LAFS.68.RST.1.2

Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a text; provide an accurate summary of the text distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.
General Information
Subject Area: English Language Arts
Grade: 68
Strand: Reading Standards for Literacy in Science and Technical Subjects 6-12
Idea: Level 2: Basic Application of Skills & Concepts
Date Adopted or Revised: 12/10
Date of Last Rating: 02/14
Status: State Board Approved

Related Courses

This benchmark is part of these courses.
2002040: M/J Comprehensive Science 1 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
2002050: M/J Comprehensive Science 1, Advanced (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
2002070: M/J Comprehensive Science 2 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
2002080: M/J Comprehensive Science 2, Advanced (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
2002100: M/J Comprehensive Science 3 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
2002110: M/J Comprehensive Science 3, Advanced (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
2001010: M/J Earth/Space Science (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
2001020: M/J Earth/Space Science, Advanced (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
2000010: M/J Life Science (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
2000020: M/J Life Science, Advanced (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
2003010: M/J Physical Science (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
2003020: M/J Physical Science, Advanced (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
1100000: M/J Library Skills/Information Literacy (MC) (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
1700000: M/J Research 1 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
1700010: M/J Research 2 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
1700020: M/J Research 3 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
1700100: M/J Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Learning Strategies (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
7820015: Access M/J Comprehensive Science 1 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2018, 2018 and beyond (current))
7820016: Access M/J Comprehensive Science 2 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2018, 2018 and beyond (current))
2002055: M/J Comprehensive Science 1 Accelerated Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
2002085: M/J Comprehensive Science 2 Accelerated Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)

Related Access Points

Alternate version of this benchmark for students with significant cognitive disabilities.

Related Resources

Vetted resources educators can use to teach the concepts and skills in this benchmark.

Lesson Plans

Where Should We Move? STEM Lesson Plan:

Students will collect data to identify planet composition, average temperature, and the distance of some planets within the Milky Way Galaxy from the Sun. Students will complete two-way tables to make comparisons. Students will then analyze and interpret their data. Students will make inferences and justify their reasoning.

Type: Lesson Plan

Pandas and Horses "Duke It Out":

In this lesson, students will analyze an informational text designed to support reading in the content area. The article introduces readers to a new threat to giant panda survival: horses. The article explains how both species are competing for the limited bamboo supply in the Wolong Nature Reserve. This lesson includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric.

Type: Lesson Plan

Sneaky! Virus Sickens Plants, but Helps Them Multiply:

In this lesson, students will analyze an informational text intended to support reading in the content area. The article describes one common virus that takes a sneaky route to success. It doesn't kill its leafy hosts, instead, it makes infected plants smell more attractive to bees. This ensures the virus will have a new generation of the plants to host it in the future. This lesson includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a rubric.

Type: Lesson Plan

Bee Tongues Shrinking:

In this lesson, students will analyze an article that explains how bees have made an evolutionary adaptation of shorter tongues due to their flower food source moving up a mountain as a result of climate change. This lesson is designed to support reading in the content area. This lesson includes two note-taking guides, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, and sample answer keys.

Type: Lesson Plan

Spheres of Influence: Interactions of Earth's Spheres and Their Effect on Ocean Currents:

In this lesson, students will analyze an informational text, maps, and data tables intended to support reading in the content area. The article, "Climate Change Could Stall Atlantic Ocean Current" explains how interactions between Earth's spheres can have a global impact on ocean currents, climate, and weather. This lesson includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys and a writing rubric.

Type: Lesson Plan

Fish with a See-Through Head:

Students read an interesting article about a fish with a see-through head to help them think about traits that are beneficial in a certain environment (adaptation). They also consider how improved observations lead to more sophisticated science ideas.

Type: Lesson Plan

Finding, Producing, and Moving Oil: Examining Effects on the Environment:

Oil is a natural resource of vital importance to nations around the world. In this lesson, students will read a short informational text that outlines the benefits and burdens of responsible use of oil, including what needs to be considered when exploring and drilling, when using hydraulic fracturing, and when transporting oil. The article also briefly discusses actions the U.S. took after several major oil spills to help better protect the environment in the future. This lesson is designed to support reading in the content area. The lesson plan includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, and sample answer keys.

