Life Science

DNA clipart

The 2020 SCSP Summer Institute focused on Molecules, Organisms, and Ecosystems (LS1 & LS2). The content of this institute will be repeated in 2026.

The 2015 SCSP Summer Institute focused on Heredity and Biological Evolution (LS3 & LS4). The content of this institute will be repeated in 2021.


 

LS1: From Molecules ot Organisms: Structures and Processes Lessons

Conceptual Flow: Structure and Function  

Conceptual Flow: Ecosystems

Conceptual Flow: Energy and Matter in Living Systems

LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics Lessons

Consptual Flow: Ecosystems

Conceptual Flow: Energy and Matter in Living Systems

 

Conceptual Flows: Life Sciece 

Our concept flows are diagrams that show one way that scientific concepts within a specific disciplinary core idea can connect and build. These diagrams include concepts from kindergarten through eighth grade and help guide our instruction for each Summer Institute.

 

Conceptual Flow Diagram 

Disciplinary Core Ideas 

NGSS Performance Expectations 

Click on linked PEs to see corresponding lessons. 

Year Presented

Structure and Function

LS1: From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes

  • LS1.A Structure and function
  • LS1.B Growth and development of organisms
  • LS1.D Information Processing

1-LS1-1, 1-LS1-2

3-LS1-1

4-LS1-1, 4-LS1-2

MS-LS1-1, MS-LS1-2, MS-LS1-3, MS-LS1-4, MS-LS1-5, MS-LS1-8

Life Science Part 1: Molecules, Organisms, and Ecosystems

Summer 2020

Ecosystems

LS1: From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes

  • LS1.B Growth and development of organisms
  • LS1.C Organization for matter and energy flow in organisms

LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics

  • LS2.A Interdependent relationships in ecosystems
  • LS2.B Cycles of matter and energy transfer in ecosystems
  • LS2.C Ecosystem dynamics, functioning, and resilience
  • LS2.D Social interactions and group behavior

LS4: Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity

  • LS4.D Biodiversity in Humans

K-LS1-1

2-LS2-2

3-LS1-1, 3-LS2-1, 3-LS4-4

5-LS1-1, 5-LS2-1

MS-LS1-4

7th and 8th Grade PEs:

MS-LS1-5, MS-LS2-1, MS-LS2-2, MS-LS2-3, MS-LS2-4, MS-LS2-5

Life Science Part 1: Molecules, Organisms, and Ecosystems

Summer 2020

Enviromental Science

Summer 2019

Energy and Matter in Living Systems

LS1: From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes

  • LS1.B Growth and development of organisms
  • LS1.C Organization for matter and energy flow in organisms

LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics

  • LS2.A Interdependent relationships in ecosystems
  • LS2.B Cycles of matter and energy transfer in ecosystems

PS3 - Energy

  • PS3.B Conservation of Energy and Energy Transfer

K-LS1-1

2-LS2-1

5-LS1-1, 5-LS2-1, 5-PS3-1

MS-LS1-5

7th and 8th Grade PEs: 

MS-LS1-6, MS-LS1-7, MS-LS2-3

Life Science Part 1: Molecules, Organisms, and Ecosystems

Summer 2020

Heredity

Coming Summer 2021

LS3: Heredity: Inheritance and Variation of Traits

  • LS3.A Inheritance of Traits
  • LS3.B Variation of Traits

1-LS3-1

3-LS3-1, 3-LS3-2

MS-LS3-1, MS-LS3-2

Life Science Part 2: Heredity and Evolution

Summer 2015

Updating in Summer 2021

Biological Evolution

Coming Summer 2021

LS4: Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity

  • LS4.A Evidence of common ancestry
  • LS3.B Natural Selection
  • LS4C: Adaption
  • LS4.D Biodiversity in Humans

LS3: Heredity: Inheritance and Variation of Traits

  • LS3.A Inheritance of Traits
  • LS3.B Variation of Traits

2-LS4-1

3-LS4-1, 3-LS4-2, 3-LS4-3, 3-LS4-4, 3-LS3-1,     3-LS3-2

MS-LS4-1, MS-LS4-2, MS-LS4-3, MS-LS4-4, MS-LS4-5, MS-LS4-6

Life Science Part 2: Heredity and Evolution

Summer 2015

Updating in Summer 2021

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Lessons: LS1 - From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes

Grade Level

NGSS Performance Expectation(s)

Lesson Title and Description

Lesson Materials

Presenter(s)

TK

K-LS1-1

What is Living at My School?

During this lesson students will explore living things on their school campus. They will graph the number of times they see an organism and analyze patterns to explore what organisms need to survive.

