3.2 Strand

Organisms (plants and animals, including humans) have unique and diverse life cycles, but they all follow a pattern of birth, growth, reproduction, and death. Different organisms vary in how they look and function because they have different inherited traits. An organism’s traits are inherited from its parents and can be influenced by the environment. Variations in traits between individuals in a population may provide advantages in surviving and reproducing in particular environments. When the environment changes, some organisms have traits that allow them to survive, some move to new locations, and some do not survive. Humans can design solutions to reduce the impact of environmental changes on organisms.
STORYLINE: 3.2.1: Organism Life Cycles
 

Standard(s) 3.2.1: Develop and use models to describe changes that organisms go through during their life cycles. Emphasize that organisms have unique and diverse life cycles but follow a pattern of birth, growth, reproduction, and death. Examples of changes in life cycles could include how some plants and animals look different at different stages of life or how other plants and animals only appear to change size in their life. (LS1.B)

Practices

Developing and Using Models: Modeling in 3–5 builds on K–2 experiences and progresses to building and revising simple models and using models to represent events and design solutions.

  • Develop a model using an example to describe a scientific principle.

Disciplinary Core Ideas

LS1.B: Growth and Development of Organisms 

Reproduction is essential to the continued existence of every kind of organism. Plants and animals have unique and diverse life cycles.

Cross Cutting Concepts

Stability and Change: Small changes in one part of a system might cause large changes in another part.

Storyline Narrative

Students engage in gathering evidence from readings, videos, and interactives to develop a model that there are patterns of change that all organisms  their life cycles. Through gathering of information, students are able to determine the four main stages of the life cycle as: BIRTH, GROWTH, REPRODUCTION, and DEATH. Students explore both plant and animal organisms and find similarities in all organisms in the life cycle.

Phenomena Statement

When you look at a group of dandelions, they all look to be at different stages of life.

STORYLINE: 3.2.2: Inherited Traits
 

Standard(s) 3.2.2: Analyze and interpret data to identify patterns of traits that plants and animals have inherited from parents. Emphasize the similarities and differences in traits between parent organisms and offspring and variation of traits in groups of similar organisms. (LS3.A, LS3.B)

Practices

Analyzing and Interpreting Data Analyzing data in 3–5 builds on K–2 experiences and progresses to introducing quantitative approaches to collecting data and conducting multiple trials of qualitative observations. When possible and feasible, digital tools should be used. 

  • Analyze and interpret data to make sense of phenomena using logical reasoning.

Disciplinary Core Ideas

LS3.A: Inheritance of Traits 

Many characteristics of organisms are inherited from their parents. 

LS3.B: Variation of Traits 

Different organisms vary in how they look and function because they have different inherited information.

Cross Cutting Concepts

Patterns can be used as evidence to support an explanation.

Storyline Narrative

This tells the story of what will happen in the classroom and why students will explore the presented phenomenon. It contains descriptions of the student performances (SEP) and how they are being asked to frame their thinking (CCC).


Students analyze and interpret data to gather information and argue from evidence that there are patterns in traits that are inherited from parents to offspring of organisms. Through making observations of traits within a group, students discover similarities and differences between members of a group. They use inference to understand how some traits are passed to some offspring, but not all, and that there are variations within a group of organisms.

Phenomena Statement

Members of a group look similar, but not exactly alike.

STORYLINE: 3.2.3: Environment & Traits 3.2.4: Traits for Survival and Reproduction
 

Standard(s) 3.2.3: Construct an explanation that the environment can affect the traits of an organism. Examples could include that the growth of normally tall plants is stunted with insufficient water or that pets given too much food and little exercise may become overweight. (LS3.B)


Standard(s) 3.2.4: Construct an explanation showing how variations in traits and behaviors can affect the ability of an individual to survive and reproduce. Examples of traits could include large thorns protecting a plant from being eaten or strong smelling flowers to attracting certain pollinators. Examples of behaviors could include animals living in groups for protection or migrating to find more food. (LS2.D, LS4.B)

Practices

Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions in 3–5 builds on K–2 experiences and progresses to the use of evidence in constructing explanations that specify variables that describe and predict phenomena and in designing multiple solutions to design problems. 

