MS-LS3-1: Mutations - Harmful, Beneficial or Neutral

Develop and use a model to describe why structural changes to genes (mutations) located on chromosomes may affect proteins and may result in harmful, beneficial, or neutral effects to the structure and function of the organism.

Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on conceptual understanding that changes in genetic material may result in making different proteins.

Assessment Boundary: Assessment does not include specific changes at the molecular level, mechanisms for protein synthesis, or specific types of mutations.


The following assessments were created by science teachers hoping to better understand the NGSS. In most cases teachers went from standard to assessment in around an hour.  These are drafts and should be used accordingly. Feel free to improve these assessments or contribute to the collection. Learn more about assessment design here.




Traits of organisms
 - Harmful
 - Beneficial
 - Neutral
Structure and function 


Learning Plans


*Next Generation Science Standards is a registered trademark of Achieve. Neither Achieve nor the lead states and partners that developed the Next Generation Science Standards were involved in the production of this product, and do not endorse it.  Visit the official NGSS website.