Type: Lesson Plan

Wind, you blow me away!:

In this lesson students will observe heated air rising.  Specifically students will focus on the properties of land and water in relationship to heat and retention of heat. From this information students will conclude that the uneven heating of the earth's surface will cause the air in the atmosphere above to move.

Type: Lesson Plan

Sir Cumference introduces Radius and Diameter:

This lesson is designed to be a fun and creative way to introduce math vocabulary (radius, diameter, and circumference) related to circles. Students will create a story board (comic strip) to retell the story using targeted vocabulary, and then demonstrate understanding of the relationships among radii, diameter, and circumference by completing the worksheet.

In my experience, lower performing students struggle to not confuse radius, diameter, and circumference. My learning objective in this lesson is to have them correctly remember the "parts" of a circle and that a diameter is comprised of 2 radii. I frequently refer back to the story in later lessons when they are having difficulty identifying radius or diameter.

Type: Lesson Plan

Fishy Forms - Adaptations Tell Us Lifestyles:

In this lesson, students explore morphology (body shape) of fish and how they can indicate the fish"s lifestyle.

Type: Lesson Plan

Carni, Herbi, or Omni? You Decide!:

This is a 7th grade lesson on energy transfer among producers and consumers, as well as how different levels of an ecosystem rely on each other to thrive and survive.

Type: Lesson Plan

Vacation:

The purpose of this lesson is to provide students with the opportunity to solve real-world and mathematical problems using add, subtraction, multiply, and divide multi-digit decimals using the standard algorithm for each operation. They will write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence. Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions.

Type: Lesson Plan

Too Hot to Handle:

This activity brings heat to life. It is based on transferring of heat through conduction, convection, radiation. It is a 4-day lesson with a PowerPoint, 2 labs, and a computer activity. Students have real word experiences with these and are now able to relate them to their daily lives.

Type: Lesson Plan

Skeletal System Lesson:

Students will read an engaging reading passage about what the skeletal system does and has a little activity called "Jumbled Bones" that has the students make a small human skeleton for their notebooks. Students will then explore, in small groups, chicken bones with magnifying glasses. The students will look at the bones for evidence of structure and components and they will speculate about purpose the bone served based on its physical appearance. Next, they will watch a short video clip about how red blood cells are produced. The teacher will follow-up with a class discussion about "How the skeletal, respiratory and circulatory systems work together to maintain homeostasis" and students will write a summary explanation in their interactive notebooks. For further elaboration, students will watch a video clip "Bones Narrated" which is a guided tour of the skeleton and its functions, and do a virtual game called "Build a Skeleton" which allows students to drag bones to create a human skeleton. Lastly, students will be evaluated on their knowledge of the skeletal system and its functions by creating a poster to present and explain to the teacher.

Type: Lesson Plan

Ocean Currents and Weather:

In this lesson, students will view a variety of videos that show how ocean currents can affect weather. Students will also summarize a text about ocean currents, winds and ice.

Type: Lesson Plan

Best Day Care Center in the Neighborhood:

This MEA requires students to formulate a comparison-based solution to a problem involving choosing the best day care center in the neighborhood for the residents of Dream Living Housing Community. Students are provided the context of the problem, a request letter from a client asking them to provide a recommendation, and data relevant to the situation. Students utilize the data to create a defensible model solution to present to the client.

Type: Lesson Plan

I Have a Pedigree too, Prince Charles!:

In this lesson students will investigate pedigrees and culminate in an activity where students create their own or imaginary pedigree.

Type: Lesson Plan

Global Warming - "Arctic Meltdown":

This activity gets the students involved in a controversial issue the world is facing. It gets them engaged in reading a higher level article several times over. Students will annotate the text and cite factual evidence directly from the text. In two days, they will have group discussions, watch a short video and read an article all while learning about global warming.

Type: Lesson Plan

Why Do We Look and Act the Way We Do?:

Beginning genetics lesson for 7th grade students.

Type: Lesson Plan

Original Student Tutorial

From Flowers To Freckles: Mendel's Mighty Model:

Learn how scientists use models to simplify and understand the world around us. In this interactive tutorial, you'll also explore the benefits and limitations of scientific models.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Professional Development

Cultivating Literacy: Reading Skills and Standards:

Click "View Site" to open a full-screen version.

