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Big Idea
Evolution of animals has led to new classification systems and complex body structures.
Essential Questions
What is an animal? Explain the 7 essential functions used to describe each phylum of animal. Why do we look at these specific functions?
What relationships exist between animals?  How do these relationships impact our ecosystem?

Identify the relationships among organisms within populations, communities, ecosystems, and biomes.
Analyze how patterns in the fossil record, nuclear chemistry, geology, molecular biology, and geographical distribution give support to the theory of organic evolution through natural selection over billions of years and the resulting present day biodiversity.
Analyze, using a biological classification system (i.e., cladistics, phylogeny, morphology, DNA analysis), the degree of relatedness among various species.
Predict how a change in an environmental factor (e.g., rainfall, habitat loss, non-native species) can affect the number and diversity of species in an ecosystem.
Science & Engineering Practices
Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions
Constructing explanations and designing solutions in 9–12 builds on K–8 experiences and progresses to explanations and designs that are supported by multiple and independent student-generated sources of evidence consistent with scientific ideas, principles, and theories.
  • Design, evaluate, and refine a solution to a complex real-world problem, based on scientific knowledge, student-generated sources of evidence, prioritized criteria, and tradeoff considerations. (HS-LS2-7)
Content/Core Ideas
  • An animal is a multicellular, eukaryotic, heterotroph.
  • Animals carry out the following essential functions: feeding (digestion), respiration, circulation, excretion, response, movement, and reproduction.  
  • How animals carry out the essential functions allows scientists to classify/organize animals into groups and determine the origin of different animals.
  • All animals are part of symbiotic and/or competitive relationships with other organisms (plants, animals, fungi...).  
  • Symbiotic relationships help define our ecosystem as organisms work together to survive.  
  • Competitive relationships are key in preventing or fixing problems with overpopulation.
Learning Practices
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.11-12.7 Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., quantitative data, video, multimedia) in order to address a question or solve a problem.

Design and use graphic organizers to show relationships between and within content topics (flowcharts, venn diagrams, cladograms, mind maps...).

Active Engagement Partner work:  Students work with partner(s) to solve basic problems, build models, think pair share...
Academic Vocabulary
These are SOME ways to assess students knowledge and understanding of the content.
  • Students will complete a graphic organizer that defines and provides written examples as well as pictures to describe the essential functions of animals.
  • Students will create an imaginary ecosystem that includes both symbiotic and competitive relationships and be able to explain how the organisms interact and what happens if a CHANGE takes place within the ecosystem