GEMS Correlations with the Florida Sunshine State Standards

Grade Level Expectations and Benchmarks for Science
Grades 3-5

Strand G: How Living Things Interact with Their Environments


Return to Sunshine State Standards Page


Standard 1: The student understands the competitive, interdependent, cyclic nature of living things in the environment.

Benchmark SC.G.1.2.1: The student knows ways that plants, animals, and protists interact.

Fourth Grade

1. knows how plants and animals interact with one another in an ecosystem (for example, organization of communities, flow of energy through food webs).

Appropriate GEMS Teacher Guides: Aquatic Habitats, On Sandy Shores, Schoolyard Ecology

2. understands the relationship among organisms in aquatic and terrestrial food chains (for example, the role of producers, consumers, and decomposers).

Appropriate GEMS Teacher Guides: Aquatic Habitats

Fifth Grade

1. understands the various roles of single-celled organisms in the environment.

Appropriate GEMS Teacher Guides: Aquatic Habitats, Environmental Detectives

Benchmark SC.G.1.2.2: The student knows that living things compete in a climatic region with other living things and that structural adaptations make them fit for an environment.

Third Grade

1. knows how organisms with similar needs in a climatic region compete with one another for resources such as food, water, oxygen, or space.

Appropriate GEMS Teacher Guides: Aquatic Habitats, Buzzing a Hive, Schoolyard Ecology

2. knows behavioral and structural adaptations that allow plants and animals to survive in an environment.

Appropriate GEMS Teacher Guides: Aquatic Habitats, Buzzing a Hive, On Sandy Shores, Schoolyard Ecology

Fifth Grade


1. understands how changes in the environment affect organisms (for example, some organisms move in, others move out; some organisms survive and reproduce, others die).

Appropriate GEMS Teacher Guides: Aquatic Habitats, Environmental Detectives, Mapping Animal Movements, Only One Ocean, Schoolyard Ecology

Benchmark SC.G.1.2.3: The student knows that green plants use carbon dioxide, water, and sunlight energy to turn minerals and nutrients into food for growth, maintenance, and reproduction.

Fifth Grade

1. knows that green plants use carbon dioxide, water, and sunlight energy to turn minerals and nutrients into food for growth, maintenance, and reproduction.

Appropriate GEMS Teacher Guides: Aquatic Habitats, Environmental Detectives

Benchmark SC.G.1.2.4: The student knows that some organisms decompose dead plants and animals into simple minerals and nutrients for use by living things and thereby recycle matter.

Fourth Grade

1. knows organisms that act as decomposers.

Appropriate GEMS Teacher Guides: Aquatic Habitats, On Sandy Shores, Schoolyard Ecology

2. understands the need for nutrients and minerals for living organisms.

Appropriate GEMS Teacher Guides: Aquatic Habitats, On Sandy Shores, Schoolyard Ecology

3. understands the process of decay (for example, the stages of decay, the organisms that help the decay process, the nonliving factors that influence the rate of decay, the products of decay).

Appropriate GEMS Teacher Guides: Aquatic Habitats, On Sandy Shores

Benchmark SC.G.1.2.5: The student knows that animals eat plants or other animals to acquire the energy they need for survival.

Third Grade

1. understands that energy is transferred to living organisms through the food they eat.

Appropriate GEMS Teacher Guides: Aquatic Habitats, Buzzing a Hive, Schoolyard Ecology

2. knows examples of living things that are classified as producers, consumers, carnivores, herbivores, and omnivores.

Appropriate GEMS Teacher Guides: Aquatic Habitats

Benchmark SC.G.1.2.6: The student knows that organisms are growing, dying, and decaying and that new organisms are being produced from the materials of dead organisms.


Fourth Grade

1. knows that organisms are growing, dying, and decaying and that new organisms are being produced.

Appropriate GEMS Teacher Guides: Aquatic Habitats, On Sandy Shores

Benchmark SC.G.1.2.7: The student knows that variations in light, water, temperature, and soil content are largely responsible for the existence of different kinds of organisms and population densities in an ecosystem.

Fourth Grade

1. knows that variations in light, water, temperature, and soil content are largely responsible for the existence of different kinds of organisms and population densities in an ecosystem.

Appropriate GEMS Teacher Guides: Schoolyard Ecology

Standard 2: The student understands the consequences of using limited natural resources.

Benchmark SC.G.2.2.1: The student knows that all living things must compete for Earth’s limited resources; organisms best adapted to compete for the available resources will be successful and pass their adaptations (traits) to their offspring.


Third Grade

1. understands that plants and animals share and compete for limited resources such as oxygen, water, food, and space.

Appropriate GEMS Teacher Guides: Aquatic Habitats, Buzzing a Hive, Schoolyard Ecology

Fourth Grade

1. knows the kinds of organisms that lived in the past and compares them to existing species.

2. knows characteristics that allow members within a species to survive and reproduce.

Appropriate GEMS Teacher Guides: Aquatic Habitats, On Sandy Shores, Schoolyard Ecology

Fifth Grade

1. knows that adaptations to their environment may increase the survival of a species.

Appropriate GEMS Teacher Guides: Animals in Action, Aquatic Habitats, Environmental Detectives, Mapping Animal Movements, Only One Ocean, Schoolyard Ecology

Benchmark SC.G.2.2.2: The student knows that the size of a population is dependent upon the available resources within its community.

Third Grade


1. knows that the size of a population is dependent upon the available resources within its community.

Appropriate GEMS Teacher Guides: Aquatic Habitats, Schoolyard Ecology

Benchmark SC.G.2.2.3: The student understands that changes in the habitat of an organism may be beneficial or harmful.

Fourth Grade

1. understands patterns of interdependency in ecological systems.

Appropriate GEMS Teacher Guides: Aquatic Habitats, On Sandy Shores

2. understands that what benefits one organism may be harmful to other organisms.

Appropriate GEMS Teacher Guides: Aquatic Habitats

1. understands that changes in an ecological system usually affect the whole system.

Appropriate GEMS Teacher Guides: Aquatic Habitats, On Sandy Shores

Lawrence Hall of Science    © 2017 UC Regents. All rights reserved.    Contact GEMS    Updated February 06, 2015