Connecticut Content Standard 6: Cycles Of Life

Students will recognize patterns and products of genetics and evolution.

Grades K - 4

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

  • identify (in Grades K-2) external features of organisms that help them survive in different kinds of places;
  • understand (in Grades K-2) that offspring tend to resemble their parents and that individuals of the same species have variations;
  • recognize (in Grades K-2) that some organisms are alike in the way they look and in the things they do, and others are very different from one another;
  • recognize (in Grades K-2) that many organisms once living on the Earth have disappeared;
  • understand that organisms that are alive on the Earth today are both similar to and different from organisms that have disappeared;
  • understand that, when living things reproduce, they transfer genetic information from one generation to the next;
  • recognize that individuals of the same species differ in their characteristics, and sometimes these differences give individuals an advantage in surviving and reproducing; and
  • describe the life cycle of familiar organisms (e.g., frog, butterfly, cat, dandelion).

Grades 5 - 8

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

  • understand that each organism carries a set of instructions (genes) for specifying the components and functions of the organism;
  • explain that differences between parents and offspring can accumulate in successive generations so that descendants are very different from their ancestors;
  • recognize that individual organisms with certain traits are more likely than others to survive and have offspring;
  • understand that the extinction of a species occurs when the environment changes and the species is not able to adapt to the changes;
  • understand that the basic idea of biological evolution is that the Earth’s present-day species developed from earlier species; and
  • know that the many thousands of layers of sedimentary rock provide evidence for the history of the Earth and its changing life forms.

Grades 9 - 12

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

  • recognize that changes in the types of species on Earth may have occurred either gradually or through sudden bursts of major change (punctuated equilibrium);
  • compare and contrast Mendel’s laws (segregation and independent assortment) of heredity;
  • understand how fossil, anatomical, molecular and other observable forms of evidence provide support for the theory of natural selection;
  • explain that preservation of the Earth’s biological diversity is critical to the future of human beings and other living things;
  • describe scientific theories for the origin of life and the evidence to support the theories;
  • explain the differences between human beings and other primates;
  • describe the biological history of human beings;
  • compare and contrast different types of asexual and sexual reproduction;
  • explain how new heritable characteristics can result from new combinations of existing genes or from mutations of genes in reproductive cells; and
  • understand that modern molecular biology allows scientists to analyze, isolate and alter genes, and this ability helps scientists in the analysis and treatment of certain diseases.


The following GEMS Guides address 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

Buzzing A Hive
Grades K-3

Terrarium Habitats
Grades K-6

On Sandy Shores
Grades 2-4

Aquatic Habitats Grades 2-6

Schoolyard Ecology
Grades 3-6

Microscopic Explorations
Grades 4-8

Environmental Detectives
Grades 5-8

Life through Time
Grades 5-8

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