At the end of the school year, there are certain conceptual understandings that we want our students to have. Achieving these learning goals lays the groundwork for more sophisticated understandings as students proceed through their learning experiences. The Understanding Evolution Conceptual Framework is an effective tool for identifying a sequence of age-appropriate conceptual understandings (K-16) to guide your teaching. The Framework is divided into five strands, and a selection of teaching resources (i.e., lessons and activities) targeting most concepts has been identified.
History of Life concepts for 3-5
Life has been on Earth for billions of years.
Life forms have changed over time.
Many forms of life in the past were different from living things today.
Many forms of life in the past were similar to present-day living things.
Present-day life forms are related to past life forms.
Most species that once lived on Earth have gone extinct.
Evidence of Evolution concepts for 3-5
Life is very diverse.
There is a fit between organisms and their environments, though not always a perfect fit.
Form is linked to function.
Fossils provide evidence of past life.
There are similarities and differences among fossils and living organisms.
Selective breeding can produce offspring with new traits.
Mechanisms of Evolution concepts for 3-5
There is variation within a population.
Offspring inherit many traits from their parents, but are not exactly identical to their parents.
Advantageous features help living things survive.
Depending upon the environment, some living things will survive better than others.
Environmental changes may affect an organism's ability to survive.
Nature of Science concepts for 3-5
Science deals with the natural world and natural explanations.
Scientific ideas may change with new evidence.
Scientists base their ideas on evidence from the natural world.
The real process of science is complex, iterative, and can take many different paths.
Science is a human endeavor.
Studying Evolution concepts for 3-5
Scientists study living things and how they are related.
Scientists study fossils and how and when they were formed.
Scientists study rocks and how and when they were formed.