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SC Science Standards

7.S.1A. Conceptual Understanding: The practices of science and engineering support the development of science concepts, develop the habits of mind that are necessary for scientific thinking, and allow students to engage in science in ways that are similar to those used by scientists and engineers.

Performance Indicators: Students who demonstrate this understanding can:

NOTE: Scientific investigations should always be done in the context of content knowledge expected at this grade level. The standard describes how students should learn and demonstrate knowledge of the content outlined in the other standards.

7.S.1A.1 7.S.1A.2 7.S.1A.3

7.S.1A.4.

7.S.1A.5

7.S.1A.6

7.S.1A.7

Ask questions to (1) generate hypotheses for scientific investigations, (2) refine models, explanations, or designs, or (3) extend the results of investigations or challenge claims.

Develop, use, and refine models to (1) understand or represent phenomena, processes, and relationships, (2) test devices or solutions, or (3) communicate ideas to others.

Plan and conduct controlled scientific investigation to answer questions, test hypotheses, and develop explanations: (1) formulate scientific questions and testable hypotheses, (2) identify materials, procedures, and variables, (3) select and use appropriate tools or instruments to collect qualitative and quantitative data, and (4) record and represent data in an appropriate form. Use appropriate safety procedures.

Analyze and interpret data from informational texts, observations, measurements, or investigations using a range of methods (such as tabulation, graphing, or statistical analysis) to (1) reveal patterns and construct meaning or (2) support hypotheses, explanations, claims, or designs.

Use mathematical and computational thinking to (1) use and manipulate appropriate metric units, (2) collect and analyze data, (3) express relationships between variables for models and investigations, or (4) use grade-level appropriate statistics to analyze data.

Construct explanations of phenomena using (1) primary or secondary scientific evidence and models, (2) conclusions from scientific investigations, (3) predictions based on observations and measurements, or (4) data communicated in graphs, tables, or diagrams.

Construct and analyze scientific arguments to support claims, explanations, or designs using evidence from observations, data, or informational texts.

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7.S.1A.8

GRADE SEVEN
SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING PRACTICES (CONTINUED)

Obtain and evaluate scientific information to (1) answer questions, (2) explain or describe phenomena, (3) develop models, (4) evaluate hypotheses, explanations, claims, or designs or (5) identify and/or fill gaps in knowledge. Communicate using the conventions and expectations of scientific writing or oral presentations by (1) evaluating grade-appropriate primary or secondary scientific literature, or (2) reporting the results of student experimental investigations.

7.S.1B. Conceptual Understanding: Technology is any modification to the natural world created to fulfill the wants and needs of humans. The engineering design process involves a series of iterative steps used to solve a problem and often leads to the development of a new or improved technology.

Performance Indicators: Students who demonstrate this understanding can:

7.S.1B.1

Construct devices or design solutions using scientific knowledge to solve specific problems or needs: (1) ask questions to identify problems or needs, (2) ask questions about the criteria and constraints of the device or solutions, (3) generate and communicate ideas for possible devices or solutions, (4) build and test devices or solutions, (5) determine if the devices or solutions solved the problem and refine the design if needed, and (6) communicate the results.

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GRADE SEVEN
PHYSICAL SCIENCE: CLASSIFICATION AND CONSERVATION OF MATTER

Standard 7.P.2: The student will demonstrate an understanding of the structure and properties of matter and that matter is conserved as it undergoes changes.

7.P.2A. Conceptual Understanding: All substances are composed of one or more elements. Elements are pure substances which contain only one kind of atom. The periodic table organizes these elements based on similar properties. Compounds are substances composed of two or more elements. Chemical formulas can be used to describe compounds.

Performance Indicators: Students who demonstrate this understanding can:

7.P.2A.1 7.P.2A.2 7.P.2A.3 7.P.2A.4

Develop and use simple atomic models to illustrate the components of elements (including the relative position and charge of protons, neutrons, and electrons).

Obtain and use information about elements (including chemical symbol, atomic number, atomic mass, and group or family) to describe the organization of the periodic table.

Analyze and interpret data to describe and classify matter as pure substances (elements or compounds) or mixtures (heterogeneous or homogeneous) based on composition.

Construct explanations for how compounds are classified as ionic (metal bonded to nonmetal) or covalent (nonmetals bonded together) using chemical formulas.

7.P.2B. Conceptual Understanding: Substances (such as metals or acids) are identified according to their physical or chemical properties. Changes to substances can either be physical or chemical. Many substances react chemically with other substances to form new substances with different

properties. reaction.

