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Resource library Teaching materials Evolution 101

Lesson summary for:
Classification and Evolution

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Overview:
Students construct an evolutionary tree of imaginary animals (Caminalcules) to illustrate how modern classification schemes attempt to reflect evolutionary history.

Author/Source:
Gendron, Robert

Grade level:
13-16

Time:
Two class periods

Teaching tips:
Use this resource to relate evolutionary concepts to the topic of classification (or get more suggestions for incorporating evolution throughout your biology syllabus).

Concepts:
Correspondence to the Next Generation Science Standards is indicated in parentheses after each relevant concept. See our conceptual framework for details.

  • Biological evolution accounts for diversity over long periods of time.

  • Present-day species evolved from earlier species; the relatedness of organisms is the result of common ancestry.

  • The patterns of life’s diversity through time provide evidence of evolution.

  • An organism's features reflect its evolutionary history.

  • There are similarities and differences among fossils and living organisms.

  • Speciation is the splitting of one ancestral lineage into two or more descendent lineages.

  • Classification is based on evolutionary relationships.

  • Evolutionary trees (i.e., phylogenies or cladograms) are built from multiple lines of evidence.

Teacher background:

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