LAFS.1112.RST.1.2

Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a text; summarize complex concepts, processes, or information presented in a text by paraphrasing them in simpler but still accurate terms.
General Information
Subject Area: English Language Arts
Grade: 1112
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.
2000350: Anatomy and Physiology (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
2000360: Anatomy and Physiology Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
2020910: Astronomy Solar/Galactic Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
2000330: Biology 2 Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2018, 2018 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
2000370: Botany (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
2003340: Chemistry 1 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
2003360: Chemistry 2 Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
2000380: Ecology (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
2001340: Environmental Science (Specifically in versions: 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
2002480: Forensic Science 1 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2017, 2017 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
2002490: Forensic Sciences 2 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2017, 2017 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
2000440: Genetics Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
2002440: Integrated Science 3 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
2002450: Integrated Science 3 Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
2000390: Limnology (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2018 (course terminated))
2002500: Marine Science 1 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
2002510: Marine Science 1 Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
2002520: Marine Science 2 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
2002530: Marine Science 2 Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
2003400: Nuclear Radiation (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2018 (course terminated))
2020710: Nuclear Radiation Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
2003380: Physics 1 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
2003390: Physics 1 Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
2003410: Physics 2 Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
2002540: Solar Energy Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
2002550: Solar Energy 2 Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2018 (course terminated))
2000410: Zoology (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
2002360: Experimental Science 3 Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
2002370: Experimental Science 4 Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
7920011: Access Chemistry 1 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2018, 2018 and beyond (current))
2000510: Bioscience 2 Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
2000520: Bioscience 3 Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
2002445: Integrated Science 3 for Credit Recovery (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2020 (course terminated))
2003345: Chemistry 1 for Credit Recovery (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
2003385: Physics 1 for Credit Recovery (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2020 (course terminated))
2003500: Renewable Energy 1 Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
2003836: Florida's Preinternational Baccalaureate Physics 1 (Specifically in versions: 2015 and beyond (current))
2003838: Florida's Preinternational Baccalaureate Physics 2 (Specifically in versions: 2015 and beyond (current))
2001341: Environmental Science Honors (Specifically in versions: 2016 and beyond (current))

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

Life after Death: Some Genes Remain "Alive":

In this lesson, students will analyze an informational text intended to support reading in the content area. The article explains what happens to certain genes after an organism has died. This lesson also introduces a related video that explains how the fields of Genetics and Biotechnology have affected the field of Forensic Science. By reading the article and viewing the video, students will learn about new discoveries in gene function after death and the impact varying fields of science have upon another. This lesson includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric.

Type: Lesson Plan

A New Vaccine for Yellow Fever?:

This informational text resource from the National Institutes of Health is designed to support reading in the content area. The article discusses how yellow fever is becoming a health threat once again in parts of Africa and why it is necessary for a new vaccine against yellow fever to be developed. The article further discusses in detail the processes and experimental trials by which the vaccine will be tested for its effectiveness and its safety. The lesson plan includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric.

Type: Lesson Plan

Antifreeze Proteins Both Help and Hurt Fish:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The article from the National Science Foundation discusses research conducted in the Antarctic concerning the notothenioid fish, which contains "antifreeze" proteins. The proteins prevent the fish from freezing in the cold waters of the Southern Ocean, but it was also discovered that these same proteins prevent ice crystals from melting when temperatures warm. The lesson plan includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric.

 

Type: Lesson Plan

The Spread of Rabies in Peru:

In this lesson plan, students will analyze an informational text intended to support reading in the content area. The article explains how the rabies virus is likely to spread from the interior of Peru to its coast by the year 2020. It further discusses the technology used to determine that the male vampire bat is most likely the carrier of the rabies virus to different areas in Peru. The lesson plan includes a vocabulary guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric.

