Endnotes on final page(s) include comments on particular concepts, including instructional strategies, limits to student understanding, and additional explanation.
Key vocabulary is indicated in the grade span it is introduced.
Figure 1. Features of the concept and skill progressions, using Plate Tectonics as an example.
Concept and Skill Progression forHumanAnatomy & Physiology The progression if organized in five core ideas: That organisms carry out functions at different levels of organization simultaneously; that information flows within and between the cells and between the environment and the organism; that homeostasis maintains an internal environment at a “steady state”; that the laws of physics that apply to inanimate objects also apply to living systems and can explain physiological phenomena; and that living organisms depend upon matter and energy transfer and transformations. Embedded within these core ideas, are six body systems that students come to understand: The cardiovascular system and the respiratory system (Levels of Organization); The nervous system and the reproductive system (Information Flow); The gastrointestinal system and the musculoskeletal system (Matter and Energy Transfer and Transformations). The inclusion of homeostasis and causal relationships in the document are significant because it places an emphasis on processes by which many physiological mechanisms are governed.
Before instruction students have direct contact with their bodies and have observed life, vertebrate, invertebrate, and plants around them. They realize there are certain factors, environment, food, water, and lack of predation, etc. that are necessary to keep things alive. There are different stages of life, being born, getting older, and growing taller and heavier. Students have a general sense about alive or dead.1 Conceptual Stepping Stones
Early elementary students know that living things need water, food, and air. Students know that exercise and proper diet is healthy. Students can describe why drugs, smoking, and alcohol are unhealthy. Students understand, like other organisms, humans vary in size, shape, skin color, body hair, facial features, muscle strength, handedness, and more. Students know females have babies and males do not. Students learn that germs, too small to see, can affect the human body causing fever and other symptoms of illness.
Later elementary students can explain that the human body is made of different organs and more importantly that the different organ systems work together (respiratory-circulation, circulation-digestive). Students realize that different factors influence both physical and mental growth such as proper nutrition, exercise, and sleep. Students understand life cycles (babies needs are different from grandparents needs). Students understand humans have the ability to engage in learning and use the knowledge. Students understand some environmental effects on humans, such as air pollution, pollen in the spring, or lack of food resources and water.
Middle school students understand structural and functional relationships such as an increase in surface area of the lungs allows for increase gas exchange, or the larger the muscle the more work it can do. Students learn that there are different types of cells and that cells makeup the body. They understand there is a network of cell organelles that provide unique functions that allow the cell to function properly. Students can describe levels of organization of the human body; cells, tissues, organs, and organ systems. Students understand the various types of tissue such as fat, muscle, bone, etc. Students know that disease is a breakdown of body systems and can be caused by many different things. Students can describe heredity as a passing of DNA, found in the nucleus of gamete cells, from one generation to the next. Students develop an understanding of risks and benefits in health.
High school students learn that the human body is made of exceptionally organized arrangement of differentiated cells that derived from a single cell and the genes of an individual’s somatic cells are all the same and are made up of DNA molecules providing instruction for cellular activities. Students understand genes are inherited from parents and know different genes control differentiation of cells. Students will gain knowledge about how cells are able communicate with other cells and function optimally within a narrow range of temperature and acidity. Students examine how organisms are able to obtain and use resources to grow, reproduce, and maintain stable internal conditions while living in a constantly changing external environment. Students can explain that chemical reactions of metabolism are necessary for cellular functions. Students understand cells get energy from food to maintain internal activity and that cells must get rid of waste. Students understand how energy is temporarily stored in phosphate bonds of ATP. Students understand normal body functioning and the interaction of body systems to be able to predict what happens to the function when hereditary and environmental situations occur. Students understand how exercise improves cardiovascular endurance and can use mathematics to determine the changes.