Grade 3 Science, Unit 5 Continuing the Cycle
In this unit of study, students are expected to develop an understanding of the similarities and differences in organisms’ life cycles. In addition, students are able to use evidence to construct an explanation for how the variations in characteristics among individuals of the same species may provide advantages in surviving, finding mates, and reproducing. The crosscutting concepts of patterns and cause and effect are called out as organizing concepts for these disciplinary core ideas. In the third grade performance expectations, students are expected to demonstrate grade-appropriate proficiency by developing and using models and constructing explanations and designing solutions. Students are expected to use these practices to demonstrate understanding of the core ideas. Essential questions • How do organisms vary in their traits? • How are plants, animals, and environments of the past similar to or different from current plants, animals, and environments?
Driving question 1-In what ways are the life cycles of organisms similar and different?
Science findings are based on recognizing patterns. • Similarities and differences in patterns can be used to sort and classify natural phenomena. • Patterns of change can be used to make predictions. • Reproduction is essential to the continued existence of every kind of organism. • Plants and animals have unique and diverse life cycles.
Sort and classify natural phenomena (inherited traits) using similarities and differences in patterns.
• Make predictions using patterns of change.
• Develop models to describe phenomena.
• Develop models to describe that organisms have unique and diverse life cycles but all have in common birth, growth, reproduction, and death. (I.e., Changes organisms go through during their life form a pattern.) (Assessment of plant life cycles is limited to those of flowering plants. Assessment does not include details of human reproduction.)
Driving question 2 How can variations in characteristics among individuals of the same species provide advantages in surviving, finding mates, and reproducing?
Cause-and-effect relationships are routinely identified and used to explain change.
• Sometimes the differences in characteristics between individuals of the same species provide advantages in surviving, finding mates, and reproducing.
Identify cause-and-effect relationships in order to explain change.
• Use evidence (e.g., observations, patterns) to construct an explanation.
• Use evidence to construct an explanation for how the variations in characteristics among individuals of the same species may provide advantages in surviving, finding mates, and reproducing. Examples of cause-and-effect relationships could include: − Plants that have larger thorns than other plants may be less likely to be eaten by predators. − Animals that have better camouflage coloration than other animals may be more likely to survive and therefore more likely to leave offspring.