Type: Lesson Plan

How Did Tuberculosis Reach the New World?:

This informational text is designed to support reading in the content area. The article from the National Science Foundation discusses research conducted on the origin of tuberculosis in the Americas. Scientists discovered tuberculosis in skeletons which pre-dated the arrival of Europeans to the New World. Through the analysis of tuberculosis DNA, it was discovered that the New World tuberculosis showed a clear relationship to lineages found in seals and sea lions, suggesting they carried the disease to the Americas pre-Columbus. The lesson plan includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric.

Type: Lesson Plan

Economics and Epidemiology:

In this lesson, students will read an article from the National Science Foundation. The article discusses the rise of pandemic disease outbreaks across the globe and how these outbreaks can affect world economies. The article further describes how economic models were used to assess different strategies on their effectiveness. The strategy of identifying the underlying cause of emerging diseases was considered to be most cost-effective and beneficial long-term. This lesson is designed to support reading in the content area. The lesson plan includes a note-taking guide, a vocabulary handout, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric.

Type: Lesson Plan

The Stinging Truth about Jellyfish:

In this lesson, students will analyze an informational text intended to support reading in the content area. The article addresses the fluctuations of the jellyfish population in the Bering Sea and describes how a new study explains the increase and decrease of jellyfish in that ecosystem. The study focuses on whether or not rising water temperature (due to climate change) is the driving factor in jellyfish population growth. The lesson plan includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric. Numerous options to extend the lesson are also included.

Type: Lesson Plan

Loss of Vision in Astronauts:

In this lesson plan, students will analyze an informational text intended to support reading in the content area. The article addresses the results of a new study that will help researchers identify which astronauts will develop vision problems in space. The text describes how Scott M. Smith from the Biomedical Research and Environmental Sciences Division at NASA's Johnson Space Center has found a metabolic pathway that is directly related to the vision problems some astronauts encounter. This pathway, called the one carbon metabolism pathway, moves single atoms from one organic compound to another. Astronauts who develop vision problems have been found to have a different genetic variant, which changes the way the enzymes of this pathway work. This will also affect people on Earth, as the same enzymes are also used here and are linked to other medical problems. The lesson plan includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric. Numerous options to extend the lesson are also included.

Type: Lesson Plan

Ancient DNA Gives Clues to Dog Evolution:

In this lesson, students will analyze an informational text that addresses the genetic analysis of a 4,800-year-old dog found in a tomb in Ireland and how this information gives rise to a new hypothesis that dogs may have been domesticated at least twice, once in East Asia and also in Europe. 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, answer keys, and a writing rubric.

Type: Lesson Plan

Frankenfood or Superfood?:

In this lesson, students will analyze an informational text designed to support reading in the content area. The article addresses opposition to genetically modified foods. The text discusses the possible reasons why so many people are anti-GMO even though science finds them safe. GMOs allow for more of the world to be fed with a lower impact on the environment. The author suggests some ways that misinformation can be combated with education. The lesson plan includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric. Numerous options to extend the lesson are also included.

Type: Lesson Plan

By-Products of Fracking:

In this lesson, students will analyze an informational text that addresses accidental wastewater spills in North Dakota from the use of fracking. The text describes how fracking has caused widespread water and soil contamination. Researchers have found high levels of contaminants and salt in surface waters. Soil at the spill sites contain radium, and in some places radium was found to be present even 4 years after a spill. Researchers studied almost 4,000 spill sites in North Dakota to connect the soil and water contamination directly to fracking spills. This lesson plan is designed to support reading in the content area; it includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric.

Type: Lesson Plan

Searching for the Recipe: Polypeptides & the Origins of Life:

In this lesson, students will analyze an informational text that addresses a new method of producing polypeptides from only amino and hydroxy acids, with no biological catalysts necessary. Researchers at Georgia Tech have been able to produce polypeptides by subjecting amino and hydroxy acids through a wet and dry cycle. This allows for prebiotic molecules to be formed on land, without large amounts of water or extreme boiling temperatures. This method also allows for the breakdown and reassembly of organic materials to form random sequences that could lead to the variation needed for life. This lesson plan is intended to support reading in the content area; it includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric. 

