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  • 2nd Grade

    Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics

Students who demonstrate understanding can:

Performance Expectations

  1. Plan and conduct an investigation to determine if plants need sunlight and water to grow. 2-LS2-1

    Clarification Statement and Assessment Boundary
  2. Develop a simple model that mimics the function of an animal in dispersing seeds or pollinating plants. 2-LS2-2

    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

Developing and Using Models

Modeling in K–2 builds on prior experiences and progresses to include using and developing models (i.e., diagram, drawing, physical replica, diorama, dramatization, or storyboard) that represent concrete events or design solutions.

Planning and Carrying Out Investigations

Planning and carrying out investigations to answer questions or test solutions to problems in K–2 builds on prior experiences and progresses to simple investigations, based on fair tests, which provide data to support explanations or design solutions.

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


  • SL.2.5 - Create audio recordings of stories or poems; add drawings or other visual displays to stories or recounts of experiences when appropriate to clarify ideas, thoughts, and feelings. (2-LS2-2)
  • W.2.7 - Participate in shared research and writing projects (e.g., read a number of books on a single topic to produce a report; record science observations). (2-LS2-1)
  • W.2.8 - Recall information from experiences or gather information from provided sources to answer a question. (2-LS2-1)


  • 2.MD.D.10 - Draw a picture graph and a bar graph (with single-unit scale) to represent a data set with up to four categories. Solve simple put-together, take-apart, and compare problems using information presented in a bar graph. (2-LS2-2)
  • MP.2 - Reason abstractly and quantitatively. (2-LS2-1)
  • MP.4 - Model with mathematics. (2-LS2-1), (2-LS2-2)
  • MP.5 - Use appropriate tools strategically. (2-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.
  • Students will explore the importance sunlight for a plant's survival by conducting an investigation. Each group of students will cover parts of plants' leaves with black construction paper and make observations of the plant’s leaves over several days…

  • The video demonstrates a simple investigation students may participate in to gain a better understanding of the external features of plants that help them thrive and survive in different kinds of places.

  • Students identify the physical needs of animals. Through classroom discussion, students speculate on the needs of plants. With teacher guidance, students then design an experiment that can take place in the classroom to test whether or not plants nee…

  • 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…

  • In this lesson students design a vanilla plant pollinator.  This is an end-of-the-unit task, taking about 3 days to complete.  The students will view an amazing video that tells about the problems with pollinating van…

  • In previous lessons designed by Jeri Faber, students have learned about how animals help pollinate flowers.  The students have also planned and designed their own vanilla plant pollinator.  In this lesson, students use the engineering de…

  • This lesson is the second day of an end of the unit task to address the Performance Expectation: Develop a simple model that mimics the function of an animal in dispersing seeds or pollinating plants.  This end of uni…

  • This lesson is part of a series of lessons created by Jeri Faber on using the engineering design process to solve a problem.  In the 

  • The Bug Chicks' five minute video provides a fun, animated way of learning about the fascinating world of pollination and insects. In this video, the students observe interesting museums and habitats to look at lesser known…

  • This is Lesson 6 of a twelve lesson unit about pollination and pollinators. In this lesson students will learn about the structure of certain seeds that enable these seeds to be easily moved by animals. They participate in an activity to…

  • This lesson encourages students to use what they have learned about animals and seed dispersal to create an animal out of various materials that can hold and disperse a given amount of seed. 

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