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Topic: Natural selection and biological evolution 

Science

 Standard 1.  Understands atmospheric processes and the water cycle
  Level IV (Grade 9-12)
   Benchmark 4.Knows how the evolution of life on Earth has dramatically changed the composition of the Earth’s atmosphere through time (e.g., the presence of one-celled organisms which produced the molecular oxygen in the atmosphere)
    Knowledge/skill statements
     1.Knows that the evolution of one-celled organisms produced most of the oxygen in Earth’s atmosphere
     2.Knows that the composition of the Earth’s atmosphere has changed over time
 Standard 2.  Understands Earth's composition and structure
  Level III (Grade 6-8)
   Benchmark 7.Knows how successive layers of sedimentary rock and the fossils contained within them can be used to confirm the age, history, and changing life forms of the Earth, and how this evidence is affected by the folding, breaking, and uplifting of layers
    Knowledge/skill statements
     1.Knows how successive layers of sedimentary rocks are used to confirm the age of the Earth
     2.Knows how successive layers of sedimentary rocks are used to confirm the history of the Earth
     3.Knows how successive layers of sedimentary rocks are used to confirm the changing life forms on the Earth
     4.Knows how the folding of rock layers affect the evidence of the Earth’s history
     5.Knows how the breaking of rock layers affect the evidence of the Earth’s history
     6.Knows how the fossils in sedimentary rocks are used to confirm the age of the Earth
     7.Knows how the fossils in sedimentary rocks are used to confirm the history of the Earth
     8.Knows how the fossils in sedimentary rocks are used to confirm changing life forms on the Earth
     9.Knows how the uplifting of rock layers affects the evidence of the Earth’s history
 Standard 7.  Understands biological evolution and the diversity of life
  Level III (Grade 6-8)
   Benchmark 1.Knows basic ideas related to biological evolution (e.g., diversity of species is developed through gradual processes over many generations; biological adaptations, such as changes in structure, behavior, or physiology, allow some species to enhance their reproductive success and survival in a particular environment)
    Knowledge/skill statements
     1.Knows that biological adaptations in physiology allow species to enhance survival
     2.Knows that the diversity of species develops through gradual processes over generations
     3.Knows that biological adaptations in structure allow species to enhance survival
     4.Knows that biological adaptations in behavior allow species to enhance survival
   Benchmark 2.Knows that the fossil record, through geologic evidence, documents the appearance, diversification, and extinction of many life forms
    Knowledge/skill statements
     1.Knows that fossils record geologic evidence
     2.Knows that fossils record the extinction of many life forms
     3.Knows that fossils document the appearance of many life forms
     4.Knows that fossils record the diversification of many life forms
   Benchmark 3.Understands the concept of extinction and its importance in biological evolution (e.g., when the environment changes, the adaptive characteristics of some species are insufficient to allow their survival; extinction is common; most of the species that have lived on the Earth no longer exist)
    Knowledge/skill statements
     1.Understands the concept of extinction
     2.Understands the importance of extinction in biological evolution
     3.Understands that when the environment changes, characteristics of some species do not allow survival
     4.Understands that extinction is common
     5.Understands that most of the species that have lived on Earth no longer exist
  Level IV (Grade 9-12)
   Benchmark 2.Understands the concept of natural selection (e.g., when an environment changes, some inherited characteristics become more or less advantageous or neutral, and chance alone can result in characteristics having no survival or reproductive value; this process results in organisms that are well suited for survival in particular environments)
    Knowledge/skill statements
     1.Understands that natural selection results in organisms that are suited for survival in particular environments
     2.Understands that when the environment changes, some inherited characteristics become more advantageous
     3.Understands that when the environment changes, some inherited characteristics become less advantageous
     4.Understands that when the environment changes, some inherited characteristics become neutral
     5.Understands that when the environment changes, chance alone can result in characteristics having no survival value
     6.Understands that when the environment changes, chance alone can result in characteristics having no reproductive value
   Benchmark 4.Knows that the basic idea of evolution is that the Earth’s present-day life forms have evolved from earlier, distinctly different species as a consequence of the interactions of (1) the potential for a species to increase its numbers, (2) the genetic variability of offspring due to mutation and recombination of genes, (3) a finite supply of the resources required for life, and (4) the ensuing selection by the environment of those offspring better able to survive and leave offspring
    Knowledge/skill statements
     1.Knows the idea of evolution is that present-day life forms evolved from earlier, distinctly different species
     2.Knows that evolution is partly the result of the potential for a species to increase its numbers
     3.Knows that evolution is partly the result of the genetic variability of offspring due to mutation and recombination
     4.Knows that evolution is partly the result of the finite supply of resources required for life
     5.Knows that evolution is partly the result of the environmental selection of offspring that are better able to survive and reproduce
   Benchmark 5.Knows the history of the origin and evolution of life on Earth (e.g., life on Earth is thought to have begun 3.5-4 billion years ago as simple, unicellular organisms; cells with nuclei evolved about a billion years ago, after which increasingly complex multicellular organisms evolved)
    Knowledge/skill statements
     1.Knows the history of the origin of life on Earth
     2.Knows the history of the evolution of life on Earth
     3.Knows that life is thought to have begun 3.5-4 billion years ago
     4.Knows that life is thought to have begun as simple, unicellular organisms
     5.Knows that cells with nuclei evolved about a billion years ago
     6.Knows that after cells with nuclei evolved, complex multicellular organisms evolved
   Benchmark 6.Knows how natural selection and its evolutionary consequences provide a scientific explanation for the diversity and unity of past and present life forms on Earth (e.g., recurring patterns of relationship exist throughout the fossil record; molecular similarities exist among the diverse species of living organisms; the millions of different species living today appear to be related by descent from common ancestors)
    Knowledge/skill statements
     1.Knows that natural selection provides a scientific explanation for the diversity of past life
     2.Knows that natural selection provides a scientific explanation for the diversity of present life
     3.Knows that natural selection provides a scientific explanation for the unity of past life
     4.Knows that natural selection provides a scientific explanation for the unity of present life
     5.Knows that recurring patterns of relationships exist throughout fossil records
     6.Knows that molecular similarities exist among diverse species
     7.Knows that millions of species today appear to be related by descent from common ancestors