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Instructional Focus Document
Biology Systems Macro to Micro
TITLE : Unit 04: Evolution SUGGESTED DURATION : 15 days

Unit Overview

Introduction

This unit focuses on the theory of evolution by natural selection and other mechanisms.

 

Prior to this Unit

  • Grade 7
    • 7.11B – Explain variation within a population or species by comparing external features, behaviors, or physiology of organisms that enhance their survival such as migration, hibernation, or storage of food in a bulb.
    • 7.11C – Identify some changes in genetic traits that have occurred over several generations through natural selection and selective breeding such as the Galapagos Medium Ground Finch (Geospiza fortis) or domestic animals and hybrid plants.
  • Grade 8
    • 8.11B – Explore how short- and long-term environmental changes affect organisms and traits in subsequent populations.

 

During this Unit

Students analyze evidence for evolution and scientific explanations of that evidence. They also analyze and evaluate the mechanism of natural selection and its results. Students analyze and evaluate the unity and diversity of life as explained by evolutionary theory. More specifically, students analyze and evaluate various aspects of this scientific theory, including evolutionary mechanisms, common ancestry, fossil record, natural selection, adaptation, and the development of diversity. Students develop a deeper understanding of scientific theories as well established and highly reliable but subject to change as new evidence is discovered using advances in technology.

 

Streamlining Note

Former TEKS B.9D was removed, but some concepts were moved to B.6A. Students no longer are expected to analyze and evaluate the evidence regarding formation of simple organic molecules and their organization into long complex molecules having information such as the DNA molecule for self-replicating life. Students are now expected to examine scientific explanations for the origin of DNA. TEKS B.7B was revised for accuracy, clarity, and instructional time. TEKS B.7F was revised for clarity and instructional time.

 

After this Unit

Students will apply their understanding of evolution to engage in discourse on relevant issues and analyze claims for credibility.

 

Additional Notes

The curriculum in this unit is based upon the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS), which are the teaching standards required under the provisions of the Texas Education Code. During the course of instruction, students may voice diverse viewpoints regarding the topic of evolution. Educators are encouraged to consult with district administration to determine how they should best address these varying perspectives so that all viewpoints are respected and district expectations are met.

 

STAAR Note

The Biology STAAR will directly assess Student Expectations in the following Reporting Categories:

  • Reporting Category 2: Mechanisms of Genetics
    • B.6A – Readiness Standard
    • B.6B – Supporting Standard
  • Reporting Category 3: Biological Evolution and Classification
    • B.7A – Readiness Standard
    • B.7B – Supporting Standard
    • B.7C – Supporting Standard
    • B.7D – Supporting Standard
    • B.7E – Readiness Standard
    • B.7F – Supporting Standard

 

Research

“By the end of the 12th grade, students should know that:

  • …the basic idea of biological evolution is that the earth's present-day species are descended from earlier, distinctly different species.
  • …molecular evidence substantiates the anatomical evidence for evolution and provides additional detail about the sequence in which various lines of descent branched off from one another.
  • …natural selection provides the following mechanism for evolution: Some variation in heritable characteristics exists within every species; some of these characteristics give individuals an advantage over others in surviving and reproducing; and the advantaged offspring, in turn, are more likely than others to survive and reproduce. As a result, the proportion of individuals that have advantageous characteristics will increase.
  • …heritable characteristics can be observed at molecular and whole-organism levels—in structure, chemistry, or behavior.
  • …heritable characteristics influence how likely an organism is to survive and reproduce.
  • …new heritable characteristics can result from new combinations of existing genes or from mutations of genes in reproductive cells. Changes in other cells of an organism cannot be passed on to the next generation.
  • …natural selection leads to organisms that are well-suited for survival in particular environments.
  • …when an environment, including other organisms that inhabit it changes, the survival value of inherited characteristics may change.
  • …modern ideas about evolution and heredity provide a scientific explanation for the history of life on Earth as depicted in the fossil record and in the similarities evident within the diversity of existing organisms.
  • …evolution builds on what already exists, so the more variety there is, the more there can be in the future. But evolution does not necessitate long-term progress in some set direction. Evolutionary change appears to be like the growth of a bush: Some branches survive from the beginning with little or no change; many die out altogether; and others branch repeatedly, sometimes giving rise to more complex organisms.”

American Association for the Advancement of Science. (1993, 2009). Benchmarks on-line. Retrieved from http://www.project2061.org/publications/bsl/online/index.php.


Scientists investigate natural phenomena in order to understand and explain each phenomenon in terms of systems.

  • What is the value of knowing and understanding natural phenomena?
  • How are the properties of systems and their components related to their classification?
  • How are the components, processes, and / or patterns of systems interrelated?

 

Scientific investigation is an orderly process to ensure that scientific claims are credible.

  • Why is credibility so important in the scientific field?
  • How is scientific knowledge generated and validated?

 

Data is systematically collected, organized, and analyzed in terms of patterns and relationships to develop reasonable explanations and make predictions.

  • What gives meaning to data?
  • What is the value of observing patterns and relationships in data?

 

Scientists analyze, evaluate, and critique each other’s work using principles of scientific investigations in order to build on one another’s ideas through new investigations.

  • How can we know what to believe about a scientific claim?
  • In what ways have scientific explanations impacted scientific thought and society over time?
  • What is the value of scientific literacy?
Unit Understandings
and Questions
Overarching Concepts
and Unit Concepts
Performance Assessment(s)

Natural selection causes unequal survival or reproductive stress on different phenotypes in a population.

  • In what ways does natural selection affect populations?
  • In what ways can environmental conditions affect natural selection?

 

Over many generations, consistent natural selection pressure will cause new adaptations to emerge in populations.

  • In what ways are natural selection and adaptations related?