7.P.2B.1

7.P.2B.2 7.P.2B.3

7.P.2B.4 7.P.2B.5

According to the law of conservation of matter, total mass does not change in a chemical

Analyze and interpret data to describe substances using physical properties (including state, boiling/melting point, density, conductivity, color, hardness, and magnetic properties) and chemical properties (the ability to burn or rust).

Use mathematical and computational thinking to describe the relationship between the mass, volume, and density of a given substance.

Analyze and interpret data to compare the physical properties, chemical properties (neutralization to form a salt, reaction with metals), and pH of various solutions and classify solutions as acids or bases.

Plan and conduct controlled scientific investigations to answer questions about how physical and chemical changes affect the properties of different substances.

Develop and use models to explain how chemical reactions are supported by the law of conservation of matter.

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GRADE SEVEN
LIFE SCIENCE: ORGANIZATION IN LIVING SYSTEMS

Standard 7.L.3: The student will demonstrate an understanding of how the levels of organization within organisms support the essential functions of life.

7.L.3A. Conceptual Understanding: Cells are the most basic unit of any living organism. All organisms are composed of one (unicellular) or many cells (multicellular) and require food and water, a way to dispose of waste, and an environment in which they can live in order to survive. Through the use of technology, scientists have discovered special structures within individual cells that have specific functions that allow the cell to grow, survive, and reproduce. Bacteria are one- celled organisms found almost everywhere and can be both helpful and harmful. They can be simply classified by their size, shape and whether or not they can move.

Performance Indicators: Students who demonstrate this understanding can:

7.L.3A.1

7.L.3A.2 7.L.3A.3

7.L.3A.4

Obtain and communicate information to support claims that (1) organisms are made of one or more cells, (2) cells are the basic unit of structure and function of organisms, and (3) cells come only from existing cells.

Analyze and interpret data from observations to describe different types of cells and classify cells as plant, animal, protist, or bacteria.

Develop and use models to explain how the relevant structures within cells (including cytoplasm, cell membrane, cell wall, nucleus, mitochondria, chloroplasts, lysosomes, and vacuoles) function to support the life of plant, animal, and bacterial cells.

Construct scientific arguments to support claims that bacteria are both helpful and harmful to other organisms and the environment.

7.L.3B. Conceptual Understanding: Multicellular organisms (including humans) are complex systems with specialized cells that perform specific functions. Organs and organ systems are composed of cells that function to serve the needs of cells which in turn serve the needs of the organism.

Performance Indicators: Students who demonstrate this understanding can:

7.L.3B.1 7.L.3B.2

Develop and use models to explain how the structural organizations within multicellular organisms function to serve the needs of the organism.

Construct explanations for how systems in the human body (including circulatory, respiratory, digestive, excretory, nervous, and musculoskeletal systems) work together to support the essential life functions of the body.

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GRADE SEVEN
LIFE SCIENCE: HEREDITY – INHERITANCE AND VARIATION OF TRAITS

Standard 7.L.4: The student will demonstrate an understanding of how genetic information is transferred from parent to offspring and how environmental factors and the use of technologies influence the transfer of genetic information.

7.L.4A. Conceptual Understanding: Inheritance is the key process causing similarities between parental organisms and their offspring. Organisms that reproduce sexually transfer genetic information (DNA) to their offspring. This transfer of genetic information through inheritance leads to greater similarity among individuals within a population than between populations. Technology allows humans to influence the transfer of genetic information.

Performance Indicators: Students who demonstrate this understanding can:

7.L.4A.1 7.L.4A.2 7.L.4A.3

7.L.4A.4 7.L.4A.5 7.L.4A.6

Obtain and communicate information about the relationship between genes and chromosomes to construct explanations of their relationship to inherited characteristics.

Construct explanations for how genetic information is transferred from parent to offspring in organisms that reproduce sexually.

Develop and use models (Punnett squares) to describe and predict patterns of the inheritance of single genetic traits from parent to offspring (including dominant and recessive traits, incomplete dominance, and codominance).

Use mathematical and computational thinking to predict the probability of phenotypes and genotypes based on patterns of inheritance.

Construct scientific arguments using evidence to support claims for how changes in genes (mutations) may have beneficial, harmful, or neutral effects on organisms.

