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Integrate evolution throughout Intro Bio: Find resources that fit your syllabus

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Want to do more to help students recognize evolution as the overarching concept of biology and not just an end-of-semester topic? Use this guide to locate resources that will help you incorporate evolution into different subjects in Introductory Biology. Photosynthesis, transcription, translation, physiology, and many other topics can all be taught with an evolutionary "twist." You may not want to relate every class topic to evolution, but doing this just a few times throughout the semester can make a big impression on students and reinforce key evolutionary concepts.

Click on the topics below to see relevant evolution teaching resources for that topic, and choose the resource that fits your class best. You will find:

  • Short slide sets to be incorporated into lectures
  • Classroom and lab activities for classes of different sizes
  • Online activities and labs
  • Research profiles, Evo in the News articles, and other articles for students to read

Some of the topics have no resources associated with them yet. We are still looking for good resources that connect evolution to these subject areas. Send us an email to suggest a resource for inclusion on the syllabus.

Select a topic:


The nature and process of science

Classroom activity
50-90 min.
Classroom activity
1 to 2 hours, ideally split over multiple class periods
Research profile
30 minutes
Research profile
30-40 minutes
Article
45 minutes
Article
30 min
Annotated journal article
Several class periods
Classroom activity
10 to 15 minutes.

Chemistry/biochemistry
Atoms and molecules
Properties of water, acids, bases, and buffers
Proteins
Lipids
Carbohydrates
Nucleic acids

Cells
Organelle structure and function (including chromosome structure)
Cell membranes, cell signals, and membrane transport (including osmosis and diffusion)
Cell types and tissues

Energy/metabolism
Energy transformations and laws of thermodynamics
Enzyme function
Evo in the News article
20 minutes
Evo Connection slide set
5 minutes

Aerobic respiration
Evo Connection slide set
5 minutes

Fermentation and anaerobic respiration
Photosynthesis
Chemiosmosis in respiration and photosynthesis
Alternative mechanisms for carbon fixation (C3, CAM, C4)

Genetics
Cell cycle and mitosis
Life cycles and meiosis (including concepts of haploid and diploid)
Classroom activity
portions of several class periods

Mendelian genetics
Chromosomal basis of inheritance, linkage, and recombination
DNA structure and replication
Evo Connection slide set
5 minutes

Mutation
Transcription/translation
Evo in the News article
15 minutes
Evo Connection slide set
5 minutes
Evo Connection slide set
5 minutes

Regulation of gene expression
Cancer
Genetic basis of development
Biotechnology (including cloning, sequencing, etc.)
Structure of the genome (including transposable elements, gene families, coding vs. noncoding DNA, etc.)

Diversity of life
Classification/taxonomy
Classroom activity
1 to 2 hours, ideally split over multiple class periods
Lab activity
Two class periods
Evo in the News article
20 minutes
Evo in the News article
20 minutes
Lab activity
Two full class periods
Research profile
30 minutes

Classification and Evolution
Viruses
Major branches of the tree of life: Archaea and Eubacteria
Evo in the News article
20 minutes
Classroom activity
One to three class periods.

Major branches of the tree of life: Protists
Major branches of the tree of life: Fungi
Major branches of the tree of life: Plants
Major branches of the tree of life: Animals

Anatomy and physiology of plants
Structure and support
Nutrition/transport
Reproduction
Growth and development
Signaling/regulation

Anatomy and physiology of animals
Homeostasis/feedback mechanisms
Nutrition/digestive system
Evo in the News article
20 minutes

Gas exchange/respiratory system
Evo in the News article
10 minutes

Circulatory system
Immune system (including HIV/AIDS)
Osmoregulation/urogenital system
Reproduction
Evo in the News article
20 minutes
Research profile
30 minutes
Evo in the News article
20 minutes
Classroom activity
portions of several class periods

Development
Nervous systems and neurons
Sensory and motor mechanisms
Online activity or lab
45-60 minutes
Article
30-45 minutes

Behavior

Ecology
Biogeochemical cycles (C,N, etc.)
Evo in the News article
30 minutes

Global climate change
Population ecology and growth
Community ecology (including species interactions)
Evo in the News article
15 minutes
Evo in the News article
20 minutes

Ecosystems (including trophic levels, food webs, and energy flow)
Conservation/restoration ecology


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Undergrad lounge
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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

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