Type: Lesson Plan

Impactful Elements:

In this lesson, students will read an informational text that describes how certain elements (copper and zinc are highlighted) can affect human health in both positive and negative ways. Current research on these elements and possible treatments for the negative health effects associated with them is also discussed. 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, answer keys, and a writing rubric.

Type: Lesson Plan

Grants for El Niño:

In this lesson, students will analyze an informational text that discusses the impacts of El Niño and the need for current research on the topic. The lesson plan includes text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric. Ideas for extending the lesson are also included.

Type: Lesson Plan

USGS Science for an El Niño Winter:

In this lesson, students will analyze an informational text on the work the USGS (United States Geological Survey) is doing to monitor the effects of the 2015-2016 winter season as it is impacted by El Niño. The lesson plan includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric. Options to extend the lesson are also included.

Type: Lesson Plan

Some Assembly Required: Fighting Cancer with DNA:

This lesson utilizes an informational text intended to support reading in the content area. The article describes a new nanotechnology technique that uses computers to rapidly and accurately assemble molecules that can fight cancer. The article also emphasizes how scientific research is supported monetarily through public (NSF) and private partnerships. The lesson plan includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric. Numerous options to extend the lesson are also included.

Type: Lesson Plan

Hurricanes: Birth, Life, and Death:

In this lesson, students will analyze an in-depth NASA article on how hurricanes form, develop, and weaken. Additionally the article informs the reader about the history of hurricanes and naming conventions throughout the world as well as the latest technology to study hurricane anatomy, development geographic distribution, and frequency. The lesson plan includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric. Options to extend the lesson are also included.

Type: Lesson Plan

Opening New Windows to the Cosmos: Detecting Gravitational Waves:

In this lesson, students will analyze an informational text that describes the first detection of gravitational waves. The text seeks to define gravitational waves, the technology used to detect them, and the impact this discovery may have on future scientific endeavors. This informational text is designed to support reading in the content area. The lesson plan includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, sample answers, and a writing rubric.

Type: Lesson Plan

Mysterious Corona - Why's it so Hot?:

In this lesson, students will analyze an informational text that addresses innovative research to understand why the corona is hotter than the surface of the Sun. This informational text is designed to support reading in the content area. The text describes how researchers are using the Hinode satellite from Japan to analyze data being produced from a polar coronal hole in the Sun. They believe that Alfven waves are responsible for the surprising temperature of the corona, thereby unlocking a long unanswered question in solar physics. The lesson plan includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric.

Type: Lesson Plan

Submarines of Jelly: The Remarkable Siphonophore:

This lesson uses an informational text resource intended to support reading in the content area. The text informs readers about siphonophores, a relatively little-studied organism related to jellyfish and corals. It can grow as long as 160 ft. (49 m) and can move through the water column in a coordinated fashion, and knowledge of its locomotion may help humans propel themselves efficiently underwater. The lesson plan includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric. Numerous options to extend the lesson are also included.

Type: Lesson Plan

Methods of Protecting Coral Reefs:

This lesson is designed to support reading in the content area. Students will read a short but complex article that describes the expansion of the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument (a type of marine protected area) and the benefits of MPAs. The article identifies threats to coral reefs and how creating an MPA can help the coral reefs within this protected area and reefs in adjoining areas as well. The text provides some background information on how similar programs have helped other protected reefs near the Philippines, and both local and global threats to coral reef ecosystems are referenced. The lesson plan includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric.

Type: Lesson Plan

Finding the Light in a Jaguar Conservation Challenge:

In this lesson, students will analyze an informational text that addresses an innovative conservation method designed to protect jaguars in Colombia. This informational text is designed to support reading in the content area. The text describes how predation of domestic cattle by jaguars in Colombia was becoming increasingly common due in part to deforestation. A conservation program was implemented to create a corridor for jaguars to pass through, keeping the jaguars separated from the farms and livestock and allowing them a natural pathway to cross through the Andes Mountains to eastern Colombia. The lesson plan includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric. Numerous options to extend the lesson are also included.

