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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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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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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 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
Pedagogical help
Misconceptions: Read (2)
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Pedagogically Annotated Collection     Browse collection
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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
 
Choosing & Using this resource...
Educational standards associated with this resource:
National Science Education Standards (NSES): Read
Pedagogical help
Misconceptions: Read (2)
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Pedagogically Annotated Collection     Browse collection
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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
 
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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 learn that degrees of biological relationship can be inferred from comparisons of selected molecules. Students are guided through a process in which three questions are addressed by retrieving beta hemoglobin sequences from online databases. They then use online tools to compare those sequences in student-selected animals. The questions addressed are: whether bats are birds ... Full description.
Grade level: High (9-12)
Resource type: Computer activity, 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 read and discuss selected and edited excerpts from the essays of Stephen Jay Gould on the subject of contrivances. Students learn that many features of modern organisms reflect the structure of their ancestors in ways that are not adaptive. They also learn that one of the best indicators of evolution is not the examples of perfect adaptations, but of the relatively imperfect ... Full description.
Grade level: High (9-12), College (13-14)
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, each student is given a block of wood and a screw (or nail), and is asked to put the screw into the block, without any tool (like a screwdriver or hammer). Their efforts, with varying success, lead to a discussion of contrivances, using various items and strategies as make-do (contrived) tools for which they were not intended, and an exploration of many examples of contrivances or ... Full description.
Grade level: Middle (6-8), 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 are given a variety of materials and are asked to design a heat loss experiment that will result in a reasonable explanation of why whales do not have legs. Students will learn that natural selection favors a body design that is energy efficient. Full description.
Grade level: Middle (6-8), 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
Assessments: Read (1)
Misconceptions: Read (2)
Related resources and collections
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