By the end of this module, teachers should be able to:

  • Name the key instructional shifts in English Language Arts and Literacy
  • Label the College and Career Readiness, also known as CCR, anchor standards for Reading
  • Use the language of the Reading Standards for Literacy in Science and Technical Subjects to identify what students should know and be able to do
  • Arrange and sequence the Reading Standards for Literacy in Science and Technical Subjects
  • Distinguish the changes in rigor as a Reading standard progresses from one grade band to the next

This is Module 1 of 4 in the series, "Literacy across the Content Areas: Reading and Writing to Build Content Knowledge."

Type: Professional Development

Text Resources

Text Resource: Sneaky! Virus Sickens Plants, but Helps Them Multiply:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. It describes how one common virus takes a sneaky route to success. It doesn't kill its leafy hosts, instead, it makes infected plants smell more attractive to bees. This ensures the virus will have a new generation of the plants to host it in the future.

Type: Text Resource

Belly up to the Bamboo Buffet: Pandas vs. Horses:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. In parts of China, pandas are threatened by horses. The pandas have a specific diet - bamboo that grows on the gently sloping areas far from human populations. But some farmers allow their horses to roam free and graze upon bamboo, taking away the only source of food for pandas.

Type: Text Resource

Bee Tongues are Getting Shorter as Temperatures Warm:

This informational text resource supports reading in the content area. The text explains how bees have made an evolutionary adaptation of shorter tongues. This adaptation is due to their mutualistic relationship with their flower food source moving up a mountain as a result of climate change.

Type: Text Resource

Climate Change Could Stall Atlantic Ocean Current:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article describes how climate change impacts ocean currents which, in turn, can affect the countries which lie along these currents. A description of a model is included to make a prediction of what will happen to the currents if climate change continues with increasing amounts of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere.

Type: Text Resource

Oil and the Environment:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. Oil is a natural resource of vital importance to nations around the world. This article outlines the benefits and burdens of responsible use of oil, including what needs to be considered when exploring and drilling, when using hydraulic fracturing, and when transporting oil. The article also briefly discusses actions the U.S. took after several major oil spills to help better protect the environment in the future.

Type: Text Resource

Fear Matters:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Prey species exhibit a variety of behaviors to avoid getting eaten by predators. For example, some animals may run away, find shelter, or move to a safer area if they sense predators are near. This article describes the responses of two prey species in detail: tree frog tadpoles that hatch early when predators are close by, and elk that avoid eating in dangerous areas when wolves are present. Their responses to fear can affect not only the prey species, but the entire food web.

Type: Text Resource

Respiratory System:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article describes the respiratory system, starting with the major functions. The article describes interactions that take place between the respiratory and other systems of the human body, especially the circulatory system. The article describes the respiratory tract and the many organs that complete it. Finally, the article gives an overview of the breathing process and concludes with explanations of various diseases and disorders that affect this system.

Type: Text Resource

Hurricane Andrew’s Legacy: "Like a Bomb" in Florida:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article gives an account of the events before, during, and after Hurricane Andrew's assault on South Florida in August of 1992. The author describes why South Florida was unprepared for what became a category 5 hurricane, why certain areas suffered such extensive damage, and improvements that have been made in prediction and preparedness for future storms.

Type: Text Resource

Animals Under Antarctic Ice?:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article describes an exciting series of experiments aimed at determining whether complex life could exist in the extremely harsh Antarctic environment of Lake Vostok. Researchers found some evidence of complex life from DNA analysis, but confirming such extraordinary findings would require substantial additional data and repeated confirmation. The text offers a great overview of the complex nature of the scientific process and what it takes to truly confirm an experimental finding.

Type: Text Resource

Fossil Forests:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Using fossilized trees, scientists can investigate how the Earth has changed over millions of years. Tree fossils in the Arctic show that this region was once considerably warmer and was home to large forests teeming with life. Chemical analyses can also show what the soil and water of these regions looked like millions of years ago. This information can help predict what the world might look like as the Earth warms once again.

Type: Text Resource

How the Outer Sun Gets So Hot:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article describes a theory explaining why the outer layer of the sun, the corona, is much hotter than some inner layers. The theory states that magnetic waves transport heat energy from the sun's center to its outer layers. They may be "shuttled" by gas jets that originate deeper within the sun.

