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  • Middle School

    Structure, Function, and Information Processing

Students who demonstrate understanding can:

Performance Expectations

  1. Conduct an investigation to provide evidence that living things are made of cells; either one cell or many different numbers and types of cells. MS-LS1-1

    Clarification Statement and Assessment Boundary
  2. Develop and use a model to describe the function of a cell as a whole and ways parts of cells contribute to the function. MS-LS1-2

    Clarification Statement and Assessment Boundary
  3. Use argument supported by evidence for how the body is a system of interacting subsystems composed of groups of cells. MS-LS1-3

    Clarification Statement and Assessment Boundary
  4. Gather and synthesize information that sensory receptors respond to stimuli by sending messages to the brain for immediate behavior or storage as memories. MS-LS1-8

    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 6–8 builds on K–5 experiences and progresses to developing, using, and revising models to describe, test, and predict more abstract phenomena and design systems.

Planning and Carrying Out Investigations

Planning and carrying out investigations to answer questions or test solutions to problems in 6–8 builds on K–5 experiences and progresses to include investigations that use multiple variables and provide evidence to support explanations or design solutions.

Engaging in Argument from Evidence

Engaging in argument from evidence in 6–8 builds on K–5 experiences and progresses to constructing a convincing argument that supports or refutes claims for either explanations or solutions about the natural and designed world(s).

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.6.8 - Trace and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, distinguishing claims that are supported by reasons and evidence from claims that are not. (MS-LS1-3)
  • RST.6-8.1 - Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts. (MS-LS1-3)
  • SL.8.5 - Integrate multimedia and visual displays into presentations to clarify information, strengthen claims and evidence, and add interest. (MS-LS1-2)
  • WHST.6-8.1 - Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts. (MS-LS1-3)
  • WHST.6-8.7 - Conduct short research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question), drawing on several sources and generating additional related, focused questions that allow for multiple avenues of exploration. (MS-LS1-1)
  • WHST.6-8.8 - Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, using search terms effectively; assess the credibility and accuracy of each source; and quote or paraphrase the data and conclusions of others while avoiding plagiarism and following a standard format for citation. (MS-LS1-8)


  • 6.EE.C.9 - Use variables to represent two quantities in a real-world problem that change in relationship to one another; write an equation to express one quantity, thought of as the dependent variable, in terms of the other quantity, thought of as the independent variable. Analyze the relationship between the dependent and independent variables using graphs and tables, and relate these to the equation. (MS-LS1-1), (MS-LS1-2), (MS-LS1-3)

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.
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  • This is a set of multiple choice items developed by AAAS Project 2061 focused on the topic of cells. The items are different from many multiple choice science test items in that they assess students’ conceptual understanding (not just facts and defin...

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