The Standards

High School

Earth's Systems

Students who demonstrate understanding can:



Construct an argument based on evidence about the simultaneous coevolution of Earth’s systems and life on Earth. HS-ESS2-7

Clarification Statement and Assessment Boundary

Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on the dynamic causes, effects, and feedbacks between the biosphere and Earth’s other systems, whereby geoscience factors control the evolution of life, which in turn continuously alters Earth’s surface. Examples include how photosynthetic life altered the atmosphere through the production of oxygen, which in turn increased weathering rates and allowed for the evolution of animal life; how microbial life on land increased the formation of soil, which in turn allowed for the evolution of land plants; or how the evolution of corals created reefs that altered patterns of erosion and deposition along coastlines and provided habitats for the evolution of new life forms.

Assessment Boundary: Assessment does not include a comprehensive understanding of the mechanisms of how the biosphere interacts with all of Earth’s other systems.

Science and Engineering Practices

Engaging in Argument from Evidence

Engaging in argument from evidence in 9–12 builds on K–8 experiences and progresses to using appropriate and sufficient evidence and scientific reasoning to defend and critique claims and explanations about the natural and designed world(s). Arguments may also come from current scientific or historical episodes in science.

Construct an oral and written argument or counter-arguments based on data and evidence. (HS-ESS2-7)

Common Core State Standards Connections

  • WHST.9-12.1 - Write arguments focused on discipline-specific content. (HS-ESS2-7)

Model Course Mapping

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