Construct scientific arguments using evidence to support claims concerning the advantages and disadvantages of the use of technology (such as selective breeding, genetic engineering, or biomedical research) in influencing the transfer of genetic information.

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GRADE SEVEN
ECOLOGY: INTERACTIONS OF LIVING SYSTEMS AND THE ENVIRONMENT

Standard 7.EC.5: The student will demonstrate an understanding of how organisms interact with and respond to the biotic and abiotic components of their environments.

7.EC.5A. Conceptual Understanding: In all ecosystems, organisms and populations of organisms depend on their environmental interactions with other living things (biotic factors) and with physical (abiotic) factors (such as light, temperature, water, or soil quality). Disruptions to any component of an ecosystem can lead to shifts in its diversity and abundance of populations.

Performance Indicators: Students who demonstrate this understanding can:

7.EC.5A.1

7.EC.5A.2

7.EC.5A.3

Develop and use models to describe the characteristics of the levels of organization within ecosystems (including species, populations, communities, ecosystems, and biomes).

Construct explanations of how soil quality (including composition, texture, particle size, permeability, and pH) affects the characteristics of an ecosystem using evidence from soil profiles.

Analyze and interpret data to predict changes in the number of organisms within a population when certain changes occur to the physical environment (such as changes due to natural hazards or limiting factors).

7.EC.5B. Conceptual Understanding: Organisms in all ecosystems interact with and depend upon each other. Organisms with similar needs compete for limited resources. Food webs and energy pyramids are models that demonstrate how energy is transferred within an ecosystem.

Performance Indicators: Students who demonstrate this understanding can:

7.EC.5B.1

7.EC.5B.2 7.EC.5B.3 7.EC.5B.4

Develop and use models to explain how organisms interact in a competitive or mutually beneficial relationship for food, shelter, or space (including competition, mutualism, commensalism, parasitism, and predator-prey relationships).

Develop and use models (food webs and energy pyramids) to exemplify how the transfer of energy in an ecosystem supports the concept that energy is conserved.

Analyze and interpret data to predict how changes in the number of organisms of one species affects the balance of an ecosystem.

Define problems caused by the introduction of a new species in an environment and design devices or solutions to minimize the impact(s) to the balance of an ecosystem.

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GRADE 8 OVERVIEW

In grades six through eight, the standards and performance indicators for the science and engineering practices and core science content, transition students to developing and planning controlled investigations to create more explicit and detailed models and explanations. The seven core concepts (patterns; cause and effect; scale, proportion, and quantity; systems and system models; energy and matter; structure and function; and stability and change) are reinforced in the appropriate context of the core science content through hands-on instruction in the classroom. Science in the middle school provides students with the foundation to be successful in high school science courses, by providing a range of content in the life, earth, and physical sciences.

These academic standards and performance indicators establish the practices and core content that South Carolina’s students should know and be able to do by the end of grade eight.

The five core areas of the grade eight standards include:

  • ?  Forces and Motion

  • ?  Waves

  • ?  Earth’s Place in the Universe

  • ?  Earth Systems and Resources

  • ?  Earth’s History and Diversity of Life

    The eight science and engineering practices describe how students should learn and demonstrate knowledge of the content outlined in the content standards. Engaging in these practices will help students become scientifically literate and astute consumers of scientific information.

    Students should engage in scientific and engineering practices as a means to learn about the specific topics identified for their grade level. It is critical that educators understand the Science and Engineering Practices are not to be taught in isolation. There should not be a distinct “Inquiry” unit at the beginning of each school year. Rather, the practices need to be employed within the content for each grade level.

    Teachers, schools, and districts should use these standards and indicators to provide a wide variety of experiences, materials, and instructional strategies that accommodate a broad range of individual differences. These standards support active engagement in learning. Classrooms will need to be supplied with the materials and equipment necessary to complete scientific investigations

    The academic standards and performance indicators for grade eight should be the basis for the development of classroom and grade-level assessments. In addition, these standards and performance indicators will be the basis for the development of items on the state-required South Carolina Palmetto Assessment of State Standards (SC-PASS). Students must demonstrate knowledge of the science and engineering practices and core content ideas in preparation for future science courses.

page64image22024 page64image22184 page64image22344

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GRADE EIGHT
SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING PRACTICES

Standard 8.S.1: The student will use the science and engineering practices, including the processes and skills of scientific inquiry, to develop understandings of science content.

8.S.1A. Conceptual Understanding: The practices of science and engineering support the development of science concepts, develop the habits of mind that are necessary for scientific thinking, and allow students to engage in science in ways that are similar to those used by scientists and engineers.

