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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
Pedagogical help
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
Pedagogical help
Misconceptions: Read (2)
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This resource is included in the following collections:
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This lesson uses a discrepant event to pique curiosity and provide an excellent metaphor for a problem in science that can be addressed in a scientific way. Water is poured into a magic box, and out comes a much larger volume of water (or other liquid). Students will learn that science is uncertain because scientists can make more than one workable model to explain their observations. Full description.
Grade level: Middle (6-8), High (9-12)
Resource type: Lesson plan
Subject: 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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Assessments: Read (1)
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In this lesson students plot the times of existence for the several species of hominids on a two-dimensional time line chart. The lesson can be expanded to include new discoveries and relative divergence of ape lines. 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 compares in detail the banding patterns seen on stained chromosomes from humans and chimpanzees, showing striking similarities. Possible evolutionary relationships are explored, as are the chromosomes and relationships of other apes. 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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This lesson uses a series of nested plastic bags as a 3-dimensional Venn diagram to illustrate the hierarchical grouping of organisms based on their shared derived characters, thus forming the basis of a cladogram. Students will learn that the groups-within-groups hierarchical pattern of Linnaean classification is a result of both extinction and branching from common descent. 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 demonstrates how natural selection operates, using different colored paper chips to represent prey and a piece of fabric as a background (the environment). The predator (student) will hunt (select chips) to show that the best adapted, by color, are NOT chosen, and others which are poorly adapted (by standing out) ARE chosen (removed). Thus, the best adapted survive and reproduce to pass ... 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 a video of recent field work on a twenty-two year study of finch beaks on a small island in the Galapagos, showing natural selection clearly operating in the wild. The video (which must be purchased) includes vignettes of the life of Darwin, and the Grant family working and living on the island. The lesson includes a video-notes worksheet, which helps to guide viewing for students, ... 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 contrived natural selection simulation has students build and modify simple paper airplanes (Origami Birds). They demonstrate that: mutations occur randomly; selection is based on the immediate needs of the organism; inherited characteristics (whether mutated or not) are contingent; divergent evolution may occur when sub-populations face different environments; convergent evolution may result ... 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)
Related resources and collections
This resource is included in the following collections:
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