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Lesson summary for:
Tree thinking challenges


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In the this interactive video, college students guide viewers through problems on phylogenetics and address some of the misconceptions that many students have with the subject.
This resource is available from the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center

National Evolutionary Synthesis Center

Grade level:

10 minutes

Teaching tips:
Students can use this video as a self-assessment after a unit on phylogenetics or as a pre-test to make sure they have acquired basic tree-reading skills. It would also be easy to use this video in class to generate discussion about common, phylogeny-related misconceptions.

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

  • Evolutionary trees (i.e., phylogenies or cladograms) portray hypotheses about evolutionary relationships.

  • Evolutionary trees can be used to make inferences and predictions.

Teacher background:

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