Type: Text Resource

Cell Phone Ownership Hits 91% of Adults:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. A Pew Research Center survey indicates that cell phone ownership is at an all-time high, with 91% of Americans owning a cell phone in 2013. Statistical tests show that cell phone usage is significantly higher in men, college-educated people, the wealthy, and those living in urban/suburban areas. This rise in ownership is associated with a variety of positive impacts of cell phone use, but previous research shows there are several negative impressions and impacts of cell phones as well.

Type: Text Resource

Flu River:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article discusses how a drug widely used to flight influenza—Tamiflu—is contaminating bodies of water. It describes how this poses potential risks to humans and wildlife.

Type: Text Resource

Building a Better Battery:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. It is challenging to build batteries that are small, hold a big charge, and can be recharged many times. Sulfur-based batteries represent a solution, but they are at risk of explosion because byproducts form when they recharge. Scientists think they have solved this problem by creating batteries out of titanium oxide-coated sulfur particles that allow for the storage of bad byproducts.

Type: Text Resource

How Do Scientists Determine the Age of Dinosaur Bones?:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Scientists use radiometric dating to estimate the age of objects, including fossils and geological formations. Radiometric dating methods include measuring carbon-14 and uranium/potassium isotopes. This article details how these methods can be used to date a variety of objects, including the Earth itself.

Type: Text Resource

What the Appendix is Good For:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The appendix has long been thought to be useless. However, new research suggests that the appendix actually can have a healthy function - to harbor bacteria beneficial to the immune system. This would have been vital early in humans' evolutionary history, when the chance of infection was much higher and medicine was lacking, and may still play that role for people in less developed parts of the world.

Type: Text Resource

"Genius Materials" on the ISS:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Gorilla Glass on your phone? Magnetic fluid shocks in your car? With applications here on Earth, "smart" materials like these are being studied in the microgravity of space. The programmed rearrangement of particles on a molecular level enhances materials in new high-tech products.

Type: Text Resource

For Some Male Crickets, Silence Means Survival:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The article discusses how crickets on two Hawaiian islands have evolved wings that make them silent in response to parasitoid flies that locate male crickets via sound (and eat them from the inside out!). The crickets on Kauai and Oahu evolved completely different silent wing types, which is evidence that these two cricket populations evolved their silent wings independently.

Type: Text Resource

One Plus to Wearing Stripes:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The article discusses current thinking and popular hypotheses for the function of zebra stripes. A recent study indicates that zebra stripes may protect the animals from fly bites, which are both a nuisance to the animals and a means of spreading infectious fatal diseases.

Type: Text Resource

Solving Bad Breath One Walnut at a Time:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The science fair project of two junior scientists in Nigeria may hold the key to ending "morning breath." Through experimentation, the two teenage girls determined that the nuts from an indigenous tree, the African Walnut, were able to kill bacteria that cause bad breath. Their project was presented at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair.

Type: Text Resource

Getting the Dirt on Carbon:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Carbon, an essential part of life on Earth, exists in a never-ending cycle. It is continually moving back and forth between living and non-living factors, as well as from organism to organism. Soil, with its ability to "lock up" carbon, plays a major role in the carbon cycle. Atmospheric CO2 levels are linked to climate change, so ways of keeping carbon locked in soil are of great interest to scientists.

Type: Text Resource

World’s Biggest Volcano is Hiding under the Sea:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Scientists have recently identified the largest volcano on Earth-Tamu Massif-which is found below the surface of the Pacific Ocean. Due to its underlying geology, the volcano is mostly found below the ocean floor, at the edge of two tectonic plates. It formed when magma emerged as the plates pulled apart. The article compares Tamu Massif to other giant volcanoes on Earth and on other planets.

Type: Text Resource

A Success for Designer Life:


This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article reveals how scientists have found a way to make a synthetic chromosome and insert it into yeast cells. Scientists discovered that this chromosome can alter or create new traits in an organism. This research could lead to creating an entirely synthetic genome, which scientists expect to accomplish in the next few years.

Type: Text Resource

Failed "Star" Found in Sun's Backyard:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. A brown dwarf, which is essentially a failed star, has been discovered close to our solar system. The brown dwarf is the coldest and one of the smallest yet discovered. Telescopic images and data helped scientists to find and characterize the failed star.

Type: Text Resource

Hurricane Forecasters: El Niño Could Mean Fewer Storms in Atlantic:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Scientific models predict that El Niño will cause fewer hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean—but more in the Pacific Ocean—in 2014. This is because El Niño events affect water temperatures and wind shear, which affect hurricane formation. The article gives the chances of named storms forming in both the Pacific and Atlantic.