Type: Lesson Plan

Momentum and the Law of Conservation of Momentum: A Student-Centered Lesson:

This is a largely self-paced unit for students to learn the basics of Momentum as well as the Law of Conservation of Momentum. Students complete two investigative exercises (one hands-on, the other virtual). They then are directed to read a website (or a textbook could be substituted) and take notes with the teacher"s support as needed. After taking their own notes, students complete a worksheet to practice calculations involving the Law of Conservation of Momentum. At the end of the unit, students take a traditional summative assessment with True/False, multiple-choice, and fill-in-the-blank questions along with a calculations section. Note that this lesson only covers the basics of linear momentum and does not include impulse or angular momentum.

Type: Lesson Plan

Ocean Camouflage Colors:

Ocean Camouflage Colors explores the concept of light-wave absorption by ocean water and how it alters color perception and consequently the appropriate choice for protective coloration in the ocean. After exploring the students' prior knowledge of concepts like color perception, absorption and reflection, the class watches a video clip of a diver who takes a red apple ( and some colorful plastic) diving in the Caribbean. After some further discussion and the creation of a set of notes, students are given a more formal reading activity with 5 questions to complete independently (in most cases). This reading activity can be used in class or possibly as a homework exercise if time is short. Ocean Camouflage Colors was intended as an extension activity to support the 2 mini-labs in Ocean Camouflage. The reading portion can be used alone to bring students who were absent the day of the mini-labs "up to speed" OR it can be used as a review exercise prior to a test OR a homework activity for further practice.

Type: Lesson Plan

Newton's Three Laws of Motion: A Student-Centered Approach:

This is an extended lesson that will take approximately two to three weeks to complete. Students begin by completing an inertial balance lab, which includes a graphing and data analysis component, in order to introduce them to Newton's First Law of Motion. Students then go on to complete a Webquest to reinforce Newton's First Law and to learn about Newton's Second Law and Free-body Diagrams. The class then participates in a demonstration to learn Newton's Third Law of Motion. Students then either complete a worksheet to practice calculations involving Newton's Second Law or an inquiry lab to understand how Newton's Laws can be used to build Balloon Rocket Cars (or both!). Finally, students complete an original project by writing a letter, recording a song, or creating a poster to demonstrate their mastery of Newton's Three Laws of Motion.

Type: Lesson Plan

Searching for Evidence of Dark Energy:

This lesson is a differentiated approach to the concept of Dark Energy and the distribution of matter in our Universe. Students begin by simulating the expansion of the Universe by creating balloon Universes which can be inflated. Students are then assigned one of four articles according to reading ability. They read their articles and then form Jigsaw groups to share the information gleaned from the articles. Students are assessed through a writing assignment.

Type: Lesson Plan

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

Some Genes Remain "Alive" for Days After the Body Dies:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Researchers from the University of Washington, led by microbiologist Peter Nobel, found that hundreds of genes reawaken and function in mice and fish for up to four days. Nobel also discovered that these genes are responsible for responding to stress and regulating the immune system. There were also others that are important for a developing embryo being used and these shouldn’t be needed after birth. In addition, the genes may also be linked to increased cancer in organ transplants and scientists are hoping to use the information in forensic science to better estimate a time of death.

Type: Text Resource

Scientists Discover Stinging Truths About Jellyfish Blooms in the Bering Sea:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The text describes how jellyfish populations in the Bering Sea have been impacted by different limiting factors like temperature and food availability. Scientists suspect that increasing water temperatures affect the development of polyps in multiple ways. In addition, the study is a multi-disciplinary effort between experts in marine ecology, statistics, and the mathematical geosciences. It is thought such models may be applied to other marine and land-based ecological studies and the spread of infectious diseases.

