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Lesson Plans  
Standard 5
Students will understand that biological diversity is a result of evolutionary processes.
Objective 2
Cite evidence for changes in populations over time and use concepts of evolution to explain these changes.
  • Early Evolutionary Thinkers
    Students will read selections from primary sources of Lamarck, Wallace, and Darwin. (see below) Using the information they will identify observations and inferences. They will also investigate the development of the theory of evolution. Students will do this by answering questions and discussing in small groups. Their learning will be assessed by a brief quiz.
  • Ecosystem Survey Using Classification and Plant ID
    Scientists use many tools to evaluate the health of a habitat. One way to classify and determine the health of a habitat is to identify the organisms that live there and compare those to other habitats. To do this biologists use identification keys. In this exercise students will use identification keys to identify plants in various habitats and determine adaptations for success / evolution of different species.
  • Evolution in Action Review
    Students will read an article on the methods that scientists used to gather evidence to document the evolution of species. They will discuss the article in groups and answer specific questions about the content.
  • Evolutionary Evidence
    This activity will provide students with recent articles about evolution that has been observed happening within several different species. It very closely ties to the core indicator: e. Review a scientific article and identify the research methods used to gather evidence that documents the evolution of a species.
  • Evolutionary Trees
    Students will place imaginary fossils in sequences that show patterns of evolution or evolutionary trees. They will investigate the two major hypotheses on how evolution takes place: gradualism and punctuated equilibrium.
  • Habitat Alteration Module: Habitat Succession
    This activity is part of the TGLL Habitat Alteration Module. This is a long-term project, ideally spanning from 2-3 months. This project will involve observing habitat succession at sites that either vary naturally, or at sites that are experimentally manipulated by students (human alterations).
  • Investigating Common Descent
    In this activity students will build models of DNA sequences from the hemoglobin proteins of humans, gorillas, chimpanzees, ape, and a common ancestor, Using that information they will hypothesize evolutionary relationships between the organisms.
  • Nuts and Bolts of Evolution
    Through activity, lecture/discussion and a paragraph summary, students will understand that imperfections in organisms are an evidence for evolution. They will relate this to changes of populations over time and explain them by evolutionary process.
  • Peppered Moths
    Students get to be blue jays and hunt moths on different backgrounds (tree trunks) in this engaging simulation of the change in populations of the peppered moth over time during the industrialization of England.
  • Questions about Evolution
    Students will answer questions about evolution using their prior knowledge. They will calculate the class average response and then either be given correct responses or research correct responses. Students will acknowledge and address misconceptions that they carry about the theory of evolution and its mechanisms.
  • Radioactive Licorice
    Students will use licorice to model radioactive decay of elements. Students will see how accurate dating of fossils can provide evidence for change in populations over time and evidence for evolution.
  • Theory Development: Evolution
    Students will use a textbook to trace the scientific development of a theory. They will then create visuals, which represent the development of that theory.

UEN logo - in partnership with Utah State Board of Education (USBE) and Utah System of Higher Education (USHE).  Send questions or comments to USBE Specialist - Richard Scott and see the Science - Secondary website. For general questions about Utah's Core Standards contact the Director - DIANA SUDDRETH .  
These materials have been produced by and for the teachers of the State of Utah. Copies of these materials may be freely reproduced for teacher and classroom use. When distributing these materials, credit should be given to Utah State Board of Education. These materials may not be published, in whole or part, or in any other format, without the written permission of the Utah State Board of Education, 250 East 500 South, PO Box 144200, Salt Lake City, Utah 84114-4200.
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