Systems

  • Evolution

 

Classifications

  • Natural selection
  • Selective breeding

 

Properties

  • Inherited variation
  • Adaptation
  • Differential reproductive success
  • Anatomical homologies
  • Molecular homologies
  • Developmental homologies

 

Patterns

  • Fossil record
  • Biogeography
  • Genetic drift
  • Gene flow

 

Models

  • Origin of DNA

 

Constancy

  • Genetic code in all organisms
  • Individuals during natural selection
  • Finite supply of environmental resources

 

Change

  • Populations due to natural selection
  • Mutation
  • Recombination
Assessment information provided within the TEKS Resource System are examples that may, or may not, be used by your child’s teacher. In accordance with section 26.006 (2) of the Texas Education Code, "A parent is entitled to review each test administered to the parent’s child after the test is administered." For more information regarding assessments administered to your child, please visit with your child’s teacher.

Evolution occurs when changes in availability and frequency of genes in a population occur over time.

  • In what ways can the availability and frequency of genes in a population change over time?
Assessment information provided within the TEKS Resource System are examples that may, or may not, be used by your child’s teacher. In accordance with section 26.006 (2) of the Texas Education Code, "A parent is entitled to review each test administered to the parent’s child after the test is administered." For more information regarding assessments administered to your child, please visit with your child’s teacher.

Evolutionary theory is a scientific explanation for the unity and diversity of life.

  • In what ways is scientific evidence used to explain the unity and diversity of life?
Assessment information provided within the TEKS Resource System are examples that may, or may not, be used by your child’s teacher. In accordance with section 26.006 (2) of the Texas Education Code, "A parent is entitled to review each test administered to the parent’s child after the test is administered." For more information regarding assessments administered to your child, please visit with your child’s teacher.

MISCONCEPTIONS / UNDERDEVELOPED CONCEPTS

Misconceptions:

  • Students may think the theory of evolution explains the origin of life, rather than understanding that the central focus of the theory is on how life changed and diversified after it began and the processes that led to diversification.
  • Students may think an individual organism can evolve new characteristics in response to environmental change, rather than understanding that evolution occurs at the population level over the course of generations.
  • Students may think evolution implies that organisms are evolving or progressing toward perfection, rather than understanding that evolution refers to changes in population based on environmental pressures and “fitness”. This fitness, a result of successful genetic combinations or diversity coupled with selection pressure caused by the ever-changing environment, leads to changes in populations and not necessarily changes toward “perfection”.

Unit Vocabulary

Key Content Vocabulary:

  • Adaptation – an inherited trait that increases an organism’s rate of survival in its current environment
  • Allele frequency – a measurement that determines how often the allele (gene variant) expression of a particular gene arises in a population and is an indication of genetic diversity within a species population; should be in close correlation with the laws of natural selection, where more favorable alleles should become more numerous in a population over time, or are present due to a niche environment where a particular allele would prove advantageous
  • Evolution – genetic change in a species over time
  • Evolutionary mechanisms – fundamental processes or natural phenomenon that are capable of altering gene frequency in populations and as a result are responsible for evolutionary change; these mechanisms include natural selection, mutations, gene flow, genetic drift, and recombination, etc.
  • Gene flow – movement of genes from one population to another
  • Genetic drift – random fluctuations of allele frequencies (numbers of gene variants) in a small population; takes place when the occurrence of alleles increases and / or decreases by random chance over time or from the chance disappearance of particular genes as individuals die or do not reproduce
  • Natural selection – the process by which organisms better suited to their environment survive and reproduce

 

Related Vocabulary:

  • Analogous structures
  • Ancestry
  • Artificial selection
  • Behavioral isolation
  • Biogeography
  • Cladograms
  • Common ancestor
  • Conserved sequence
  • Convergent evolution
  • Descended (or descendent)
  • Differential reproductive success
  • Directional selection
  • Disruptive selection
  • Divergent evolution
  • Diversity
  • Embryology
  • Endosymbiosis
  • Evidence
  • Extinction
  • Fitness
  • Fossil record
  • Gel electrophoresis
  • Genetic variation
  • Geographic isolation
  • Homologies
  • Homologous structures
  • Inherited variation
  • Macroevolution
  • Microevolution
  • Migration
  • Morphologies
  • Mutation
  • Non-random mating
  • Offspring
  • Parallel evolution
  • Phylogenetic trees
  • Random mating
  • Recombination
  • Selection advantage
  • Speciation
  • Stabilizing selection
  • Stasis
  • Vestigial structures
Unit Assessment Items System Resources Other Resources

Show this message:

Unit Assessment Items that have been published by your district may be accessed through Search All Components in the District Resources tab. Assessment items may also be found using the Assessment Center if your district has granted access to that tool.

System Resources may be accessed through Search All Components in the District Resources Tab.

State:

Texas Education Agency – Texas Safety Standards

http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index2.aspx?id=5483 (look under Documents)

 

Texas Gateway for Online Resources by TEA – Evidence for Evolution

https://www.texasgateway.org/resource/evidence-evolution

 

Texas Gateway for Online Resources by TEA – Mechanisms of Evolution Beyond Natural Selection

https://www.texasgateway.org/resource/mechanisms-evolution-beyond-natural-selection

 

Texas Gateway for Online Resources by TEA – OnTRACK Scientific Process Skills

https://www.texasgateway.org/binder/ontrack-scientific-process-skills

 

Texas Gateway for Online Resources by TEA – Organisms' Adaptations

https://www.texasgateway.org/resource/organisms-adaptations

 


TAUGHT DIRECTLY TEKS

TEKS intended to be explicitly taught in this unit.

TEKS/SE Legend:

  • Knowledge and Skills Statements (TEKS) identified by TEA are in italicized, bolded, black text.
  • Student Expectations (TEKS) identified by TEA are in bolded, black text.
  • Student Expectations (TEKS) are labeled Readiness as identified by TEA of the assessed curriculum.
  • Student Expectations (TEKS) are labeled Supporting as identified by TEA of the assessed curriculum.
  • Student Expectations (TEKS) are labeled Process standards as identified by TEA of the assessed curriculum.
  • Portions of the Student Expectations (TEKS) that are not included in this unit but are taught in previous or future units are indicated by a strike-through.