Type: Text Resource

Tropical Species at Great Risk from Climate Change: Study:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article describes a study that suggests tropical animals are in danger of extinction due to climate change—more so than animals living in polar climates. This is because these species are already at their thermal tolerance limits, and further increases in temperature could greatly lower their fitness.

Type: Text Resource

Florida Riding a Lucky Streak as Hurricane Season 2014 Opens:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article reports on the "lucky streak" Florida has had in hurricane seasons since 2005 and explains why the trend cannot last forever. The author also focuses on storm surge damage and explains the new computer programs that use interactive real-time maps to predict storm surges and the need for evacuations.

Type: Text Resource

The Most Popular Stars :

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article discusses how stars are classified, especially the different types of dwarf stars. It is still under debate how some star-like objects, like brown dwarfs, should be classified. The text also describes the life cycle of stars, explaining how they change in size and mass over time and eventually expand and die.

Type: Text Resource

Brightest Stars: Luminosity and Magnitude:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This text briefly describes how astronomers have measured and quantified the apparent brightness and magnitude of stars as astrophysics has evolved over time. This article also discusses the limitations of absolute magnitude in terms of the technology tools utilized.

Type: Text Resource

Some of Chocolate's Health Benefits May Trace to "Bugs":

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Chocolate has been known to have health benefits for hundreds of years, but why? Because of the large size of the molecules found in chocolate, the body shouldn't be able to absorb their beneficial components. A team of scientists investigated to see if bacteria in the gut are responsible for breaking down these large molecules further, enabling the human body to absorb them and take advantage of chocolate's health benefits.

Type: Text Resource

The Oldest Place on Earth:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Evidence that supports how Earth's climate and the position of its continents have changed over time has been found in an unlikely place: Antarctica. Preserved plants and insects over 20 million years old, similar to specimens on other continents, have been discovered. These discoveries provide scientists with evidence to support the continental drift of the landmass once known as Gondwana.

Type: Text Resource

Discovery of Infrared Light:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The article outlines the scientific mindset that led William Herschel to arrive at the discovery of infrared light, an unexpected consequence of an experiment he was conducting. More generally, the article demonstrates the scientific process, from hypothesis to observation and from inference to conclusion.

Type: Text Resource

Native "Snot":

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The article describes how an algae species previously thought to be invasive is actually a "hidden" native species that blooms when environmental conditions change. It describes those conditions as well as the algae's ecological impact on other populations. The article concludes by connecting that human impact—climate change—is causing algae blooms to become more and more common.

Type: Text Resource

End of an Era:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article describes the history of NASA's space shuttle program as it comes to an end. It discusses the scientific advancements that have resulted from the program and the possible next steps in human space flight.

Type: Text Resource

Return of the Giant Zombie Virus:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The article discusses the amazing discovery of an ancient virus found frozen in the Russian permafrost after 30,000 years. The virus is huge in size and only infects amoebas. Amazingly, the virus is still infectious after remaining frozen for so long.

Type: Text Resource

When a Species Can't Stand the Heat:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article discusses how global warming could leave New Zealand's tuatara (a reptile species) dangerously short on females. When the temperature rises as little as one degree, far more males than females are born. One island habitat is now 75% males, with fewer, frailer females. Without intervention, the tuatara could become extinct. The article offers some possible solutions, including having the colonies relocated to cooler islands.

Type: Text Resource

Between a Rock and a Wet Place:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The article explains how natural selection can lead to changes in populations. Variations in body types were observed in a species of climbing goby (a fish) in Hawaii. These variations allow differential success in avoiding predators and climbing waterfalls. Depending on conditions on different islands, individuals with certain body types are more likely to thrive because their body type makes it easier for them to survive and reproduce.

Type: Text Resource

Tiny Planet Mercury Shrinks Further:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The text explains why the planet Mercury has actually been shrinking in diameter, as well as how scientists have proved it through observation. The article details their observations and then compares Mercury to Earth to show why our planet is not shrinking as well.

Type: Text Resource

How Earth's Surface Morphs:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article focuses on how plate tectonics change the surface of Earth, and how new research is changing the way we think about geological behavior. The article goes in depth about two new ideas that are changing the way we think about the planet's layers and the processes that have shaped Earth over its long history.

