Conduct an investigation to provide evidence that living things are made of cells; either one cell or many
different numbers and types of cells.
Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on developing evidence that living things are made of cells, distinguishing between living and non-living things, and understanding that living things may be made of one cell or many and varied cells.
Develop and use a model to describe the function of a cell as a whole and ways parts of cells contribute to the function.
Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on the cell functioning as a whole system and the primary role of identified parts of the cell, specifically the
nucleus, chloroplasts, mitochondria, cell membrane, and cell wall.Assessment Boundary: Assessment of organelle structure/function relationships is limited to the cell wall and cell membrane. Assessment of the function of the other organelles is limited to their relationship to the whole cell. Assessment does not include the biochemical function of cells or cell parts.]
Use argument supported by evidence for how the body is a system of interacting subsystems composed of
groups of cells.
Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on the conceptual understanding that cells form tissues and tissues form organs specialized for particular body functions. Examples could include the interaction of subsystems within a system and the normal functioning of those systems.Assessment Boundary: Assessment does not include the mechanism of one body system independent of others. Assessment is limited to the circulatory, excretory, digestive, respiratory, muscular, and nervous systems.
Use argument based on empirical evidence and scientific reasoning to support an explanation for how
characteristic animal behaviors and specialized plant structures affect the probability of successful reproduction
of animals and plants respectively.
Clarification Statement: Examples of behaviors that affect the probability of animal reproduction could include nest building to protect young from cold, herding of animals to protect young from predators, and vocalization of animals and colorful plumage to attract mates for breeding. Examples of animal behaviors that affect the probability of plant reproduction could include transferring pollen or seeds, and creating conditions for seed germination and growth. Examples of plant structures could include bright flowers attracting butterflies that transfer pollen, flower nectar and odors that attract insects that transfer pollen, and hard shells on nuts that squirrels bury.
Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence for how environmental and genetic factors influence the
growth of organisms.
[Clarification Statement: Examples of local environmental conditions could include availability of food, light, space, and water. Examples of genetic factors could include large breed cattle and species of grass affecting growth of organisms. Examples of evidence could include drought decreasing plant growth, fertilizer increasing plant growth, different varieties of plant seeds growing at different rates in different conditions, and fish growing larger in large ponds than they do in small ponds.] [Assessment Boundary: Assessment does not include genetic mechanisms, gene regulation, or biochemical processes.]
Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence for the role of photosynthesis in the cycling of matter and
flow of energy into and out of organisms.
of energy into and out of organisms. [Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on tracing movement of matter and flow of energy.]
[Assessment Boundary: Assessment does not include the biochemical mechanisms of photosynthesis.
Develop a model to describe how food is rearranged through chemical reactions forming new molecules that
support growth and/or release energy as this matter moves through an organism.
[Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on
describing that molecules are broken apart and put back together and that in this process, energy is released.] [Assessment Boundary: Assessment does not include details of the chemical reactions for photosynthesis or respiration.]
Gather and synthesize information that sensory receptors respond to stimuli by sending messages to the brain
for immediate behavior or storage as memories.
[Assessment Boundary: Assessment does not include mechanisms for the transmission of this information.]