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New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards

May 1996

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Science Standards And Progress Indicators
Standard 5.7:
All Students Will Investigate The Diversity Of Life

Descriptive Statement: The study of science must include the diversity, complexity, and interdependence of life on earth. Students should know how organisms evolve, reproduce, and adapt to their environments. Standards 5.6 and 5.7 serve to define the fundamental understandings of the life sciences.

Cumulative Progress Indicators

By the end of Grade 4, students:


Recognize the diversity of plants and animals on earth.


Develop a simple classification scheme for grouping organisms.


Recognize that individuals vary within every species.


Identify and describe external features of plants and animals that help them survive in varied habitats.

Building upon knowledge and skills gained in the preceding grades, by the end of Grade 8, students:


Illustrate how the sorting and recombining of genetic material results in the potential for variation among offspring.


Compare and contrast acquired and inherited characteristics.


Classify organisms by their internal and external characteristics.


Discuss how changing environmental conditions can result in evolution of a species.


Recognize that individual organisms with certain traits are more likely to survive and have offspring.

Building upon knowledge and skills gained in the preceding grades, by the end of Grade 12, students:


Describe how information is encoded in genetic material.


Explain how DNA can be altered by natural or artificial means to produce permanent changes in a species.


Explain that through evolution the earth's present species developed from earlier distinctly different species.


Explain how the theory of natural selection accounts for an increase in the proportion of individuals with advantageous characteristics within a species.



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