Type: Text Resource

Hurricanes:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This interactive online text explains how a hurricane forms, what storm surge is, when hurricane season starts and ends, how hurricanes are named, and more. It has animations of storm surge and a link to a storm tracking map. The article also includes a glossary and fantastic tables and diagrams.

Type: Text Resource

Baseball: From Pitch to Hits:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The text describes the science behind baseball by analyzing an actual pitch that took place in a Royals vs. Tigers game. The text describes how Newton's First Law affects the pitch and then describes how energy is transferred from ball to bat. Finally, the text explains how scientists use several methods to analyze the physics of a pitch.

Type: Text Resource

Explainer: How Invasive Species Ratted Out the Tuatara:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This short article is about how a changing environment has lead to a near extinction of tuatara (a lizard species) in New Zealand. It discusses how invasive species—in the tuatara's case, predatory mammals—can wipe out native species that are unable to adapt.

Type: Text Resource

Cool Jobs: Paid to Dream:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Predict the future and get paid for it? This article explores the variety of disciplines that involve dreaming up new ideas for products and technology. From storing data in bacteria to tapping into the geothermal energy between tectonic plates, the article provides an overview of how futurists get "paid to dream."

Type: Text Resource

Infected Cutting Boards:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area.

How has bacteria evolved to be resistant to antibiotic drugs? Scientists have discovered that an ordinary kitchen item - the cutting board - can be spreading dangerous germs.

Type: Text Resource

What Separates Science From Non-Science?:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Written by two scientists, the article explains how "hard sciences" and "soft sciences" are different. The authors list the five concepts that characterize scientifically rigorous studies and determine that, while not inferior, social sciences like economics are not truly "scientific."

Type: Text Resource

A Change in Leaf Color:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article discusses the reasons why some leaves change color in the fall. It contains background information on why leaves turn different colors and how red pigment is especially different, chemically, from the others.

Type: Text Resource

Kangaroos Have "Green" Farts:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Researchers in Australia have found kangaroos to produce more acetate in their flatulence than methane. Cows and goats produce methane-heavy flatulence twenty times more potent than carbon dioxide, adding to the greenhouse gases contributing to global warming. Scientists are trying to use this research on kangaroo farts to discover a way to alter the amount of greenhouse gases in animal flatulence worldwide.

Type: Text Resource

Electronics May Confuse a Bird's "Compass":

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Scientists are finally able to support the hypothesis that electromagnetic radiation from human electronic equipment can confuse a bird's sense of direction; the radiation impacts the orientation necessary for birds' migration. When shielded by an aluminum screen (a Faraday cage), this interference is eliminated and birds can orient themselves properly.

Type: Text Resource

How Does Going To The Bathroom in Space Work?:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This is a clearly organized high-interest informative text explaining how astronauts use the bathroom, sleep and eat in zero gravity. The web version has a video, library of photos, and many other related sites that students can independently investigate.

Type: Text Resource

Where Native Americans Come From:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The article describes how scientists have found that Native Americans have ancestral roots in Asia using DNA evidence from a 12,600 year old toddler skeleton from the Clovis culture in Montana.

Type: Text Resource

Virginia Acts to Reduce Population of Wild Pigs, the ‘Most Invasive Animal’ in U.S.:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The article describes the extreme population growth and range expansion of wild pigs, as well as how this invasive animal is damaging local ecosystems.

Type: Text Resource

Earthquakes, Megaquakes, and the Movies:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The text explains how large earthquakes are naturally occurring events and compares them to the fictional "megaquakes" portrayed in movies. It also dispels a number of myths about earthquakes.

Type: Text Resource

Rare Warbler Eluding Extinction in U.S.:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The text is a news article describing the habitat changes that led to near extinction for the Kirtland's warbler due to loss of breeding habitat and an invasive brood parasite. The article also describes conservation efforts, including the idea that the warbler is likely now dependent on human assistance to avoid extinction.

Type: Text Resource

Humans Threaten Wetlands' Ability to Keep Pace with Sea-Level Rise:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The text discusses the different benefits that wetlands bring to the environment, their potential resilience to sea level rise, and the different ways in which human-caused climate change is affecting their potential resiliency.

Type: Text Resource

Titanic Sunk by "Supermoon" and Celestial Alignment?:

This informational text is intended to support reading in the content area. This news article describes an astronomer's theory that a particularly strong series of tides contributed to an abundance of icebergs and may have resulted in the sinking of the Titanic. It is complete with the evidence behind the theory and a contrary opinion from another astronomer.

