Understanding Evolution: your one-stop source for information on evolution
Resource library Teaching materials Evolution 101

Teaching Materials:
Search the teaching materials database

Get lessons, activities, readers, videos, and more.

Search here:

Grade(s):   K-2     3-5     6-8     9-12     13-16        Topics: 

Keyword(s):    Types:       Sort by:       

FOUND 33 RESOURCES:

imageA name by any other tree
Phylogenetics has affected almost every area of biology - even the most basic one: how we classify organisms. Find out how phylogenetic classification works and what its advantages are.
This article appears at SpringerLink.

Audience: 6-8

Source: Evolution: Education and Outreach

Resource type: Article

imageAdventures at Dry Creek
In this interactive web-based module students conduct a simulated field study at a fossil dig in Montana.

Audience: 6-8

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Online activity or lab

imageArtificially Selecting Dogs
Students learn how artificial selection can be used to develop new dog breeds with characteristics that make the dogs capable of performing a desirable task.

Audience: 6-8

Source: Collins, Jennifer

Resource type: Classroom activity

imageBattle of the Beaks
Students learn about adaptive advantage, based on beak function, by simulating birds competing for various foods.

Audience: 6-8

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Classroom activity

imageBig Beans, Little Beans
Students measure and note the variation in the lengths of lima beans. Students then compare the growth rate of different sized beans.

Audience: 6-8

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Classroom activity

imageBorn to Run: Artificial Selection Lab
Students are introduced to the field of experimental evolution by evaluating skeletal changes in mice that have been artificially selected over many generations for the behavioral trait of voluntary exercise wheel running

Audience: 6-8

Source: Garland, Theodore

Resource type: Classroom activity

imageClimate Analysis Using Planktonic Foraminifera
Students manipulate, plot, and interpret data on the occurence of a particular species of foraminifera in the fossil record in order to infer changes in climate during the last 160,000 years.

Audience: 6-8

Source: Olson, Hilary

Resource type: Classroom activity

imageClipbirds
Students learn about variation, reproductive isolation, natural selection, and adaptation through this version of the bird beak activity.

Audience: 6-8

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Classroom activity

imageComic strip: Survival of the sneakiest
This comic follows the efforts of a male cricket as he tries to attract a mate, and in the process, debunks common myths about what it means to be evolutionarily "fit."

Audience: 6-8

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Comic

imageDarwin and Wallace: Natural selection
Darwin and Wallace came up with the idea of natural selection, but their idea of how evolution occurs was not without predecessors.
This article is located within History of Evolutionary Thought.

Audience: 6-8

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Article

imageDarwin's "extreme" imperfection?
Darwin used the words "extreme imperfection" to describe the gappy nature of the fossil record - but is this really such a problem? This article delves into the topic of transitional fossils and explores what we have learned about them since Darwin's time.
This article appears at SpringerLink.

Audience: 6-8

Source: Evolution: Education and Outreach

Resource type: Article

imageDino-Data
Students are presented with a set of data about dinosaurs and are asked to make hypotheses about what the data can tell us.

Audience: 6-8

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Classroom activity

imageDiscovering the great tree of life
This short video introduces basic concepts in phylogenetics and provides a model to help understand lineage-splitting.
This resource is available from the Peabody Museum of Natural History

Audience: 6-8

Source: Peabody Museum of Natural History

Resource type: Video

imageDogs and Turnips
In this lesson students attempt to assemble a meaningful sentence by successively turning over cards with words on them. The point is made that we change our ideas of what a story may be as we gather more information.

Audience: 6-8

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Classroom activity

imageGetting into the Fossil Record
In this interactive module students are introduced to fossils and the fossilization process by examining how fossils are formed and the factors that promote or prevent fossilization.

Audience: 6-8

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Online activity or lab

imageGreat Fossil Find
Students are taken on an imaginary fossil hunt and hypothesize as to the identity of the creature they discover. Students revise their hypotheses as new evidence is "found."