Performance Indicators: Students who demonstrate this understanding can:

NOTE: Scientific investigations should always be done in the context of content knowledge expected at this grade level. The standard describes how students should learn and demonstrate knowledge of the content outlined in the other standards.

8.S.1A.1 8.S.1A.2 8.S.1A.3

8.S.1A.4

8.S.1A.5

8.S.1A.6

8.S.1A.7

Ask questions to (1) generate hypotheses for scientific investigations, (2) refine models, explanations, or designs, or (3) extend the results of investigations or challenge claims.

Develop, use, and refine models to (1) understand or represent phenomena, processes, and relationships, (2) test devices or solutions, or (3) communicate ideas to others.

Plan and conduct controlled scientific investigations to answer questions, test hypotheses, and develop explanations: (1) formulate scientific questions and testable hypotheses, (2) identify materials, procedures, and variables, (3) select and use appropriate tools or instruments to collect qualitative and quantitative data, and (4) record and represent data in an appropriate form. Use appropriate safety procedures.

Analyze and interpret data from informational texts, observations, measurements, or investigations using a range of methods (such as tabulation, graphing, or statistical analysis) to (1) reveal patterns and construct meaning or (2) support hypotheses, explanations, claims, or designs.

Use mathematical and computational thinking to (1) use and manipulate appropriate metric units, (2) collect and analyze data, (3) express relationships between variables for models and investigations, or (4) use grade-level appropriate statistics to analyze data.

Construct explanations of phenomena using (1) primary or secondary scientific evidence and models, (2) conclusions from scientific investigations, (3) predictions based on observations and measurements, or (4) data communicated in graphs, tables, or diagrams.

Construct and analyze scientific arguments to support claims, explanations, or designs using evidence from observations, data, or informational texts.

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8.S.1A.8

GRADE EIGHT
SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING PRACTICES (CONTINUED)

Obtain and evaluate scientific information to (1) answer questions, (2) explain or describe phenomena, (3) develop models, (4) evaluate hypotheses, explanations, claims, or designs or (5) identify and/or fill gaps in knowledge. Communicate using the conventions and expectations of scientific writing or oral presentations by (1) evaluating grade-appropriate primary or secondary scientific literature, or (2) reporting the results of student experimental investigations.

8.S.1B. Conceptual Understanding: Technology is any modification to the natural world created to fulfill the wants and needs of humans. The engineering design process involves a series of iterative steps used to solve a problem and often leads to the development of a new or improved technology.

Performance Indicators: Students who demonstrate this understanding can:

8.S.1B.1

Construct devices or design solutions using scientific knowledge to solve specific problems or needs: (1) ask questions to identify problems or needs, (2) ask questions about the criteria and constraints of the device or solutions, (3) generate and communicate ideas for possible devices or solutions, (4) build and test devices or solutions, (5) determine if the devices or solutions solved the problem and refine the design if needed, and (6) communicate the results.

62

GRADE EIGHT
PHYSICAL SCIENCE: FORCES AND MOTION

Standard 8.P.2: The student will demonstrate an understanding of the effects of forces on the motion and stability of an object.

8.P.2A. Conceptual Understanding: Motion occurs when there is a change in position of an object with respect to a reference point. The final position of an object is determined by measuring the change in position and direction of the segments along a trip. While the speed of the object may vary during the total time it is moving, the average speed is the result of the total distance divided by the total time taken. Forces acting on an object can be balanced or unbalanced. Varying the amount of force or mass will affect the motion of an object. Inertia is the tendency of objects to resist any change in motion.

Performance Indicators: Students who demonstrate this understanding can:

8.P.2A.1

8.P.2A.2 8.P.2A.3 8.P.2A.4 8.P.2A.5 8.P.2A.6 8.P.2A.7

Plan and conduct controlled scientific investigations to test how varying the amount of force or mass of an object affects the motion (speed and direction), shape, or orientation of an object.

Develop and use models to compare and predict the resulting effect of balanced and unbalanced forces on an object’s motion in terms of magnitude and direction.

Construct explanations for the relationship between the mass of an object and the concept of inertia (Newton’s First Law of Motion).

Analyze and interpret data to support claims that for every force exerted on an object there is an equal force exerted in the opposite direction (Newton’s Third Law of Motion).

Analyze and interpret data to describe and predict the effects of forces (including gravitational and friction) on the speed and direction of an object.

