Course Summary – Structures of Life
The anchor phenomenon for the Structures of Life Module is the diversity of plants and animals we observe in our world. Students experience that organisms exhibit a variety of strategies for life, have a variety of observable structures and behaviors, have varied but predictable life cycles, and reproduce their own kind by passing inherited characteristics to offspring. Students explore how individual organisms have variations in their traits that may provide an advantage in surviving in a particular environment, and how our knowledge of animals that survived in past environments is inferred by studying fossil characteristics. The driving questions for the module are where do organisms come from, how do they survive, and how are all the different kinds of plants and animals able to continue to exist on Earth?
Students observe, compare, categorize, and care for a selection of organisms. Students engage in science and engineering practices to investigate structures and behaviors of the organisms and learn how some of the structures function in growth, survival, and reproduction. Students look at the interactions between organisms of the same kind, among organisms of different kinds, and between the environment and populations over time. Students focus on these crosscutting concepts to develop understandings about organisms and population survival—patterns; cause and effect; scale, proportion, and quantity; systems and system models; structure and function; and stability and change
For a description of each investigation in Structures of Life and correlations to the Next Generation Science Standards, download the Structures of Life Module Overview PDF.
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