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Lesson Planet

Beaks as Tools: Selective Advantage in Changing Environments

For Students 9th - Higher Ed Standards
How does nature select some adaptations over others? Scholars experiment picking up seeds with two different types of tools simulating beaks. After practicing, they experience a drought where one type of seed suddenly isn't available....
Lesson Planet

Using DNA to Explore Lizard Phylogeny

For Students 7th - 12th Standards
On the Caribbean islands, lizards expanded into different niches instead of competing for resources. Scholars discuss and learn from experts in a video how scientists prove the theory. They build phylogenetic trees based on appearances...
Lesson Planet

Evolution in Action: Data Analysis

For Teachers 9th - 12th Standards
An environmental factor, such as a drought, sometimes speeds up the rate of natural selection. Scholars analyze data on the beaks of birds around the time of the drought. They compare those that survived to those that perished and find...
Lesson Planet

Lactose Intolerance: Fact or Fiction

For Teachers 7th - 12th Standards
Around the world, about 2/3 of adult humans are lactose intolerant. Scholars work in small groups to discuss a few statements about lactose intolerance. Then, they watch a video on the topic and readdress each statement. Whole-class...
Lesson Planet

Got Lactase? Blood Glucose Data Analysis

For Teachers 9th - 12th Standards
Many physicals include a blood glucose test, but what are doctors actually testing? Scholars graph and interpret blood glucose data, allowing them to observe the differences in lactase persistence and draw conclusions. They then connect...
Lesson Planet

Finding the Crater

For Teachers 7th - 12th Standards
A mass extinction event caused by an impact usually leaves a crater. Scholars use data from 10 different sites around the world trying to determine where to look for the crater. They use data, listing the amount of various minerals to...
Lesson Planet

Using Genetic Crosses to Analyze a Stickleback Trait

For Teachers 9th - 12th Standards
Two fish appear different, but how do scientists determine their genotypes? Scholars practice performing test crosses to determine the genotypes of fish given their phenotypes. They answer in-depth comprehension questions and complete...
Lesson Planet

Modeling the Regulatory Switches of the Pitx1 Gene in Stickleback Fish

For Teachers 9th - 12th Standards
Gene switches work similarly to light switches in controlling one feature of their environments. Scholars study the Pitx1 gene in a specific type of fish. They learn the different ways this switch controls various body parts and...
Lesson Planet

Stickleback Evolution Virtual Lab

For Students 9th - 12th Standards
How quickly do animals evolve? Can comparing different samples of the same fossil answer timeline questions? Scholars use virtual labs to examine fossils and learn about stickleback evolution. They compare pelvic morphology in lakes...
Lesson Planet

Mendelian Genetics, Probability, Pedigree, and Chi-Square Statistics

For Teachers 9th - 12th Standards
People with the sickle cell trait, but not sickle cell disease, find natural protection against malaria. Scholars consider various combinations of genotypes and environmental factors to determine if children might have sickle cell...
Lesson Planet

Determining the Size and Energy of the K-T Asteroid

For Teachers 9th - 12th Standards
Two different groups of scientists published scientific papers in 1980 offering proof of a large asteroid hitting Earth between the Cretaceous and Tertiary layers of ground. Scholars use a worksheet to analyze the same type of data as...
Lesson Planet

Carbohydrate Consumption, Athletic Performance and Health – Using Science Process Skills to Understand the Evidence

For Teachers 9th - 12th Standards
Should athletes carb load before an event or consume carbohydrates during the competition? Scholars discuss how to set up a hypothesis and experiment to answer a question relating carbohydrates and athletic performance. Then, they read...
Lesson Planet

Vitamins and Health – Why Experts Disagree

For Teachers 9th - Higher Ed Standards
Should people take vitamins or get the needed minerals through diet? Experts disagree based on many different factors. Scholars compare study findings and discuss the differences. They learn the importance of comparing results across...
Lesson Planet

Should You Drink Sports Drinks? When? Why?

For Teachers 9th - 12th Standards
New research proves even rinsing your mouth with carbohydrates without swallowing improves performance of the central nervous system. While some think sports drinks are amazing, others say they are a waste of money. Scholars learn about...
Lesson Planet

Should States Repeal Their Laws Banning First Cousin Marriage?

For Teachers 9th - 12th Standards
Around half of the states in the US ban first cousin marriage, but does science support that ban? Scholars work through genetic analysis of the risks to understand if more states should ban the practice—or if some should remove it. They...
Lesson Planet

Soap Opera Genetics – Genetics to Resolve Family Arguments

For Teachers 9th - 12th Standards
Did she cheat on her husband? Did the hospital switch the babies? Should they have children? As much as this sounds like the plot for a soap opera, all of these questions fit into a single lesson on genetics. Scholars read about three...