Academic Standard

Biodiversity and Change
Tennessee State Standards
Science (2009-2018)
Grade range: 
Subject = Life Science
Current day life demonstrates a staggering number of forms. Yet, when viewed through the lens of the fossil record, what appears on earth today is a mere smidgen of the variety of life that one time or another wandered this planet. Contemporary science has discovered that within this amazing array of living things there are many structural and biochemical similarities that argue for the existence of ancestral relationships. The fossil record also provides evidence for the connection between present and ancestral species. These lines of evidence support a unifying principle for understanding the history of life on earth, relationships among all living things, and the dependence of life on the physical environment.Conceptual StrandA rich variety of complex organisms have developed in response to a continually changing environment.Guiding QuestionHow does natural selection explain how organisms have changed over time?
Elements within this Standard
Grade Level Expectation
Investigate the relationship between an animals characteristics and the features of the environment where it lives.
Draw conclusions from fossils about organisms that lived in the past.
Check For Understanding
Compare and contrast the characteristics of organisms from two different environments.
Infer the characteristics needed by an organism to survive in a particular environment.
Observe fossils or pictures of fossils and make inferences about the organisms from which they originated.
Compare pictures of fossils with animals or plants that are living today.