Specificity Legend:

  • Supporting information / clarifications (specificity) written by TEKS Resource System are in blue text.
  • Unit-specific clarifications are in italicized, blue text.
  • Information from Texas Education Agency (TEA), Texas College and Career Readiness Standards (TxCCRS), and American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Project 2061 is labeled.
  • A Partial Specificity label indicates that a portion of the specificity not aligned to this unit has been removed.
TEKS# SE# TEKS SPECIFICITY
B.1 Scientific processes. The student, for at least 40% of instructional time, conducts laboratory and field investigations using safe, environmentally appropriate, and ethical practices. The student is expected to:
B.1A Demonstrate safe practices during laboratory and field investigations.
Process Standard

Demonstrate

SAFE PRACTICES DURING LABORATORY AND FIELD INVESTIGATIONS

Including, but not limited to:

  • Wear appropriate safety equipment, such as goggles, aprons, and gloves
  • Know location of safety equipment, such as fire extinguisher, safety shower, and eye wash
  • Follow classroom safety guidelines, as outlined in the Texas Education Agency Texas Safety Standards
  • Handle organisms appropriately
  • Use lab equipment appropriately

Note(s):

  • STAAR:
    • The process skills will be incorporated into at least 40% of the test questions and will be identified along with content standards.
B.1B Demonstrate an understanding of the use and conservation of resources and the proper disposal or recycling of materials.
Process Standard

Demonstrate

AN UNDERSTANDING OF THE USE AND CONSERVATION OF RESOURCES AND THE PROPER DISPOSAL OR RECYCLING OF MATERIALS

Including, but not limited to:

  • Use and conservation of resources
  • Reducing pollution
  • Being a wise consumer
  • Decreasing reliance on fossil fuels
  • Preserving habitats
  • Proper disposal or recycling of materials

Note(s):

  • STAAR:
    • The process skills will be incorporated into at least 40% of the test questions and will be identified along with content standards.
B.2 Scientific processes. The student uses scientific practices and equipment during laboratory and field investigations. The student is expected to:
B.2A Know the definition of science and understand that it has limitations, as specified in subsection (b)(2) of this section.
Process Standard

Know

THE DEFINITION OF SCIENCE

Including, but not limited to:

  • Science, as defined by the National Academy of Sciences, is the "use of evidence to construct testable explanations and predictions of natural phenomena, as well as the knowledge generated through this process".

Understand

SCIENCE HAS LIMITATIONS

Including, but not limited to:

  • “...some questions are outside the realm of science because they deal with phenomena that are not scientifically testable.”
  • Scientific inquiry may be limited by current technology

Note(s):

  • STAAR:
    • The process skills will be incorporated into at least 40% of the test questions and will be identified along with content standards.
B.2B Know that hypotheses are tentative and testable statements that must be capable of being supported or not supported by observational evidence. Hypotheses of durable explanatory power that have been tested over a wide variety of conditions are incorporated into theories.
Process Standard

Know

THAT SCIENTIFIC HYPOTHESES ARE TENTATIVE AND TESTABLE STATEMENTS THAT MUST BE CAPABLE OF BEING SUPPORTED OR NOT SUPPORTED BY OBSERVATIONAL EVIDENCE

Including, but not limited to:

  • Determine if statements represent testable hypotheses
  • Analyze data to determine whether the data supports or does not support hypotheses
  • Widely tested hypotheses
    • Can have durable explanatory power
    • May be incorporated into theories

Note(s):

  • STAAR:
    • The process skills will be incorporated into at least 40% of the test questions and will be identified along with content standards.
B.2C Know scientific theories are based on natural and physical phenomena and are capable of being tested by multiple independent researchers. Unlike hypotheses, scientific theories are well established and highly reliable explanations, but they may be subject to change as new areas of science and new technologies are developed.
Process Standard

 

Know

SCIENTIFIC THEORIES ARE BASED ON NATURAL AND PHYSICAL PHENOMENA AND ARE CAPABLE OF BEING TESTED BY MULTIPLE INDEPENDENT RESEARCHERS

Including, but not limited to:

  • Unlike hypotheses, scientific theories are well-established and highly reliable explanations
  • Scientific theories may be subject to change as new areas of science and new technologies are developed
    • A scientific theory may be subject to change when new evidence is inconsistent with or cannot be explained by current theory
  • Examine various scientific theories from the field of biology and the evidence that supports them
    • Possible examples of related scientific theories may include:
      • Theory of evolution

Note(s):

  • STAAR:
    • The process skills will be incorporated into at least 40% of the test questions and will be identified along with content standards.
  • TxCCRS:
    • I. Nature of Science – A2 – Use creativity and insight to recognize and describe patterns in natural phenomena.
B.2D Distinguish between scientific hypotheses and scientific theories.
Process Standard

Distinguish

BETWEEN SCIENTIFIC HYPOTHESES AND SCIENTIFIC THEORIES

Including, but not limited to:

  • Distinguish between scientific hypotheses and scientific theories
  • Use statements and supporting evidence to determine whether a statement is a hypothesis or a scientific theory
  • Examine examples of hypotheses and theories in the field of biology

Note(s):

  • STAAR:
    • The process skills will be incorporated into at least 40% of the test questions and will be identified along with content standards.
  • Project 2061: By the end of the 12th grade, students should know that:
    • In science, the testing, revising, and occasional discarding of theories, new and old, never ends. This ongoing process leads to a better understanding of how things work in the world but not to absolute truth. 1A/H3bc*
B.2E Plan and implement descriptive, comparative, and experimental investigations, including asking questions, formulating testable hypotheses, and selecting equipment and technology.
Process Standard

Plan, Implement

DESCRIPTIVE, COMPARATIVE, AND EXPERIMENTAL INVESTIGATIONS

Including, but not limited to:

  • Observe natural phenomena
  • Ask questions
  • Formulate testable hypotheses
  • Plan and implement investigations
    • Descriptive
    • Comparative
    • Experimental
  • Select appropriate equipment and technology

Note(s):

