Major Funding The Laura Moore Cunningham Foundation

Trees: 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 (and others)

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.1.3 [CCSS page]

Write narratives in which they recount two or more appropriately sequenced events, include some details regarding what happened, use temporal words to signal event order, and provide some sense of closure.

Also applies to grades 2-6:

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.2.3 [CCSS page]
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.3.3 [CCSS page]
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.3 [CCSS page]
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.5.3 [CCSS page]

Suggested Lesson

Use this slide show to discuss how tree rings record the growth of a tree. Create a timeline of your own life. Begin with a center ring for babyhood and work outward with a new ring for each year of life. Write about important events.

Fourth Grade

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.2 [CCSS page]

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

Suggested Lesson

Learn about the process of photosynthesis and write a text explaining, in order, how the process works.

Sixth Grade

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.6.2 [CCSS page]

Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.

Suggested Lesson

Learn about the water cycle and write a text explaining, in order, how water cycles through the different phases.


Second Grade

CCSS.Math.Content.2.MD.D.9 [CCSS page]

Generate measurement data by measuring lengths of several objects to the nearest whole unit, or by making repeated measurements of the same object. Show the measurements by making a line plot, where the horizontal scale is marked off in whole-number units.

Suggested Lesson

Count the tree rings from a real tree sample. Compare the numbers with events in local, national or world history and plot them on the ring or on a graph. Show what historical event was happening when the tree grew that ring.

Third Grade

CCSS.Math.Content.3.NF.A.1 [CCSS page]

Understand a fraction 1/b as the quantity formed by 1 part when a whole is partitioned into b equal parts; understand a fraction a/b as the quantity formed by a parts of size 1/b.

Suggested Lesson

Take a walk around the school and count the trees. Create a pie graph showing the fraction of trees which are deciduous or coniferous compared to the whole.

Third Grade

CCSS.Math.Content.3.MD.C.6 [CCSS page]

Measure areas by counting unit squares (square cm, square m, square in, square ft, and improvised units).

Suggested Lesson

Trace a leaf onto graph paper and then by counting the squares, identify the area. Halves and thirds of squares will need to be combined together to make whole squares. Making an estimate beforehand would be a great introduction.

Fifth Grade

CCSS.Math.Content.5.NF.A.1 [CCSS page]

Add and subtract fractions with unlike denominators (including mixed numbers) by replacing given fractions with equivalent fractions in such a way as to produce an equivalent sum or difference of fractions with like denominators.
For example, 2/3 + 5/4 = 8/12 + 15/12 = 23/12. (In general, a/b + c/d = (ad + bc)/bd

Suggested Lesson

Calculate the fraction of trees on the school ground or in the area that are of a particular species. Get in touch with a neighboring classroom from another school and add your fractional species together. Write a contextual problem to match. Do the same for a subtraction version.



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. Animals need to take in food, but trees produce their own.

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 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.

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

Make observations to construct an evidence-based account that young plants and animals are like, but not exactly like, their parents.

Supporting Content:

Young plants and animals are very much, but not exactly, like their parents. Individuals of the same kind of plant or animal are recognizable as similar but can also vary in many ways. Examples of observations could include leaves from the same kind of tree that are the same shape but can differ in size.

Second Grade

Life Sciences: LS2-2-1 [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. 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: LS2-3-1 [ICS page]

Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence that plants and animals have traits inherited from parents and that variation of these traits exists in a group of similar organisms.

Supporting Content:

Many characteristics of organisms are inherited from their parents. Different organisms vary in how they look and function because they have different inherited information.

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 trees with insufficient water are stunted.

Fourth Grade

Life Sciences: LS1-4-1 [ICS page]

Construct an argument that plants and animals have internal and external structures that function to support survival, growth, behavior, and reproduction.

Supporting Content:

Plants have both internal and external structures that serve various functions in growth, survival, behavior, and reproduction. Examples of plant structures could include thorns, stems, and roots.

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.

Earth and Space Sciences: ESS3-4-1 [ICS page]

Obtain and combine information to describe that energy and fuels are derived from natural resources and their uses affect the environment.

Supporting Content:

Energy and fuels that humans use are derived from natural sources, and their use affects the environment in multiple ways. Examples of environmental effects could include negative impacts of erosion due to deforestation.

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: LS2-5-2 [ICS page]

Use evidence to construct an explanation for how the variations in characteristics among individuals of the same species may provide advantages in surviving and reproduction.

Supporting Content:

Examples of cause and effect relationships could be plants that have larger thorns than other plants may be less likely to be eaten by predators.

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 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, 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.

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 matter back to the soil in terrestrial environments.

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

Develop a model to describe the flow of energy through the trophic levels of an ecosystem.

Supporting Content:

Food webs can be broken down into multiple energy pyramids. Concepts should include the 10% rule of energy and biomass transfer between trophic levels and the environment. Emphasis is on describing the transfer of mass and energy beginning with producers, moving to primary and secondary consumers, and ending with decomposers.

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: ESS2-MS-4 [ICS page]

Develop a model to describe the cycling of water through Earth's systems driven by energy from the sun and the force of gravity.

Supporting Content:

Water continually cycles among land, ocean, and atmosphere via transpiration, evaporation, condensation and crystallization, and precipitation, as well as downhill flows on land. Emphasis is on the ways water changes its state as it moves through the multiple pathways of the hydrologic cycle.

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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