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Evolution Teacher Resources
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Evolution is a controversial topic. Here is a series of lessons which attempt to present a positive and non-controversial view of the theory of biological evolution. Through journal activity, writing, lecture, and other activities, seventh graders are exposed to Darwin's theory of evolution. As the culminating activity, learners are required to examine other theories of biological evolution. This 24-page plan has everything you need to successfully implement the lesson plan and its activities.
Teens experience natural selection firsthand (or first beak) in an activity that has them act as finches foraging for food. Using different household items (tweezers, chopsticks, plastic spoons, etc.) to act as different beak styles, your little finches will collect as much food as they can from the sources available. After a storm limits the food supply and isolates the finches on different islands, they will have to see if their adaptations prove to be an asset or a death sentence. Throughout the activity, the finches will double as field biologists, recording data and reporting it out to the class.
Students examine how Darwin used the processes of science to support his theory. They distinguish between artificial and natural selection, recognize Darwin's contribution to science. They produce a newspaper describing the times in which Darwin introduced his theory of natural selection, reporting the public reaction to his theory.
If you teach AP English language and composition and are looking for a way to address the differences between written and spoken arguments, consider this lesson. Over the course of three days, class members research Charles Darwin or John Paul II, write a speech in the voice of their subject, determine the two best writing samples through consensus, and analyze these for diction, syntax, bias, and figurative language. Lastly, they write either a timed or take home comparison essay.
Students are introduced to how the process of evolution works. As a class, they review the characteristics of natural selection and how those with advantageous traits reproduce and survive. To test this theory of natural selection, they test who can put nails into a block of wood without any modern day machinery. To end the lesson, they compare their results to see who was the fittest.
The extent to which "Fittest" can describe social success versus reproductive success is explored. Evolution may not always lead to a more desirable trait, just the one which best suits the current environment. The idea of intelligent design can be reconciled with evolution by acknowledging system design as a whole and the brilliance of adaptation. This video clearly avoids negating one argument for the sake of the other and highlights ways to incorporate both at a critical level of thinking.
Students work in groups to investigate and present genetic variation, adaptation, and sexual selection as it relates to evolution. In this evolution lesson, students watch a video discuss how the human eye could evolve due to natural selection. They view more videos and research three aspects of evolution. They present their findings to the class and discuss the evolution of different finch beaks on the Galapagos Islands.
Students comprehend what is meant by Cultural Evolution and that it primarily applies at Human Evolution, but that there are examples in higher mammals such as a killer whales, dolphins and great apes of particular groups by exploring from their elders special ways to adapt to their environment.
High schoolers produce a newspaper describing the times during which Charles Darwin introduced the theory of natural selection. In this evolution lesson, students make observations and explore the role of observation in Charles Darwin's work. They use multimedia tools and newspapers to help them create a newspaper about Darwin's times and work.