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In this lesson about speciation and its role in evolution, different subspecies of a California salamander are placed on a grid map of California according to where samples were collected. Discussion focuses on patterns of their distribution, their likely evolutionary relationships, and probable sequence of formation from the original form (speciation). 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 lab activity, students explore how organisms are able to survive the extreme environmental conditions found in the Polar regions. Students will design experiments using Tardigrades and rotifers to expand their knowledge and understanding of normal behavior followed by experiments to explore anhydrobiosis. Full description.
Grade level: Middle (6-8), High (9-12)
Resource type: Lab activity
Subject: Biology
 
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Skills: Read (1)
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In this Starting Point investigative case, students will explore niche competition and population ecology by developing plans for species density studies. They will also develop a plan to re-establish a species (the woodpecker) in an area where there are almost none left. Users can access information regarding learning goals, context for use, teaching notes and tips, teaching materials, assessment ... Full description.
Grade level: College (13-14), College (15-16), Graduate / Professional
Resource type: Case study, Guide for instructor
Subject: Biology, Ecology
 
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Assessments: Read (1)
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In this lesson students describe, measure and compare cranial casts from contemporary apes (chimpanzees and gorillas, typically), modern humans and fossil hominids (erect and bipedal forms evolutionarily separated from apes). The purpose of the lesson is for students to discover for themselves what some of the similarities and differences are that exist between these forms and to see the pattern of ... 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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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
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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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In this lesson students use real data to develop likely phylogenies for seven related populations of lizards living on the Canary Islands (off the west coast of Africa). Three phylogenetic charts will be constructed, each using different forms of data: geography, geology, morphology, and molecular genetics (DNA comparisons). The lesson serves as an example of MILE: Multiple Independent Line of Evidence, ... Full description.
Grade level: High (9-12)
Resource type: Lesson plan
Subject: Biology, Physical geography
 
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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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In this evolution lesson, two sets of simulated fossils (caminalcules) are provided as cutouts. Students arrange them on two time scales. One set produces a visual example of gradualism; the other shows punctuated equilibria. Students will learn the following concepts: some evolutionary change is rapid and discontinuous, and some change is gradual; fossil patterns can provide clues to the past; and ... 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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In this lab activity using M&M candy, students will explore the concepts of radioactive decay and dating. Students generate a radioactive decay table to simplify the math, use their data to plot a decay graph, develop the concept of half-life, and then use the graph to find the age of a mummified seal in Wright Valley, Antarctica. In a follow-up exercise, students will solve a mysterious Arctic ... Full description.
Grade level: Middle (6-8)
Resource type: Lab activity
Subject: Biology, Geologic time
 
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Educational standards associated with this resource:
National Science Education Standards (NSES): Read
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Misconceptions: Read (1)
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