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 physical characteristics associated with different groups of animals.
Analyze fossils to demonstrate the connection between organisms and environments that existed in the past and those that currently exist.
Check For Understanding
Classify animals according to their physical characteristics.
Design a model to illustrate how an animal's physical characteristics enable it to survive in a particular environment.
Identify the processes associated with fossil formation.
Use fossil evidence to describe an environment from the past.
Use fossils to match a previously existing organism with one that exists today.
State Performance Indicator
Identify physical and behavioral adaptations that enable animals such as, amphibians, reptiles, birds, fish, and mammals to survive in a particular environment.
Explain how fossils provide information about the past.