 

Lesson Plan

Student Worksheet (Publisher)

Student Worksheet (pdf)

Additional Materials

Darby Feldwinn

Patty Malone

Janis Spracher

Summer 2020

K

K-LS1-1

Rivers, Ponds, and Lakes Oh My!

After being read picture books about rivers and ponds, students discuss rivers and describe plants and animals ant their habitats. They will learn how water flows from one place to another.

 

Lesson Plan

Student Worksheet (Word)

Student Worksheet (pdf)

Additional Materials

Kandie White

Janis Spracher

Summer 2020

1

1-LS1-1

K-2-ETS1-1

Copy Cat

In this lesson, students will explore external parts (adaptations) that help animals survive, grow, and meet their needs for their environment. Students are challeneged to think about external features of plants and animals that humans have copied to improve their lives. Students then apply their engineering skills to design a jacket using external features from animals that help to keep the animal warm. In addition, this activity introduces students to scientific argumentation and allows students multiple opporunities to practice these skills. 

Lesson Plan

Student Worksheet (Publisher)

Student Worksheet (pdf) 

Additional Materials

Darby Feldwinn

Summer 2020

3

3-LS1-1

Life Cycles

In this lesson, students will explore the life cycles of plants and animals and be able to find similarities and differences between life cycles of different organisms. They will then make a model of what is common in the life cycle of all living things. Students will test their model by observing the life cycle of Wisconsin Fast Plants and silkworms.

Lesson Plan

Student Worksheet (Publisher)

Student Worksheet (pdf)

Additional Materials

Darby Feldwinn

Nichole Hughes

Summer 2020

4

4-LS1-2

Catch It!

Students will begin by discussing what happens when they see an object thrown toward them unexpectedly, and why they respond the way they do. Students will create an initial model explaining how the brain and other body systems work in response to this stimulation. Students will then plan and conduct an experiment to test how using different senses affects human "reaction time".

Lesson Plan

Student Worksheet (Word)

Student Worksheet (pdf)

Additional Materials

Lauri Dahlin

Patty Malone

Summer 2020

5

5-LS1-1

What's the Matter?

In this lesson, a class will conduct 8 experiments total, in two series as guided by the teacher. Each group of students will conduct two experiments, investigating a different variable in each experiment, to determine that plants get the materials they need to grow chiefly from air and water. Students use mathematical and computational thinking by collecting data from the height and mass of their plant set ups, plotting data in a graph and comparing their data with the rest of the class to make a scientific claim about where plants get their materials to grow.

Lesson Plan

Student Worksheet (Publisher)

Student Worksheet (pdf) 

Additional Materials

Rodney Lee

Sammi Lambert

Summer 2020

6

MS-LS1-2

Cell Organelle Campaign

Students will begin by viewing a short video on the parts of a cell. While viewing, students will create quick sketches and list the functions for ten organelles. Students will randomly be assigned a cell organelle and create a campaign to get their cell organelle elected as the "Most Important Organelle in the Cell". Students will plan their campaign by selecting an organelle running mate, conducting research on their organelle's functions, and designing an informative poster with a slogan. Students will then present a 2 minute campaign speech and the class will vote for the most important organelle.

Lesson Plan

Student Worksheets (Word)

Additional Materials

Kim Castagna

Summer 2020

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Lessons: LS2 - Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics

Grade Level

NGSS Performance Expectation(s)

Lesson Title and Description

Lesson Materials

Presenter(s)

2

2-LS2-2

Hitchhiking Seeds

In this lesson, students will explore the different methods for seed dispersal and the effect that humans can have on this process. Students will also practice their engineering skills by designing and building a seed that can be dispersed by either wind or by animal. They will then evaluate their classmates’ designs to learn what properties of seeds make them ideal for each dispersal mechanism.

Lesson Plan

Student Worksheet (Publisher)

Student Worksheet (pdf)

Additional Materials

Darby Feldwinn

Sammi Lambert

Lisa Lisle

Kyla Rightmer

Janis Spracher

Summer 2019

2

2-LS2-2

Busy Bees

In this lesson students will explore the relationship between bees and flowers and learn that both organisms need the other to survive. Students will examine structures on both the bee and the flower to learn how these aid in getting the bee food and pollinating the flower.

Lesson Plan

Student Worksheet (Publisher)

Student Worksheet (pdf)

Additional Materials

Darby Feldwinn

Kyla Rightmer

Summer 2020

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LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics

  • LS2.A Interdependent relationships in ecosystems
  • LS2.B Cycles of matter and energy transfer in ecosystems