LAFS.1112.WHST.1.2

Write informative/explanatory texts, including the narration of historical events, scientific procedures/ experiments, or technical processes.
  1. Introduce a topic and organize complex ideas, concepts, and information so that each new element builds on that which precedes it to create a unified whole; include formatting (e.g., headings), graphics (e.g., figures, tables), and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension.
  2. Develop the topic thoroughly by selecting the most significant and relevant facts, extended definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples appropriate to the audience’s knowledge of the topic.
  3. Use varied transitions and sentence structures to link the major sections of the text, create cohesion, and clarify the relationships among complex ideas and concepts.
  4. Use precise language, domain-specific vocabulary and techniques such as metaphor, simile, and analogy to manage the complexity of the topic; convey a knowledgeable stance in a style that responds to the discipline and context as well as to the expertise of likely readers.
  5. Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the information or explanation provided (e.g., articulating implications or the significance of the topic).
General Information
Subject Area: English Language Arts
Grade: 1112
Strand: Writing Standards for Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects
Idea: Level 4: Extended Thinking &Complex Reasoning
Date Adopted or Revised: 12/10
Date of Last Rating: 02/14
Status: State Board Approved

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This benchmark is part of these courses.
1298310: Advanced Topics in Mathematics (formerly 129830A) (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 and beyond (current))
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)
2000430: Biology Technology (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 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))
2002330: Space Technology and Engineering (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)
2102310: Economics (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2019, 2019 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
2102320: Economics Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2019, 2019 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
2102380: The American Economic Experience: Scarcity and Choice (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2020 (course terminated))
2102390: The American Economic Experience: Scarcity and Choice Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
2100320: United States History Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
2100390: Visions and Countervisions: Europe, the U.S. and the World from 1848 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2018 (course terminated))
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2106310: United States Government (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2019, 2019 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
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2106450: The American Political System: Process and Power (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2019 (course terminated))
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0700330: Haitian Creole for Haitian Creole Speakers 4 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2019 (course terminated))
0701340: French 3 Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
0701350: French 4 Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
0701360: French 5 Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
0701370: French 6 Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2020 (course terminated))
0701820: Florida's Preinternational Baccalaureate French 3 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 and beyond (current))
0702340: German 3 Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
0702350: German 4 Honors (Specifically in versions: 2013 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
0702360: German 5 Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2020 (course terminated))
0702370: German 6 Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2019 (course terminated))
0702820: Florida's Preinternational Baccalaureate German 3 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2020 (course terminated))
0703340: Greek 3 Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
0703350: Greek 4 Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
0703360: Greek 5 Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2020 (course terminated))
0703370: Greek 6 Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2017 (course terminated))
0704320: Hebrew 3 Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
0704330: Hebrew 4 Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
0704340: Hebrew 5 Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2017 (course terminated))
0704350: Hebrew 6 Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2017 (course terminated))
0705340: Italian 3 Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
0705350: Italian 4 Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
0705360: Italian 5 Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2020 (course terminated))
0705370: Italian 6 Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2020 (course terminated))
0706320: Latin 3 Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
0706330: Latin 4 Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
0706340: Latin 5 Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
0706350: Latin 6 Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2019 (course terminated))
0706820: Florida's Preinternational Baccalaureate Latin 3 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2021 (course terminated))
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0707820: Florida's Preinternational Baccalaureate Russian 3 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2017 (course terminated))
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0709340: Spanish for Spanish Speakers 5 Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2020 (course terminated))
0709350: Spanish for Spanish Speakers 6 Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2020 (course terminated))
0711320: Chinese 3 Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
0711330: Chinese 4 Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
1700320: Research 3 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
0712320: Japanese 3 Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
0712330: Japanese 4 Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
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0713330: Portuguese 4 Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2020, 2020 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
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0714330: Foreign Language Humanities for International Studies 4 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond)