  • STAAR:
    • The process skills will be incorporated into at least 40% of the test questions and will be identified along with content standards.
  • TEA:
    • Descriptive, comparative and experimental investigations (Texas Education Agency. (2007-2011). Laboratory and Field Investigations–FAQ, August 2010. Retrieved from http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index2.aspx?id=5483)
      • Descriptive investigations involve collecting qualitative and/or quantitative data to draw conclusions about a natural or man-made system (e.g., rock formation, animal behavior, cloud, bicycle, electrical circuit). A descriptive investigation includes a question, but no hypothesis. Observations are recorded, but no comparisons are made and no variables are manipulated.
      • Comparative investigations involve collecting data on different organisms/objects/features/events, or collecting data under different conditions (e.g., time of year, air temperature, location) to make a comparison. The hypothesis identifies one independent (manipulated) variable and one dependent (responding) variable. A ―fair test* can be designed to measure variables so that the relationship between them is determined.
      • Experimental investigations involve designing a ―fair test* similar to a comparative investigation, but a control is identified. The variables are measured in an effort to gather evidence to support or not support a causal relationship. This is often called a ―controlled experiment.
      • * A fair test is conducted by making sure that only one factor (variable) is changed at a time, while keeping all other conditions the same. 
  • TxCCRS:
    • I. Nature of Science – A3 – Formulate appropriate questions to test understanding of natural phenomena. 
B.2F

Collect and organize qualitative and quantitative data and make measurements with accuracy and precision using tools such as data-collecting probes, standard laboratory glassware, microscopes, various prepared slides, stereoscopes, metric rulers, balances, gel electrophoresis apparatuses, micropipettes, hand lenses, Celsius thermometers, hot plates, lab notebooks or journals, timing devices, Petri dishes, lab incubators, dissection equipment, meter sticks, and models, diagrams, or samples of biological specimens or structures.


Process Standard

Collect, Organize

DATA

Including, but not limited to:           

  • Qualitative
  • Quantitative

Make

MEASUREMENTS WITH ACCURACY AND PRECISION USING TOOLS

Including, but not limited to:

  • Gel electrophoresis apparatuses
  • Lab notebooks or journals (science notebooks)
  • Timing devices
  • Models, diagrams, or samples of biological specimens or structures  

Note(s):

  • STAAR:
    • The process skills will be incorporated into at least 40% of the test questions and will be identified along with content standards.
    • Students will be allowed to utilize 4 function, scientific, or graphing calculators on the STAAR Biology Assessment.
B.2G Analyze, evaluate, make inferences, and predict trends from data.
Process Standard

Analyze, Evaluate, Make inferences, Predict

TRENDS FROM DATA

Including, but not limited to:

  • Use appropriate mathematical calculations
    • Possible examples may include:
      • Averaging
      • Percent change
      • Probabilities and ratios
      • Rate of change
  • Use appropriate standard international (SI) units
  • Analyze and evaluate data (narrative, numerical, graphical) in order to make inferences and predict trends
    • Possible data format examples may include:
      • Data and fact tables
      • Graphs
      • Maps
      • Dichotomous keys
      • Graphic organizers
      • Fossil record
      • Images (e.g., illustrations, sketches, photomicrographs)

Note(s):

  • STAAR:
    • The process skills will be incorporated into at least 40% of the test questions and will be identified along with content standards.
    • Students may be asked to interpret data in multiple contexts in order to make inferences and predict trends.
  • TxCCRS:
    • I. Nature of Science – A2 – Use creativity and insight to recognize and describe patterns in natural phenomena.
    • I. Nature of Science – A4 – Rely on reproducible observations of empirical evidence when constructing, analyzing, and evaluating explanations of natural events and processes.
B.2H Communicate valid conclusions supported by the data through methods such as lab reports, labeled drawings, graphic organizers, journals, summaries, oral reports, and technology-based reports.
Process Standard

Communicate

VALID CONCLUSIONS SUPPORTED BY DATA

Including, but not limited to:

  • Communicate conclusions in oral, written, and graphic forms
  • Use essential vocabulary of the discipline to communicate conclusions
  • Use appropriate writing practices consistent with scientific writing
  • Present scientific information in appropriate formats for various audiences
  • Various methods for communicating conclusions
    • Lab reports
    • Labeled drawings
    • Diagrams
    • Graphic organizers (including charts and tables)
    • Graphs
    • Journals (science notebooks)
    • Summaries
    • Oral reports
    • Technology-based reports

Note(s):

  • STAAR:
    • The process skills will be incorporated into at least 40% of the test questions and will be identified along with content standards.
  • TxCCRS:
    • IV. Nature of Science: Scientific Ways of Learning and Thinking – E1 – Use several modes of expression to describe or characterize natural patterns and phenomena. These modes of expression include narrative, numerical, graphical, pictorial, symbolic, and kinesthetic.
B.3 Scientific processes. The student uses critical thinking, scientific reasoning, and problem solving to make informed decisions within and outside the classroom. The student is expected to:
B.3A Analyze, evaluate, and critique scientific explanations by using empirical evidence, logical reasoning, and experimental and observational testing, so as to encourage critical thinking by the student.
Process Standard

Analyze, Evaluate, Critique

SCIENTIFIC EXPLANATIONS SO AS TO ENCOURAGE CRITICAL THINKING BY THE STUDENT

Including, but not limited to:

  • Use
    • Empirical evidence
    • Logical reasoning
    • Experimental and observational testing
  • Examine
    • All sides of scientific evidence of those explanations

Note(s):