Type: Text Resource

Ebola, Dengue Fever, Lyme Disease: The Growing Economic Cost of Infectious Diseases:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The article discusses the rise of pandemic disease outbreaks across the globe and how these outbreaks can affect world economies. The article further describes how economic models were used to assess different strategies on their effectiveness. The strategy of identifying the underlying cause of the emerging disease was considered to be most cost-effective and beneficial long-term.

Type: Text Resource

Rabies Could Spread to Peru's Coast by 2020:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The article discusses how the rabies virus is likely to spread to the coast of Peru by the year 2020. It further discusses the technology used to determine that the male vampire bat is most likely the carrier of the rabies virus to different areas in Peru.

Type: Text Resource

Antifreeze Proteins in Antarctic Fish Prevent Both Freezing and Melting:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The National Science Foundation article discusses research conducted in the Antarctic concerning the notothenioid fish, which contains "antifreeze" proteins. These proteins are essential because they prevent the fish from freezing in the cold waters of the Southern Ocean, but it was discovered that these same proteins prevent ice crystals from melting when temperatures warm.

Type: Text Resource

NIH Launches Early-stage Yellow Fever Vaccine Trial:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The article discusses how yellow fever is becoming a health threat once again in parts of Africa and why it is necessary for a new vaccine for yellow fever to be developed. The article further discusses the process and experimental trials by which the vaccine is being tested for its effectiveness as well as its safety.

Type: Text Resource

One Carbon Metabolism on the Space Station:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The text describes how a genetic variation in enzymes associated with the one carbon metabolic pathway can cause vision problems in astronauts. The research may lead scientists to predict which astronauts will develop vision problems, as well as develop new treatments for existing medical problems on Earth.

Type: Text Resource

Contamination in North Dakota Linked to Fracking Spills:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The text describes how accidental wastewater spills from fracking have caused soil and water contamination in North Dakota. Researchers from Duke University have been able to prove the contamination comes directly from the North Dakota wells. The text also explains how almost 10,000 wells have been drilled in North Dakota over the past decade, and how the state began producing more than 1 million barrels of oil a day in 2014. Much of the increased production has come through hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling.

Type: Text Resource

Why People Oppose GMOs Even Though Science Says They Are Safe:

The informational text resource explains why the conventional wisdom of much of the public tends to be against GMOs: genetically modified organisms. Author Stefaan Blancke discusses why people feel hostile toward GMOs: because of emotions, intuitions, and essentialism. The author explains that science has found nothing unsafe about GMOs, but he does conclude that each GMO should be researched and admits that some GM applications could have unwanted effects.

Type: Text Resource

Finding the Origins of Life in a Drying Puddle:

This text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The article describes how researchers at Georgia Tech have discovered that polypeptides, which are the main component of proteins, can be formed by mixing amino and hydroxyl acids, and then simply putting them through wet and dry cycles. This would be a more plausible way for early prebiotic molecules to form. Previously, the only way to produce polypeptides involved boiling temperatures, which are not conducive to life.

Type: Text Resource

Metals: In Sickness and in Health:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The article describes how certain elements (copper and zinc are highlighted) can affect human health in both positive and negative ways. Current research on these elements and possible treatments for the negative health effects associated with them is also discussed.

Type: Text Resource

Text Resource: USGS Science for an El Niño Winter:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. El Niño is known to cause weather disturbances, however, its impact on winter storms causes a slew of additional complications when coupled with rising ocean levels instigated by global warming. The USGS reviews the effects, efforts to study the phenomena, and hints at ways to plan strategically for them in this timely article.

Type: Text Resource

NSF Awards Rapid Response Grants to Study Current El Niño, One of the Strongest on Record:

This informational text resource is is designed to support reading in the content area. The text briefly defines and describes El Niño, including outlining its impacts on fragile ecosystems and weather patterns. The author also reviews the type of grants NSF is awarding scientists to study El Niño and justifies the need for such funding.