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0717314: American Sign Language 4 Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond)
2100310: United States History (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond)
7920011: Access Chemistry 1 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2018, 2018 and beyond)
7921015: Access United States Government  (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2018, 2018 and beyond)
7921025: Access United States History (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2018, 2018 and beyond)
7921020: Access Economics (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2019, 2019 and beyond)
2100315: United States History for Credit Recovery (Specifically in versions: 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond)
2102315: Economics for Credit Recovery (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2019, 2019 - 2022, 2022 and beyond)
2102335: Economics with Financial Literacy (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2018, 2018 - 2022, 2022 and beyond)
2102340: Economics with Financial Literacy for Credit Recovery (Specifically in versions: 2015 - 2018, 2018 - 2022, 2022 and beyond)
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2000520: Bioscience 3 Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 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, 2022 and beyond)
2003385: Physics 1 for Credit Recovery (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2020 (course terminated))
0711812: Florida’s Preinternational Baccalaureate Mandarin Chinese 3 (Specifically in versions: 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond)
0708820: Florida's Preinternational Baccalaureate Spanish 3 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond)
0705392: Florida's Preinternational Baccalaureate - Italian 3 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2019 (course terminated))
0716320: Turkish 3 Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond)
0716330: Turkish 4 Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2020 (course terminated))
0710320: Arabic 3 Honors - Intermediate High - Advanced Low (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2019 (course terminated))
0710330: Arabic 4 Honors - Advanced Low - Advanced Mid (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2019 (course terminated))
2003500: Renewable Energy 1 Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond)
0711335: Chinese 5 Honors - Advanced High (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2017 (course terminated))
0712825: Florida's Preinternational Baccalaureate Japanese 3 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond)
0715325: Language and Literature for International Studies 3 Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond)
0715335: Language and Literature for International Studies 4 Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond)
7921040: Fundamental Economics (Specifically in versions: 2013 - 2015, 2015 - 2017 (course terminated))
0713820: Florida's Preinternational Baccalaureate Portuguese 3 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2017 (course terminated))
0717316: American Sign Language 5 Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond)
0717318: American Sign Language 6 Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond)
7921042: Fundamental Economics with Financial Literacy (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2017 (course terminated))
7921022: Access Economics with Financial Literacy (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2018, 2018 and beyond)
0715355: Language and Literature for International Studies 6 Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond)
0715365: Language and Literature for International Studies 7 Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2020 (course terminated))
0715375: Language and Literature for International Studies 8 Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2017 (course terminated))
0715345: Language and Literature for International Studies 5 Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond)
2102372: Personal Financial Literacy (Specifically in versions: 2015 - 2018, 2018 - 2019, 2019 and beyond)
2102374: Personal Financial Literacy Honors (Specifically in versions: 2015 - 2018, 2018 - 2019, 2019 and beyond)
2003836: Florida's Preinternational Baccalaureate Physics 1 (Specifically in versions: 2015 and beyond)
2003838: Florida's Preinternational Baccalaureate Physics 2 (Specifically in versions: 2015 and beyond)
2001330: Meteorology Honors (Specifically in versions: 2016 - 2019, 2019 - 2022, 2022 and beyond)
2104315: Exploring Hip Hop as Literature (Specifically in versions: 2017 - 2022, 2022 and beyond)
7921021: Access Personal Financial Literacy (Specifically in versions: 2019 and beyond)
2100362: Latin American Studies Honors (Specifically in versions: 2020 and beyond (current))

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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

Researching Remote Regions: Role of the Southern Ocean:

In this lesson, students will analyze an informational text on the carbon dioxide/oxygen exchange in the Southern Ocean. The extent to which massive Southern Ocean currents, other biotic and abiotic factors, and ocean color impacts global warming is currently not known. Scientists will use a modified plane set up as a laboratory to gather this data. The lesson is designed to support reading in the content area and 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

Purple Haze:

In this lesson, students will analyze an informational text designed to support reading in the content area. An ancient coloring pigment is leading to new research in magnetic fields and superconductivity. Will this lead to new technologies involving quantum computers? 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

Of Mice and Mutations: Natural Selection in Action:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. In this lesson, students will analyze a text that addresses the issue of evolution by natural selection and mutation, using Florida "beach mice" as a case study. 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

The Struggle of Mountains: Erosion vs. Plate Tectonics:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. In this lesson, students will read and analyze an informational text that describes the relationship between plate tectonics and erosion in the formation of Earth's surface. The article includes information describing how scientists are measuring the impact of both of these processes using sediment cores. The article presents findings from a recent study that shows, through data from sediment cores, that erosion is occurring faster than mountain building by plate tectonics. The lesson plan includes a text coding strategy, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric. Numerous options to extend the lesson are also included.

