Stephen Jay Gould Teacher Resources

Find Stephen Jay Gould educational ideas and activities

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Learners read and discuss selected and edited excerpts from the essays of Stephen Jay Gould on the subject of contrivances.
Students experience an example of bias in science dealing with women and gender.
Students read the essay, "What, If Anything, Is a Zebra?" following a teacher made reading guide. They investigate cladistics, shared derived characteristics, with further online research to enhance their study of evolution and classificatio
Does the human body evolve as quickly as human culture? With a stellar 15-minute video, explore the trait of lactose intolerance. Only about 1/3 of human adults seem to still have the enzyme lactase and therefore, the ability to digest lactose. Scientists look at the DNA and the history of two cultures that might explain why. Follow the video with one of the accompanying lab activities in which biochemistry learners measure glucose changes over time after adding lactose (milk) to simulated intestinal fluid samples (lactase solution). This is a thick and creamy lesson!
This lesson will help students examine their preconceptions and assumptions about racial categories and understand the impossibility of constructing a consistent system of human racial classification.
A set of slides that present the types of isolation within a population that can lead to speciation. The information and definitions are supported by great images, and your class should find this a comprehensive start to the topic as well as a help with their note taking.
This computer-based lesson will enable students to test their notions of "racial" similarity and difference by comparing mtDNA sequences as the students do in the first episode of RACE - The Power of an Illusion.
Using origami paper birds, your biology class will experiment with mutations and natural selection to determine wing position, length, and width. It would be helpful to provide a worksheet to go with the activity that includes a procedure for creating the birds and for the natural selection exercise. Use this memorable simulation to enhance your evolution curriculum. 
Students gain a deeper understanding of geological time and the evolution of life on Earth. They use iMovie to tell a complex story of a discrete time period with narration and images.
An exceptionally creative approach is taken to assessing your biologists' grasp of natural selection concepts. They are to imagine hosting Charles Darwin for dinner and having, to their surpise, a few other noted scientists crash the party. They plan a seating chart and explain what controversial banter occurs between guests. This assignment is fun, it stimulates creativity and critical thinking, and is highly recommended!
Students trace the history of the development of Eugenics. In this social studies lesson, students read and analyze a real life case. They write a paper about what they read.
Students are given a science reading assignment outside the text followed by a discussion on the content. The reading is augmented with a series of thought questions for students to consider prior to class discussion. They direst the discussion with help from the teacher to keep on track.
Learners use the methodology described by Prown (1982) to interpret paintings. They determine artistic, historical, and scientific content and develop an understanding of aspects of nineteenth century American culture. They study the paintings for their internal content and evidence.
After viewing information about different types of isolation, students will see that reproduction among a group will cause the frequency of a specific trait to increase. The history of prominent scientists such as Charles Darwin are and the slides are clear with short summaries and pictures that students will find interesting. The examples help understanding and the slideshow could help individual students take notes, or be used to introduce the topic to a whole class.
Students research specific time period of geological time scale, organize and simplify events to tell complex story that others understand, locate and use variety of resources to tell story, and complete iMovie project to share with others.
Students construct cladograms (evolutionary trees), showing how shared derived characters can be used to reveal degrees of relationship. They interpret and analyze cladograms, and determine where unclassified vertebrates would fit on a cladogram.
Students discover the uniqueness of deep sea hydrothermal vent organisms through an exploration of the NOAA Galapagos Rift Expedition. They study the genetics and evolution of a shrimp species that lives near the vents then they design another species of shrimp that could survive in a different portion of the rift.
A garden can inspire students to make mathematical connections.
Students explore how biological classification is intimately associated with evolution.
Students discuss and role-play the elements of natural selection. They use toothpicks to represent Stick-Worms and discover the mechanisms of change of traits in populations.

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Stephen Jay Gould