Fish Dynamics Standards Alignment
— Middle School

Next Generation Science Standards*

The Next Generation Science Standards were developed by a consortium of 26 states and by the National Science Teachers Association, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the National Research Council, and Achieve with the intent of helping students understand the scientific process of developing and testing ideas while evaluating scientific evidence. [Source]


MS-LS1 From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes

Students who demonstrate an understanding can:

  • MS-LS1-1. Conduct an experiment to provide evidence that living things are made of cells; either one cell or many different numbers and types of cells.

  • MS-LS1-5. Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence for how environmental and genetic factors influence the growth of organisms.

Science and Engineering Practices:

  • Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions
  • Constructing explanations and designing solutions in 6–8 builds on K–5 experiences and progresses to include constructing explanations and designing solutions supported by multiple sources of evidence consistent with scientific knowledge, principles, and theories.
    • Construct a scientific explanation based on valid and reliable evidence obtained from sources (including the students’ own experiments) and the assumption that theories and laws that describe the natural world operate today as they did in the past and will continue to do so in the future. (MS-LS1-5),(MS-LS1-6)

  • Planning and Carrying Out Investigations
  • Planning and carrying out investigations in 6–8 builds on K–5 experiences and progresses to include investigations that use multiple variables and provide evidence to support explanations or solutions.
    • Conduct an investigation to produce data to serve as the basis for evidence that meet the goals of an investigation. (MS-LS1-1)

Disciplinary Core Ideas:

  • LS1.A: Structure and Function
    • All living things are made up of cells, which is the smallest unit that can be said to be alive. An organism may consist of one single cell (unicellular) or many different numbers and types of cells (multicellular). (MS-LS1-1)

  • LS1.B: Growth and Development of Organisms
    • Genetic factors as well as local conditions affect the growth of the adult plant. (MS-LS1-5)

Crosscutting Concepts:

  • Cause and Effect
    • Phenomena may have more than one cause, and some cause and effect relationships in systems can only be described using probability. (MS-LS1-4),(MS-LS1-5)

  • Scale, Proportion, and Quantity
    • Phenomena that can be observed at one scale may not be observable at another scale. (MS-LS-1)

MS-LS2 Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics

Students who demonstrate an understanding can:

  • MS-LS2-1. Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence for the effects of resource availability on organisms and populations of organisms in an ecosystem.

  • MS-LS2-4. Construct an argument supported by empirical evidence that changes to physical or biological components of an ecosystem affect populations.

Science and Engineering Practices:

  • Analyzing and Interpreting Data
  • Analyzing data in 6–8 builds on K–5 experiences and progresses to extending quantitative analysis to investigations, distinguishing between correlation and causation, and basic statistical techniques of data and error analysis.
    • Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence for phenomena. (MS-LS2-1)

  • Engaging in Argument from Evidence
  • Engaging in argument from evidence in 6–8 builds on K–5 experiences and progresses to constructing a convincing argument that supports or refutes claims for either explanations or solutions about the natural and designed world(s).
    • Construct an oral and written argument supported by empirical evidence and scientific reasoning to support or refute an explanation or a model for a phenomenon or a solution to a problem. (MS-LS2-4)

  • Connections to Nature of Science: Scientific Knowledge is Based on Empirical Evidence
    • Science disciplines share common rules of obtaining and evaluating empirical evidence. (MS-LS2-4)

Disciplinary Core Ideas:

  • LS2.A: Interdependent Relationship in Ecosystems
    • Organisms, and populations of organisms, are dependent on their environmental interactions both with other living things and with nonliving factors. (MS-LS2-1)
    • Growth of organisms and population increases are limited by access to resources. (MS-LS2-1)

  • LS2.C: Ecosystem Dynamics, Functioning, and Resilience
    • Ecosystems are dynamic in nature; their characteristics can vary over time. Disruptions to any physical or biological component of an ecosystem can lead to shifts in all its populations. (MS-LS2-4)

Crosscutting Concepts:


  • Cause and Effect
    • Cause and effect relationships may be used to predict phenomena in natural or designed systems. (MS-LS2-1)

  • Stability and Change
    • Small changes in one part of a system might cause large changes in another part. (MS-LS2-4),(MS-LS2-5)

MS-ETS1 Engineering Design

Students who demonstrate an understanding can:

  • MS-ETS1-1. Define the criteria and constraints of a design problem with sufficient precision to ensure a successful solution, taking into account relevant scientific principles and potential impacts on people and the natural environment that may limit possible solutions.

Science and Engineering Practices:

  • Asking Questions and Defining Problems
  • Asking questions and defining problems in grades 6–8 builds on grades K–5 experiences and progresses to specifying relationships between variables, and clarifying arguments and models.
    • Define a design problem that can be solved through the development of an object, tool, process or system and includes multiple criteria and constraints, including scientific knowledge that may limit possible solutions. (MS-ETS1-1)

Disciplinary Core Ideas:

  • ETS1.A: Defining and Delimiting Engineering Problems
    • The more precisely a design task’s criteria and constraints can be defined, the more likely it is that the designed solution will be successful. Specification of constraints includes consideration of scientific principles and other relevant knowledge that are likely to limit possible solutions. (MS-ETS1-1)

*“Next Generation Science Standards” is a registered trademark of Achieve. Neither Achieve nor the lead states and partners that developed the Next Generation Science Standards was involved in the production of, and does not endorse, this product. [Return]

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