Type: Lesson Plan

Is Ozone Always a Positive Force in the Environment?:

In this lesson, students will analyze an informational text that addresses the importance of ozone and its positive and negative impacts on life on Earth. The text describes the formation of the ozone layer as a natural occurrence. It also describes the formation of the ozone layer where it can negatively impact living organisms. 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, answer keys, and a writing rubric.

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

Not-So-Friendly Spider Venom May Be Used as Earth-Friendly Pest Control:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. In this lesson, students will analyze a text that addresses the environmental problems caused by insecticides and explains how compounds (toxins) in spider venom may be used to selectively eliminate crop-destroying insects while leaving other insects, vertebrates, and the environment unharmed.

Type: Lesson Plan

Welcome to the Dead Zone:

In this lesson, students will analyze an informational text that describes the results of a recent study that has found a link between past ocean warming and the onset of "dead zones" in the Pacific Ocean off Oregon and Washington. This informational text is designed to support reading in the content area. The lesson plan includes text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, sample answers, and a writing rubric.

Type: Lesson Plan

Show Me the Money:

This lesson is an application activity in which students will use relative frequencies to support an argument. Students will be given the task of creating an argument that would support why their club/team should be awarded a monetary prize that the school has won. The students will create statistical questions, collect their own data, analyze and interpret it to support their claim, present their argument, critique other arguments, and refine their argument for a rebuttal and closing remarks. The project will be graded with the rubric found in the Summative Assessment section, and has a student packet attached as well. All attachments can be modified.

Type: Lesson Plan

House Hunting!:

Students will use criteria such as median home price, neighborhood safety, and likelihood of evacuation during a hurricane to rank a list of neighborhoods in which to shop for a home.

Type: Lesson Plan

Picturing World Wars: The Great War & The Greatest Generation at War:

This 3-day lesson focuses on helping students analyze propaganda posters from both world wars to better understand how the U.S. government used propaganda to acquire civilian support. Students will analyze the images and phrases used in the posters, the purpose for each poster, any biases exhibited, and even generate questions about each poster that can be used for additional research. Through analysis of the posters students will be introduced to some of the challenges America faced by going to war. For the end of lesson assessment, students will write an explanatory essay about the government's use of propaganda in these wars. The posters, graphic organizers, answer keys, and a rubric to assess student writing have been included with the lesson.

Type: Lesson Plan

Why Does the Dog Drool?...Ding, ding, ding, dingdingdingding!:

This lesson focuses on two key experiments on classical conditioning: Ivan Pavlov's dogs and John Watson's "Little Albert." After students have time to explore conditioning with an interactive tool using Pavlov's dog, they will read about Pavlov's work. Later, they will read an account of the "Little Albert" experiment and watch a short video clip. Students will analyze how classical conditioning is used in each of these experiments. As an end of lesson assessment, students will write an explanatory essay comparing and contrasting these two experiments.

Type: Lesson Plan

Coral Reefs in Acid - What is Ocean Acidification?:

The goal of this lesson plan is for students to be able to conduct mini-experiments that demonstrate what ocean acidification is and how it affects marine organisms. Students will perform mini-experiments and observe diagrams to help generate a definition of what ocean acidification is, why it is occurring, and how humans can reduce their impact.

Type: Lesson Plan

Physics of Water:

The purpose of this lesson is for students to conduct mini-experiments, demonstrating the physical properties of water. Students will collect data, diagram results, and generate a well-developed paragraph describing the various effects of water pressure and temperature.

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

Conductors vs. Insulators: An Inquiry Lab:

This is a basic introduction to the difference between conductors and insulators when either is placed into a series circuit with a battery and a light bulb. This introductory activity is primarily used as a vehicle for students to better understand how to write a lab report with the appropriate sections and to integrate technology through Google Docs and a virtual lab simulation.

Type: Lesson Plan

Formation of Hurricanes:

This is a picture inquiry based lesson for students to explore the formation of hurricanes. Groups of three students will observe and explain trends found in a picture and share ideas with their peers.

