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Speciation Teacher Resources
Find teacher approved Speciation educational resource ideas and activities
A video about the impact of climate change on butterfly populations and a PowerPoint about butterfly and bird adaptations warm science learners up for the activity to follow. Using a variety of tools that reprsent unique styles of bird beaks, scientists simulate the collection of food. The types of food collected successfully are logged and combined with results from other lab groups. They repeat the activity with a new set of food that represents what is available after a drought. In this way, they consider the impact of climate change.
Find photos of bird beaks or show a prepared four slide PowerPoint, "Extreme Beaks" to introduce your class to this special animal adaptation. Provide them with a data table and supplies to try gathering food with tools that each represent a different style of beak. Class data is compared, and then a discussion is held about the Galapagos Island finches as observed by Charles Darwin. This classic activity is enhanced by the PowerPoint and discussion.
A colorful wedge of Earth, map of tectonic plates, and numbered facts about Earth structure fill the first two pages of this resource. After reading and absorbing the information, geologists get into groups and make clay models to demonstrate faulting and folding of Earth's crust. A second activity is also included in which individuals research Pangaea, Laurasia, and Gondwana. Plenty of background information and a grading rubric are included to support you with these assignments.
Ancient coral beds give scientists clues to past ocean temperatures in much the same way that tree rings indicate historical weather conditions. High school scientists examine coral oxygen isotope ratios and plot the data as a function of the age of the coral. They relate their findings to climate change. Many resource links are included that can lead to extension activities.
Compare various types of biological diversity in a coral reef and calculate a numeric indicator that describes the diversity found in coral communities. Your class can work in groups to look at the abundance and distribution data of species in two communities. This instructional activity gives the opportunity to study both the biological topics and statistical mechnisms.
Investigate the theories of human evolution. In this research based instructional activity, learners research and discuss how geographic isolation, interbreeding, generalization, and specialization are factors in the history of humans. Groups work together to present their research. Many links to resources, extension activities, and vocabulary are provided; however, the mentioned printable copies of activity sheets are not.
This is quite a challenging learning exercise to give to your biology class! It consists of 30 sentences about Darwin's observations of the Galapagos finches, evolution and natural selection, and speciation. In each sentence, one to three words are left out for learners to fill in. There is no word bank provided, so in order to succeed, they must really know their stuff! Consider assigning it to groups to complete as a review activity.