Core Curriculum Content Standards

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NJ World Class Standards
Content Area: Science

Content Area



5.3 Life Science: All students will understand that life science principles are powerful conceptual tools for making sense of the complexity, diversity, and interconnectedness of life on Earth. Order in natural systems arises in accordance with rules that govern the physical world, and the order of natural systems can be modeled and predicted through the use of mathematics.


B. Matter and Energy Transformations: Food is required for energy and building cellular materials. Organisms in an ecosystem have different ways of obtaining food, and some organisms obtain their food directly from other organisms.

By the end of grade

Content Statement


Cumulative Progress Indicator (CPI)


Investigations form a young learners’ understanding of how a habitat provides for an organism’s energy needs.


Observe and describe how plants and animals obtain food from their environment, such as by observing the interactions between organisms in a natural habitat.


A source of energy is needed for all organisms to stay alive and grow. Both plants and animals need to take in water, and animals need to take in food. Plants need light.


Describe the requirements for the care of plants and animals related to meeting their energy needs.


Animals have various ways of obtaining food and water. Nearly all animals drink water or eat foods that contain water.


Compare how different animals obtain food and water.


Most plants have roots to get water and leaves to gather sunlight.


Explain that most plants get water from soil through their roots and gather light through their leaves.


Almost all energy (food) and matter can be traced to the Sun.


Identify sources of energy (food) in a variety of settings (farm, zoo, ocean, forest).


Plants are producers: They use the energy from light to make food (sugar) from carbon dioxide and water. Plants are used as a source of food (energy) for other organisms.


Describe the sources of the reactants of photosynthesis and trace the pathway to the products.


All animals, including humans, are consumers that meet their energy needs by eating other organisms or their products.


Illustrate the flow of energy (food) through a community.


Food is broken down to provide energy for the work that cells do, and is a source of the molecular building blocks from which needed materials are assembled.


Relate the energy and nutritional needs of organisms in a variety of life stages and situations, including stages of development and periods of maintenance.


All animals, including humans, are consumers that meet their energy needs by eating other organisms or their products.


Analyze the components of a consumer’s diet and trace them back to plants and plant products.


As matter cycles and energy flows through different levels of organization within living systems (cells, organs, organisms, communities), and between living systems and the physical environment, chemical elements are recombined into different products.


Cite evidence that the transfer and transformation of matter and energy links organisms to one another and to their physical setting.


Each recombination of matter and energy results in storage and dissipation of energy into the environment as heat.


Use mathematical formulas to justify the concept of an efficient diet.


Continual input of energy from sunlight keeps matter and energy flowing through ecosystems.


Predict what would happen to an ecosystem if an energy source was removed.


Plants have the capability to take energy from light to form sugar molecules containing carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen.


Explain how environmental factors (such as temperature, light intensity, and the amount of water available) can affect photosynthesis as an energy storing process.


In both plant and animal cells, sugar is a source of energy and can be used to make other carbon-containing (organic) molecules.


Investigate and describe the complementary relationship (cycling of matter and flow of energy) between photosynthesis and cellular respiration.


All organisms must break the high-energy chemical bonds in food molecules during cellular respiration to obtain the energy needed for life processes.


Explain how the process of cellular respiration is similar to the burning of fossil fuels.