Type: Lesson Plan

Amusement Park Physics:

Students will research various types of amusement park rides and use their findings to design a feasible ride of their own. They will summarize their findings and present their ride design to the class. Each student will then write a persuasive letter to a local amusement park describing the reasons their ride design is the best.

Type: Lesson Plan

Discover the Planimal:

In this lesson, students will analyze an informational text intended to support reading in the content area. The article explains how scientists utilized the scientific method to discover a plant-animal hybrid between a sea slug and algae. Students also analyze another text reviewing the attributes of scientists that are employed to make discoveries. By reading and synthesizing two texts, students will explore a real-world example of how the scientific method led to the discovery of the first case of gene transfer between multicellular organisms. This lesson includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric.

Type: Lesson Plan

Formation of Oceanic Features:

This is a picture inquiry based lesson for students to explore four specific oceanic features (mid-ocean ridge, trench, seamount, and continental shelf). Groups of three students will observe and explain features found in pictures and share ideas with their peers.

Type: Lesson Plan

Text Resources

A Green Sea Slug Steals Power from Algae:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Researchers are gaining more insight into how Elysia chlorotica can survive for months without food in a well-lit laboratory. It is well known that the slug can store plastids from the algae it consumes. However, scientists questioned how the organelles remained active for several months in the slug's gut even after a drug was given to shut down photosynthesis. Using fluorescent DNA markers, scientists were able to find a gene that allows the slug to keep the chloroplasts working. It is the first known case of gene transfer from one multicellular organism to another.

Type: Text Resource

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

Languages Are Still a Major Barrier to Global Science:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The article describes a Google Scholar survey, focusing on environmental issues, as the basis for presenting an argument that language is a barrier to global communication in the scientific community. The recognized barriers are two-fold: the limitation of knowledge transfer and the inability of local policy makers to make decisions based on existing knowledge. The article provides possible solutions to the problem, including the "multilingualization" of texts through changes in journal requirements.

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

The Microbiome: When Good Bugs Go Bad:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The text describes current research being conducted on microbiota and the immune system. The text describes how bacteria, or the lack of bacteria, play a role in the immune system and keep autoimmune diseases at bay. There is currently a spike in autoimmune diseases like Crohn's disease and psoriasis that occur primarily in developed countries. This research emphasizes how important our symbiotic relationship is with bacteria.

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

First-Ever Octopus Genome Sequenced:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The article discusses the information gained through the sequencing of the octopus' genome. This information will help scientists learn more about the function and development of the nervous system and can be applied to brain research.

Type: Text Resource

Researchers Make a Key Discovery in How Malaria Evades the Immune System:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The article discusses the research conducted by scientists to determine how the malaria parasite evades the human immune system and enters into red blood cells. It was determined the parasite is able to use the complement system to its own advantage rather than being negatively affected by it.

Type: Text Resource

Ecologists Identify Potential New Sources of Ebola and Other Filoviruses:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The article discusses the research conducted by scientists who used machine learning methods to identify bats that were likely to be reservoirs for filoviruses. Scientists mapped out the geographical ranges of these bats and hope to be able to use this information to prevent future outbreaks.

Type: Text Resource

Mercury-Laden Fog Swirls over Coastal California, Scientists Find:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The article discusses the research conducted on the amounts of methyl mercury found in fog samples. Two different studies were conducted, and both indicate that fog is a major contributor and source of the presence of methyl mercury in an inland environment.

Type: Text Resource

Research Spotlights a Previously Unknown Microbial 'Drama' Playing in the Southern Ocean:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The article discusses the relationship between phytoplankton and different bacteria in the Southern Ocean. The text goes on to describe the results and how they changed previous ideas and assumptions about the needs of phytoplankton.

Type: Text Resource

Rheumatoid Arthritis Mechanisms May Vary by Joint:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. New research indicates that rheumatoid arthritis mechanisms may vary by joint. These findings may point to developing specific therapies for individual patients that target precise locations.

Type: Text Resource

Bacterial DNA May Integrate into Human Genome More Readily in Tumor Tissue:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The article describes how scientists have recently found that lateral gene transfer occurs more rapidly into cancer or tumor cells than in normal, healthy cells. Scientists are going to further their research to see if there is a link between lateral gene transfer from the microbes that live on or around us and cancer. They believe this will also lead to a more personalized type of medicine.

