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A Peek At the Past: Fossil Patterns - Gradualism vs. Punctuated Equilibria
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 speciation explains evolutionary branching and diversification.
Intended for grade levels:
  • High (9-12)
Type of resource:
  • For the classroom:
    • Lesson plan
Subject:
  • Biology
  • Geological Sciences:
    • Paleontology
Technical requirements:
Adobe Acrobat reader
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-000-000-004-822
Educational standards:
  • National Science Education Standards (NSES):
    • 9-12:
      • Unifying concepts and processes:
        • Evidence, models, and explanation
        • Form and function
        • Systems, order, and organization
      • A - Science as inquiry:
        • Abilities necessary to do scientific 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: William F. McComas

Author: Brian J. Alters