The Standards

Middle School

Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems

Students who demonstrate understanding can:




Construct an explanation that predicts patterns of interactions among organisms across multiple ecosystems. MS-LS2-2

Clarification Statement and Assessment Boundary

Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on predicting consistent patterns of interactions in different ecosystems in terms of the relationships among and between organisms and abiotic components of ecosystems. Examples of types of interactions could include competitive, predatory, and mutually beneficial.

Assessment Boundary: none


Evaluate competing design solutions for maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem services. MS-LS2-5

Clarification Statement and Assessment Boundary

Clarification Statement: Examples of ecosystem services could include water purification, nutrient recycling, and prevention of soil erosion. Examples of design solution constraints could include scientific, economic, and social considerations.

Assessment Boundary: none

Science and Engineering Practices

Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions

Constructing explanations and designing solutions in 6–8 builds on K–5 experiences and progresses to include constructing explanations and designing solutions supported by multiple sources of evidence consistent with scientific ideas, principles, and theories.

Construct an explanation that includes qualitative or quantitative relationships between variables that predict phenomena. (MS-LS2-2)

Engaging in Argument from Evidence

Engaging in argument from evidence in 6–8 builds on K–5 experiences and progresses to constructing a convincing argument that supports or refutes claims for either explanations or solutions about the natural and designed world(s).

Evaluate competing design solutions based on jointly developed and agreed-upon design criteria. (MS-LS2-5)

Common Core State Standards Connections

  • RI.8.8 - Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, assessing whether the reasoning is sound and the evidence is relevant and sufficient; recognize when irrelevant evidence is introduced. (MS-LS2-5)
  • RST.6-8.1 - Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts. (MS-LS2-2)
  • RST.6-8.8 - Distinguish among facts, reasoned judgment based on research findings, and speculation in a text. (MS-LS2-5)
  • SL.8.1 - Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 8 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly. (MS-LS2-2)
  • SL.8.4 - Present claims and findings, emphasizing salient points in a focused, coherent manner with relevant evidence, sound valid reasoning, and well-chosen details; use appropriate eye contact, adequate volume, and clear pronunciation. (MS-LS2-2)
  • WHST.6-8.2 - Write informative/explanatory texts, including the narration of historical events, scientific procedures/ experiments, or technical processes. (MS-LS2-2)
  • WHST.6-8.9 - Draw evidence from informational texts to support analysis reflection, and research. (MS-LS2-2)
  • 6.RP.A.3 - Use ratio and rate reasoning to solve real-world and mathematical problems, e.g., by reasoning about tables of equivalent ratios, tape diagrams, double number line diagrams, or equations. (MS-LS2-5)
  • 6.SP.B.5 - Summarize numerical data sets in relation to their context. (MS-LS2-2)
  • MP.4 - Model with mathematics. (MS-LS2-5)

Model Course Mapping

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