  • STAAR:
    • The process skills will be incorporated into at least 40% of the test questions and will be identified along with content standards.
  • Project 2061: By the end of the 8th grade, students should know that:
    • Scientific knowledge is subject to modification as new information challenges prevailing theories and as a new theory leads to looking at old observations in a new way. 1A/M2
    • Some scientific knowledge is very old and yet is still applicable today. 1A/M3
    • Scientific investigations usually involve the collection of relevant data, the use of logical reasoning, and the application of imagination in devising hypotheses and explanations to make sense of the collected data. 1B/M1b*
    • If more than one variable changes at the same time in an experiment, the outcome of the experiment may not be clearly attributable to any one variable. It may not always be possible to prevent outside variables from influencing an investigation (or even to identify all of the variables). 1B/M2ab
  • TxCCRS:
    • I. Nature of Science – A1 – Utilize skepticism, logic, and professional ethics in science.
    • I. Nature of Science – A4 – Rely on reproducible observations of empirical evidence when constructing, analyzing, and evaluating explanations of natural events and processes.
B.3B Communicate and apply scientific information extracted from various sources such as current events, published journal articles, and marketing materials.
Process Standard

Communicate, Apply

SCIENTIFIC INFORMATION

Including, but not limited to:

  • Review scientific information from a variety of sources
  • Summarize and communicate scientific information from a variety of sources
    • Possible ways of communicating information:
      • Graphic organizer
      • Graphs
      • Written or verbal reports
      • Data tables
      • Advertisements
  • Evaluate the quality and accuracy of information from research sources
    • Current events
    • Published journal articles
    • Marketing materials
    • Possible additional sources may include:
      • Books
      • Interviews, conference papers
      • News reports
      • Product or food labels
      • Science notebooks
      • Search engines, databases, and other media or online tools

Note(s):

  • STAAR:
    • The process skills will be incorporated into at least 40% of the test questions and will be identified along with content standards.
B.3D Evaluate the impact of scientific research on society and the environment.
Process Standard

Evaluate

IMPACT OF RESEARCH

Including, but not limited to:

  • Read scientific articles to gain understanding of the impact of research
  • Recognize how scientific discoveries are connected to technological innovations
  • Understand how scientific research and technology have an impact on ethical and legal practices
  • Understand how commonly held ethical beliefs impact scientific research
  • Understand how scientific discoveries have impacted / changed commonly held beliefs

Note(s):

  • STAAR:
    • The process skills will be incorporated into at least 40% of the test questions and will be identified along with content standards.
  • TxCCRS:
    • I. Nature of Science – A4 – Rely on reproducible observations of empirical evidence when constructing, analyzing, and evaluating explanations of natural events and processes.
B.3E Evaluate models according to their limitations in representing biological objects or events.
Process Standard

Evaluate

MODELS

Including, but not limited to:

  • Examine and evaluate various biological models (including physical, mathematical, and conceptual)
  • Identify advantages and limitations in biological models
    • Possible examples of biological models may include:
      • Cladograms
      • Simulations

Note(s):

  • STAAR:
    • The process skills will be incorporated into at least 40% of the test questions and will be identified along with content standards.
B.3F Research and describe the history of biology and contributions of scientists.
Process Standard

Research, Describe

THE HISTORY OF BIOLOGY AND CONTRIBUTIONS OF SCIENTISTS

Including, but not limited to:

  • Conduct research on significant events in the history of biology
  • Conduct research on contributions of various biologists
    • Possible examples may include:
      • Charles Darwin (theory of evolution)
      • Alfred Wegener (continental drift)
      • Alfred Russel Wallace (biogeography / zoogeographic regions)

Note(s):

  • STAAR:
    • The process skills will be incorporated into at least 40% of the test questions and will be identified along with content standards.
  • TxCCRS:
    • IV. Science, Technology, and Society – C1 – Understand the historical development of major theories in science.
    • IV. Science, Technology, and Society – C2 – Recognize the role of people in important contributions to scientific knowledge.
B.6 Science concepts. The student knows the mechanisms of genetics such as the role of nucleic acids and the principles of Mendelian and non-Mendelian genetics. The student is expected to:
B.6A

Identify components of DNA, identify how information for specifying the traits of an organism is carried in the DNA, and examine scientific explanations for the origin of DNA.


Readiness Standard

Examine

SCIENTIFIC EXPLANATIONS FOR THE ORIGIN OF DNA

Including, but not limited to:

  • DNA originates from changes to the structure of RNA and the development of enzymes to replicate DNA
    • Evidence used to support this explanation includes:
      • Miller-Urey experiment
      • The catalyst for translation in a ribosome is RNA, not protein
      • Some DNA viruses can acquire genes from unrelated RNA viruses, converting the gene to DNA and incorporating it into the viral genome

Note(s):

  • STAAR:
    • Students should be exposed to, but not assessed on the classification of nitrogen bases as purines and pyrimidines. This information may assist in explaining base pairing rules.
    • In Grade 7, students are introduced to the concept that information for specifying traits of an organism is governed by genetic material (7.14C). 
    • This is the first time students have been introduced to the components and structure of DNA.
  • Project 2061: By the end of the 12th grade, students should know that:
    • The information passed from parents to offspring is coded in DNA molecules, long chains linking just four kinds of smaller molecules, whose precise sequence encodes genetic information. 5B/H3*
  • TxCCRS:
    • VI. Biology – D3 – Understand the molecular structures and functions of nucleic acids.
B.6B Recognize that components that make up the genetic code are common to all organisms.
Supporting Standard

Recognize

THAT COMPONENTS THAT MAKE UP THE GENETIC CODE ARE COMMON TO ALL ORGANISMS

Including, but not limited to:

  • Universality of code (with some exceptions)
    • Common molecular components and molecular structure of nucleic acids
    • Common nitrogen base-pairing rules
    • DNA triplets code for the same amino acids in almost all organisms
    • Sections of nucleic acids can be taken from one organism and placed in the cells of another organism of other species and affect traits
    • Exceptions to these commonalities do exist, but are extremely rare

Note(s):

  • STAAR:
    • In Grade 7, students are introduced to the concept that information for specifying traits of an organism is governed by genetic material (7.14C). 
    • In Grade 6, students recognize the presence of a nucleus is a key factor used to determine whether a cell is prokaryotic or eukaryotic (6.12B). Grade 6 students are given a basic introduction to classification of organisms at the domain and kingdom levels (6.12C, 6.12D).
  • TxCCRS:
    • VI. Biology – D3 – Understand the molecular structures and functions of nucleic acids.
B.7 Science concepts. The student knows evolutionary theory is a scientific explanation for the unity and diversity of life. The student is expected to:
B.7A Analyze and evaluate how evidence of common ancestry among groups is provided by the fossil record, biogeography, and homologies, including anatomical, molecular, and developmental.
Readiness Standard

