The Standards

Middle School

Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity

Students who demonstrate understanding can:



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. MS-LS4-1

Clarification Statement and Assessment Boundary

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.

Science and Engineering Practices

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 and interpret data to determine similarities and differences in findings. (MS-LS4-1)

Connections to Nature of Science

Science Knowledge Is Based on Empirical Evidence

Science knowledge is based upon logical and conceptual connections between evidence and explanations. (MS-LS4-1)

Common Core State Standards Connections

  • RST.6-8.1 - Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts. (MS-LS4-1)
  • RST.6-8.7 - Integrate quantitative or technical information expressed in words in a text with a version of that information expressed visually (e.g., in a flowchart, diagram, model, graph, or table). (MS-LS4-1)
  • 6.EE.B.6 - Use variables to represent numbers and write expressions when solving a real-world or mathematical problem; understand that a variable can represent an unknown number, or, depending on the purpose at hand, any number in a specified set. (MS-LS4-1)

Model Course Mapping

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