Standard #: SC.4.L.16.4


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Compare and contrast the major stages in the life cycles of Florida plants and animals, such as those that undergo incomplete and complete metamorphosis, and flowering and nonflowering seed-bearing plants.


General Information

Subject Area: Science
Grade: 4
Body of Knowledge: Life Science
Idea: Level 2: Basic Application of Skills & Concepts
Big Idea: Heredity and Reproduction - A. Offspring of plants and animals are similar to, but not exactly like, their parents or each other.

B. Life cycles vary among organisms, but reproduction is a major stage in the life cycle of all organisms.
Date Adopted or Revised: 02/08
Date of Last Rating: 05/08
Status: State Board Approved
Assessed: Yes

Test Item Specifications

    Item Type(s): This benchmark may be assessed using: MC item(s)
    N/A

    Clarification :
    Students will identify, compare, and/or contrast the major life cycles of Florida plants and/or animals.
    Content Limits :
    Items will only assess the life cycles of plants and animals commonly found in Florida.

    Items assessing the life cycles of insects are limited to egg, larva, pupa, and adult (complete metamorphosis) or egg, nymph, and adult (incomplete metamorphosis).

    Items assessing the life cycles of flowering and nonflowering plants are limited to seed, seedling, and other stages of plant development.

    Items assessing the life cycles of animals are limited to egg, embryo, infant, adolescent, and adult stages.

    Items will not assess the major stages of the human life cycle.
    Stimulus Attributes :
    Plants and animals in scenarios and art must be common to Florida.
    Response Attributes :
    None specified
    Prior Knowledge :
    Items may require the student to apply science knowledge described in the NGSSS from lower grades. This benchmark requires prerequisite knowledge from SC.2.L.16.1.


Sample Test Items (1)

Test Item # Question Difficulty Type
Sample Item 1 The life cycle of both butterflies and grasshoppers starts at the same stage. The pictures below show the life cycle of both organisms.

which of the following is the beginning stage of the life cycle for both the butterfly and the grasshopper?
N/A MC: Multiple Choice


Related Courses

Course Number1111 Course Title222
5020050: Science - Grade Four (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
7720050: Access Science Grade 4 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2018, 2018 and beyond (current))
5020110: STEM Lab Grade 4 (Specifically in versions: 2016 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)


Related Access Points

Access Point Number Access Point Title
SC.4.L.16.In.3 Identify similarities in the major stages in the life cycles of common Florida plants and animals.
SC.4.L.16.Su.3 Recognize the major stages in life cycles of common plants and animals.
SC.4.L.16.Pa.3 Match offspring of animals with parents.


Related Resources

Lesson Plans

Name Description
Plant Package

The Model Eliciting Activity (MEA) is written at a 4th grade level. The Plant Package provides students with an engineering problem in which they are asked to rank different plant packaging designs using recycled materials.

BUGS...Food Of The Future?

In this 4th grade MEA, students will work in groups to develop a procedure to rank which insect would be the best bug to farm for human consumption in the USA. Students will consider factors such as nutritional value, length of insect life cycle, stage of life cycle the insect can be served, notes from chefs, customer tasting notes, level of difficulty to farm, and price. This MEA allows students to apply scientific content, metamorphosis, in a real world application, while developing high-level problem solving skills.

Have I Morphed Yet?

In this sequence of observations, students will observe the life cycles of butterflies, darkling beetles, preying mantises, and grasshoppers to compare and contrast complete metamorphosis (butterflies and darkling beetles) and incomplete metamorphosis (preying mantis, grasshoppers, termites).

This sequence is a long-term investigation. The initial cycle requires a 45-60 minute period to introduce and model journal entries, but after that it only requires 5-10 minutes per day to make observations. Research can be done throughout the cycle at a Reading center. At the conclusion of each cycle, another 45 minute session is needed for wrap-up and assessment.

SPECIAL NOTE: To fully implement this benchmark, the teacher should repeat this basic investigation format with plants. Beans and daisies work well as flowering plants and allow the students to proceed through the entire life cycle (seed, seedling, adult, back to the seed stage). This can be done in conjunction with benchmark SC.4.L.16.1: Identify processes of sexual reproduction in flowering plants, including pollination, fertilization (seed dispersal), and germination. For non-flowering, seed-bearing plants (conifers), you can't go through an entire life cycle within the classroom. However, this website has an image that goes through the life cycle of a conifer: 

Original Student Tutorials

Name Description
The Life Cycles of Florida Plants

Explore the life cycle of different Florida seed plants: the longleaf pine and the orange tree.

The Life Cycles of Florida Animals

Explore the life cycles of animals including simple, complete metamorphosis and incomplete metamorphosis in this interactive tutorial.

Text Resources

Name Description
Metamorphosis

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article describes the complete and incomplete metamorphosis stages.

Forest Trees of Florida Florida Division of Forestry – This website provides identifications, descriptions, and biological classifications of Florida trees. The website is presented in field-guide format, providing sketches of elements such as the leaves, fruit, and flowers. Also, the trees included are grouped alphabetically.

Unit/Lesson Sequence

Name Description
Plants Parts and Life Cycles

In this unit, students learn about various plants, their parts, their life cycles, and the importance of bees in plant reproduction.

Student Resources

Original Student Tutorials

Name Description
The Life Cycles of Florida Plants:

Explore the life cycle of different Florida seed plants: the longleaf pine and the orange tree.

The Life Cycles of Florida Animals:

Explore the life cycles of animals including simple, complete metamorphosis and incomplete metamorphosis in this interactive tutorial.



Parent Resources

Text Resource

Name Description
Forest Trees of Florida : Florida Division of Forestry – This website provides identifications, descriptions, and biological classifications of Florida trees. The website is presented in field-guide format, providing sketches of elements such as the leaves, fruit, and flowers. Also, the trees included are grouped alphabetically.


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