Analyze, Evaluate

HOW EVIDENCE OF COMMON ANCESTRY AMONG GROUPS IS PROVIDED

Including, but not limited to:

  • Fossil record
    • Anatomical homologies between fossils and current organisms
    • Sequential distribution of through geologic layers
  • Biogeography
    • Distribution of animal life by geographical region
    • Geographic barriers that limit or prevent gene flow
  • Homologies
    • Anatomical (e.g., forelimbs of animals such as whales, birds, cats, bats, horses, and humans)
    • Molecular (e.g., conserved sequence in biomolecules)
    • Developmental (e.g., embryology of vertebrates)

Note(s):

  • STAAR:
    • This is the first time students have been expected to relate specific evidence to common ancestry of organisms.
    • In Grade 8, students are introduced to concepts related to this standard (8.9A) including evidence for the development of continental drift theory (including: fossil and rock correlation, existence of a large supercontinent breaking apart, and correlation of fossil data from drilling on either side of the mid-ocean ridge). 
  • TxCCRS:
    • I. Nature of Science – A2 – Use creativity and insight to recognize and describe patterns in natural phenomena.
    • VI. Biology – C1 – Know multiple categories of evidence for evolutionary change and how this evidence is used to infer evolutionary relationships among organism.
B.7B Examine scientific explanations of abrupt appearance and stasis in the fossil record.
Supporting Standard

Examine

SCIENTIFIC EXPLANATIONS OF ABRUPT APPEARANCE AND STASIS IN THE FOSSIL RECORD

Including, but not limited to:

  • Explanations of abrupt appearance in the fossil record
    • Incomplete fossil record
    • Punctuated equilibrium
    • Speciation
  • Explanations of stasis in the fossil record
    • Stabilizing selection
  • Examine models explaining fossil record data
    • Possible examples may include:
      • Phylogenetic trees
      • Cladograms
      • Dendrograms
      • Phylogram
      • Timeline diagrams
      • Spindle diagram

Note(s):

  • STAAR:
    • This is the first time students have been introduced to scientific explanations concerning any data of sudden appearance, stasis, and the sequential nature of groups in the fossil record. 
  • TxCCRS:
    • I. Nature of Science – A2 – Use creativity and insight to recognize and describe patterns in natural phenomena.
B.7C Analyze and evaluate how natural selection produces change in populations, not individuals.
Supporting Standard

Analyze, Evaluate

HOW NATURAL SELECTION PRODUCES CHANGE IN POPULATIONS, NOT INDIVIDUALS

Including, but not limited to:

  • Changes in populations
    • Gene variations
    • Reproductive success / fitness
    • Selection advantage (e.g., Galapagos medium ground finch (Geospiza fortis), peppered moths, pesticide resistance in insects)
    • Allele-frequency changes in populations resulting from natural selection
  • Types of selection
    • Disruptive
    • Directional
    • Stabilizing
  • Extinction

Note(s):

  • STAAR:
    • In Grade 7, students are introduced to the concept that populations and species demonstrate variation and inherit many of their unique traits through gradual processes over many generations (7.11B, 7.11C). Additionally, Grade 7 students identify changes in genetic traits over several generations through the process of natural selection (7.11C). Finally, Grade 7 students explain variations within a species by comparing external features, behaviors, or physiology of organisms that enhance their survival (7.11B).  
    • In Grade 8, students explore how short- and long-term environmental changes affect organisms and traits in subsequent populations (8.11B).
  • TxCCRS:
    • I. Nature of Science – A2 – Use creativity and insight to recognize and describe patterns in natural phenomena.
    • VI. Biology – C2 – Recognize variations in population sizes, including extinction, and describe mechanisms and conditions that produce these variations.
B.7D Analyze and evaluate how the elements of natural selection, including inherited variation, the potential of a population to produce more offspring than can survive, and a finite supply of environmental resources, result in differential reproductive success.
Supporting Standard

Analyze, Evaluate

HOW THE ELEMENTS OF NATURAL SELECTION RESULT IN DIFFERENTIAL REPRODUCTIVE SUCCESS

Including, but not limited to:

  • Elements of natural selection resulting in differential reproductive success
    • Inherited variation
      • Mutations
      • Recombination
      • Migration
    • Fitness
    • Potential of a population to produce more offspring than can survive
    • Finite supply of environmental resources

Note(s):

  • STAAR:
    • In Grade 7, students are introduced to the concept that populations and species demonstrate variation and inherit many of their unique traits through gradual processes over many generations (7.11B, 7.11C). Additionally, Grade 7 students identify changes in genetic traits over several generations through the process of natural selection (7.11C). Finally, Grade 7 students explain variations within a species by comparing external features, behaviors, or physiology of organisms that enhance their survival (7.11B).  
    • In Grade 8, students explore how short- and long-term environmental changes affect organisms and traits in subsequent populations (8.11B).
  • Project 2061: By the end of the 12th grade, students should know that:
    • The variation of organisms within a species increases the likelihood that at least some members of the species will survive under changed environmental conditions. 5A/H1a
    • A great diversity of species increases the chance that at least some living things will survive in the face of large changes in the environment. 5A/H1b
  • TxCCRS:
    • I. Nature of Science – A2 – Use creativity and insight to recognize and describe patterns in natural phenomena.
    • VI. Biology – C2 – Recognize variations in population sizes, including extinction, and describe mechanisms and conditions that produce these variations.
B.7E Analyze and evaluate the relationship of natural selection to adaptation and to the development of diversity in and among species.
Readiness Standard

Analyze, Evaluate

THE RELATIONSHIP OF NATURAL SELECTION TO ADAPTATION AND TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF DIVERSITY IN AND AMONG SPECIES

Including, but not limited to:

