Science Standards

Science Standards

Heredity: Inheritance and Variation of Traits
MS-LS3-1. Develop and use a model to describe why structural changes to genes (mutations) located on chromosomes may affect proteins and may result in harmful, beneficial, or neutral effects to the structure and function of the organism.
MS-LS3-2. Develop and use a model to describe why asexual reproduction results in offspring with identical genetic information and sexual reproduction results in offspring with genetic variation.
Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity
MS-LS4-1. Analyze and interpret data for patterns in the fossil record that document the existence, diversity, extinction, and change of life forms throughout the history of life on Earth under the assumption that natural laws operate today as in the past.
MS-LS4-2. Apply scientific ideas to construct an explanation for the anatomical similarities and differences among modern organisms and between modern and fossil organisms to infer evolutionary relationships.
MS-LS4-3. Analyze displays of pictorial data to compare patterns of similarities in the embryological development across multiple species to identify relationships not evident in the fully formed anatomy.
MS-LS4-4. Construct an explanation based on evidence that describes how genetic variations of traits in a population increase some individuals’ probability of surviving and reproducing in a specific environment.
MS-LS4-5. Gather and synthesize information about the technologies that have changed the way humans influence the inheritance of desired traits in organisms.
MS-LS4-6. Use mathematical representations to support explanations of how natural selection may lead to increases and decreases of specific traits in populations over time.
Unit 2: Genetics and Evolution

Unit 2: Genetics and Evolution

Chapter Topics

Chapter Topics

The Science of Heredity

Chapter 5: Genetics- The Science of Heredity
Big Idea: 
Organisms produced by sexual reproduction inherit half their DNA from each parent. The new combination of DNA determines an organism's traits. 
Essential Questions:
  • What controls the inheritance of traits in organisms?
  • What is the probability and how does it help explain the results of genetic crosses?
  • What role do chromosomes play in inheritance?
  • What forms the genetic code?
  1. Mendel's Work
  2. Probability and Heredity
  3. The Cell and Inheritance
  4. Genes, DNA and Proteins

Modern Genetics

Chapter 6: Modern Genetics
Big Idea
A person's traits depend on which alleles are inherited from each parent, how those alleles work together, and environmental factors. 
Essential Questions:
  • What are some patterns of inheritance in humans?
  • How do geneticists trace the inheritance of traits?
  • What are three ways of producing organisms with desired traits?
  1. Human Inheritance
  2. Human Genetic Disorders
  3. Advances in Genetics

Changes Over Time

Chapter 7: Changes Over Time
Big Idea
Genetic variation and environmental factors have together resulted in the evolution of species.
Essential Questions:
  • How does natural selection lead to evolution?
  • What evidence supports the theory of evolution?
  • What factors have contributed to the diversity of species?
  • How does a branching tree diagram show evolutionary relationships?
  1. Darwin's Theory
  2. Evidence of Evolution
  3. Evolution of Species
  4. Classifying Organisms
  5. Branching Trees

Earth's History

Chapter 8: Earth's History
Big Idea
Evidence from rocks shows that life has existed for billions of years and how Earth has changed over time. 
Essential Questions:
  • How do geologists determine the relative age of rocks?
  • How does the theory of plate tectonics explain the movement of Earth's landmasses?
  • What were the major events of the Paleozoic, Mesozoic, and Cenozoic Eras?
  1. The Rock Cycle
  2. The Relative Age of Rocks
  3. Radioactive Dating
  4. Movement of Earth's Plates
  5. The Geologic Time Scale