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In this lesson students will examine how evolution has been scientifically explained historically. In doing so, students will examine the arguments and theories set forth by three historically important scientists: Jean Baptiste Lamarck, Alfred Russel Wallace, and Charles Darwin. The purpose of this lesson, however, is not to begin to make comparisons, but simply to help students understand how arguments ... Full description.
Grade level: High (9-12)
Resource type: Lesson plan
Subject: Biology, History and philosophy of science
 
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In this lesson, students will learn firsthand, by reading his journal entries and letters, how Darwin arrived at his theory. They also will gain a better sense of Darwin's journey and the role it played in his scientific career. In the first activity, Darwin's Great Voyage of Discovery, students will read his account of his voyage on the Beagle and see how this experience inspired him to devote the ... Full description.
Grade level: High (9-12)
Resource type: Guide for instructor, Lesson plan
Subject: Biology, History and philosophy of science
 
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This lesson will help students develop an understanding of natural selection, specifically, how it unfolds from generation to generation. The Motivation section introduces a species of bird that became (over millions of years) numerous species, through adaptation. The Development section is a hands-on activity that demonstrates how populations change little by little, generation by generation, due ... Full description.
Grade level: High (9-12)
Resource type: Lesson plan
Subject: Biology
 
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This information will introduce students to Darwin's model of natural selection in the same way that they learned about Paley and Lamarck. First, they will read an excerpt from Origin of Species and answer questions about it. Then, they will have an opportunity to consider the example of artificial selection (like pigeons or dogs) and think about how this process relates to Darwin's argument. Finally, ... Full description.
Grade level: High (9-12), College (13-14)
Resource type: Classroom activity, Guide for instructor
Subject: Biology, History and philosophy of science
 
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This lesson provides an opportunity for students to extend their understanding of the three models studied in previous lessons by using them to explain phenomena and by comparing them to one another. Students will work in groups to use the models of Paley, Lamarck, and Darwin to explain the origin of complex structures like the eye, the existence of fossils, and the variety of pigeon breeds. They ... Full description.
Grade level: High (9-12), College (13-14)
Resource type: Guide for instructor, Lesson plan
Subject: Biology, History and philosophy of science
 
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National Science Education Standards (NSES): Read
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The first section of this site, Illustrations from the Hall of Planet Earth, has two informative overviews about ice ages and Earth's orbit. In another section, Gowganda Conglomerate from the Huronian Supergroup in the Hall of Planet Earth, there are two images of this rock formed from the debris of ancient glaciers, and a video (with a printable PDF transcript) explaining how conglomerates are formed. ... Full description.
Grade level: High (9-12), College (13-14)
Resource type: Photograph, Video, Ref. material
Subject: Climatology, Geology
 
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These are the teaching notes for a case study that deals with the question "Was there past life on Mars?" This issue received attention in 1996 when a group of scientists associated with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) held a press conference where they revealed evidence favoring the presence of life on Mars billions of years ago. These findings were publicized days in advance ... Full description.
Grade level: High (9-12), College (13-14)
Resource type: Classroom activity, Case study, Guide for instructor
Subject: Policy issues, Space science
 
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This lesson plan is part of the DiscoverySchool.com lesson plan library for grades 9-12. It focuses on nuclear reactions, specifically fusion which creates energy on the Sun. Other types of reactions are radioactive decay and fission. Students look at these different types of reactions and learn about how they happen, and specifics about the Sun such as solar flares, neutrinos, and solar energy. It ... Full description.
Grade level: High (9-12)
Resource type: Lesson plan
Subject: Physics, Space science
 
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This lesson is based on an essay by Stephen Jay Gould and on the related reading guide. It addresses the issue of cladistics and some of the problems encountered in the science of Systematics. Students will learn that biological classification is intimately associated with evolution. They will also learn that there are many problems encountered in classification, providing evidence that the living ... Full description.
Grade level: High (9-12)
Resource type: Lesson plan
Subject: Biology
 
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Misconceptions: Read (2)
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In this lesson, students read and discuss articles presenting two alternative theories about the extinction of dinosaurs. They are encouraged to use the criteria that scientists use to get the best solution. Students will learn that: some evolutionary change is rapid and discontinuous; extinction plays in role in macroevolution; and scientists use specific criteria in deciding which theory is better. ... Full description.
Grade level: High (9-12)
Resource type: Lesson plan
Subject: Biology, Paleontology
 
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National Science Education Standards (NSES): Read
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