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The Arthropod Story Table of Contents   

Getting started
Technical requirements

Classroom tools
Lesson plans
Assessment materials

Other resources
Related activities
Content background


start the story

Getting started

The Arthropod Story is an introduction to the wonderful world of arthropods and their evolution over time. They have a long and successful history that can be traced from the Cambrian Period, over half a billion years ago, to the present day.

Arthropods represent a major success story whether you look at their diversity, numbers, adaptability, or structural functionality. However, the same arthropod body plan that has produced such stunning success has limited arthropod evolution in other ways. The breathing and circulatory systems, exoskeleton, and molting may work well for small arthropods, but these same traits place severe limits to size.

This look at the arthropod story enables students to learn a number of evolutionary concepts. Students will learn much about the long history of the arthropods and have opportunities to think about arthropod evolution in terms of both opportunities and constraints. In the end, the big message is that all living things inherit both possibilities and limitations, and "survival" is often of the "fit enough."

Time requirements:

  • Teacher preparation: 30-45 minutes to review the Teacher's Guide and module
  • Module: 3-4 class periods (depending on student learning and reading levels)

Grade level:

  • 7-12

We recommend that you follow these steps before using the module with your students.

  1. Read the Overview for a summary of the module.
  2. Check out the Technical requirements.
  3. Review the Standards aligned with the module.
  4. Learn how to Navigate through the Story.
  5. Try out the student version of The Arthropod Story.

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