Type: Text Resource

Rewriting Genetic Information to Prevent Disease:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. CRISPR is an ancient immune response mechanism found in many bacteria that can locate and destroy the genome of an invader, such as a virus. Now researchers want to harness this natural system to control gene editing and regulation, and potentially correct harmful genetic mutations in humans. The ethical considerations of this technology are also discussed.

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

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

Astronomers Developed Technology While Studying Gliese 581:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The author describes research on identifying "habitable" planets and explains how failed attempts might actually open the doors to more thorough research. Scientists faced the challenge of collecting specific data in order to determine if readings pointed to the existence of a planet. When research revealed that their original hypotheses were incorrect, the scientists were able to take the new information and apply it to further investigations.

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

Alaska: Marine Debris in the Wilderness:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The text is a transcript of an interview with Peter Murphy, the Alaska Regional Coordinator of the NOAA Marine Debris Program. The interview highlights some of the challenges of removing marine debris in Alaska, specific projects, and goals for future work.

Type: Text Resource

Chemistry in the Sunlight:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The article explains that sunlight is an important aspect of ozone formation. The ozone layer forms in the stratosphere, which is located above the layer of the atmosphere that we breathe (the troposphere). There is ozone formation also occurring in the troposphere, which is very toxic to living organisms, naturally but mostly due to by-products from the burning of fossil fuels and other human activities. The text describes the different chemical processes of ozone formation in these two layers of the atmosphere.

Type: Text Resource

Low-Oxygen "Dead Zones" in North Pacific Linked to Past Ocean Warming:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The text describes the results of a recent study that has found a link between past ocean warming and the onset of "dead zones" in the Pacific Ocean off Oregon and Washington.

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

Climate Can Grind Down Mountains Faster Than They Can Rebuild:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The article describes the relationship between plate tectonics and erosion in the formation of Earth's surfaces and discusses how scientists are measuring the impact of both of these processes. The article presents findings from a recent study that shows, through data from sediment cores, that erosion is occurring faster than mountain building by plate tectonics.

Type: Text Resource

Text Resource - Purple Haze: Ancient Pigment Reveals Secrets about Unusual State of Matter:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The text explains how extreme cooling of an ancient pigment comprised of metallic compounds, as well as exposure to strong magnetic fields, converts the matter into a state called a Bose-Einstein condensate. In this state, the behavior of electrons within the pigment's atoms shifts and they form a single magnetic threedimensional structure. When the condensate is cooled even further in this case, the magnetic structure loses a dimension.

Type: Text Resource

Spider Venom Could Yield Eco-Friendly Insecticides:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. A biochemist is studying spider venom to see if it can be used to control agricultural pests. The venom is harmless to vertebrates but kills insects that may kill crops. If successful, the spider venom could be used to replace chemical pesticides that are harmful to humans, wildlife, and the environment. In addition, insects that destroy crops are becoming resistant to these chemical insecticides but would not be resistant to bioinsecticides.

Type: Text Resource

The Mythology of Natural Selection:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The text describes how natural selection occurs when mutations occur in an individual's DNA sequence. Two different populations can have two different genetic mutations yet end up with a similar phenotype.

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

Flying Lab to Investigate Southern Ocean's Appetite for Carbon:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The text describes how scientists led by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) are set to launch a series of flights over the Southern Ocean in order to collect data on how the air and seas surrounding Antarctica exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide. It is hoped that this data will help us with future predictions about climate change, and maybe even lead to new insights on how the ocean works.

Type: Text Resource

Long-held Theory on Human Gestation Refuted:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This is a fine synopsis of a previously reported (and highly technical) study that shows the thought process behind challenging an existing theory. The subject is human evolution and the biology of childbirth. It encompasses basic anthropology concepts such as walking upright, as well as the biology of energy needs in pregnancy. Long-held views (that narrow birth canals are required for bipedalism) are debunked by careful analysis of how women with varying hip widths actually walk—and the authors found no difference.

