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In this lesson, students experience the historical discovery of fossils which increasingly link whales to earlier land-dwelling mammals. This experience also reveals how scientists can make predictions about past events based on the theory that whales evolved from certain groups of early land mammals. Such predictions suggest the age and location of sediments where fossils of early whales would most ... Full description.
Grade level: High (9-12)
Resource type: Lesson plan
Subject: Biology, Paleontology, History and philosophy of science
 
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Educational standards associated with this resource:
National Science Education Standards (NSES): Read
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Misconceptions: Read (2)
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This activity concerns the evolution of three species of lizards on the Canary Islands. Its purpose is to demonstrate to students that evolutionary problems are complex and solutions may involve data from various disciplines of science. First, students must arrive at different phylogenetic solutions using only geographical and geological data. Then they compare the morphology of the species involved, ... Full description.
Grade level: High (9-12), College (13-14)
Resource type: Lesson plan
Subject: Biology, Paleontology
 
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Educational standards associated with this resource:
National Science Education Standards (NSES): Read
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In this lesson students compare differences in amino acids in the beta hemoglobin from representative primates, complete a matrix of those differences, and from these data, construct and interpret cladograms as they reflect relationships and timing of divergence. Full description.
Grade level: High (9-12)
Resource type: Lesson plan
Subject: Biology, Paleontology
 
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Educational standards associated with this resource:
National Science Education Standards (NSES): Read
Pedagogical help
Misconceptions: Read (2)
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This lesson is based on an article that explains what cladistics is, why it is useful, how it is applied, and what its limitations are. Students will learn that biological classification is intimately associated with evolution; that there are many problems encountered in classification, which is evidence that the living world is a work in progress, and evolution provides an explanation for those problems. ... Full description.
Grade level: High (9-12)
Resource type: Lesson plan
Subject: Biology
 
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Educational standards associated with this resource:
National Science Education Standards (NSES): Read
Pedagogical help
Misconceptions: Read (2)
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In this lesson students working in teams classify furniture, share their categories and rationales, then note how their different schemes vary arbitrarily. They then see how living organisms are classified, and note how these groupings are natural, nearly always reflecting the same ancestral relationships in nested hierarchies, regardless of the deeper criteria. Such patterns are revealed with a look ... Full description.
Grade level: High (9-12)
Resource type: Lesson plan
Subject: Biology
 
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Educational standards associated with this resource:
National Science Education Standards (NSES): Read
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Misconceptions: Read (2)
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This lesson on natural selection shows students that population characteristics can change as a result of selective pressures operating over several generations. In the lesson, groups of students go hunting for beans in the lawn. Each group has a different tool (e.g. hand, spoon, fork, etc). There are three different colors of beans. The hunting goes for three rounds (generations), with extinctions ... Full description.
Grade level: High (9-12)
Resource type: Lesson plan
Subject: Biology
 
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Educational standards associated with this resource:
National Science Education Standards (NSES): Read
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Misconceptions: Read (2)
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In this lesson, students will learn that some evolutionary change is rapid and discontinuous, and some change is gradual; how fossil evidence can provide clues to the past; and how speciation may account for evolutionary branching and diversification. Fossil shells of a land snail are arranged by layers of age into a sequence pattern suggesting gradual change, or punctuated equilibria. Students will ... Full description.
Grade level: High (9-12)
Resource type: Lesson plan
Subject: Biology, Paleontology
 
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Educational standards associated with this resource:
National Science Education Standards (NSES): Read
Pedagogical help
Misconceptions: Read (2)
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This site introduces a group of dinosaurs called ornithischians. There were many kinds of ornithischian dinosaurs dating back to the early Jurassic. The Ornithopoda included the hadrosaurs (duck-billed dinosaurs), the iguanodontids, the heterodontosaurs, the hypsilophodontids, and various others. The Ceratopsia included the horned dinosaurs, while the Ankylosauria and Stegosauria (now usually grouped ... Full description.
Grade level: High (9-12), College (13-14), College (15-16)
Resource type: Illustration - scientific, Ref. material
Subject: Paleontology
 
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This description of the fossil record of bacteria focuses on one particular group of bacteria, the cyanobacteria or blue-green algae, which have left a fossil record that extends far back into the Precambrian. The oldest cyanobacteria-like fossils known are nearly 3.5 billion years old and are among the oldest fossils currently known. Cyanobacteria are larger than most bacteria and may secrete a thick ... Full description.
Grade level: High (9-12), College (13-14), Informal
Resource type: Ref. material
Subject: Biology, Geologic time, Paleontology
 
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National Science Education Standards (NSES): Read
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Information on this page pertains to dinoflagellates, the fossil record of which may extend into the Precambrian. Spherical organic-walled microfossils known as acritarchs, some of which may be dinoflagellate hystrichospheres, first appear in rocks about 1.8 billion years old. Exactly what the acritarchs were is not known with certainty; they probably included a number of clades of eukaryotic algae, ... Full description.
Grade level: High (9-12), College (13-14), Informal
Resource type: Ref. material
Subject: Biology, Geologic time, Paleontology
 
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Educational standards associated with this resource:
National Science Education Standards (NSES): Read
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This resource is included in the following collections:
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