According to the CT Science Standards, fourth graders are expected to master matter and energy in an ecosystem. Students are assessed through the CMT on how all organisms, living and non-living are dependent upon the environment for survival. They will be expected to know and understand that when the environment changes, and ways in which they are responsible for the conservation of natural resources. Additionally, this unit is aligned with New Haven Pubic Schools' goals for students which say "What students learn in school must be relevant to the world in which they live. The learning that takes place in schools is not only academic, but also social and personal. It is profound and must be relevant to the world in which they live.
Looking ahead at what awaits us in education, lies the Common Core Standards. Common Core Standards explicitly state that selective non-fiction text will build a coherent knowledge across curriculums as well as give students essential opportunities to gather evidence, knowledge and insight in order to be able to own and demonstrate their learning. Standard 1: Science as Inquiry: The competent science teacher understands scientific inquiry and has the ability to conduct scientific inquiry. Standard 2:
Technological Design: The competent science teacher understands the concepts, principles and processes of technological design. Standard 4: Organisms and Ecosystems:
The competent science teacher understands and can apply concepts that describe how living things interact with each other and with their environment. Standard 5: Matter and Energy: The competent science teacher understands the nature and properties of energy in its various forms, and the processes by which energy is exchanged and/or transformed. Standard 10: Science, Technology and Society: The competent science teacher understands the interaction among science, technology and society, including historical and contemporary development of major scientific ideas and technological innovations. These standards in conjunction with the current state standards that say all organisms depend on the living and nonliving features of the environment for survival, energy in the earth's systems and how external and internal sources of energy affect the earth's systems.