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In this lesson amino acid sequences in cytochrome-c are compared for several different animals, and the number of differences found are used to infer degrees of relationship. This data is also compared with a cladogram constructed for those same animals from their anatomical features, providing an example of independent confirmation. 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 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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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
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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
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Misconceptions: Read (2)
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This lesson introduces students to the building of cladograms as evolutionary trees showing how "shared derived characters" can be used to reveal degrees of relationship. Given some groups of organisms and some of their distinguishing characteristics, the students will construct a cladogram. Given a cladogram, the students will properly interpret and analyze that cladogram in terms of recognizing ... 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 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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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 learn how classification of organisms is based on evolutionary relationships. They will also learn how primates are categorized, and how they are related. Students transfer examples (names) of primates from their location in an outline hierarchy of primate groups into a set of nested boxes reflecting that same hierarchy. A cladogram can then be drawn illustrating how these ... Full description.
Grade level: High (9-12)
Resource type: Lesson plan
Subject: Biology
 
Choosing & Using this resource...
Educational standards associated with this resource:
National Science Education Standards (NSES): Read
Pedagogical help
Misconceptions: Read (2)
Related resources and collections
This resource is included in the following collections:
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