Type: Text Resource

Sample Size Calculation:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article describes the important process used when setting up trials for statistical investigation. The article explains each parameter that is needed to calculate the sample size, then provides examples and illustrates the process. This article will enhance an upper level math course's study of statistics after significance levels and basic inferential statistics concepts have been taught.

Type: Text Resource

Genetic Solution to Cancer, Diabetes?:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The text describes a rare form of dwarfism called Laron's Syndrome, which is associated with an unusually low incidence of cancer and diabetes. This combination of characteristics allows scientists to speculate on the relationship between all three conditions. It appears that a mutation that causes dwarfism protects against the common diseases of cancer and diabetes.

Type: Text Resource

Coral Reefs Show Remarkable Ability to Recover from Near Death:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. When corals are stressed, they release their algal partners and turn white, a phenomenon called coral bleaching. This occurs when they are under stress from warming waters or other environmental factors. Researchers monitored reefs in the Seychelles during and after coral bleaching events, and found that several factors, including depth of growth, branching shape, nutrient levels, and amount of fish grazing accurately predicted whether reefs were likely to recover from these events. Human impacts such as sediment or nutrient run-off also affect the corals' resiliency.

Type: Text Resource

Maths Goes to the Movies:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The text shows how math is used to create the life-like computer generated images seen in movies such as Jurassic Park and Lord of the Rings.

Type: Text Resource

Strange but True: The Largest Organism on Earth is a Fungus:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article details the discovery of the world's largest living organism, a humongous fungus in eastern Oregon. The text discusses the fungus itself, other sprawling fungi, and possible explanations for why such large sizes might be the norm for fungi. Also, the article describes the research methods scientists employed in order to determine that the fungus was in fact one single living organism.

Type: Text Resource

The Indian River Lagoon: An Estuary of National Significance:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area.  What is the Indian River Lagoon?  Why is the lagoon an estuary of “national significance?”  What are some of the environmental challenges the lagoon faces?  These questions represent interesting and relevant content explored in this informative text about one of Florida’s most important estuaries.   The text also has the potential to be used as an anchor text to segue into further areas of inquiry such as the role of water management districts, restoration initiatives, and the death of wildlife on the Indian River Lagoon.

Type: Text Resource

The Logic of Drug Testing:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article explores the reliability of drug tests for athletes, using mathematics. The author attempts to address this issue by relating drug tests to conditional probability. Throughout the text, various numbers that affect the calculation of a reliable probability are discussed. Numbers such as test sensitivity, test specificity, and weight of evidence are related to Bayes' theorem, which is ultimately used to calculate the conditional probability.

Type: Text Resource

Fractal Geometry Overview:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The article indicates that traditional geometry does not suffice in describing many natural phenomena. The use of computers to implement repeated iterations can generate better models. Offered by IBM, this text can be used in a high school geometry class to demonstrate applications of similarity and to illustrate important ways that geometry can be used to model a wide range of scientific phenomena.

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

Where Do Chemical Elements Come From? :

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. What is that extremely bright light in the sky? It's a supernova: the result of a massive star collapsing in on itself. This explosion is more than just a pretty sight; it is the main source of the elements that make up our planets and all the other objects in the night sky.

Type: Text Resource

Ammonium Dichromate:

This article explains the uses and properties of ammonium dichromate, an "explosive" compound once common in children's chemistry sets, and the reasons why society has gradually moved away from using this compound.

Type: Text Resource

Introduced Species: The Threat to Biodiversity & What Can Be Done:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Invasive species are a global threat to biodiversity for many reasons. This article outlines the scope of the problem, explaining how invasive species are impacting native flora and fauna and offering potential solutions to prevent their spread.

Type: Text Resource

Exoplanets Found Orbiting Former Extragalactic Star:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article describes scientists' discovery of the oldest habitable exoplanet that has been discovered. This planet formed outside our Milky Way and is about 11.5 billion years old. The planet looks like it could support water, has a rocky terrain, and is about five times bigger than Earth. Its proximity to its red dwarf star has led scientists to believe it could have supported life at one time.

