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.


C. Interdependence: All animals and most plants depend on both other organisms and their environment to meet their basic needs.

By the end of grade

Content Statement


Cumulative Progress Indicator (CPI)


Investigations and observations of the interactions between plants and animals form a basis for young learners’ understanding of interdependence in life science.


Observe and describe how natural habitats provide for the basic needs of plants and animals with respect to shelter, food, water, air, and light (e.g., dig outside in the soil to investigate the kinds of animal life that live in and around the ground).


Organisms interact and are interdependent in various ways; for example, they provide food and shelter to one another.


Describe the ways in which organisms interact with each other and their habitats in order to meet basic needs.


A habitat supports the growth of many different plants and animals by meeting their basic needs of food, water, and shelter.


Identify the characteristics of a habitat that enable the habitat to support the growth of many different plants and animals.


Humans can change natural habitats in ways that can be helpful or harmful for the plants and animals that live there.


Communicate ways that humans protect habitats and/or improve conditions for the growth of the plants and animals that live there, or ways that humans might harm habitats.


Organisms can only survive in environments in which their needs are met. Within ecosystems, organisms interact with and are dependent on their physical and living environment.


Predict the biotic and abiotic characteristics of an unfamiliar organism’s habitat.


Some changes in ecosystems occur slowly, while others occur rapidly. Changes can affect life forms, including humans.


Explain the consequences of rapid ecosystem change (e.g., flooding, wind storms, snowfall, volcanic eruptions), and compare them to consequences of gradual ecosystem change (e.g., gradual increase or decrease in daily temperatures, change in yearly rainfall).


Various human activities have changed the capacity of the environment to support some life forms.


Explain the impact of meeting human needs and wants on local and global environments.


The number of organisms and populations an ecosystem can support depends on the biotic resources available and on abiotic factors, such as quantities of light and water, range of temperatures, and soil composition.


Predict the impact that altering biotic and abiotic factors has on an ecosystem.


All organisms cause changes in the ecosystem in which they live. If this change reduces another organism’s access to resources, that organism may move to another location or die.


Describe how one population of organisms may affect other plants and/or animals in an ecosystem.


Symbiotic interactions among organisms of different species can be classified as:

  • Producer/consumer
  • Predator/prey
  • Parasite/host
  • Scavenger/prey
  • Decomposer/prey


Model the effect of positive and negative changes in population size on a symbiotic pairing.


Biological communities in ecosystems are based on stable interrelationships and interdependence of organisms.


Analyze the interrelationships and interdependencies among different organisms, and explain how these relationships contribute to the stability of the ecosystem.


Stability in an ecosystem can be disrupted by natural or human interactions.


Model how natural and human-made changes in the environment will affect individual organisms and the dynamics of populations.