Academic Standard

Biodiversity and Change
Tennessee State Standards
Science (2009-2018)
Grade range: 
No 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
Analyze physical and behavioral adaptations that enable organisms to survive in their environment.
Describe how environmental changes caused the extinction of various plant and animal species.
Check For Understanding
Classify animals according to their physical adaptations for obtaining food, oxygen, and surviving within a particular environment.
Describe how animal behaviors such as migration, defense, means of locomotion, and hibernation enable them to survive in an environment.
Investigate tropisms that plants exhibit in response to changes in their environment.
Gather fossil information to draw conclusions about organisms that exist today.
Analyze the common causes of extinction and explain how human actions sometimes result in the extinction of a species.
State Performance Indicator
Determine how a physical or behavioral adaptation can enhance the chances of survival.
Infer the possible reasons why a species became endangered or extinct.