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

Killing a Patient to Save His Life:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article explores a controversial clinical trial being conducted by the University of Pittsburgh. Scientists are exploring more efficient ways to save lives when patients enter the emergency room in critical condition. The idea involves draining the patient's blood and replacing it with freezing saltwater to induce a hypothermic state that will buy doctors more time to save human lives. This is causing an ethical debate as patients will be essentially clinically dead during this procedure. The technique is known as Emergency Preservation and Resuscitation (EPR).

Type: Text Resource

Polar Bears and Climate Change:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Polar bears are highly specialized to living on sea ice in the Arctic including their dependence on two species of seals. Therefore, scientists expect polar bears to be greatly affected by climate changes due to their habitat (reduced sea ice) and prey availability. These effects include increased movement, fewer den areas, and decreased prey access, which are predicted to have a variety of negative consequences on polar bears in the future.

Type: Text Resource

Patterns and Structures:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Patterns are an integral part of any system. One of the main functions of mathematics is to find patterns and create functions that generalize these patterns. There are many situations where patterns emerge and can be described by mathematics. For example, Fibonacci sequences can describe natural phenomena, quantic equations can describe repeated cases of symmetry, and there are even patterns in the occurrence of prime numbers.

Type: Text Resource

Feathers Yield Mysteries of Pigment Chemistry to Spectroscopic Analysis:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The pigments in the feathers of bird specimens have been traditionally hard to analyze because it required destroying the feathers. Now, scientists have come up with a new, non-destructive way to explore the complex chemistry of bird feather pigments, using lasers and Raman spectroscopy.

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Panel’s Warning on Climate Risk: Worst Is Yet to Come:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The article describes a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which summarizes the many environmental, climatic, social, and economic effects of global warming that are already occurring and will continue to take place. The report also predicts the environmental and socio-economic effects of climate change that will occur in the upcoming decades, especially those that will affect poorer countries.

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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.

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Phrenology-History of a Science and Pseudoscience:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article discusses phrenology, which is a pseudoscience that claims to be able to use bumps on human skulls to make inferences about personality traits. The article details why phrenology is not a true science, and reviews the history of phrenology, the role of phrenology in the debate about the organization of the brain, how phrenology came under scientific criticism, and modern iterations of the technique.

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Better Catalysts for the Petrochemical Industry:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Zeolites are catalysts necessary for the production of gasoline from crude oil. One problem with zeolites is that their pores can be clogged by reaction products. To solve this, scientists have recently created zeolites that are have greater pore connectivity, which turns out to be a better, and also cheaper, method of producing catalysts for the petrochemical industry.

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Cell Cycle and Cell Division:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The phases of the cell cycle are described, along with scientists' methods of studying the process. The proteins and cyclins involved in cell division are explained as well. The text ends by exploring future opportunities for discovery in this field.

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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.

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Report: Polluted Farm Runoff Linked to Toxic Green Algae Slime in U.S. Waters:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article describes the causes and potential effects of toxin cyanobacteria blooms that have occurred in bodies of water in the United States. The blooms are affecting water quality, killing wildlife, and threatening human health (including causing death and illness) across the United States.

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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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Understanding Uncertainty: What Was the Probability of Obama Winning?:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The article examines various factors that changed the uncertainty of whether Barack Obama would win the 2008 election. Specifically,the article discusses probability, the science of quantifying uncertainty. The article questions common methods for assessing probability where symmetrical outcomes are assumed. Finally, the author explains how to use past evidence to assess the chances of future events.

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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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Sound, Light, and Water Waves and How Scientists Worked Out the Mathematics :

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This text describes in a historical context how the wave equation quantifies scientific experimentation performed over a hundred years ago to explain how light behaves from the perspective of math and physics. The wave equation has also proved useful in understanding quantum mechanics.

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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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With Data and Resolve, Tacoma Fights Pollution:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Rain and runoff carry pollutants from human activity to the sea in places like Tacoma, Washington. The city has devised a scientific process for identifying sources and pathways of pollution and is making headway in reducing pollutant buildup and damage. By utilizing forensic methods to find the source of pollution and fining polluters, Tacoma is winning the war.

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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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NASA Widens 2014 Hurricane Research Mission:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article focuses on the technology used by NASA for its most recent research being conducted on hurricanes. It describes the technology used as well as the data that is collected. It is an excellent article for explaining how scientists "know what they know" about weather.

