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  • 3rd Grade

    Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics

Students who demonstrate understanding can:

Performance Expectations

  1. Construct an argument that some animals form groups that help members survive. 3-LS2-1

    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.

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.3.1 - Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers. (3-LS2-1)
  • RI.3.3 - Describe the relationship between a series of historical events, scientific ideas or concepts, or steps in technical procedures in a text, using language that pertains to time, sequence, and cause/effect. (3-LS2-1)
  • W.3.1 - Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons. (3-LS2-1)


  • 3.NBT - Number and Operations in Base Ten. (3-LS2-1)
  • MP.4 - Model with mathematics. (3-LS2-1)

Model Course Mapping

First Time Visitors

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.
  • In this activity, students create a physical model showing how muskoxen work together as a group to protect their young from predators (wolves).…

  • In this short video, Arctic wolves attack a musk ox calf on Canada's Ellesmere Island, but the herd rushes to its defense by forming a defensive circle around the calves. …

  • In this short video, scientists at the American Museum of Natural History explain the role of the different types of termites (queens, kings, workers, and soldiers) that work together to help the termites survive within the termite mound. The importa…

  • This nonfiction book summarizes how some insects work together to increase their chances of survival. Details are provided on four types of insects: honeybees, hive wasps (hornets, yellow jackets, and paper wasps), termites, and ants. A short section…

  • This short video captures student imagination and elicits ideas about how groups of organisms work together for survival. The video contains real footage of a pack of lions attack on a water buffalo calf. The footage filmed by ameteur to…

  • In this lesson, students gather evidence from multiple sources to construct an argument that living in groups helps ants survive. They do this by synthesizing information from direct observation of live ants, videos of ants, and text resources. Th…

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