Beavers and Muskrats – Standards


The activities in this unit help children understand the basic concepts in the Disciplinary Core Ideas listed here. You can use the following list as a guide for lesson planning. These Disciplinary Core Ideas are taken from Grade Band Endpoints in A Framework for K-12 Science Education. Additionally, our activities give children opportunities to engage in many of the Science and Engineering Practices and reflect on the Crosscutting Concepts as identified in the Next Generation Science Standards.

Grades K-2 Disciplinary Core Ideas
LS1A: All organisms have external parts. Different animals use their body parts in different ways to see, hear, grasp objects, protect themselves, move from place to place, and seek, find and take in food, water and air. p.144
LS1C: All animals need food in order to live and grow. They obtain their food from plants or from other animals. p.147
LS1D: Animals have body parts that capture and convey different kinds of information needed for growth and survival – for example, eyes for light, ears for sounds, and skin for temperature or touch. Animals respond to these inputs with behaviors that help them survive (e.g. find food, run from a predator). p.149
LS2A: Animals depend on their surroundings to get what they need, including food, water, shelter, and a favorable temperature. Animals depend on plants or other animals for food. They use their senses to find food and water and their body parts to gather, catch, eat, and chew the food. p.151
LS2B: Organisms obtain the materials they need to grow and survive from the environment. Many of these materials come from organisms and are used again by other organisms. p.153
LS2D: Being part of a group helps animals obtain food, defend themselves, and cope with changes. Groups may serve different functions and vary dramatically in size. p.156
LS3B: Individuals of the same kind of plant or animal are recognizable as similar but can also vary in many ways. p.160
LS4D: There are many different kinds of living things in any area, and they exist in different places on land and in water. p.166

Grades 3-5 Disciplinary Core Ideas
LS1A: Plants and animals have both internal and external structures that serve various functions in growth, survival, behavior and reproduction. p.144
LS1C: Animals and plants alike generally need to take in air and water, animals must take in food, and plants need light and minerals; p.148
LS1D: Different sense receptors are specialized for particular kinds of information, which may then be processed and integrated by an animal’s brain, with some information stored as memories. Animals are able to use their perceptions and memories to guide their actions. Some responses to information are instinctive – that is, animals’ brains are organized so that they do not have to think about how to respond to certain stimuli. p.149
LS2A: The food of almost any kind of animal can be traced back to plants. p.151-152
LS3B: Offspring acquire a mix of traits from their biological parents. Different organisms vary in how they look and function because they have different inherited information. p.160
LS4D: Scientists have identified and classified many plants and animals. Populations of organisms live in a variety of habitats, and change in those habitats affects the organisms living there. p.167

Grades 6-8 Disciplinary Core Ideas
LS1A: Unicellular organisms (microorganisms), like multicellular organisms, need food, water, a way to dispose of waste, and an environment in which they can live. p.144
LS1C: Animals obtain food from eating plants or eating other animals. p.148
LS2A: Organisms and populations of organisms are dependent on their environmental interactions both with other living things and with nonliving factors. p.152
LS2D: Groups may form because of genetic relatedness, physical proximity, or other recognition mechanisms (which may be species specific). They engage in a variety of signaling behaviors to maintain the group’s integrity or to warn of threats. p.157
LS4D: Biodiversity is the wide range of existing life forms that have adapted to the variety of conditions on Earth, from terrestrial to marine ecosystems. p.167


In addition to science content, activities in this unit also can help students to practice the following mathematics and language arts concepts. The Common Core Standards listed here are in addition to the ones that our activities typically address, as listed in the Four Winds document, The Nature Program: Alignment with Learning Standards.

Grades K-2 Common Core Standards

Mathematics Standard K.MD: Directly compare two objects with a measureable attribute in common, to see which object has “more of”/”less of” the attribute, and describe the difference.
Mathematics Standard 2.MD: Measure the length of an object by selecting and using appropriate tools such as rulers, yardsticks, meter sticks, and measuring tapes.

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