Use mathematical and computational thinking to generate graphs that represent the motion of an object’s position and speed as a function of time.

Use mathematical and computational thinking to describe the relationship between the speed and velocity (including positive and negative expression of direction) of an object in determining average speed (v=d/t).

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GRADE EIGHT PHYSICAL SCIENCE: WAVES

Standard 8.P.3: The student will demonstrate an understanding of the properties and behaviors of waves.

8.P.3A. Conceptual Understanding: Waves (including sound and seismic waves, waves on water, and light waves) have energy and transfer energy when they interact with matter. Waves are a repeating pattern of motion that transfers energy from place to place without overall displacement of matter. All types of waves have some features in common.

page68image4712

technologies are based on waves and their interactions with matter. Performance Indicators: Students who demonstrate this understanding can:

8.P.3A.1 8.P.3A.2 8.P.3A.3 8.P.3A.4 8.P.3A.5 8.P.3A.6

Construct explanations of the relationship between matter and energy based on the characteristics of mechanical and light waves.

Develop and use models to exemplify the basic properties of waves (including frequency, amplitude, wavelength, and speed).

Analyze and interpret data to describe the behavior of waves (including refraction, reflection, transmission, and absorption) as they interact with various materials.

Analyze and interpret data to describe the behavior of mechanical waves as they intersect.

Construct explanations for how humans see color as a result of the transmission, absorption, and reflection of light waves by various materials.

Obtain and communicate information about how various instruments are used to extend human senses by transmitting and detecting waves (such as radio, television, cell phones, and wireless computer networks) to exemplify how technological advancements and designs meet human needs.

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When waves interact, they

page68image15792

superimpose upon or interfere with each other resulting in changes to the amplitude.

Major modern

GRADE EIGHT
EARTH SCIENCE: EARTH’S PLACE IN THE UNIVERSE

Standard 8.E.4: The student will demonstrate an understanding of the universe and the predictable patterns caused by Earth’s movement in the solar system.

8.E.4A. Conceptual Understanding: Earth’s solar system is part of the Milky Way Galaxy, which is one of many galaxies in the universe. The planet Earth is a tiny part of a vast universe that has developed over a span of time beginning with a period of extreme and rapid expansion.

Performance Indicators: Students who demonstrate this understanding can:

8.E.4A.1

8.E.4A.2

Obtain and communicate information to model the position of the Sun in the universe, the shapes and composition of galaxies, and the measurement unit needed to identify star and galaxy locations.

Construct and analyze scientific arguments to support claims that the universe began with a period of extreme and rapid expansion using evidence from the composition of stars and gases and the motion of galaxies in the universe.

8.E.4B. Conceptual Understanding: Earth’s solar system consists of the Sun and other objects that

are held in orbit around the Sun by its gravitational pull on them. Motions within the Earth-Moon- Sun system have effects that can be observed on Earth.

Performance Indicators: Students who demonstrate this understanding can:

8.E.4B.1

8.E.4B.2 8.E.4B.3 8.E.4B.4

8.E.4B.5 8.E.4B.6

Obtain and communicate information to model and compare the characteristics and movements of objects in the solar system (including planets, moons, asteroids, comets, and meteors).

Construct explanations for how gravity affects the motion of objects in the solar system and tides on Earth.

Develop and use models to explain how seasons, caused by the tilt of Earth’s axis as it orbits the Sun, affects the length of the day and the amount of heating on Earth’s surface.

Develop and use models to explain how motions within the Sun-Earth-Moon system cause Earth phenomena (including day and year, moon phases, solar and lunar eclipses, and tides).

Obtain and communicate information to describe how data from technologies (including telescopes, spectroscopes, satellites, space probes) provide information about objects in the solar system and the universe.

Analyze and interpret data from the surface features of the Sun (including photosphere, corona, sunspots, prominences, and solar flares) to predict how these features may affect Earth.

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GRADE EIGHT
EARTH SCIENCE: EARTH SYSTEMS AND RESOURCES

Standard 8.E.5: The student will demonstrate an understanding of the processes that alter the structure of Earth and provide resources for life on the planet.

8.E.5A. Conceptual Understanding: All Earth processes are the result of energy flowing and matter cycling within and among Earth’s systems. Because Earth’s processes are dynamic and interactive in nature, the surface of Earth is constantly changing. Earth’s hot interior is a main source of energy that drives the cycling and moving of materials. Plate tectonics is the unifying theory that explains the past and current crustal movements at the Earth’s surface. This theory provides a framework for understanding geological history.

