Connecticut Content Standard 3: Living Things And Their Environments

Students will understand that all organisms in the biosphere are linked to each other and to their physical environments by the transfer and transformation of matter and energy.

Grades K - 4

Educational experiences in Grades K - 4 will assure that students:

  • describe (in Grades K-2) the basic needs of organisms (e.g., food, water, air, shelter and the need for sunlight by plants);
  • discuss (in Grades K-2) how organisms depend on other organisms and their environments for basic needs;
  • explain (in Grades K-2) how different organisms may interact within the ecosystem in a variety of ways;
  • describe how a variety of organisms, such as producers, consumers and decomposers, obtain their basic needs (e.g., food, water, air);
    explain how organisms interact with other organisms in different environments (e.g., mutualism, parasitism, competition); and
    explain that some source of energy is needed for all organisms to stay alive and grow.

Grades 5 - 8

Educational experiences in Grades 5 - 8 will assure that students:

  • describe the roles of producers, consumers and decomposers in an ecosystem and provide specific examples of each;
  • explain the need for sun-light and other abiotic factors, such as water and air, in an ecosystem;
  • explain that while matter is recycled in an ecosystem, there is a one-way flow of energy in ecosystems;
  • explain that the number and variety of organisms and populations are dependent on the re-sources and physical factors of their environments; and
  • explain how both organisms and ecosystems can change if the physical conditions of an ecosystem change (e.g., a pond dries, a forest is destroyed by fire).

Grades 9 - 12

Educational experiences in Grades 9 - 12 will assure that students:

  • explain chemical bonds and metabolic processes, such as photosynthesis and cellular respiration, as the use of energy by organisms;
  • explain that the distribution and abundance of organisms and populations in ecosystems are ultimately governed by the availability of matter and energy and the ability of the ecosystem to recycle organic materials;
  • describe the movement of matter and energy through different levels of organizations of living systems and show how matter and energy are transformed and con-served;
  • explain ways in which humans can minimize their impact on biomes; and
  • explain the differences between the Earth’s major biomes in terms of both climate and organisms.


The following GEMS guides support this Standard:

Hide A Butterfly
Grades PreK-K

Ant Homes Under the Ground
Grades PreK-1

Eggs Eggs Everywhere
Grades PreK-1

Elephants and Their Young
Grades PreK-1

Grades PreK-1

Mother Opossum and Her Babies
Grades PreK-1

Penguins and Their Young
Grades PreK-1

Tree Homes
Grades PreK-1

Buzzing A Hive Grades K-3

Terrarium Habitats

On Sandy Shores Grades 2-4

Aquatic Habitats Grades 2-6

Schoolyard Ecology
Grades 3-6

Environmental Detectives
Grades 5-8

Life through Time
Grades 5-8

Acid Rain
Grades 6-8

Global Warming & the Greenhouse Effect
Grades 7-8

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