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    From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes

Students who demonstrate understanding can:

Performance Expectations

  1. Construct an explanation based on evidence for how the structure of DNA determines the structure of proteins which carry out the essential functions of life through systems of specialized cells. HS-LS1-1

    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

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-LS1-1)
  • WHST.11-12.9 - Draw evidence from informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research. (HS-LS1-1)
  • WHST.9-12.2 - Write informative/explanatory texts, including the narration of historical events, scientific procedures/ experiments, or technical processes. (HS-LS1-1)

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.
  • This computer simulation allows students to investigate the relationship between DNA sequences and protein structures.  Additionally, this interactive activity allows students to make sense of the relationship between DNA structure and types of ...

  • This resource is an article from the January 2016 issue of The Science Teacher.  The unit focuses on an essential question:  How do Siamese cats develop their coloration?  Students develop explanations by making connections among ...

  • This series of videos, flow charts and discussion probes provides a sequence of learning activities to help students understand that proteins and DNA are not just abstract concepts in biology textbooks. Emphasis is on the concept that DNA and protein ...

  • 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 determine if an individual could be the abducted son who disappeared 20 years prior. The lesso ...

  • This online interactive module of 10 pages or frames integrates textual information, 3D molecular models, interactive molecular simulations, and embedded assessment items to guide students in understanding the copying of DNA base sequences from trans ...

  • Do you have a great resource to share with the community? Click here.
  • Link to the slides and lesson plans that are published on google docs.

  • Extra! Extra! Hot off the presses! Presenting newly released and FREE classroom-ready resources and strategies for incorporating infectious diseases and viruses in your classroom. All of these HHMI BioInteractive resources are aligned with the NGSS, ...

  • Students will compare and contrast methods of selective plant breeding, describe the scientific process of creating a genetically modified plant, compare genetically modified soybean seeds to conventional soybean seeds, describe the impact weeds have...

  • These are the Slide for "Beyond Earlobes and Tongue Rolling"

  • Understanding the immune system and how diseases develop will help students long after they have left your classroom. This session introduced free modules that help students understand these concepts and more, including the use of animals in biomedic...

  • In this lab activity, students use a chemical indicator (bromothymol blue) to detect the presence of carbon dioxide in animal and plant respiration and in the burning of fossil fuels and its absence in the products of plant photosynthesis. After com...

  • In this video, students explore the work of Jay Keasling, a biologist who is experimenting with ways to produce a cleaner-burning fuel from biological matter using genetically modified microorganisms.

  • This overview provides a sequence of learning activities to help students understand that proteins and DNA are not just abstract concepts in biology textbooks, but rather crucial components of our bodies that affect functions and characteristics that...

  • In the hands-on activity, students learn about enzyme function, enzyme specificity, and the molecular basis of lactose intolerance through experiments with the enzyme lactase and analysis and discussion questions. Students engage in the scientific pr...

  • In this hands-on, minds-on activity students learn (1) how genes provide the instructions for making a protein via transcription and translation and (2) how genes influence characteristics such as albinism and sickle cell anemia. Students use simple ...

  • The goal of the Animal Cell virtual labs are to allow students to examine a cell at the microscopic level. Students conduct investigations to learn how organelles work together to sustain the cell’s functions.

  • The goal of the Animal Cell virtual labs are to allow students to examine a cell at the microscopic level. Students conduct investigations to learn how organelles work together to sustain the cell’s functions.

  • The goal of the Plant Cell virtual labs are to allow students to examine a cell at the microscopic level. Students conduct investigations to learn how organelles work together to sustain the cell’s functions.

  • The goal of the Plant Cell virtual labs are to allow students to examine a cell at the microscopic level. Students conduct investigations to learn how organelles work together to sustain the cell’s functions.

  • In this project, you will design your own genetically modified organism. You may design an organism that could be used by government, schools, or yourself. Then you will think about the effects your organism may have, intended and unintended.

  • The Stem Cell Channel takes you into the labs where cutting edge-research takes place, introduces you to the scientists leading the way, and breaks down how these amazing discoveries impact everyday life and health.

  • This free, four-part series includes videos, hands-on modeling activities and computer visualization tutorials that students can do in the classroom or at home.

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