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  • Kindergarten

    Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems: Animals, Plants, and Their Environment

Students who demonstrate understanding can:

Performance Expectations

  1. Construct an argument supported by evidence for how plants and animals (including humans) can change the environment to meet their needs. K-ESS2-2

    Clarification Statement and Assessment Boundary
  2. Use a model to represent the relationship between the needs of different plants and animals (including humans) and the places they live. K-ESS3-1

    Clarification Statement and Assessment Boundary
  3. Communicate solutions that will reduce the impact of humans on the land, water, air, and/or other living things in the local environment. K-ESS3-3

    Clarification Statement and Assessment Boundary
  4. Use observations to describe patterns of what plants and animals (including humans) need to survive. K-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.

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.

Analyzing and Interpreting Data

Analyzing data in K–2 builds on prior experiences and progresses to collecting, recording, and sharing observations.

Engaging in Argument from Evidence

Engaging in argument from evidence in K–2 builds on prior experiences and progresses to comparing ideas and representations about the natural and designed world(s).

Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information

Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information in K–2 builds on prior experiences and uses observations and texts to communicate new information.

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.K.1 - With prompting and support, ask and answer questions about key details in a text. (K-ESS2-2)
  • SL.K.5 - Add drawings or other visual displays to descriptions as desired to provide additional detail. (K-ESS3-1)
  • W.K.1 - Use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing to compose opinion pieces in which they tell a reader the topic or the name of the book they are writing about and state an opinion or preference about the topic or book. (K-ESS2-2)
  • W.K.2 - Use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing to compose informative/explanatory texts in which they name what they are writing about and supply some information about the topic. (K-ESS2-2), (K-ESS3-3)
  • W.K.7 - Participate in shared research and writing projects (e.g., explore a number of books by a favorite author and express opinions about them). (K-LS1-1)


  • K.CC - Counting and Cardinality (K-ESS3-1)
  • K.MD.A.2 - Directly compare two objects with a measurable attribute in common, to see which object has "more of"/"less of" the attribute, and describe the difference. (K-LS1-1)
  • MP.2 - Reason abstractly and quantitatively. (K-ESS3-1)
  • MP.4 - Model with mathematics. (K-ESS3-1)

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 multi-activity lesson plan, students learn about the value renewable resources hold for our society and the broader community of living things. They expand their understanding of two important conservation activities we can engage in: re ...

  • In this lesson, students will build a plant and an animal habitat to learn that plants and animals have common needs. There is also a discussion of ecosystems. The link below leads to a main page where you can find the pdf for the activity, Habita ...

  • This resource is divided into two sections, one for  grades K-2 and one for grades 3-5. The K-2 lesson uses a rhyming picture book, Do You Know Which Will Grow? as a springboard to discuss  the differences between living and nonliving thing ...

  • Students are introduced to a fictional problem (the need for a new hamster habitat in a pet store) and are invited to solve the problem through an engineering design (a hamster habitat). They work through a series of lessons to learn about the n ...

  • Students explore basic survival needs of humans and wildlife and draw their own homes (habitats) and neighborhood. Background information is given for the teacher to preview before the lesson is taught.

  • This resource is a 5-E lesson based on the book "All the Water in the World" by George Ella Lyon and Katerine Tillotson.  In this lesson students describe ways they use water and how they can reduce their water consumption.   ...

  • This online, interactive activity combines animation and informative text to teach about a variety of animals and how they meet their needs in their environments. This activity is based on the popular PBS animated show, Wild Kratts. Students can acce ...

  • Students learn the needs of plants by designing and conducting experiments that control the amount of water and light the plants receive. They measure plant growth over time using non-standard measurements and record their findings using comparative ...

  • Students view pictures, listen to sounds, and gather information from the National Geographic website to learn how the coats of big cats; lions, tigers, and leopards, help them survive in their habitats. Students then illustrate a coat for themselves ...

  • Students watch video clips of animals and plants in their natural environments to determine what living things need to survive. They will then complete an illustration of their own real or imagined plant or animal fulfilling one or more of their need ...

  • This lesson plan provides visual and hands-on activities provides for learners to gain knowledge about the finite amount of fresh water on Earth and encourages the discussion of the various ways to conserve this resource.  The end ...

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