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Instructional Goals

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Submitted By caitlyn98
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Elementary 4th Grade
Standard: 5.3 Life Science: Life science principles are powerful conceptual tools to help students to make sense of the complexity, diversity, and inter-connectedness of life on Earth. Students will learn that order in natural systems arises in accordance with rules that govern the physical world, and the order of natural systems can be modeled and predicted through the use of mathematics (NJ Curriculum Standards, 2013).

Instructional Goal #1: Organization and Development: Living organisms are composed of cellular units (structures) that carry out functions required for life. Cellular units are composed of molecules, which also carry out biological functions (NJ Curriculum Standards, 2013).

Learning Objective #1: On an in-class worksheet, students will develop and use evidence-based criteria to determine if an unfamiliar object is living or nonliving. Students must answer 80% of the examples correctly. This will demonstrate that students know what characteristics are needed to support a living organism.

Learning Objective #2: Through a unit test, students will be able to compare and contrast structures that have similar functions in various organisms, and explain how those functions may be carried out by structures that have different physical appearances with 75% accuracy. This will demonstrate that students understand the purpose of specific functions in organisms, as well as how to identify similar organisms that may not look alike.

Learning Objective #3: Given a diagram, students will be able to describe the interactions of systems involved in carrying out everyday life activities. They should be able to explain 8 out of 10 interactions for 80% of the systems given. This will demonstrate that they have a firm understanding of how these processes interact to keep organisms alive.

Instructional Goal #2: Interdependence: All animals and most plants depend on both other organisms and their environment to meet their basic needs (NJ Curriculum Standards, 2013).

Learning Objective #1: On a section quiz, students will be able to predict the biotic and abiotic characteristics of an unfamiliar organism’s habitat for 15 out of 20 examples. This will demonstrate that students understand the complementary differences biotic and abiotic,

Learning Objective #2: Given examples (flooding, wind storms, snowfall, volcanic eruptions, etc), students will be able to explain the consequences of rapid ecosystem change, and compare them to consequences of gradual ecosystem change (gradual increase or decrease in daily temperatures, change in yearly rainfall, etc) with 75% accuracy. This will demonstrate that students understand how changes in the environment affect the organisms that live there.

Learning Objective #3: Through oral presentations with visual aids, students will be able to demonstrate 3 ways that humans protect habitats and/or improve conditions for the growth of the plants and animals that live there, and 2 ways that humans might harm habitats. This will demonstrate that students understand how fragile the environment can be, as well as how strong of an impact humans have on both destroying and bettering environments.

Instructional Goal #3: Evolution and Diversity: Sometimes, differences between organisms of the same kind provide advantages for surviving and reproducing in different environments. These selective differences may lead to dramatic changes in characteristics of organisms in a population over extremely long periods of time (NJ Curriculum Standards, 2013).

Learning Objective #1: Students will be able to model an adaptation to a species assigned to them that would increase its chances of survival, should the environment become wetter, dryer, warmer, or colder over time. They will detail a minimum of 6 characteristics that will enable this survival. This will demonstrate that students understand the relationship between an organism’s characteristics and the environment in which they live.

Learning Objective #2: On a unit test, students will be able to evaluate similar populations in an ecosystem with regard to their ability to thrive and grow with 75% accuracy. This will demonstrate that students are able to identify factors that could lead to a growth or decrease in population of a particular organism.

Learning Objective #3: On a worksheet, students will be able to compare 17 out of 20 physical characteristics of different stages of the life cycle of individual organisms, and speculate with 75% accuracy how it differs from previous population. This will demonstrate that students understand the life cycle process and why different characteristics are evident throughout different phases of an organism’s life.


New Jersey Curriculum Standards. Retrieved May 9, 2013 from

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