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Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks

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Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks

Grades PreK-2 | Grades 3-5 | Grades 6-8 | Biology, High School

Life Science (Biology), Grades PreK–2

  • Recognize that animals (including humans) and plants are living things that grow, reproduce, and need food, air, and water.
  • Recognize that plants and animals have life cycles, and that life cycles vary for different living things.

Life Science (Biology), Grades 3–5

  • Classify plants and animals according to the physical characteristics that they share.
  • Recognize that plants and animals go through predictable life cycles that include birth, growth, development, reproduction, and death.
  • Describe how organisms meet some of their needs in an environment by using behaviors (patterns of activities) in response to information (stimuli) received from the environment. Recognize that some animal behaviors are instinctive (e.g., turtles burying their eggs), and others are learned (e.g., humans building fires for warmth, chimpanzees learning how to use tools).
  • Recognize plant behaviors, such as the way seedlings' stems grow toward light and their roots grow downward in response to gravity. Recognize that many plants and animals can survive harsh environments because of seasonal behaviors, e.g., in winter, some trees shed leaves, some animals hibernate, and other animals migrate.
  • Give examples of how organisms can cause changes in their environment to ensure survival. Explain how some of these changes may affect the ecosystem
  • Describe how energy derived from the sun is used by plants to produce sugars (photosynthesis) and is transferred within a food chain from producers (plants) to consumers to decomposers.

Life Science (Biology), Grades 6–8

  • Classify organisms into the currently recognized kingdoms according to characteristics that they share. Be familiar with organisms from each kingdom.
  • Give examples of ways in which organisms interact and have different functions within an ecosystem that enable the ecosystem to survive.
  • Explain the roles and relationships among producers, consumers, and decomposers in the process of energy transfer in a food web

Biology, High School

  • Describe species as reproductively distinct groups of organisms. Recognize that species are further classified into a hierarchical taxonomic system (kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus, species) based on morphological, behavioral, and molecular simila
  • Use a food web to identify and distinguish producers, consumers, and decomposers, and explain the transfer of energy through trophic levels. Describe how relationships among organisms (predation, parasitism, competition, commensalism, mutualism) add to the complexity of biological communities.