NGSS Disciplinary Core Ideas
LS2.C: Ecosystem Dynamics, Functioning, and Resilience
• When the environment changes in ways that affect a place’s physical characteristics, temperature, or availability of resources, some organisms survive and reproduce, others move to new locations, yet others move into the transformed environment, and some die. (secondary to 3-LS4-4)
LS4.A: Evidence of Common Ancestry and Diversity
• Some kinds of plants and animals that once lived on Earth are no longer found anywhere. (Note: moved from K-2) (3-LS4-1)
• Fossils provide evidence about the types of organisms that lived long ago and also about the nature of their environments. (3-LS4-1)
LS4.B: Natural Selection
• Sometimes the differences in characteristics between individuals of the same species provide advantages in surviving, finding mates, and reproducing. (3-LS4-2)
• For any particular environment, some kinds of organisms survive well, some survive less well, and some cannot survive at all. (3-LS4-3)
LS4.D: Biodiversity and Humans
• Populations live in a variety of habitats, and change in those habitats affects the organisms living there. (3-LS4-4)
Performance Expectations Students who demonstrate understanding can:
3-LS4-1. Analyze and interpret data from fossils to provide evidence of the organisms and the environments in which they lived long ago.
3-LS4-2. Use evidence to construct an explanation for how the variations in characteristics among individuals of the same species may provide advantages in surviving, finding mates, and reproducing.
3-LS4-3. Construct an argument with evidence that in a particular habitat some organisms can survive well, some survive less well, and some cannot survive at all.
3-LS4-4. Make a claim about the merit of a solution to a problem caused when the environment changes and the types of plants and animals that live there may change.*
Use the Template and Resource Links to Fulfill NGSS
NGSS Note: Think, question, entertain ideas.
ll. Introductory Activities to Assess Prior Knowledge
A. Simple Activities - that assess students’ understanding.
• Adaptation Matching - Activity
• Adaptation to Your Environment - Matching
• Changing Ecosystems - Matching
• How Animals Survive the Winter - Matching (Color) or Adaptation Behavior for Winter Survival
• What Do I Eat? Match the Animal to its Food Activity
• Animal Diet Matching
• Animal Habitat Matching
• Animal Home Matching
• Helping Baby Survive Matching
• Winter Adaptations Activity
• How Animals Survive the Winter – Matching
• Animal Adaptation Observation and Critical Thinking
B. Brainstorming Session
Question: What does an animal need to stay alive, find a mate and reproduce in its environment?
1. Break students down into groups of 3-4.
2. Ask students to generate a list of what a specific animal (each group can choose their own or you can choose an animal and habitat in which it lives, i.e. lion on the African Savannah) needs to stay alive, find a mate and reproduce in its environment.
lll. New Knowledge - Text
Read about how environmental changes can affect the animals that live there.
Read about Keystone Species – species that affect their environment in a significant way:
Examples of Models (depicts the concept expressed in the reading):
Ask students to look at the models and explain how each illustrates the concept.
Forest Fires - Ecosystem Dynamics, Functioning, and Resilience
Look at the Model below as a visual aid for comprehension of the process of how environmental change can impact organisms:
Adaptive Traits - Critical Thinking Activity
Adaptive Traits in Insects - Matching
Adaptation and Natural Selection - Multiple Choice
Adaptation and Natural Selection - Short Answer Quiz
Ecosystem Dynamics, Functioning, and Resilience Short Answer Quiz
Ecosystem Dynamics, Functioning, and Resilience - Multiple Choice (Environmental Issues)
lV. Experiments, Activities, Model-making (Critical Thinking)
Inquiry related to Environmental Change, Adaptation, Natural Selection:
Animal Inquiry - Live Studies in the Schoolyard
Pollination and Seed Dispersal Adaptations
Does Camouflage Protect Animals from Predation? Activity
Seed Dispersal - An Investigation
Photosynthesis - A Simple Experiment
What Grows Here? Inquiry-based Plant Activity
Acid Rain Inquiry (Understanding pH)
Authentic Performance - Understanding by Design (UbD) assessment tool.
Use critical thinking to complete this Authentic Performance Activity and deepen understanding about adaptations and natural selection.
V. Summarize Knowledge - Enduring Understandings
When you research information you must cite the reference. Citing for websites is different from citing from books, magazines and periodicals. The style of citing shown here is from the MLA Style Citations (Modern Language Association).
When citing a WEBSITE the general format is as follows.
Author Last Name, First Name(s). "Title: Subtitle of Part of Web Page, if appropriate." Title: Subtitle: Section of Page if appropriate. Sponsoring/Publishing Agency, If Given. Additional significant descriptive information. Date of Electronic Publication or other Date, such as Last Updated. Day Month Year of access < URL >.
Amsel, Sheri. "Grade 3 - 3-LS4 Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity" Exploring Nature Educational Resource ©2005-2021. November 28, 2021
< http://exploringnature.org/db/view/Grade-3-3-LS4-Biological-Evolution-Unity-and-Diversity >