The Standards

Middle School

Earth's Systems

Students who demonstrate understanding can:



Analyze and interpret data on the distribution of fossils and rocks, continental shapes, and seafloor structures to provide evidence of the past plate motions. MS-ESS2-3

Clarification Statement and Assessment Boundary

Clarification Statement: Examples of data include similarities of rock and fossil types on different continents, the shapes of the continents (including continental shelves), and the locations of ocean structures (such as ridges, fracture zones, and trenches).

Assessment Boundary: Paleomagnetic anomalies in oceanic and continental crust are not assessed.

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 provide evidence for phenomena. (MS-ESS2-3)

Connections to Nature of Science

Scientific Knowledge Is Open to Revision in Light of New Evidence

Science findings are frequently revised and/or reinterpreted based on new evidence. (MS-ESS2-3)

Common Core State Standards Connections

  • RST.6-8.1 - Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts. (MS-ESS2-3)
  • 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-ESS2-3)
  • RST.6-8.9 - Compare and contrast the information gained from experiments, simulations, video, or multimedia sources with that gained from reading a text on the same topic. (MS-ESS2-3)
  • SL.8.5 - Integrate multimedia and visual displays into presentations to clarify information, strengthen claims and evidence, and add interest. (MS-ESS2-3)
  • 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-ESS2-3)
  • 7.EE.B.4 - Use variables to represent quantities in a real-world or mathematical problem, and construct simple equations and inequalities to solve problems by reasoning about the quantities. (MS-ESS2-3)
  • MP.2 - Reason abstractly and quantitatively. (MS-ESS2-3)

Model Course Mapping

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