  • Analyze and evaluate the relationship of natural selection to adaptation
    • Recognize dual meaning of “adaptation”
      • State of being adapted
        • Examples of adaptations (contribute to fitness and survival of individuals)
      • Processes of evolution that lead to the occurrence of adaptations
        • Examples of natural selection leading to adaptation (processes)
  • Analyze and evaluate the relationship of natural selection to diversity within and among species
    • Use allele frequencies to depict the amount of genetic diversity at the individual, species, and population level
  • Analyze and evaluate the relationship of selective advantage to natural selection
  • Analyze and evaluate the relationship of isolation to natural selection and speciation
    • Geographic isolation
    • Behavioral isolation

Note(s):

  • STAAR:
    • In Grade 7, students are introduced to the concept that populations and species demonstrate variation and inherit many of their unique traits through gradual processes over many generations (7.11B, 7.11C). Additionally, Grade 7 students identify changes in genetic traits over several generations through the process of natural selection (7.11C). Finally, Grade 7 students explain variations within a species by comparing external features, behaviors, or physiology of organisms that enhance their survival (7.11B).  
    • In Grade 8, students explore how short- and long-term environmental changes affect organisms and traits in subsequent populations (8.11B).
  • TXCCRS:
    • VI. Biology – C2 – Recognize variations in population sizes, including extinction, and describe mechanisms and conditions that produce these variations.
B.7F Analyze other evolutionary mechanisms, including genetic drift, gene flow, mutation, and recombination.
Supporting Standard

Analyze

EVOLUTIONARY MECHANISMS

Including, but not limited to:

  • Mechanisms of evolution (other than natural selection)
    • Genetic drift (e.g., bottleneck and founder’s effect)
    • Gene flow – migration of organisms from one population to another that introduces new alleles in future generations
    • Mutation – changes in DNA in gametes or the cells that produce gametes that are conserved in subsequent generations
    • Recombination – crossing over of homologous chromosomes during meiosis creates new genetic combinations

Note(s):

  • STAAR:
    • This is the first time students have been introduced to evolutionary mechanisms such as genetic drift, gene flow, mutation, and recombination.
  • TXCCRS:
    • VI. Biology D4 – Understand simple principles of population genetics and describe characteristics of a Hardy-Weinberg population.
The English Language Proficiency Standards (ELPS), as required by 19 Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 74, Subchapter A, §74.4, outline English language proficiency level descriptors and student expectations for English language learners (ELLs). School districts are required to implement ELPS as an integral part of each subject in the required curriculum.

School districts shall provide instruction in the knowledge and skills of the foundation and enrichment curriculum in a manner that is linguistically accommodated commensurate with the student’s levels of English language proficiency to ensure that the student learns the knowledge and skills in the required curriculum.


School districts shall provide content-based instruction including the cross-curricular second language acquisition essential knowledge and skills in subsection (c) of the ELPS in a manner that is linguistically accommodated to help the student acquire English language proficiency.

http://ritter.tea.state.tx.us/rules/tac/chapter074/ch074a.html#74.4 


Choose appropriate ELPS to support instruction.

