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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 lesson students: 1) share what they think they know about why animals live in groups, 2) watch a Powerpoint to stimulate their thinking and engage their interest, 3) review what they’ve already studied about animal groups, 4)  ...

  • Video of dolphins working together to fish by creating a mud “net” around a school of fish to capture them for easy feeding by the dolphins. Students can watch this phenomenon to gather evidence of animal groups working together to help m ...

  • Amazing BBC video of humpback whales in Alaska working together to fish for herring by blowing bubbles around a school of fish to capture them and synchronize the group's feeding. Students can watch this phenomenon to gather evidence of anim ...

  • Students can read this nonfiction text to learn about different ways that animals groups help each other to survive. Each page of the book includes simple text (appropriate for lower level readers) and an info box with more complex text (appropriate ...

  • 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. The l ...

  • This short video captures student interest, elicits ideas, and provides evidence about how groups of organisms work together for survival. It contains real footage of a pack of lions attack on a water buffalo calf. The footage filmed by ame ...

  • 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 ...

  • 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 ...

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