• dusting of snow on Joshua trees and mountains near Juniper Flat

    Joshua Tree

    National Park California

Tortoise, Tortoise (in-class)

The education team is actively reviewing the list of in-park and in-class programs that are offered. We are evaluating our current programs to ensure that what is taught, and how it is taught, aligns with the NGSS philosophy of emphasizing practices and processes over passive knowledge.

As we make changes, we welcome you to contact us with any comments or suggestions.
Content Standards for California Public Schools

Grade seven — Evolution: 3. Biological evolution accounts for the diversity of species developed through gradual processes over many generations. As a basis for understanding this concept: a. Students know both genetic variation and environmental factors are causes of evolution and diversity of organisms. c. Students know how independent lines of evidence from geology, fossils, and comparative anatomy provide the bases for the theory of evolution. d. Students know how to construct a simple branching diagram to classify living groups of organisms by shared derived characteristics and how to expand the diagram to include fossil organisms.

Grade seven — Structure and Function in Living Systems: 5. The anatomy and physiology of plants and animals illustrate the complementary nature of structure and function. As a basis for understanding this concept: a. Students know plants and animals have levels of organization for structure and function, including cells, tissues, organs, organ systems, and the whole organism. b. Students know organ systems function because of the contributions of individual organs, tissues, and cells. The failure of any part can affect the entire system. c. Students know how bones and muscles work together to provide a structural framework for movement.

Grade seven — Investigation and Experimentation: 7. Scientific progress is made by asking meaningful questions and conducting careful investigations. As a basis for understanding this concept and addressing the content in the other three strands, students should develop their own questions and perform investigations. Students will: a. Select and use appropriate tools and technology (including calculators, computers, balances, spring scales, microscopes, and binoculars) to perform tests, collect data, and display data. b. Use a variety of print and electronic resources (including the World Wide Web) to collect information and evidence as part of a research project. c. Communicate the logical connection among hypotheses, science concepts, tests conducted, data collected, and conclusions drawn from the scientific evidence. d. Construct scale models, maps, and appropriately labeled diagrams to communicate scientific knowledge (e.g., motion of Earth’s plates and cell structure). e. Communicate the steps and results from an investigation in written reports and oral presentations.

Language Arts

Grade seven — 2.0 Reading Comprehension (Focus on Informational Materials): Students read and understand grade-level-appropriate material. They describe and connect the essential ideas, arguments, and perspectives of the text by using their knowledge of text structure, organization, and purpose. Structural Features of Informational Materials: 2.1 Understand and analyze the differences in structure and purpose between various categories of informational materials (e.g., textbooks, newspapers, instructional manuals, signs). 2.2 Locate information by using a variety of consumer, workplace, and public documents. 2.3 Analyze text that uses the cause-and-effect organizational pattern.

Grade seven — Writing Strategies: Research and Technology: 1.4 Identify topics; ask and evaluate questions; and develop ideas leading to inquiry, investigation, and research.

Grade seven — Writing Applications (Genres and Their Characteristics): 2.3 Write research reports: a. Pose relevant and tightly drawn questions about the topic. b. Convey clear and accurate perspectives on the subject. c. Include evidence compiled through the formal research process (e.g., use of a card catalog, Reader’s Guide to Periodical Literature, a computer catalog, magazines, newspapers, dictionaries). d. Document reference sources by means of footnotes and a bibliography.

Grade seven — Listening and Speaking Strategies: Comprehension: 1.1 Ask probing questions to elicit information, including evidence to support the speaker’s claims and conclusions.


Grade seven — Measurement and Geometry: 1.0 Students choose appropriate units of measure and use ratios to convert within and between measurement systems to solve problems: 1.1 Compare weights, capacities, geometric measures, times, and temperatures within and between measurement systems (e.g., miles per hour and feet per second, cubic inches to cubic centimeters).

Grade seven — Statistics, Data Analysis, and Probability: 1.0 Students collect, organize, and represent data sets that have one or more variables and identify relationships among variables within a data set by hand and through the use of an electronic spreadsheet software program: 1.1 Know various forms of display for data sets, including a stem-and-leaf plot or box-and-whisker plot; use the forms to display a single set of data or to compare two sets of data.

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