ELPS# Subsection C: Cross-curricular second language acquisition essential knowledge and skills.
Click here to collapse or expand this section.
ELPS.c.1 The ELL uses language learning strategies to develop an awareness of his or her own learning processes in all content areas. In order for the ELL to meet grade-level learning expectations across the foundation and enrichment curriculum, all instruction delivered in English must be linguistically accommodated (communicated, sequenced, and scaffolded) commensurate with the student's level of English language proficiency. The student is expected to:
ELPS.c.1A use prior knowledge and experiences to understand meanings in English
ELPS.c.1B monitor oral and written language production and employ self-corrective techniques or other resources
ELPS.c.1C use strategic learning techniques such as concept mapping, drawing, memorizing, comparing, contrasting, and reviewing to acquire basic and grade-level vocabulary
ELPS.c.1D speak using learning strategies such as requesting assistance, employing non-verbal cues, and using synonyms and circumlocution (conveying ideas by defining or describing when exact English words are not known)
ELPS.c.1E internalize new basic and academic language by using and reusing it in meaningful ways in speaking and writing activities that build concept and language attainment
ELPS.c.1F use accessible language and learn new and essential language in the process
ELPS.c.1G demonstrate an increasing ability to distinguish between formal and informal English and an increasing knowledge of when to use each one commensurate with grade-level learning expectations
ELPS.c.1H develop and expand repertoire of learning strategies such as reasoning inductively or deductively, looking for patterns in language, and analyzing sayings and expressions commensurate with grade-level learning expectations.
ELPS.c.2 The ELL listens to a variety of speakers including teachers, peers, and electronic media to gain an increasing level of comprehension of newly acquired language in all content areas. ELLs may be at the beginning, intermediate, advanced, or advanced high stage of English language acquisition in listening. In order for the ELL to meet grade-level learning expectations across the foundation and enrichment curriculum, all instruction delivered in English must be linguistically accommodated (communicated, sequenced, and scaffolded) commensurate with the student's level of English language proficiency. The student is expected to:
ELPS.c.2A distinguish sounds and intonation patterns of English with increasing ease
ELPS.c.2B recognize elements of the English sound system in newly acquired vocabulary such as long and short vowels, silent letters, and consonant clusters
ELPS.c.2C learn new language structures, expressions, and basic and academic vocabulary heard during classroom instruction and interactions
ELPS.c.2D monitor understanding of spoken language during classroom instruction and interactions and seek clarification as needed
ELPS.c.2E use visual, contextual, and linguistic support to enhance and confirm understanding of increasingly complex and elaborated spoken language
ELPS.c.2F listen to and derive meaning from a variety of media such as audio tape, video, DVD, and CD ROM to build and reinforce concept and language attainment
ELPS.c.2G understand the general meaning, main points, and important details of spoken language ranging from situations in which topics, language, and contexts are familiar to unfamiliar
ELPS.c.2H understand implicit ideas and information in increasingly complex spoken language commensurate with grade-level learning expectations
ELPS.c.2I demonstrate listening comprehension of increasingly complex spoken English by following directions, retelling or summarizing spoken messages, responding to questions and requests, collaborating with peers, and taking notes commensurate with content and grade-level needs.
ELPS.c.3 The ELL speaks in a variety of modes for a variety of purposes with an awareness of different language registers (formal/informal) using vocabulary with increasing fluency and accuracy in language arts and all content areas. ELLs may be at the beginning, intermediate, advanced, or advanced high stage of English language acquisition in speaking. In order for the ELL to meet grade-level learning expectations across the foundation and enrichment curriculum, all instruction delivered in English must be linguistically accommodated (communicated, sequenced, and scaffolded) commensurate with the student's level of English language proficiency. The student is expected to:
ELPS.c.3A practice producing sounds of newly acquired vocabulary such as long and short vowels, silent letters, and consonant clusters to pronounce English words in a manner that is increasingly comprehensible
ELPS.c.3B expand and internalize initial English vocabulary by learning and using high-frequency English words necessary for identifying and describing people, places, and objects, by retelling simple stories and basic information represented or supported by pictures, and by learning and using routine language needed for classroom communication
ELPS.c.3C speak using a variety of grammatical structures, sentence lengths, sentence types, and connecting words with increasing accuracy and ease as more English is acquired
ELPS.c.3D speak using grade-level content area vocabulary in context to internalize new English words and build academic language proficiency
ELPS.c.3E share information in cooperative learning interactions
ELPS.c.3F ask and give information ranging from using a very limited bank of high-frequency, high-need, concrete vocabulary, including key words and expressions needed for basic communication in academic and social contexts, to using abstract and content-based vocabulary during extended speaking assignments
ELPS.c.3G express opinions, ideas, and feelings ranging from communicating single words and short phrases to participating in extended discussions on a variety of social and grade-appropriate academic topics
ELPS.c.3H narrate, describe, and explain with increasing specificity and detail as more English is acquired
ELPS.c.3I adapt spoken language appropriately for formal and informal purposes
ELPS.c.3J respond orally to information presented in a wide variety of print, electronic, audio, and visual media to build and reinforce concept and language attainment.
ELPS.c.4 The ELL reads a variety of texts for a variety of purposes with an increasing level of comprehension in all content areas. ELLs may be at the beginning, intermediate, advanced, or advanced high stage of English language acquisition in reading. In order for the ELL to meet grade-level learning expectations across the foundation and enrichment curriculum, all instruction delivered in English must be linguistically accommodated (communicated, sequenced, and scaffolded) commensurate with the student's level of English language proficiency. For Kindergarten and Grade 1, certain of these student expectations apply to text read aloud for students not yet at the stage of decoding written text. The student is expected to:
ELPS.c.4A learn relationships between sounds and letters of the English language and decode (sound out) words using a combination of skills such as recognizing sound-letter relationships and identifying cognates, affixes, roots, and base words
ELPS.c.4B recognize directionality of English reading such as left to right and top to bottom
ELPS.c.4C develop basic sight vocabulary, derive meaning of environmental print, and comprehend English vocabulary and language structures used routinely in written classroom materials
ELPS.c.4D use prereading supports such as graphic organizers, illustrations, and pretaught topic-related vocabulary and other prereading activities to enhance comprehension of written text
ELPS.c.4E read linguistically accommodated content area material with a decreasing need for linguistic accommodations as more English is learned
ELPS.c.4F use visual and contextual support and support from peers and teachers to read grade-appropriate content area text, enhance and confirm understanding, and develop vocabulary, grasp of language structures, and background knowledge needed to comprehend increasingly challenging language
ELPS.c.4G demonstrate comprehension of increasingly complex English by participating in shared reading, retelling or summarizing material, responding to questions, and taking notes commensurate with content area and grade level needs
ELPS.c.4H read silently with increasing ease and comprehension for longer periods
ELPS.c.4I demonstrate English comprehension and expand reading skills by employing basic reading skills such as demonstrating understanding of supporting ideas and details in text and graphic sources, summarizing text, and distinguishing main ideas from details commensurate with content area needs
ELPS.c.4J demonstrate English comprehension and expand reading skills by employing inferential skills such as predicting, making connections between ideas, drawing inferences and conclusions from text and graphic sources, and finding supporting text evidence commensurate with content area needs
ELPS.c.4K demonstrate English comprehension and expand reading skills by employing analytical skills such as evaluating written information and performing critical analyses commensurate with content area and grade-level needs.
ELPS.c.5 The ELL writes in a variety of forms with increasing accuracy to effectively address a specific purpose and audience in all content areas. ELLs may be at the beginning, intermediate, advanced, or advanced high stage of English language acquisition in writing. In order for the ELL to meet grade-level learning expectations across foundation and enrichment curriculum, all instruction delivered in English must be linguistically accommodated (communicated, sequenced, and scaffolded) commensurate with the student's level of English language proficiency. For Kindergarten and Grade 1, certain of these student expectations do not apply until the student has reached the stage of generating original written text using a standard writing system. The student is expected to:
ELPS.c.5A learn relationships between sounds and letters of the English language to represent sounds when writing in English
ELPS.c.5B write using newly acquired basic vocabulary and content-based grade-level vocabulary
ELPS.c.5C spell familiar English words with increasing accuracy, and employ English spelling patterns and rules with increasing accuracy as more English is acquired
ELPS.c.5D edit writing for standard grammar and usage, including subject-verb agreement, pronoun agreement, and appropriate verb tenses commensurate with grade-level expectations as more English is acquired
ELPS.c.5E employ increasingly complex grammatical structures in content area writing commensurate with grade-level expectations, such as:
ELPS.c.5F write using a variety of grade-appropriate sentence lengths, patterns, and connecting words to combine phrases, clauses, and sentences in increasingly accurate ways as more English is acquired
ELPS.c.5G narrate, describe, and explain with increasing specificity and detail to fulfill content area writing needs as more English is acquired.
Last Updated 10/07/2019
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