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LS1: From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes

Core Idea

LS1:  From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes

LS1.A: Structure and Function
LS1.B: Growth and Development of Organisms
LS1.C: Organization for Matter and Energy Flow in Organisms
LS1.D: Information Processing

Content aligned with middle school LS1

Content aligned with high school LS1


In middle school, students develop an understanding of the disciplinary core ideas in the life science domain. The middle school performance expectations build on the elementary performance expectations, as well as on students’ prior knowledge of physical and Earth sciences. In LS1: From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes, performance expectations are designed for students to create an understanding of how cells contribute to the function of living organisms and how organisms grow and reproduce. Students should understand the structure and function of different types of cells and cell theory and make connections between environmental and genetic factors and organism growth, behavior, and reproduction.


High school performance expectations in the life sciences expand on middle school performance expectations, allowing students to develop and refine their understanding of life science concepts. The high school performance expectations emphasize students’ proficiency in engaging in practices and using crosscutting concepts to organize and understand information while leaving room for more expanded and in-depth study in upper level high school courses. Performance expectations in high school LS1: From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes are designed for students to gain a deeper understanding of how organisms live and grow. A key concept in this core idea is the relationship between biochemical molecules and processes. By the end of high school, students should be able to explain the processes of cell function and reproduction, and how these processes can be used as a model for understanding organisms.



Exploring Our Fluid Earth, a product of the Curriculum Research & Development Group (CRDG), College of Education. University of Hawaii, 2011. This document may be freely reproduced and distributed for non-profit educational purposes.