Performance Indicators: Students who demonstrate this understanding can:

8.E.5A.1 8.E.5A.2 8.E.5A.3 8.E.5A.4

8.E.5A.5

Develop and use models to explain how the processes of weathering, erosion, and deposition change surface features in the environment.

Use the rock cycle model to describe the relationship between the processes and forces that create igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks.

Obtain and communicate information about the relative position, density, and composition of Earth’s layers to describe the crust, mantle, and core.

Construct explanations for how the theory of plate tectonics accounts for (1) the motion of lithospheric plates, (2) the geologic activities at plate boundaries, and (3) the changes in landform areas over geologic time.

Construct and analyze scientific arguments to support claims that plate tectonics accounts for (1) the distribution of fossils on different continents, (2) the occurrence of earthquakes, and (3) continental and ocean floor features (including mountains, volcanoes, faults and trenches).

8.E.5B. Conceptual Understanding: Natural processes can cause sudden or gradual changes to Earth’s systems. Some may adversely affect humans such as volcanic eruptions or earthquakes. Mapping the history of natural hazards in a region, combined with an understanding of related geological forces can help forecast the locations and likelihoods of future events.

Performance Indicators: Students who demonstrate this understanding can:

8.E.5B.1

8.E.5B.2 8.E.5B.3

Analyze and interpret data to describe patterns in the location of volcanoes and earthquakes related to tectonic plate boundaries, interactions, and hot spots.

Construct explanations of how forces inside Earth result in earthquakes and volcanoes.

Define problems that may be caused by a catastrophic event resulting from plate movements and design possible devices or solutions to minimize the effects of that event on Earth’s surface and/or human structures.

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GRADE EIGHT
EARTH SCIENCE: EARTH SYSTEMS AND RESOURCES (CONTINUED)

8.E.5C. Conceptual Understanding: Humans depend upon many Earth resources – some renewable over human lifetimes and some nonrenewable or irreplaceable. Resources are distributed unevenly around the planet as a result of past geological processes.

Performance Indicators: Students who demonstrate this understanding can:
8.E.5C.1 Obtain and communicate information regarding the physical and chemical properties of

minerals, ores, and fossil fuels to describe their importance as Earth resources.

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GRADE EIGHT
EARTH SCIENCE: EARTH’S HISTORY AND DIVERSITY OF LIFE

Standard 8.E.6: The student will demonstrate an understanding of Earth’s geologic history and its diversity of life over time.

8.E.6A. Conceptual Understanding: The geologic time scale interpreted from rock strata provides a way to organize major historical events in Earth’s history. Analysis of rock strata and the fossil record, which documents the existence, diversity, extinction, and change of many life forms throughout history, provide only relative dates, not an absolute scale. Changes in life forms are shaped by Earth’s varying geological conditions.

Performance Indicators: Students who demonstrate this understanding can:

8.E.6A.1 8.E.6A.2 8.E.6A.3

8.E.6A.4

8.E.6A.5

Develop and use models to organize Earth’s history (including era, period, and epoch) according to the geologic time scale using evidence from rock layers.

Analyze and interpret data from index fossil records and the ordering of rock layers to infer the relative age of rocks and fossils.

Construct explanations from evidence for how catastrophic events (including volcanic activities, earthquakes, climatic changes, and the impact of an asteroid/comet) may have affected the conditions on Earth and the diversity of its life forms.

Construct and analyze scientific arguments to support claims that different types of fossils provide evidence of (1) the diversity of life that has been present on Earth, (2) relationships between past and existing life forms, and (3) environmental changes that have occurred during Earth’s history.

Construct explanations for why most individual organisms, as well as some entire taxonomic groups of organisms, that lived in the past were never fossilized.

8.E.6B. Conceptual Understanding: Adaptation by natural selection acting over generations is one important process by which species change in response to changes in environmental conditions. The resources of biological communities can be used within sustainable limits, but if the ecosystem becomes unbalanced in ways that prevent the sustainable use of resources, then ecosystem degradation and species extinction can occur.

Performance Indicators: Students who demonstrate this understanding can:
8.E.6B.1 Construct explanations for how biological adaptations and genetic variations of traits in

a population enhance the probability of survival in a particular environment.

8.E.6B.2 Obtain and communicate information to support claims that natural and human-made factors can contribute to the extinction of species.