ME.E. The Living Environment: Students understand that cells are the basic unit of life, that all life as we know it has evolved through genetic transfer and natural selection to create a great diversity of organisms, and that these organisms create interdependent webs through which matter and energy flow. Students understand similarities and differences between humans and other organisms and the interconnections of these interdependent webs.
E.1. Biodiversity: Students differentiate among organisms based on biological characteristics and identify patterns of similarity.
E.1.a. Compare physical characteristics that differentiate organisms into groups (including plants that use sunlight to make their own food, animals that consume energy-rich food, and organisms that cannot easily be classified as either).
E.1.b. Explain how biologists use internal and external anatomical features to determine relatedness among organisms and to form the basis for classification systems.
E.2. Ecosystems: Students examine how the characteristics of the physical, non-living (abiotic) environment, the types and behaviors of living (biotic) organisms, and the flow of matter and energy affect organisms and the ecosystem of which they are part.
E.2.b. Describe ways in which two types of organisms may interact (including competition, predator/prey, producer/consumer/decomposer, parasitism, and mutualism) and describe the positive and negative consequences of such interactions.
E.3. Cells: Students describe the hierarchy of organization and function in organisms, and the similarities and differences in structure, function, and needs among and within organisms.
E.3.a. Describe the basic functions of organisms carried out within cells including the extracting of energy from food and the elimination of wastes.
E.5. Evolution: Students describe the evidence that evolution occurs over many generations, allowing species to acquire many of their unique characteristics or adaptations.
E.5.b. Describe how small differences between parents and offspring can lead to descendants who are very different from their ancestors.