Type: Text Resource

Drag-and-Drop DNA: Novel Technique Aiding Development of New Cancer Drugs:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. It informs readers of how cutting edge nanotechnology is being combined with supercomputing and drug production. The new process it describes uses unique algorithms to search for DNA sequences that will self-assemble molecules tailored to locate, attach, and kill cancer cells. The passage also is a good example of how public agencies can support private-sector entities through various grants.

Type: Text Resource

Hurricanes: The Greatest Storms on Earth:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The article is provides background information on the different names for tropical cyclones, how hurricanes develop and weaken, and where in the world they are found. It also describes the technology used to study hurricanes and how hurricanes are categorized in terms of intensity.

Type: Text Resource

Gravitational Waves Detected 100 Years After Einstein's Prediction:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The text describes the first observation of gravitational waves by scientists, confirming Albert Einstein's 100-year-old prediction. The article describes the phenomena of gravitational waves, the technology used to detect them, and the impact of this discovery on future scientific endeavors. The importance of this discovery as the culmination of 100 years of research is emphasized.

Type: Text Resource

Jaguar Corridor Lights Up Eastern Colombia:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The text describes how predation of domestic cattle by jaguars in Colombia was becoming increasingly common due in part to deforestation. A conservation program was implemented to create a corridor for jaguars to pass through, keeping the jaguars separated from the farms and livestock and allowing them a natural pathway to cross through the Andes Mountains to eastern Colombia.

Type: Text Resource

Clues to Future of Undersea Exploration May Reside Inside a Jellyfish-like Creature:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The article relates the findings of a study by four scientists about siphonophores, a relatively little-studied organism related to jellyfish and corals. Their study focuses on this organism's ability to move through the water column in a coordinated fashion and how this knowledge may help humans propel themselves efficiently underwater.

Type: Text Resource

Good News and Bad News for Coral Reefs:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. Through discussion of the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument in the central Pacific, this text offers perspective on how political factors can greatly influence ecology. The article explains some of the benefits of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) like the Marine National Monument, which often include pristine coral reefs and exceptional biodiversity, using the example of MPAs in the Philippines. It also briefly describes global threats to MPAs.

Type: Text Resource

It's Hot...Super Hot: Finding Answers Around the Sun:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The text describes how researchers are using the Hinode satellite from Japan to uncover new explanations for the long-puzzled-after solution behind the searing temperature of the corona of the Sun.

Type: Text Resource

Captured: The Moment Photosynthesis Changed the World:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Geologists have made an important discovery about the origins of photosynthesis. According to evidence in South African rocks, before organisms were using water as the electron source for photosynthesis, they were using manganese - these rocks formed in anoxic conditions, but contain oxidized manganese. This evolution of photosynthetic organisms, which released atmospheric oxygen, laid the groundwork for more complex life forms, such as animals, to come into existence.

Type: Text Resource

Is Large-Scale Production of Biofuel Possible?:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Is large-scale production of biofuel possible? The author attempts to answer this key question. As the world seeks to decrease its dependence on petroleum fuel by genetically engineering certain crops, there is the potential to commercially produce biofuels. Plant sources for bioenergy, the harnessing of plant bioenergy, and the sustainability of the industry are all issues considered in this text. The article discusses both environmental and economic consequences.

Type: Text Resource

Regenerating Plastic Grows Back After Damage:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article describes researchers' development of a material similar to plastic that regenerates or grows back after damage. Researchers have discovered that the material is similar to biologic regenerative functions in living organisms and works by bonding to the damaged area and filling the holes and cracks to repair itself.

Type: Text Resource

What is Alchemy?:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Alchemy is a pseudoscience dating back thousands of years. Though it contained scientific components, alchemy also involved untestable elements such as magic and mysticism, and it was based on a fundamental misunderstanding of what scientists now know to be true about chemistry and physics. This article describes alchemy and explores its history and its failure to explain natural phenomena.

Type: Text Resource

Tough Decisions on the Front Line of Nature Conservation:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article expresses its author's opinion about culling animals in zoos, which is reducing a population by selective slaughter. The argument supports the idea of culling as a way to control inbreeding and to control the breeding of animals that will not help the species stay adaptable and immune to diseases.

