Three Life Science units are described. These can all be taught in one year or they can be distributed across years, depending on the preference of a district.
    Students understand the processes of scientific investigation and design, conduct, communicate about, and evaluate such investigations.
    By the end the year, students will be able to:
    1b. Use examples to demonstrate that scientific ideas are used to explain previous observations and to predict future events
    describe how an understanding of genes allows us to predict some traits of offspring
    1c. Ask questions and state predictions
    restate the question or describe the problem they are answering by doing an investigation
    state a prediction and support it based on prior experiences and/or science knowledge (for example, “I predict _____ because _______.”)
    explain that the more supporting evidence, the better the prediction
    1d. Create a written plan for an investigation
    follow multiple-step written directions
    propose possible ways to find the answer to a question they are investigating
    1e. Use appropriate tools, technologies, and measurement units to gather and organize data
    use tools (for example, hand lens, microscope, hot plate) typical of science to gather data
    do multiple trials or observations when appropriate and explain the reason for doing so
    find means (showing work)
    set up a bar or line graph labeling the axes with words and numbers when each axis is identified
    answer questions and describe general trends using their graph
    make drawing to illustrate key characteristics of an object or organism and label
    1f. Interpret and evaluate data in order to formulate conclusions
    use evidence to generate explanations
    compare results with prediction and answer the question they are investigating
    identify things that could cause their results to differ from the rest of the class (sources of error)
    1g. Communicate results of their investigations
    share results and explanations with other students
    1h. Use metric units in measuring, calculating, and reporting results
    estimate length using millimeters, centimeters and meters
    label units (mm, cm, m, km)
    1i. Explain that scientific investigations sometimes result in unexpected findings that lead to new questions and more investigations
    generate questions during and after an investigation based on their observations, data, or variables
    suggest a simple investigation to answer one of the questions they generate
    Physical Science: Students know and understand common properties, forms, and changes in matter and energy.
    Note: This standard is not addressed in this model of assigning expectations. All of the physical science benchmarks are described under the heading, “Physical Science.”
    Life Science: Students know and understand the characteristics and structure of living things, the processes of life, and how living things interact with each other and their environment.
    In this unit, students study ways that organisms interact with each other and with their environment. Over time, some of these interactions result in adaptations.
    By the end of this unit, students will be able to:
    3.1a. Construct and use classification systems based on the structure of organisms
    list physical characteristics of a plant and/or animal that could be useful for identification
    select and use one characteristic to sort a group of plants or animals
    3.1b. Describe the importance of plant and animal adaptations, including local examples
    explain how a characteristic of an organism might be important for the survival
    of that organism
    use a local plant or animal to explain how a characteristic improves its chances of survival in its habitat
    3.1c. Create and interpret food chains and food webs (see also, 3.2b)
    create a food web based on the information in a reading or from a video and explain the flow of matter and/or energy through it
    describe the flow of matter and/or energy through a particular ecosystem based on the information provided in a food web
    3.1d. Explain the interaction and interdependence of nonliving and living components within ecosystems
    name examples of nonliving components of an ecosystem
    describe at least five examples of nonliving characteristics of the local environment
    explain how one of the nonliving characteristics of the local environment has affected the types of plants and animals that live there
    3.1e. Describe how an environment's ability to provide food, water, space, and essential nutrients determines carrying capacity
    explain what is meant by the term carrying capacity
    list several factors that could limit the size of an animal population
    graph and interpret data that shows the change in population size over time
    use an example to describe factors that limited the population of a particular plant or animal species
    3.2a. Describe the basic processes of photosynthesis and its importance to life
    explain the relationship between the needs of a plant (light, air, water, and the right environmental conditions) and the raw materials of photosynthesis
    describe what happens to a plant when it doesn’t get light
    provide evidence that plants don’t use soil for food
    3.2b. Compare and contrast food webs within and between different ecosystems and predict the consequences of disrupting one of the organisms in a food web
    predict at least four consequences of adding or removing one organism from a food web
    describe a particular situation where one type of organism was changed and it affected other populations
    3.4e. Describe the role of organisms in the decomposition and recycling of dead organisms
    describe how the appearance of an object (for example, leaf, apple, banana peel, grasshopper carcass) changes as it decomposes
    sort materials into two categories, those that decompose fairly quickly and those that are likely to take much longer to decompose
    list examples of organisms that play a role in decomposition
    describe several factors that affect the rate of decomposition
    explain what is meant by the term decomposition
    In this unit, students learn how body systems allow an organism to meet the needs of all its cells. Students are encouraged to think in terms of cells and carbon.
