Life Science (LS)

Listed below are the Disciplinary Core Ideas (DCI) for Life Science and bullet points for their specific grade band progression.

LS1: From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes

LS1.A: Structure and Function

Primary School (K-2)

  • All organisms have external parts. Different animals use their body parts in different ways to see, hear, grasp objects, protect themselves, move from place to place, and seek, find, and take in food, water and air. Plants also have different parts (roots, stems, leaves, flowers, fruits) that help them survive and grow.

Elementary School (3-5)

  • Plants and animals have both internal and external structures that serve various functions in growth, survival, behavior, and reproduction.

Middle School (6-8)

  • All living things are made up of cells, which is the smallest unit that can be said to be alive. An organism may consist of one single cell (unicellular) or many different numbers and types of cells (multicellular).
  • Within cells, special structures are responsible for particular functions, and the cell membrane forms the boundary that controls what enters and leaves the cell.
  • In multicellular organisms, the body is a system of multiple interacting subsystems. These subsystems are groups of cells that work together to form tissues and organs that are specialized for particular body functions.

High School (9-12)

  • Systems of specialized cells within organisms help them perform the essential functions of life.
  • All cells contain genetic information in the form of DNA molecules. Genes are regions in the DNA that contain the instructions that code for the formation of proteins.
  • Multicellular organisms have a hierarchical structural organization, in which any one system is made up of numerous parts and is itself a component of the next level.
  • Feedback mechanisms maintain a living system’s internal conditions within certain limits and mediate behaviors, allowing it to remain alive and functional even as external conditions change within some range. Feedback mechanisms can encourage (through positive feedback) or discourage (negative feedback) what is going on inside the living system.

This is a table of the Disciplinary Core Ideas of Life Science. If coming from a Standard the specific bullet point used is highlighted and additional performance Expectations that make use of the Disciplinary Core Idea can be found below the table. To see all Disciplinary Core Ideas, click on the title "Disciplinary Core Ideas."

Other Standards That Use This Disciplinary Core Idea: