Major Funding The Laura Moore Cunningham Foundation

Forests: Standards

Idaho Common Core State Standards

Here are correlations to the National Common Core Language and Math standards and to the Idaho State Science Standards. If you'd like, you may go directly to the Idaho science standards for this topic. For more information about the overall standards, see the complete Idaho Content Standards for Science, the Next Generation Science Standards, the Common Core Language standards, or the Common Core Math standards.


First Grade

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.1.2 [CCSS page]

Write informative/explanatory texts in which they name a topic, supply some facts about the topic, and provide some sense of closure.

Suggested Lesson

Group students into teams of approximately 4 or 5 kids. Give them a forest and have them create a “tour” of that forest. Students should write a tour guide script, complete with the plants and animals that would be seen on that tour. Perhaps they could include a fact or two for each item on the tour. Then the students act it out for their classmates. Students can play the parts of trees, bushes, animals and people.

Fourth Grade

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.4 [CCSS page]

Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words or phrases in a text relevant to a grade 4 topic or subject area.

Suggested Lesson

Using the following Language Arts Lesson on Rain Forests, have students create a model forest and label the layers.

Fifth Grade

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.5.2 [CCSS page]

Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.

Suggested Lesson

Select a plant or animal from any of the three types of forests. Create a PowerPoint presentation about it to share with students in a younger grade. Text, images, graphs, maps and textual information should be factual and researched.


First Grade

CCSS.Math.Content.1.MD.A.2 [CCSS page]

Directly compare two objects with a measurable attribute in common, to see which object has “more of”/“less of” the attribute, and describe the difference. For example, directly compare the heights of two children and describe one child as taller/shorter.

Suggested Lesson

Use tree cookies to determine ring sizes. Discuss and compare the rings. Explain that growth is based on rainfall and heat. Find the rings that show good growing years and poor growing years.

Fourth Grade

CCSS.Math.Content.4.MD.A.2 [CCSS page]

Use the four operations to solve word problems involving distances, intervals of time, liquid volumes, masses of objects, and money, including problems involving simple fractions or decimals, and problems that require expressing measurements given in a larger unit in terms of a smaller unit. Represent measurement quantities using diagrams such as number line diagrams that feature a measurement scale.

Suggested Lesson

Write mathematical equations using data from this pie chart. Solve and label.

Fifth Grade

CCSS.Math.Content.5.MD.B.2 [CCSS page]

Make a line plot to display a data set of measurements in fractions of a unit (1/2, 1/4, 1/8). Use operations on fractions for this grade to solve problems involving information presented in line plots. For example, given different measurements of liquid in identical beakers, find the amount of liquid each beaker would contain if the total amount in all the beakers were redistributed equally.

Suggested Lesson

Write fractional statements using data from this pie chart.



Life Sciences: LS1-K-1[ICS page]

Use observations to describe patterns of what plants and animals (including humans) need to survive.

Supporting Content:

Examples of patterns could include the requirement of plants to have light; and, that all living things need water. Trees need water and light to live and grow.

Earth and Space Sciences: ESS2-K-1 [ICS page]

Use a model to represent the relationship between the needs of different plants and animals (including humans) and the places they live.

Supporting Content:

Living things need water, air, and resources from the land, and they live in places that have the things they need. Examples of relationships could include that deer eat buds and leaves, therefore, they usually live in forested areas. Plants, animals, and their surroundings make up a system. Humans use natural resources for everything they do.

Earth and Space Sciences: ESS2-K-3 [ICS page]

Communicate solutions that will reduce the impact of humans on the land, water, air, and/or other living things in the local environments.

Supporting Content:

Things that people do can affect the environment around them, but they can make choices that reduce their impact. Examples of human impact on forests could include cutting down trees to produce paper, and examples of solutions could include reusing paper. Designs can be conveyed through sketches, drawings, or physical models. These representations are useful in communicating ideas for a problem's solutions to other people.

First Grade

Life Sciences LS1-1-1 [ICS page]

Use materials to design a solution to a human problem by mimicking how plants and/or animals use their external parts to help them survive, grow, and meet their needs.

Supporting Content:

Plants have different parts (roots, stems, leaves, flowers, fruits) that help them survive and grow. Examples of human problems that can be solved by mimicking plant solutions could include designing protective clothing by mimicking acorn shells, stabilizing structures by mimicking roots, and keeping out intruders by mimicking thorns on branches.

Life Sciences: LS1-1-3 [ICS page]

Develop models to describe that organisms have unique and diverse life cycle but all have in common birth, growth, reproduction, and death.

Supporting Content:

Reproduction is essential to the continued existence of every kind of organism. Plants have unique and diverse life cycles.

Second Grade

Life Sciences: LS2-2-[ICS page]

Make observations of plants and animals to compare the diversity of life in different habitats.

Supporting Content:

There are many different kinds of living things in any area, and they exist in different places on land and in water. The emphasis is on the diversity of living things in each of a variety of different habitats.

Life Sciences: LS1-2-1 [ICS page]

Plan and conduct an investigation to determine if plants needs sunlight and water to grow.

Supporting Content:

Plants depend on water and light to grow.

Life Sciences: LS1-2-2 [ICS page]

Develop a simple model that mimics the function of an animal in dispersing seeds or pollinating plants.

Supporting Content:

Plants depend on animals for pollination or to move their seeds around. Designs can be conveyed through sketches, drawings, or physical models.

Third Grade

Life Sciences: LS2-3-2 [ICS page]

Use evidence to support the explanation that traits can be influenced by the environment.

Supporting Content:

Interactions with the environment affect the characteristics that organisms develop. Examples of the environment affecting a trait could include normally tall plants grown with insufficient water are stunted.

Earth and Space Sciences: ESS1-3-2 [ICS page]

Obtain and combine information to describe climates in different regions of the world.

Supporting Content:

Climate describes a range of an area's typical weather conditions and the extent to which those conditions vary over years.

Fourth Grade

Life Sciences: LS2-4-1 [ICS page]

Develop a model to describe the movement of matter among plants, animals, decomposers, and the environment.

Supporting Content:

Matter cycles between the air and soil and among plants, animals, and microbes as these organisms live and die. The food of almost any kind of animal can be traced back to plants. Organisms can survive only in environments in which their particular needs are met. Some organisms, such as fungi and bacteria, break down dead organisms (plants or plant parts) and therefore operate as decomposers. Decomposition eventually restores (recycles) some materials back to the soil. A healthy ecosystem is one in which multiple species of different types are each able to meet their needs in a relatively stable web of life.

Fifth Grade

Physical Sciences: PS3-5-1 [ICS page]

Use models to describe that energy in animals' food (used for body repair, growth, motion, and to maintain body warmth) was once energy from the sun.

Supporting Content:

The energy released from food was once energy from the sun that was captured by plants in the chemical process that forms plant matter from air and water.

Life Sciences: LS1-5-1 [ICS page]

Support an argument that plants get the materials they need for growth chiefly from air and water.

Supporting Content:

Emphasis is on the idea that plant matter comes mostly from air, sunlight and water, not from the soil.

Life Sciences: LS2-5-3 [ICS page]

Construct an argument with evidence that in a particular habitat some organisms can survive well, some survive less well, and some cannot survive at all.

Supporting Content:

Examples of evidence could include needs and characteristics of the organisms and habitats involved. The organisms and their habitat make up a system in which the parts depend on each other.

Life Sciences: LS2-5-4 [ICS page]

Make a claim about the merit of a solution to a problem caused when the environment changes and the types of plants and animals that live there may change.

Supporting Content:

Populations live in a variety of habitats, and change in those habitats affects the organisms living there. When the environment changes in ways that affect a place's physical characteristics, temperature, or availability of food and water, some organisms survive and reproduce, others move to new locations, yet others move into the transformed environment, and some die.

Earth and Space Sciences: ESS3-5-1 [ICS page]

Support, obtain, and combine information about ways individual communities use science ideas to protect the Earth's resources and environment.

Supporting Content:

Human activities in agriculture, industry, and everyday life have effects on the land, vegetation, streams, ocean, and air. Individuals and communities are doing things to help protect Earth's resources and environments.

Sixth Grade/Middle School

Life Sciences: LS1-MS-5 [ICS page]

Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence for the role of photosynthesis in the cycling of matter and flow of energy into and out of organisms.

Supporting Content:

Plants use the energy from light to make sugars (food) from carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and water through the process of photosynthesis, which also releases oxygen. These sugars can be used immediately or stored for growth or later use. Emphasis is on tracing movement of matter and flow of energy.

Life Sciences: LS2-MS-3 [ICS page]

Develop a model to describe the cycling of matter and flow of energy among living and nonliving parts of an ecosystem.

Supporting Content:

Matter and energy are transferred between producers, consumers, and decomposers as the three groups interact within an ecosystem. Transfers of matter into and out of the physical environment occur at every level. Decomposers recycle nutrients from dead plant or animal matter back to the soil in terrestrial environments.

Life Sciences: LS2-MS-5 [ICS page]

Construct an argument supported by empirical evidence that changes to physical or biological components of an ecosystem affect populations.

Supporting Content:

Ecosystems are dynamic in nature; their characteristics can vary over time. Disruptions to any physical or biological component of an ecosystem can lead to shifts in all its populations. Emphasis is on recognizing patterns in data and making warranted inferences about changes in populations, and on evaluating empirical evidence supporting arguments about changes to ecosystems.

Life Sciences: LS2-MS-6 [ICS page]

Evaluate competing design solutions for maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem services.

Supporting Content:

Biodiversity describes the variety of species found in Earth's ecosystems. The completeness or integrity of an ecosystem's biodiversity is often used as a measure of its health. Changes in biodiversity can influence humans' resources, such as food, energy, and medicines, as well as ecosystem services that humans rely on—for example, forest ecosystem services could include oxygen production, water purification, carbon absorption, nutrient recycling, and prevention of soil erosion. Examples of design solution constraints could include scientific, economic, and social considerations. There are systematic processes for evaluating solutions with respect to how well they meet the criteria and constraints of a problem.

Earth and Space Sciences ESS3-MS-3 [ICS page]

Apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing a human impact on the environment.

Supporting Content:

Human activities can have consequences on the biosphere, sometimes altering natural habitats. Examples of human impacts can include water usage, land usage, and pollution. Examples of the design process include examining human environmental impacts, assessing the kinds of solutions that are feasible, and designing and evaluating solutions that could reduce that impact.

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