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What, If Anything, is a Zebra?
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 world is a work in progress. Evolution provides an explanation for those problems.
Intended for grade levels:
  • High (9-12)
Type of resource:
  • For the classroom:
    • Lesson plan
  • Biology
Technical requirements:
No specific technical requirements, just a browser required
Cost / Copyright:
No cost
Copyright 1999 ENSI (Evolution and the Nature of Science Institutes). This material may be copied only for noncommercial classroom teaching purposes, and only if this source is clearly cited.
DLESE Catalog ID: DLESE-000-000-004-800
Educational standards:
  • National Science Education Standards (NSES):
    • 9-12:
      • Unifying concepts and processes:
        • Evidence, models, and explanation
        • Systems, order, and organization
      • A - Science as inquiry:
        • Understandings about scientific inquiry
      • C - Life science:
        • Biological evolution
      • G - History and nature of science:
        • Nature of scientific knowledge
Resource contact / Creator / Publisher:
Publisher: Evolution and the Nature of Science Institutes

Author: Craig Nelson
Evolution and the Nature of Science Institutes

Contributor: Larry Flammer
Evolution and the Nature of Science Institutes