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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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Could the Yosemite Rim Fire Be Ecologically Beneficial?:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The Yosemite Rim Fire was the third largest in California's history. This article explains what made it such a devastating event and what could result from this wildfire. The article addresses ideas of succession, human impact, and ecosystems.

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Fetal Development, Human:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. There are many stages of the development of living things. This article focuses on the development of a human being starting at fertilization. The author gives vivid descriptions of each step of the process, breaking these steps into two larger groups: early development and the fetal period.

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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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Yellowstone National Park is a Volcano:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article tells the geologic history of Yellowstone, the volcano. It describes the basic "hot spot" premise and the features resulting from a hot spot in the middle of a continental plate. The article is reassuring about the future of Yellowstone—as it points out, there is no imminent danger, just fascinating geology!

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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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New Magma Layer Found Deep in Earth's Mantle?:

This informational text is intended to support reading in the content area. The National Geographic article discusses models and theories that shed new light on the structure of Earth's layers, including new evidence to suggest a molten later of rock trapped deep in the Earth's mantle.

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Starless Cloud Cores Reveal Why Some Stars are Bigger than Others:

This informational text is intended to support reading in the content area. The article explains that astronomers are trying to find out why stars outside our galaxy are so much larger based on what we know about star formation and chemical make-up.

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400,000-Year-Old Human DNA Adds New Tangle to our Origin Story :

Modern DNA extraction methods have shed light on two extinct human cousin species. Scientists are finding new ways to study fossil mitochondrial DNA which have led to rethinking how groups of early humans should be divided evolutionarily.

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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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Scientists Now Uncertain About Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article reports on scientists" findings that refute an aspect of Heisenberg" uncertainty principle. The article describes the principle and what the new results mean for its future.

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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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Stars:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article traces the evolution of the star by mass. It discusses white dwarfs, novas, supernovas, neutron stars, and black holes.

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Berkeley Scientists Discover Inexpensive Metal Catalyst for Generating Hydrogen from Water:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The article demonstrates the importance of hydrogen as an alternative to fossil fuels and announces the discovery of a new catalyst useful in splitting water molecules to obtain hydrogen gas. Current methods of obtaining hydrogen from natural gas, for example, release carbon and consume large amounts of energy. This new catalyst opens the possibility of making hydrogen production much less expensive and carbon neutral as compared to current technologies.

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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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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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A Hotter World is Also Hungrier, Report Warns:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The article explores the large-scale effect of hunger as a result of climate change fueled by man-made greenhouse gases.

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Faster than the Speed of Light:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The article discusses how neutrinos seem to be arriving at their destination slightly faster than mathematically calculated and describes how the discovery of new scientific evidence must undergo scrutiny from many angles before being accepted.

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Human DNA Is Not A Document, It's An App:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article discusses the relevance of the new findings regarding DNA coding and uses seven technological metaphors (i.e. Apps and Zappos) to compare DNA coding to contemporary physics.

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Salty Surprise: Ordinary Table Salt Turns into 'Forbidden' Forms:

This informational text is intended to support reading in the content area. Scientists use normal table salt and expose it to extreme conditions to create new compounds that defy the classical rules of chemistry. These new compounds may help to produce better products with new applications and understand planetary cores.

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Remote Sheep Population Resists Genetic Drift:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article describes a mouflon population located on a remote island in the Indian Ocean. This population of sheep was transplanted to Haute Island over 50 years ago. Recent studies show that the population has maintained its genetic diversity. This finding challenges scientists' beliefs about the theories of genetic drift and shows the power of natural selection.

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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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What is Cancer? What Causes Cancer?:

This informational text is intended to support reading in the content area. This article both identifies cancer and some of its causes; specifically, the fact that uncontrolled cell growth may result in a cancerous tumor.

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Oceans May Absorb More Carbon Dioxide:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article is about plankton and how they use nutrients like carbon dioxide based on where the plankton are living.

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STEM Lessons - Model Eliciting Activity

House Hunting!:

Students will use criteria such as median home price, neighborhood safety, and likelihood of evacuation during a hurricane to rank a list of neighborhoods in which to shop for a home.

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.