    By the end of this unit, students will be able to:
    3.2a. Describe the basic processes of photosynthesis and respiration and their importance to life
    know that all cells need a source of matter and energy
    know that plant cells use the carbon in carbon dioxide as their source of matter to produce leaves, roots, and all the other parts of a plant
    know that when cells take apart food, the carbon is released as carbon dioxide
    identify where carbon dioxide is produced
    3.2c. Describe ways that multicellular organisms get food and other matter to their cells
    describe why carbon is in all the food an animal eats
    identify capillaries as being where nutrients and gases are exchanged between cells and the blood
    describe the role of the digestive, respiratory, and circulatory systems in getting food, water, and oxygen to cells
    compare how these three systems work in humans with that of another mammal (for example, a pig)
    3.2d. Explain the recycling of materials by describing the transfer of carbon
    explain the source of the carbon dioxide in the air we exhale
    describe how carbon moves back and forth between plants and animals
    3.3a. Describe the observable components and functions of a cell
    identify cell membrane, cell wall, nucleus, cytoplasm, and chloroplasts on a drawing of a cell
    list at least three things a particular cell type does or that go on inside the cell
    explain that all living things are made up of cells (this is one way to distinguish living from nonliving)
    estimate the length of a cell viewed through a microscope
    provide evidence that some things can pass through a cell membrane
    3.3b. Compare and contrast the basic structures and functions of different types of cells
    list two ways that plant cells generally differ from animal cells and explain the reason for these differences
    explain how the general shape of a specialized cell type (muscle, nerve, red blood cell, sperm, egg, bone) correlates with its function
    3.3d. Describe the structures and functions of human body systems
    name the main organs that make up the skeletal, muscular, circulatory, nervous, and reproductive systems (and recall the names of the main organs that make up the digestive and respiratory systems)
    create a visual that shows the relationship between cells, tissues, organs, and systems using a specific system as an example
    provide evidence that the organs of the body are made up of cells
    explain how the structure of a particular organ reflects its function
    describe why the skin is important for protection
    provide several examples of ways that body systems interact
    explain the relationship between the needs of human, needs of cells, and functions of body systems
    3.3e. Describe and give examples of communicable and non-communicable diseases
    sort common health problems into two groups—communicable and non-communicable
    describe several ways that communicable diseases can be passed from one person to another
    identify bacteria and viruses as being two types of microorganisms that cause communicable disease
    In this unit, students learn about the continuity of life, how the characteristics of a species are passed from one generation to the next.
    By the end of this unit, students will be able to:
    3.3c. Describe the growth and development of humans
    describe the changes that take place in an ovary and uterus during a menstrual cycle
    give examples of changes that take place throughout the life span of a human—from birth through death
    3.4a. Describe the purpose of body cell division and sex cell division
    sketch the chromosomes in the new cells that form when the parent cell divides by either body cell division or by sex cell division
    list several examples of tissues where body cell division takes place
    describe three reasons why the body needs to be able to produce more cells
    explain what would happen to chromosome number if egg and sperm formed by body cell division instead of by sex cell division
    3.4b. Describe the role of chromosomes and genes in heredity
    describe why a child inherits half its genes from one parent and half from the other
    predict the sex of an unborn baby when the sex of the siblings is known
    explain why there is a 50% probability with any pregnancy that the child will be a girl (or a boy)
    draw or use a model to show the relationship between cells, chromosomes, and genes
    predict the possible outcomes of a cross when the parents’ gene pairs are known
    June 20, 2001 44 Colorado Grade Level Expectations
    predict the parents’ gene pairs when the offspring’s characteristics are known
    use an example to show why it is possible for an offspring to look different from either parent for a particular trait
    Earth and Space Science: Students know and understand the processes and interactions of Earth’s systems and the structure and dynamics of Earth and other objects in space.
    Note: This standard is not addressed in this model of assigning expectations. All of the earth and space science benchmarks are described under the heading, “Earth and Space Science.”
    Students know and understand interrelationships among science, technology, and human activity and how they can affect the world.
    Note: This standard is not addressed as a separate unit; rather, it is integrated into many of the units at each grade level.
    By the end of the year, students will be able to:
    5a. Investigate and describe the extent of human uses of renewable and nonrenewable resources
    describe the appearance of coal and wood before and after burning
    summarize where coal and wood come from
    realize that the burning of coal and wood releases carbon dioxide
    5d. Describe how people use science and technology in their professions
    explain that doctors and other health professionals use tools such as microscopes, x-rays, and stethoscopes to learn things about the body that they can’t see using only their senses
    Students understand that science involves a particular way of knowing and understand common connections among scientific disciplines.
    Note: This standard is not addressed as a separate unit; rather, it should be integrated where appropriate into the units at each grade level.
    By the end of the year, students will be able to:
    6b. Give examples of how scientific knowledge changes as new knowledge is acquired and previous ideas are modified
    describe how Jean van Helmont’s experiment with a willow tree changed our understanding of where the mass of a plant comes from
    6c. Describe contributions to the advancement of science made by people in different cultures and at different times in history
    describe Robert Hooke’s contribution to our understanding of the structure of living things
    know when and where Robert Hooke lived
    6d. Identify variables and conditions related to change
    identify variables that are likely to affect the size of a population
    6e. Identify and illustrate natural cycles within systems
    explain why the term carbon cycle is used to explain the movement of carbon within an ecosystem
    6f. Use a model to understand a process
    use models of sex chromosomes to show why the sex ratio is 50/50
    use a model to show how offspring inherit traits from their parents