Florida Next Generation Sunshine State Standards

Instructor: Jessica Munk
The Next Generation Sunshine State Standards (NGSSS) were created with the goal of providing increased challenges to students and to prepare them for college and careers. Read on to learn more about how these standards are structured. Also, find links to additional resources on to learn more about individual subjects.


The NGSSS organizes science standards by Bodies of Knowledge and Big Ideas. There are four Bodies of Knowledge: nature of science, earth and space science, physical science and life science. These content areas are subdivided into eighteen Big Ideas that are dispersed throughout the K-8 levels. For grades 9-12, the standards are simply organized by the Bodies of Knowledge.

Big Ideas Science Standards topics are:

  1. The Practice of Science
  2. The Characteristics of Scientific Knowledge
  3. The Role of Theories, Laws, Hypotheses, and Models
  4. Science and Society
  5. Earth in Space in Time
  6. Earth Structures
  7. Earth Systems and Patterns
  8. Properties of Matter
  9. Changes in Matter
  10. Forms of Energy
  11. Energy Transfer and Transformations
  12. Motion of Objects
  13. Forces and Changes in Motion
  14. Organization and Development of Living Organisms
  15. Diversity and Evolution of Living Organisms
  16. Heredity and Reproduction
  17. Interdependence
  18. Matter and Energy Transformations

Younger children can get help with science through our Science for Kids course. Middle schoolers can get help with life science, and high schoolers can get help with earth and physical science.


Florida students can take courses in dance, theater, music and visual arts. The standards for these art courses are organized by Big Ideas and Enduring Understandings. The Big Ideas constitute the overarching goals that students should be able to meet, while the Enduring Understandings provide more specific details for each Big Idea.

The Big Ideas for the Florida arts courses are:

  • Critical Thinking and Reflection: Students learn to think creatively and express themselves
  • Skills, Techniques and Processes: Students explore technical skills that are suitable to their grade level
  • Organizational Structure: Students examine the different factors that go into structuring various expressions of art
  • Historical and Global Connections: Students discover how the arts are interconnected across cultures and the historical importance of the arts
  • Innovation, Technology and the Future: Students are encouraged to think creatively about how to apply technology to the arts

Language Standards

The NGSSS provides language standards that include English language conventions and vocabulary. There are also standards for grades K-12 for those students whose native language is something other than English. Additionally, the NGSSS provides standards for those students who wish to learn other languages. These standards encompass novice through superior or advanced student learning. provides a number of courses covering English topics at the elementary, middle and high school levels.


Florida mathematics standards are divided into a number of domains and subdomains that increase in complexity as students progress through grade levels. At the elementary level, standards focus on topics such as basic arithmetic, operation, and measurement, whereas high schoolers meet standards in algebra, geometry, and basic calculus.

Social Studies

NGSSS social studies standards are organized by strands. For grades K-5, those strands are American history, civics and government, economics and geography. Take a look at our Social Studies for Kids course for helpful lessons on these topics. In fourth grade, students are introduced to financial literacy. Middle schoolers continue to learn about these subjects, but they focus on world history rather than American in sixth grade. In high school, students build on their previous studies, and are also introduced to humanities, psychology and sociology.

Physical and Health Education

Physical and health education standards are also organized by strands. In each grade, students are required to meet physical education standards in cognitive abilities, lifetime fitness, movement competency and responsible behaviors and values.

Florida students meet the above standards in the following ways:

  • Elementary school: Physical education required for 150 minutes each week, with at least 30 consecutive minutes per day
  • Middle school: Physical education required for one semester per year
  • High school: One credit of physical education and health required

Florida students are also required to meet health literacy concepts, promotion and responsible behavior standards in each grade level. Students learn about community and consumer health, substance abuse, mental and emotional health and disease prevention. Additionally, they are introduced to topics such as environmental health and Internet safety.

Additional Standards

The NGSSS also provides standards for those students with special needs, such as those with hearing or vision impairments and students who need help with speech. There are also standards for those students who are considered gifted and need additional challenges.

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