Type: Text Resource

Iron in Earth's Core Weakens Before Melting:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Researchers have created models that can be used to understand previously unexplained properties of the Earth's core. Previously, we have not been able to explain the behavior of seismic waves traveling through the core. However, a new model suggests that the iron in the core greatly weakens before melting, which slows the waves down.

Type: Text Resource

In the Fog about Smog:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Smog began appearing in Los Angeles in the 1940s and became a problem for decades. Scientists were able to figure out the cause of smog only after intensive study of organic compounds in the air. After discovering that nitrogen oxides from car exhaust were a primary ingredient in smog, it took years of policy changes and industrial innovation to reduce air pollution and resolve the smog issue in LA and worldwide.

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Chemistry Unearths the Secrets of the Terracotta Army:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. In 1974 a group of Chinese farmers digging a well came across a great discovery: the Terracotta Army from the tomb of the first emperor of China. Since the discovery, archaeologists have been researching many aspects of the artifacts. Recently, with the use of chemistry, they have been able to determine many details of the weapons of the Terracotta Army, including their chemical composition and production techniques.

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Body's Immune System Kills Mutant Cells Daily:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article explores how scientists discovered that the immune system naturally suppresses cancer while they were researching how B cells change during the growth of lymphoma. The text explains how T cells work as an "immune surveillance" and can be a way of preventing blood cancers. Through experimentation, scientists discovered how vitally important those cells are to possibly suppressing other forms of cancer in the future.

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Seeing Double: New Study Explains Evolution of Duplicate Genes:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. A new study explains that about half of our genes are copies, made by error during DNA replication, that have escaped elimination by natural selection through the addition of methyl groups. Usually these copies would be susceptible to developing mutations, but it is newly understood that they are evolving new functions instead.

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By the Skin of Their Suits:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The text discusses the two main factors that control the speed of a competitive swimmer: power and drag. The reader is then presented with mathematical formulas that determine these factors. The text also discusses the technological advances that have come about in the swimsuit industry. The text even entertains the idea of "technological doping" and allows the reader to question whether advanced swimsuits are hurting the competitiveness of swimming.

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Hurricane Sandy was New York's "Self-Inflicted Calamity":

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Hurricane Sandy was one of the biggest storms to hit New York City in recent history. Intense wind and rain caused major damage all over the city and surrounding areas. The storm exposed how overdevelopment of reclaimed land and lack of political action to protect the city has led to major flooding—and probably will again unless action is taken.

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Raman Method Analyzes Live Cells Quickly and Accurately :

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The Fraunhofer Institute for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology has developed a non-invasive process for analyzing living cells. This technique uses Raman spectroscopy and will be able to to identify cancer cells based upon their unique Raman spectra. Alternative applications include separating bone marrow from other tissues for transplantation.

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Extinct Relative Helps to Reclassify the World's Remaining Two Species of Monk Seal:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Scientists used DNA and morphological analysis to classify the extinct Caribbean monk seal. In doing so, they grouped it with the critically endangered Hawaiian monk seal into a new genus, Neomonachus. The also critically endangered Mediterranean monk seal remains in its own genus, Monachus.

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April Becomes First Month with Carbon Dioxide Levels Above 400 PPM:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article discusses a troublesome milestone in climate science: the CO2 levels in Earth's atmosphere stayed above 400 ppm for the entire month of April 2014. The article discusses the significance of this measurement and how CO2 levels impact the atmosphere.

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How Basic Research Fuels Medical Advances:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Research out of Scripps Research Institute's Florida campus illustrates how studying simple processes, such as DNA replication, can lead to highly beneficial medical advances: in this case, a possible cure for adult-onset muscular dystrophy. The article also shows how basic research has led to some familiar medical applications.

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Arctic Fox and Other Polar Predators May Have Originated in the Himalayas:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article discusses the possibility that the modern Arctic fox and other "hypercarnivorous" polar predators may have their origins in the Tibetan Plateau. The study uses fossil evidence, comparative anatomy, and biogeography to trace the evolutionary origins of the Arctic fox to the Himalayas.

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No Limits For Usain:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The text uses the story of Usain Bolt and his quest to reduce his world record in the 100 meter race to raise the question of whether there is a limit to his—or any human's—athleticism. The article uses number series, limits, and convergent and divergent series to prove that, hypothetically at least, a world record will go on reducing beyond any limit. A logistic curve is shown to model the data.

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The Quest for a Clean Drink:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. In America, clean water flows with the turn of a knob, but many countries do not have this luxury. This article looks at three different ways scientists have created treatment systems for drinking water in poor countries like India and Bangladesh.

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The Science Behind Superstorm Sandy's Crippling Storm Surge:

This informational text is intended to support reading in the content area. This text describes the devastation that Superstorm Sandy caused and why there was so much destruction in the areas affected, especially New Jersey and New York. The author delves into areas such as floods, hurricane prediction, and methods that may prevent such destruction from happening again.

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Deploying the Body's Army:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Scientists have been making breakthroughs in immunotherapy: the use of infectious pathogens as a method for treating cancer. The infections heighten the response of the immune system and eradicate the cancer in the process.

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Sexual Reproduction - How it Works:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article gives an overview of the human reproductive system, including the organs that are present in both sexes and the role that each gender plays in reproduction. It is organized in a manner that supports readers' comprehension of the subject and captures their attention.

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NASA's Quest for Green Rocket Fuel Passes Big Test:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This text introduces AF-M315E, a "green" or environmentally friendly jet fuel, to potentially be used by NASA instead of hydrazine, which is known to be both toxic to humans and volatile for control of satellites and spacecraft.

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Salamander's Hefty Role in the Ecosystem:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This is a fascinating article about the large role one tiny organism plays in its ecosystem. The author explores the predatory habits of the salamander, how this amphibian can affect the carbon cycle, and the changes that have been taking place in the salamander populations over time.

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Cells' Fiery Suicide in HIV Provides New Treatment Hope:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The article explains how HIV-infected cells go through a self-destructive response called "pyroptosis," and how a drug might be able to prevent the infected cells' death.

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Live Cells Printed Using 'Rubber Stamp' Method:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article discusses how new 3D printing methods can be used to print new living cells rapidly.

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Oslo-Experiment May Explain Massive Star Explosions:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Some new findings about atomic nuclei may help astrophysicists create more realistic simulations of supernovae thus allowing us to see how heavier elements are formed in stars.

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Scientists Discover Important Mechanism in Plant Cells Which Regulates Direction Plant Cells Grow:

This informational text is intended to support reading in the content area. The text describes a discovery scientists have made regarding a mechanism that regulates the direction in which plants grow.

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Sustainable Farming:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. By compiling information from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, this text briefly discusses the history of sustainable land use before moving into an in-depth discussion of the consequences of conventional farming and the ways sustainable farming might improve these conditions.

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Snapshots Differentiate Molecules From Their Mirror Image:

This informational text is intended to support reading in the content area. This article describes how scientists were able to reveal the spatial structure of left-handed and right-handed chiral molecules in gaseous solutions by using a combination of mass spectrometry and the Coulomb explosion.

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Reconsidering the Value of Non-Native Species:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The article describes the role (negative and positive) non-native species play in ecosystems.

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The New Alchemy:

This informational text is intended to support reading in the content area. This article, from the American Chemical Society, reviews the basics of radioactivity and transmutation as well as the history of discovering elements.

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Tutorial

Central Idea: Quenching Your Thirst for Literacy Skills:

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. The focus on literacy across content areas is designed to help students independently build knowledge in different disciplines through reading and writing. This tutorial will demonstrate a series of steps that teachers can teach students to help them determine the central ideas of a science text. This tutorial will also explain what an effective summary contains and provide steps teachers can use to help students with paraphrasing.

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Student Resources

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

Parent Resources

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