Audience: 6-8

Source: ENSI

Resource type: Classroom activity

imageHow Much is a Billion
In this activity, students get a sense of how big a billion really is, which is necessary in order to understand deep time.

Audience: 6-8

Source: Monk, Anne

Resource type: Classroom activity

imageInferring Ancient Environments from Fossil Foraminifera
Students analyze actual data from samples of microfossils collected from a particular locality. They use this data to infer water depths in the Miocene in order to locate potential petroleum reserves.

Audience: 6-8

Source: Olson, Hilary

Resource type: Classroom activity

imageInteractive investigation: The arthropod story
This interactive investigation delves into the amazing world of the arthropods and examines their success and their evolutionary constraints.

Audience: 6-8

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Online activity or lab

imageInterpreting the Tracks
Students discover the relationships among foot length, leg length, stride length and speed in bipedal animals that provide clues about dinosaur speed.

Audience: 6-8

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Classroom activity

imageLines of evidence: The science of evolution
The theory of evolution is broadly accepted by scientists — and for good reason! Learn about the diverse and numerous lines of evidence that support the theory of evolution.

Audience: 6-8

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Tutorial

imageMantis shrimp shoulder their evolutionary baggage and bluff
Like all organisms, mantis shrimp carry baggage from their evolutionary history. Find out how this baggage has coaxed them into a deadly bluffing game.

Audience: 6-8

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Article

imageNature of science
Understanding how science works allows one to easily distinguish science from non-science. Thus, to understand biological evolution, or any other science, it is essential to begin with the nature of science.

Audience: 6-8

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Tutorial

imageSequencing Time
Students assign relative and numerical times to events in their lives to understand how scientists developed the Geologic Time Scale.

Audience: 6-8

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Classroom activity

imageSimilarities and differences: Understanding homology and analogy
This interactive investigation explains what homologies and analogies are, how to recognize them, and how they evolve.

Audience: 6-8

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Online activity or lab

imageStories from the Fossil Record
This web-based module provides students with a basic understanding of how fossils can be used to interpret the past.

Audience: 6-8

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Online activity or lab

imageThe Making of the Fittest: Natural Selection and Adaption
This 10-minute film describes the research of Dr. Michael Nachman and colleagues, whose work in the field and in the lab has documented and quantified physical and genetic evolutionary changes in rock pocket mouse populations.

Audience: 6-8

Source: Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Resource type: Video

imageThe Making of the Fittest: The Birth and Death of Genes
This 13-minute film describes how scientists have pieced together the evolutionary history of the Antarctic icefish by studying its genome – an excellent case study for genetic evolution as both the gain and loss of genes have led to key adaptations.

Audience: 6-8

Source: Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Resource type: Video

imageUnderstanding Geologic Time
A web-based module in which students gain a basic understanding of geologic time, the evidence for events in Earth's history, relative and absolute dating techniques, and the significance of the Geologic Time Scale.

Audience: 6-8

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Online activity or lab

imageWhat Came First?
Students sequence actual events in the history of life on Earth and place them on a large timeline.

Audience: 6-8

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Classroom activity

imageWhat did T. Rex Taste Like?
In this web-based module students are introduced to cladistics, which organizes living things by common ancestry and evolutionary relationships.

Audience: 6-8

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Online activity or lab

imageWho's on First? Relative Dating
Students sequence familiar items and then do a similar sequencing activity using fossil pictures to learn how paleontologists use fossils to give relative dates to rock strata.

Audience: 6-8

Source: Barber, Marsha and Bartos, Diane

Resource type: Classroom activity

imageXenosmilus
Students play the roles of paleontologists on a dig. They “unearth” a few fossils at a time and attempt to reconstruct the animal the fossils represent.

Audience: 6-8

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Classroom activity


 

Teachers' lounges 9-12 Undergrad 6-8 3-5 K-2

All-level resources
Guide to Evo 101

Conceptual framework

Teaching resource database

Image library

Dealing with objections to evolution

Correcting misconceptions

Alignment with science standards

Suggest a lesson or resource for Understanding Evolution