This station lab is aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Students examine six lines of evidence for evolution (Fossils, DNA evidence, Embryology, homology, vestigial structures, and Divergent/convergent evolution) at different stations. Students can start at any of the stations, which are designed for students to work through as a group.
The entire lab can be done with these basic materials:
String and ruler
These additional materials are not necessary, but enhance the students’ experience:
ancient hominid skulls (human skull, ancient hominid skull(s), human skeleton, animal skeletons).
Time Frame: This lab often takes two full classes. It can take longer, depending upon how you approach it.
A. NEXT GENERATION SCIENCE STANDARDS HEREIN
DCI’s: LS4: Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity
Cross Cutting Concepts: Patterns, Cause and Effect, Scale, Proportion and Quantity, Structure and Function, Stability and Change
Scientific and Engineering Practices:
Analyzing and Interpreting data, Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions, Engaging in Arguments from evidence, Using Mathematical Thinking, Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information
B. SUGGESTED USES
Prior Knowledge: This can be used as an introduction to evolution, but more often I use it after I’ve taught how evolution by natural selection works, so that students may use the concepts they learned to write well-developed responses.
Materials and Setup: See above for materials, and optional materials. The other materials are included in the bottom of the lab. There is some basic cutting out, and stapling/gluing paper flaps onto paper, which is described simply, and included in the download. The materials are reusable, and after the initial cutting and gluing, the setup takes about 10-15 minutes.
Implementing the Lesson:
Since this station lab is designed for students to work through as an autonomous group, there isn’t much detail in implementing the lesson. I recommend reading through the answers so that, as you circulate the room while students work, you may guide them in the right direction.
I usually supplement this lab with some formal notes/more examples after the lab is done.
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