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  • 1st Grade

    From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes

Students who demonstrate understanding can:

Performance Expectations

  1. Use materials to design a solution to a human problem by mimicking how plants and/or animals use their external parts to help them survive, grow, and meet their needs. 1-LS1-1

    Clarification Statement and Assessment Boundary
  2. Read texts and use media to determine patterns in behavior of parents and offspring that help offspring survive. 1-LS1-2

    Clarification Statement and Assessment Boundary

A Peformance Expectation (PE) is what a student should be able to do to show mastery of a concept. Some PEs include a Clarification Statement and/or an Assessment Boundary. These can be found by clicking the PE for "More Info." By hovering over a PE, its corresponding pieces from the Science and Engineering Practices, Disciplinary Core Ideas, and Crosscutting Concepts will be highlighted.

Science and Engineering Practices

Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions

Constructing explanations and designing solutions in K–2 builds on prior experiences and progresses to the use of evidence and ideas in constructing evidence-based accounts of natural phenomenon and designing solutions.

Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information

Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information in K–2 builds on prior experiences and uses observations and texts to communicate new information.

By clicking on a specific Science and Engineering Practice, Disciplinary Core Idea, or Crosscutting Concept, you can find out more information on it. By hovering over one you can find its corresponding elements in the PEs.

Planning Curriculum

Common Core State Standards Connections


  • RI.1.1 - Ask and answer questions about key details in a text. (1-LS1-2)
  • RI.1.10 - With prompting and support, read informational texts appropriately complex for grade 1. (1-LS1-2)
  • RI.1.2 - Identify the main topic and retell key details of a text. (1-LS1-2)
  • W.1.7 - Participate in shared research and writing projects (e.g., explore a number of “how-to” books on a given topic and use them to write a sequence of instructions). (1-LS1-1)


  • 1.NBT.B.3 - Compare two two-digit numbers based on meanings of the tens and ones digits, recording the results of comparisons with the symbols >, =, and <. (1-LS1-2)
  • 1.NBT.C.4 - Add within 100, including adding a two-digit number and a one-digit number, and adding a two-digit number and a multiple of 10, using concrete models or drawings and strategies based on place value, properties of operations, and/or the relationship between addition and subtraction; relate the strategy to a written method and explain the reasoning used. Understand that in adding two-digit numbers, one adds tens and tens, ones and ones; and sometimes it is necessary to compose a ten. (1-LS1-2)
  • 1.NBT.C.5 - Given a two-digit number, mentally find 10 more or 10 less than the number, without having to count; explain the reasoning used. (1-LS1-2)
  • 1.NBT.C.6 - Subtract multiples of 10 in the range 10-90 from multiples of 10 in the range 10-90 (positive or zero differences), using concrete models or drawings and strategies based on place value, properties of operations, and/or the relationship between addition and subtraction; relate the strategy to a written method and explain the reasoning used. (1-LS1-2)

Model Course Mapping

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Resources & Lesson Plans

  • More resources added each week!
    A team of teacher curators is working to find, review, and vet online resources that support the standards. Check back often, as NSTA continues to add more targeted resources.
  • Students participate in a leaf scavenger hunt and create a leaf collection. Through the lesson students identify characteristics such as leaf size, thickness and texture and explore how these characteristics help plants survive in their environment.…

  • Using the book titled Where in the Wild? Camouflages Creatures Concealed and Revealed by Davide Schwartz and Yeal Schy students develop an understanding of how particular features help animals survive. This lesson focuses on the use of camouflage as …

  • This is a link to an interactive game students can use as a whole group or on personal devices.  Students click on a projector button and an animal appears on the screen. The animal's adaptation is revealed as a clue for th…

  • This lesson and activity is one of several lessons about birds. In this lesson, students learn that bird beaks come in many different sizes and shape. Each beak has a specific shape and function to help the bird to get and eat food. …

  • In this lesson students will investigate how fruits help some plants survive. The background information is important to the overall goals of this lesson. It states, "fruit-bearing plants can be distinguished from other plants, because they contain …

  • This is a short two minute video about the variety of horns that animals have and their importance for protection and breeding rights. The video explains that animals go head-to-head and when the stronger male wins, they are able to pass their genes …

  • This resource is an excerpt of lessons from the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Investigating Plants with Wisconsin Fast Plants Program. Students will explore Fast Plants' flowers and learn how flowers and their internal structures are related to…

  • This two minute and forty eight second video describes Emperor Penguin parents and the obstacles they overcome to help their offspring survive. The obstacles include: starvation, freezing weather, and predators.

  • This is one minute and twenty five second video clip depicts baby animals and their parents. It emphasizes the fact that offspring need to learn a vast amount from their parents.  They learn how to communicate, play, …

  • This 5E lesson addresses animal structures and how these structures function to help the animal survive. The Big Idea: RUN! JUMP! SLITHER! Let's move like animals and learn how to survive in nature!

  • This 5-E lesson plan encourages students to observe pill bug behavior during a checkpoint lab and associate the behaviors with pill bug sense receptors.  After observing the pill bugs, students design investigations to answer t…

  • Students read a book about Emperor penguins and learn about how parental behavior helps their offspring to survive. Then students use what they have learned to model how Emperor penguins care for the eggs of their young. Note: Teachers need to sup…

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Planning Curriculum gives connections to other areas of study for easier curriculum creation.