Organismal Behavior in NGSS

I have been wrestling with how to tackle the new behavior standards in NGSS since this past summer, and the time has finally hit where we jumped in.

I interpret this standard to cover organism behavior:

HS-LS1-3. Plan and conduct an investigation to provide evidence that feedback mechanisms maintain homeostasis.

In the clarification statement it specifically references stomata function, so this is where we went.  I found this year that the old AP Transpiration lab is an excellent fit in a general biology classroom.  I am using the following timeline:

  1. Day One – Design experiments, identify independent variables, setup experiment.

    Stomata Image
    Quick Dry Nail Polish Impression of Pansy Stomata
  2. Weekend
  3. Day Two – Collect final mass, calculate percent change, take stomata impressions.
  4. Day Three – Graph data, lab analysis, complete reports.
  5. Day Four (Block Day) – Research stomata function and identify the underlying feedback that led to the observed data in the report, produce writing product explaining the connection.

The data is fairly accessible, the math is manageable but gives good practice, they get some microscope practice early in the year, and the writing product will make your common core advocates happy.  I wasn’t super excited about this lab going in, but at $1.50 per six pack of flowers I could run the whole experiment in my large classes very inexpensively using small pansies I bought from Lowes.  I have linked to my materials and would recommend giving it a try if you are looking for a good standards-aligned behavior lab.


Water Management Lab Handout

Behavior Research Assignment Handout

Procedure Video: