystem Dynamics, Functioning, And Resilience

K-2 N/A

3-6 When the environment changes some organisms survive and reproduce, some move to new locations, some move into the transformed environment, and some die.

6-8 Ecosystem characteristics vary over time. Disruptions to any part of an ecosystem can lead to shifts in all of its populations. The completeness or integrity of an ecosystem’s biodiversity is often used as a measure of its health.

9-12 If a biological or physical disturbance to an ecosystem occurs, including one induced by human activity, the ecosystem may return to its more or less original state or become a very different ecosystem, depending on the complex set of interactions within the ecosystem.



Climate Change

Habitat Loss

Ocean Pollution

The Importance of Wetlands



LS2.D Social Interactions And Group Behavior

K-2 N/A

3-5 Being part of a group helps animals obtain food, defend themselves, and cope with changes.

6-8 N/A

9-12 Group behavior has evolved because membership can increase the chances of survival for individuals and their genetic relatives.

Adaptation Illustrated

Ecology (the relationships of living things with each other)



LS3 Heredity: Inheritance and Variation of Traits:

LS3.A Inheritance of Traits

K-2 Young organisms are very much, but not exactly, like their parents and also resemble other organisms of the same kind.

3-5 Different organisms vary in how they look and function because they have different inherited information; the environment also affects the traits that an organism develops.

6-8 Genes chiefly regulate a specific protein, which affect an individual’s traits.

9-12 DNA carries instructions for forming species’ characteristics. Each cell in an organism has the same genetic content, but genes expressed by cells can differ.

Predicting Genetics Traits - The Punnett Square

Genetics Activity - Create The Kids

Genetics for Kids Mini-lecture and Punnett's Square Activity

Chromosomes, Genes and Traits

The Important Role of Proteins in… Everything

DNA - Structure and Function

Where is Your DNA?


LS3.B Variation of Traits

K-2 N/A

3-5 N/A

6-8 In sexual reproduction, each parent contributes half of the genes acquired by the offspring resulting in variation between parent and offspring. Genetic information can be altered because of mutations, which may result in beneficial, negative, or no change to proteins in or traits of an organism.

9-12 The variation and distribution of traits in a population depend on genetic and environmental factors. Genetic variation can result from mutations caused by environmental factors or errors in DNA replication, or from chromosomes swapping sections during meiosis.

Adaptation (for Reproductive Success)

Chromosomes, Genes and Traits

DNA - Structure and Function



LS4 Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity:

LS4.A Evidence Of Common Ancestry And Diversity

K-2 N/A

3-5 Some living organisms resemble organisms that once lived on Earth. Fossils provide evidence about the types of organisms and environments that existed long ago.

6-8 The fossil record documents the existence, diversity, extinction, and change of many life forms and their environments through Earth’s history. The fossil record and comparisons of anatomical similarities between organisms enables the inference of lines of evolutionary descent.

9-12 The ongoing branching that produces multiple lines of descent can be inferred by comparing DNA sequences, amino acid sequences, and anatomical and embryological evidence of different organisms.

Classification - Authentic Performance Activity


LS4.B Natural Selection

K-2 N/A

3-5 Differences in characteristics between individuals of the same species provide advantages in surviving and reproducing.

6-8 Both natural and artificial selection result from certain traits giving some individuals an advantage in surviving and reproducing, leading to predominance of certain traits in a population.

9-12 Natural selection occurs only if there is variation in the genes and traits between organisms in a population. Traits that positively affect survival can become more common in a population.

Adaptation (and Natural Selection)

Natural Selection and the Peppered Moth Activity

Adaptation - What is it?


LS4.C Adaptation

K-2 N/A

3-5 Particular organisms can only survive in particular environments.

6-8 Species can change over time in response to changes in environmental conditions through adaptation by natural selection acting over generations. Traits that support successful survival and reproduction in the new environment become more common.

9-12 Evolution results primarily from genetic variation of individuals in a species, competition for resources, and proliferation of organisms better able to survive and reproduce. Adaptation means that the distribution of traits in a population, as well as species expansion, emergence or extinction, can change when conditions change.

LS4.D Biodiversity and Humans

K-2 A range of different organisms lives in different places.

3-5 Populations of organisms live in a variety of habitats. Change in those habitats affects the organisms living there.

6-8 Changes in biodiversity can influence humans’ resources and ecosystem services they rely on.

9-12 Biodiversity is increased by formation of new species and reduced by extinction.

Humans depend on biodiversity but also have adverse impacts on it. Sustaining biodiversity is essential to supporting life on Earth.

Ecology (the relationships of living things with each other)




Climate Change

Habitat Loss

Ocean Pollution

The Importance of Wetlands


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