Life Science - Evidence of Common Ancestry and Diversity
Disciplinary Core Ideas (NGSS)
LS4.A: Evidence of Common Ancestry and Diversity
• The collection of fossils and their placement in chronological order (e.g., through the location of the sedimentary layers in which they are found or through radioactive dating) is known as the fossil record. It documents the existence, diversity, extinction, and change of many life forms throughout the history of life on Earth. (MS-LS4-1)
• Anatomical similarities and differences between various organisms living today and between them and organisms in the fossil record, enable the reconstruction of evolutionary history and the inference of lines of evolutionary descent. (MS-LS4-2)
• Comparison of the embryological development of different species also reveals similarities that show relationships not evident in the fully-formed anatomy. (MS-LS4-3)
LS4.B: Natural Selection
• Natural selection leads to the predominance of certain traits in a population, and the suppression of others. (MS-LS4-4)
• Adaptation by natural selection acting over generations is one important process by which species change over time in response to changes in environmental conditions. Traits that support successful survival and reproduction in the new environment become more common; those that do not become less common. Thus, the distribution of traits in a population changes. (MS-LS4-6)
Science and Engineering Practices (NGSS)
Analyzing and Interpreting Data
Analyzing data in 6–8 builds on K–5 experiences and progresses to extending quantitative analysis to investigations, distinguishing between correlation and causation, and basic statistical techniques of data and error analysis.
• Analyze displays of data to identify linear and nonlinear relationships. (MS-LS4-3)
• Analyze and interpret data to determine similarities and differences in findings. (MS-LS4-1)
Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking
Mathematical and computational thinking in 6–8 builds on K–5 experiences and progresses to identifying patterns in large data sets and using mathematical concepts to support explanations and arguments.
• Use mathematical representations to support scientific conclusions and design solutions. (MS-LS4-6)
Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions
Constructing explanations and designing solutions in 6–8 builds on K–5 experiences and progresses to include constructing explanations and designing solutions supported by multiple sources of evidence consistent with scientific ideas, principles, and theories.
• Apply scientific ideas to construct an explanation for real-world phenomena, examples, or events. (MS-LS4-2)
• Construct an explanation that includes qualitative or quantitative relationships between variables that describe phenomena. (MS-LS4-4)
Connections to Nature of Science
Scientific Knowledge is Based on Empirical Evidence
• Science knowledge is based upon logical and conceptual connections between evidence and explanations. (MS-LS4-1)
Crosscutting Concepts (NGSS)
• Patterns can be used to identify cause and effect relationships. (MS-LS4-2)
• Graphs, charts, and images can be used to identify patterns in data. (MS-LS4-1),(MS-LS4-3)
Cause and Effect
• Phenomena may have more than one cause, and some cause and effect relationships in systems can only be described using probability. (MS-LS4-4),(MS-LS4-6)
Connections to Nature of Science
Scientific Knowledge Assumes an Order and Consistency in Natural Systems
• Science assumes that objects and events in natural systems occur in consistent patterns that are understandable through measurement and observation. (MS-LS4-1),(MS-LS4-2)
Performance Expectations (NGSS)
MS.Matter and Energy in Organisms and Ecosystems
Students who demonstrate understanding can:
MS-LS4-1. Analyze and interpret data for patterns in the fossil record that document the existence, diversity, extinction, and change of life forms throughout the history of life on Earth under the assumption that natural laws operate today as in the past. [Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on finding patterns of changes in the level of complexity of anatomical structures in organisms and the chronological order of fossil appearance in the rock layers.] [Assessment Boundary: Assessment does not include the names of individual species or geological eras in the fossil record.]
MS-LS4-2. Apply scientific ideas to construct an explanation for the anatomical similarities and differences among modern organisms and between modern and fossil organisms to infer evolutionary relationships. [Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on explanations of the evolutionary relationships among organisms in terms of similarity or differences of the gross appearance of anatomical structures.]
MS-LS4-3. Analyze displays of pictorial data to compare patterns of similarities in the embryological development across multiple species to identify relationships not evident in the fully formed anatomy. [Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on inferring general patterns of relatedness among embryos of different organisms by comparing the macroscopic appearance of diagrams or pictures.] [Assessment Boundary: Assessment of comparisons is limited to gross appearance of anatomical structures in embryological development.]
MS-LS4-4. Construct an explanation based on evidence that describes how genetic variations of traits in a population increase some individuals’ probability of surviving and reproducing in a specific environment. [Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on using simple probability statements and proportional reasoning to construct explanations.]
MS-LS4-6. Use mathematical representations to support explanations of how natural selection may lead to increases and decreases of specific traits in populations over time. [Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on using mathematical models, probability statements, and proportional reasoning to support explanations of trends in changes to populations over time.] [Assessment Boundary: Assessment does not include Hardy Weinberg calculations.]
Natural Selection and Adaptation
LE 3.1b Changes in environmental conditions can affect the survival of individual organisms with a particular trait. Small differences between parents and offspring can accumulate in successive generations so that descendants are very different from their ancestors. Individual organisms with certain traits are more likely to survive and have offspring than individuals without those traits.
LE 3.1c Human activities such as selective breeding and advances in genetic engineering may affect the variations of species.
LE 3.2b Extinction of a species occurs when the environment changes and the adaptive characteristics of a species are insufficient to permit its survival. Extinction of species is common. Fossils are evidence that a great variety of species existed in the past.
LE 3.2c Many thousands of layers of sedimentary rock provide evidence for the long history of Earth for the long history of changing life forms whose remains are found in the rocks. Recently deposited rock layers are more likely to contain fossils resembling existing species.
LE3.2d Although the time needed for change in a species is usually great; some species of insects and bacteria have undergone significant change in just a few years.
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Amsel, Sheri. "NYS Standards with NGSS - MS Evidence of Common Ancestry and Diversity" Exploring Nature Educational Resource ©2005-2022. December 8, 2022
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