Level 3

Alaska Science
Key Element

A student who meets the content standard should distinguish the patterns of similarity and differences in the living world in order to understand the diversity of life and understand the theories that describe the importance of diversity for species and ecosystems (Diversity).


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Performance Standard Level 3, Ages 11–14

Students organize living organisms into groups based on internal and external structure, reproductive style, and their place in the food web.

Sample Assessment Ideas

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Sample Assessment Ideas

  • Students produce a poster explaining a food web; participate in a class presentation that demonstrates how roles are filled by different organisms in different food webs.

  • Students research an animal from a local environment; examine internal and external structure, reproductive patterns, relationships to other organisms, and related animals found in other global environments.

Standards Cross-Reference green rule

Standards Cross-References
( Alaska Department of Education & Early Development Standards

National Science Education Standards

Millions of species of animals, plants, and microorganisms are alive today. Although different species might look dissimilar, the unity among organisms becomes apparent from an analysis of internal structures, the similarity of their chemical processes, and the evidence of common ancestry. (Page 158)



One of the most general distinctions among organisms is between plants, which use sunlight to make their own food, and animals, which consume energy-rich foods. Some kinds of organisms, many of them microscopic, can not be neatly classified as either plants or animals. (Page 104)

Animals and plants have a great variety of body plans and internal structures that contribute to their being able to make or find food and reproduce. (Page 104)

Similarities among organisms are found in internal anatomical features, which can be used to infer the degree of relatedness among organisms. In classifying organisms, biologists consider details of internal and external structures to be more important than behavior or general appearance. (Page 104)

For sexually reproducing organisms, a species comprises all organisms that can mate with one another to produce fertile offspring. (Page 104)

All organisms, including the human species, are part of and depend on two main interconnected global food webs. One includes microscopic ocean plants, the animals that feed on them, and finally the animals that feed on those animals. The other web includes land plants, the animals that feed on them, and so forth. The cycles continue indefinitely because organisms decompose after death to return food material to the environment. (Page 104)

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