Type: Text Resource

A Big Discovery About Little People:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The text describes the discovery of a new species of human, nicknamed "hobbits," believed to exist as recently as 12,000 years ago. It also covers the evidence in support of the hypothesis that hobbits are truly a new human species (and not deformed Homo sapiens).

Type: Text Resource

House Cat Origin Traced to Middle Eastern Wildcat Ancestor:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The article discusses how a changing environment may have led to the domestication of cats.

Type: Text Resource

Weird Lizard Fossil Reveals Clues to Snake Evolution, Experts Say:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The article describes a recently discovered marine fossil demonstrating limb reduction. The fossil may shed light on how the evolutionary process resulted in modern snakes.

Type: Text Resource

Snake-Ridden Florida Island Provides Unlikely Haven for Birds:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This news article describes the mutualistic relationship between cottonmouth snakes and nesting birds on Seahorse Key, Florida, while addressing concepts of predator-prey and invasive species.

Type: Text Resource

Evolved to Run:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The text compares the bone and muscle structure of early Homo sapiens and Neandertals. It describes the ability to run long distances in one and not the other and explains how this difference may have evolved.

Type: Text Resource

Predators as Climate Helpers:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This is a fabulous article that shows the role and relationship among predators and consumers while also incorporating the process of photosynthesis.

Type: Text Resource

Moon Crash, Splash:

This resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article describes how NASA sent a Centaur rocket attached to a mother craft (LCROSS) to the moon. The rocket detached, crashed and stirred up a plume of debris. The mother craft flew through the debris plume, took pictures and analyzed the plume's contents. The measurements revealed the presence of water in significant quantities.

Type: Text Resource

Legged Sea Cow Fossil Found in Jamaica:

The news article describes a sea cow fossil find that completes the "set" in the evolutionary chain from land to aquatic mammal. The scientist who found the fossil also describes a possible reason why they became aquatic and how it refutes creationism while supporting evolutionary theory. This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area.

Type: Text Resource

Who Was Ida?:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The news article thoroughly describes a transitional primate fossil and includes artist illustrations of the animal in its environment, sidebar information describing the Messel Pit, life for animals in a maar, and how the fossil was named. The article also includes a pop-up glossary of potential problematic vocabulary.

Type: Text Resource

Thirst for Water Moves and Shakes California:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Humans have been pumping large amounts of groundwater from the Central Valley of California for their own hydration needs. Recent research has found that this loss of mass is causing the Earth's crust to shift, which may be causing small earthquakes and the slight rise of mountains in California.

Type: Text Resource

Tutorial

Hopping into Central Ideas:

Click "View Site" to open a full-screen version. This tutorial is designed to help secondary science teachers learn how to integrate literacy skills within their science curriculum. This tutorial will demonstrate a series of steps that teachers can teach students to help them determine the central ideas of a science text. The focus on literacy across content areas is designed to help students independently build knowledge in different disciplines through reading and writing.

Type: Tutorial

STEM Lessons - Model Eliciting Activity

Best Day Care Center in the Neighborhood:

This MEA requires students to formulate a comparison-based solution to a problem involving choosing the best day care center in the neighborhood for the residents of Dream Living Housing Community. Students are provided the context of the problem, a request letter from a client asking them to provide a recommendation, and data relevant to the situation. Students utilize the data to create a defensible model solution to present to the client.

Vacation:

The purpose of this lesson is to provide students with the opportunity to solve real-world and mathematical problems using add, subtraction, multiply, and divide multi-digit decimals using the standard algorithm for each operation. They will write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence. Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions.

Original Student Tutorials Science - Grades 9-12

From Flowers To Freckles: Mendel's Mighty Model:

Learn how scientists use models to simplify and understand the world around us. In this interactive tutorial, you'll also explore the benefits and limitations of scientific models.

Student Resources

Vetted resources students can use to learn the concepts and skills in this benchmark.

Original Student Tutorial

From Flowers To Freckles: Mendel's Mighty Model:

Learn how scientists use models to simplify and understand the world around us. In this interactive tutorial, you'll also explore the benefits and limitations of scientific models.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Parent Resources

Vetted resources caregivers can use to help students learn the concepts and skills in this benchmark.