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    Matter and Energy in Organisms and Ecosystems

Students who demonstrate understanding can:

Performance Expectations

  1. Use a model to illustrate how photosynthesis transforms light energy into stored chemical energy. HS-LS1-5

    Clarification Statement and Assessment Boundary
  2. Construct and revise an explanation based on evidence for how carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen from sugar molecules may combine with other elements to form amino acids and/or other large carbon-based molecules. HS-LS1-6

    Clarification Statement and Assessment Boundary
  3. Use a model to illustrate that cellular respiration is a chemical process whereby the bonds of food molecules and oxygen molecules are broken and the bonds in new compounds are formed resulting in a net transfer of energy. HS-LS1-7

    Clarification Statement and Assessment Boundary
  4. Construct and revise an explanation based on evidence for the cycling of matter and flow of energy in aerobic and anaerobic conditions. HS-LS2-3

    Clarification Statement and Assessment Boundary
  5. Use mathematical representations to support claims for the cycling of matter and flow of energy among organisms in an ecosystem. HS-LS2-4

    Clarification Statement and Assessment Boundary
  6. Develop a model to illustrate the role of photosynthesis and cellular respiration in the cycling of carbon among the biosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere, and geosphere. HS-LS2-5

    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 9–12 builds on K–8 experiences and progresses to using, synthesizing, and developing models to predict and show relationships among variables between systems and their components in the natural and designed world(s).

Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking

Mathematical and computational thinking in 9–12 builds on K–8 experiences and progresses to using algebraic thinking and analysis, a range of linear and nonlinear functions including trigonometric functions, exponentials and logarithms, and computational tools for statistical analysis to analyze, represent, and model data. Simple computational simulations are created and used based on mathematical models of basic assumptions.

Disciplinary Core Ideas

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

ELA/Literacy

  • RST.11-12.1 - Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts, attending to important distinctions the author makes and to any gaps or inconsistencies in the account. (HS-LS1-6), (HS-LS2-3)
  • SL.11-12.5 - Make strategic use of digital media (e.g., textual, graphical, audio, visual, and interactive elements) in presentations to enhance understanding of findings, reasoning, and evidence and to add interest. (HS-LS1-5), (HS-LS1-7)
  • WHST.11-12.9 - Draw evidence from informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research. (HS-LS2-3)
  • WHST.9-12.2 - Write informative/explanatory texts, including the narration of historical events, scientific procedures/ experiments, or technical processes. (HS-LS1-6), (HS-LS2-3)
  • WHST.9-12.5 - Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on addressing what is most significant for a specific purpose and audience. (HS-LS1-6), (HS-LS2-3)

Mathematics

  • HSN-Q.A.1 - Use units as a way to understand problems and to guide the solution of multi-step problems; choose and interpret units consistently in formulas; choose and interpret the scale and the origin in graphs and data displays. (HS-LS2-4)
  • HSN-Q.A.2 - Define appropriate quantities for the purpose of descriptive modeling. (HS-LS2-4)
  • HSN-Q.A.3 - Choose a level of accuracy appropriate to limitations on measurement when reporting quantities. (HS-LS2-4)
  • MP.2 - Reason abstractly and quantitatively. (HS-LS2-4)
  • MP.4 - Model with mathematics. (HS-LS2-4)

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 lesson from the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (GLBRC), students investigate the effect of the carbohydrate source on the process of fermentation by bakers yeast.  This simple investigation can serve as an introduction to the c…

  • Ecosystems is one of six units in the Carbon: Transformations in Matter and Energy (Carbon TIME) curriculum, which was developed through an NSF-funded research collaboration focused on learning progressions to support environmental literacy.  …

  • Decomposers is one of six units in the Carbon: Transformations in Matter and Energy (Carbon TIME) curriculum, which was developed through an NSF-funded research collaboration focused on learning progressions to support environmental literacy. &nbs…

  • In this activity, students analyze the production and utilization of organic molecules in ecosystems. Students use pre-made cards to construct a food web for Yellowstone National Park, including producers, primary consumers, secondary consumers, d…

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    Plants is one of six units in the Carbon: Transformations in Matter and Energy (Carbon TIME) curriculum, which was developed through an NSF-funded research collaboration focused on learning progressions to support environmental li…

  • Animals is one of six units in the Carbon: Transformations in Matter and Energy (Carbon TIME) curriculum, which was developed through an NSF-funded research collaboration focused on learning progressions to support environmental literacy.  Th…

  • This is one of 30 lessons from the NSTA Press book Scientific Argumentation in Biology.  The lesson engages students in an argumentation cycle in which they evaluate three alternative claims regarding where most of the matter that makes up th…

  • “Lab 5:  Photosynthesis: Why Do Temperature and Light Intensity Affect the Rate of Photosynthesis in Plants?” is one of 27 lab investigations for the high school student from the book, Argument-Driven Inquiry in Biology: Lab Inves…

  • “Lab 6. Cellular Respiration: How Does the Type of Food Source Affect the Rate of Cellular Respiration in Yeast?” is one of 27 lab investigations for the high school student from the book, Argument-Driven Inquiry in Biology: Lab Invest…

  • This is one of 25 assessment probes from the book, “Uncovering Student Ideas in Science, Volume 2: 25 More Formative Assessment Probes”, by Page Keeley, Francis Eberle, and Joy Tugel. All assessment probes in this collection are aligne…

  • Trends in Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide is one of a series of Data Point resources from HHMI Biointeractive.  Data Points engage students in analyzing and interpreting data from primary literature in the biological sciences.  The resources …

  • This is one of the many interactive labs provided by Annenberg Learner, and it is part of a course for high school teachers called, The Habitable Planet.  While the full course is designed for teachers, the labs are appropriate for use with h…

  • This is one of 14 Virtual Labs from McDougal Littell.  In this interactive simulation, students work to answer the guiding question, “Why might Elodea plants be important in maintaining a healthy ecosystem?”, as they set up an aqu…

  • This Java-based NetLogo model allows students to investigate the chemical and energy inputs and outputs of photosynthesis through an interactive simulation. The simulation is a visual, conceptual model of photosynthesis and does not generate quantita…

  • This is one of 25 assessment probes from the book,” Uncovering Student Ideas in Life Science, Volume 1: 25 New Formative Assessment Probes”, by Page Keeley. All assessment probes in this collection are aligned to a particular science concept and fiel…

  • This model unit from Michigan State University includes 11 lessons that guide students through the process of collecting evidence and developing explanations of where the dry matter of plants comes from and of the roles of photosynthesis and respi…

  • This is one of 30 lessons from the NSTA Press book Scientific Argumentation in Biology. The lesson engages students in an argumentation cycle based on an engaging scenario in which their group is a farm family trying to survive a dust bowl winter …

  • This interactive module integrates textual information, 3D molecular models, interactive molecular simulations, and embedded assessment items to guide students toward understanding the molecular rearrangements and energy transfers that occur durin…

  • This is one of 30 lessons from the NSTA Press book Scientific Argumentation in Biology. The lesson engages students in an argumentation cycle in which they evaluate three alternative claims regarding whether and how plants use oxygen to obtain ene…

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