BioEYES 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 investigation to provide evidence that living things are made of cells; either one cell or many different numbers and types of cells.

  • MS-LS1-4. Use an argument based on empirical evidence and scientific reasoning to support an explanation for how characteristic animal behaviors and specialized plant structures affect the probability of successful reproduction of animals and plants respectively.

  • 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 explanation 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)

  • 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 described world(s).
    • Use and 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-LS1-4)

Disciplinary Core Ideas:

  • LS1.B: Growth and Development of Organisms
    • Animals engage in characteristic behaviors that increase the odds of reproduction. (MS-LS1-4)

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-LS1-1)

  • Structure and Function
    • Complex and microscopic structures and systems can be visualized, modeled, and used to describe how their function depends on the shapes, composition, and relationships among its parts, therefore complex natural structures/systems can be analyzed to determine how they function. (MS-LS1-2)

MS-LS3 Heredity: Inheritance and Variation of Traits

Students who demonstrate an understanding can:

  • 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.

Science and Engineering Practices:

  • Developing and Using Models
  • Modeling in 6–8 builds on K–5 experiences and progresses to developing, using, and revising models to describe, test, and predict more abstract phenomena and design systems.
    • Develop and use a model to describe phenomena. (MS-LS3-1),(MS-LS3-2)

Disciplinary Core Ideas:

  • LS1.B: Growth and Development of Organisms
    • Animals reproduce, either sexually or asexually, and transfer their genetic information to their offspring. (secondary to MS-LS3-2)

  • LS3.A: Inheritance of Traits
    • Genes are located in the chromosomes of cells, with each chromosome pair containing two variants of each of many distinct genes. Each distinct gene chiefly controls the production of specific proteins, which in turn affects the traits of the individual. Changes (mutations) to genes can result in changes to proteins, which can affect the structures and functions of the organism and thereby change traits. (MS-LS3-1)
    • Variations of inherited traits between parent and offspring arise from genetic differences that result from the subset of chromosomes (and therefore genes) inherited. (MS-LS3-2)

  • LS3.B: Variation of Traits
    • In sexually reproducing organisms, each parent contributes half of the genes acquired (at random) by the offspring. Individuals have two of each chromosome and hence two alleles of each gene, one acquired from each parent. These versions may be identical or may differ from each other. (MS-LS3-2)
    • In addition to variations that arise from sexual reproduction, genetic information can be altered because of mutations. Though rare, mutations may result in changes to the structure and function of proteins. Some changes are beneficial, others harmful, and some neutral to the organism. (MS-LS3-1)

Crosscutting Concepts:

  • Cause and Effect
    • Cause and effect relationships may be used to predict phenomena in natural systems. (MS-LS3-2)

  • Structure and Function
    • Complex and microscopic structures and systems can be visualized, modeled, and used to describe how their function depends on the shapes, composition, and relationships among its parts, therefore complex natural structures/systems can be analyzed to determine how they function. (MS-LS3-1)

MS-LS4 Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity

Students who demonstrate an understanding can:

  • 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

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 displays of data to identify linear and nonlinear relationships. (MS-LS4-3)

  • Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions
  • Constructing explanation 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.
    • Apply scientific ideas to construct an explanation for real-world phenomena, examples, or events. (MS-LS4-4)

Disciplinary Core Ideas:

  • LS4.A: Evidence of Common Ancestry and Diversity
    • Anatomical similarities and differences between various organisms living today and between them and organisms in the fossil record, enable the reconstruction of evolutionary history and the inference of lines of evolutionary descent. (MS-LS4-2)
    • Comparison of the embryological development of different species also reveals similarities that show relationships not evident in the fully-formed anatomy. (MS-LS4-3)
  • LS3.A: Inheritance of Traits
    • Genes are located in the chromosomes of cells, with each chromosome pair containing two variants of each of many distinct genes. Each distinct gene chiefly controls the production of specific proteins, which in turn affects the traits of the individual. Changes (mutations) to genes can result in changes to proteins, which can affect the structures and functions of the organism and thereby change traits. (MS-LS3-1)
    • Variations of inherited traits between parent and offspring arise from genetic differences that result from the subset of chromosomes (and therefore genes) inherited. (MS-LS3-2)

Crosscutting Concepts:

  • Patterns
    • Patterns can be used to identify cause and effect relationships. (MS-LS4-2)
    • Graphs, charts, and images can be used to identify patterns in data (MS-LS4-3)

*“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]

Proudly partnered for the advancement of science education
University of Pennsylvania
Carnegie Institution for Science
University of Utah
Monash University
Thomas Jefferson University