∙ Generate and compare multiple solutions to a problem based on how well they meet the criteria and constraints of the design solution.

Disciplinary Core Ideas

LS3.A: Inheritance of Traits 

Other characteristics result from individuals’ interactions with the environment, which can range from diet to learning. Many characteristics involve both inheritance and environment. 
 

LS3.B: Variation of Traits 

The environment also affects the traits that an organism develops.

Cross Cutting Concepts

Cause and Effect relationships are routinely identified, tested, and used to explain change.

Phenomena Statement

One tree has many green leaves and the other doesn’t.

Storyline Narrative

This tells the story of what will happen in the classroom and why students will explore the presented phenomenon. It contains descriptions of the student performances (SEP) and how they are being asked to frame their thinking (CCC)


Students construct an explanation that shows how environment can affect an organisms traits and that those traits also affect the ability of an organism to survive in its environment. Through making observations and analyzing data from investigations, students explore the variation of traits within a group, find cause and effect relationships between organisms and environment and explore the benefits of living in groups. Students develop a model to show understanding of affects of environment with imaginary creatures of a mystery planet.

STORYLINE: 3.2.5: Survival in Habitats 3.2.6: Changes to Environment
 

Standard(s) 3.2.5: Engage in argument from evidence that in a particular habitat (system) some organisms can survive well, some survive less well, and some cannot survive at all. Emphasize that organisms and habitats form systems in which the parts depend upon each other. Examples of evidence could include needs and characteristics of the organisms and habitats involved such as cacti growing in dry, sandy soil but not surviving in wet, saturated soil. (LS4.C)
 

Standard(s) 3.2.6: Design a solution to a problem caused by a change in the environment that impacts the types of plants and animals living in that environment. Define the problem, identify criteria and constraints, and develop possible solutions. Examples of environmental changes could include changes in land use, water availability, temperature, food, or changes caused by other organisms. (LS2.C, LS4.D, ETS1.A, ETS1.B, ETS1.C)

Practices

Engaging in Argument from Evidence in 3–5 builds on K–2 experiences and progresses to critiquing the scientific explanations or solutions proposed by peers by citing relevant evidence about the natural and designed world(s). 

∙ Construct an argument with evidence, data, and/or a model.

 

Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions in 3–5 builds on K–2 experiences and progresses to the use of evidence in constructing explanations that specify variables that describe and predict phenomena and in designing multiple solutions to design problems. 

Generate and compare multiple solutions to a problem based on how well they meet the criteria and constraints of the design solution.

Disciplinary Core Ideas

LS4.C: Adaptation 

For any particular environment, some kinds of organisms survive well, some survive less well, and some cannot survive at all.

LS2.C: Ecosystem Dynamics, Functioning, and Resilience 

When the environment changes in ways that affect a place’s physical characteristics, temperature, or availability of resources, some organisms survive and reproduce, others move to new locations, yet others move into the transformed environment, and some die.(secondary) 

LS4.D: Biodiversity and Humans 

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

Cross Cutting Concepts

Systems and System Models: A system can be described in terms of its components and their interactions.


Stability and Change: Small changes in one part of a system might cause large changes in another part.

Phenomena Statement

At the pet store we see that fish are kept in separate tanks because some fish can only survive in fresh water and some can only survive in salty water. 

Storyline Narrative

The Great Salt Lake is an extreme environment being 10 times saltier than the ocean.  Students will develop evidence that some organisms can survive well, some survive less well, and some cannot survive at all.  Some plants that have traits to help them survive well in a salty and wet environment. Brine shrimp are a major contributor to the ecosystem’s food web and the Utah economy.  The Great Salt Lake is a major nesting ground and refueling station for migrating birds. Wetlands help absorb toxins and pollution. All organisms within the system or connected.  When humans change the Great Salt Lake environment by reducing the amount of water that reaches the lake, the interconnected system is disrupted and organisms are affected. Students will design solutions to help bring awareness and encourage responsible water usage. 

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