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imageChromosome Comparison 2: Comparison of Human and Chimp Chromosomes
Students observe that the banding patterns seen on stained chromosomes from humans and chimpanzees show striking similarities. Possible evolutionary relationships are explored, as are the chromosomes and relationships of other apes.

Audience: 13-16

Source: ENSI

Resource type: Lab activity

imageClassification and Evolution
Students construct an evolutionary tree of imaginary animals (Caminalcules) to illustrate how modern classification schemes attempt to reflect evolutionary history.

Audience: 13-16

Source: Gendron, Robert

Resource type: Lab activity

imageDNA to Darwin: Darwin's 'abominable mystery' - the origin of flowering plants
Students build a phylogenetic tree from the chloroplast genome in order to learn about the origin of flowers and the characteristics of the first flowering plants.

Audience: 13-16

Source: DNA to Darwin

Resource type: Classroom activity

imageDNA to Darwin: Elaiosomes and seed dispersal by ants
In this activity, students build a phylogenetic tree of plants. From the dated tree, students infer when elaiosomes (a plant structure) arose and use this information to examine hypotheses about possible reasons for the evolution of elaiosomes.

Audience: 13-16

Source: DNA to Darwin

Resource type: Classroom activity

imageDNA to Darwin: The evolution of taste receptors
Students investigate the evolution of taste receptors by using protein sequence data to generate a phylogenetic tree of sweet, umami and bitter taste receptors from six animal species. In a second, more advanced activity, the evolution of bitter taste receptors by gene duplication is studied using DNA sequence data. The unusual case of the giant panda, which has lost the ability to taste meaty flavours, is also introduced.

Audience: 13-16

Source: DNA to Darwin

Resource type: Classroom activity

imageDNA to Darwin: Woolly mammoths and their relatives
In this case study, the evolutionary relationship of the extinct Woolly mammoth to modern elephants and other species is investigated. Complete mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequences are used for this purpose.

Audience: 13-16

Source: DNA to Darwin

Resource type: Classroom activity

imageEvaluating Evolutionary Explanations
Students use what they know about evolution and medicine to review an article written for a school publication. The task is to identify errors, explain the incorrect statements, and correct the information. They then explain the process of natural selection by creating a labeled illustration using one of the examples from an earlier lesson.

Audience: 13-16

Source: National Institutes of Health

Resource type: Classroom activity

imageEvo in the News: A new look at dinosaur fossils pushes back the evolution of feathered wings
This news brief, from November 2012, describes what a new dinosaur fossil from North America has to tell us about the evolution of feathers.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

imageEvo in the news: Evolutionary evidence takes the stand
This news brief, from January of 2007, describes the role of phylogenetic evidence in a Libyan court case. Six medical workers have been convicted of injecting children with HIV-tainted blood - but the evolutionary history of the virus paints a different picture.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

imageEvo in the news: The new shrew that's not
This news brief from March of 2008 describes scientists' discovery of a new mammal species, a giant elephant shrew. Though elephant shrews resemble regular shrews, recent genetic evidence suggests that elephant shrews actually sprang from a much older (and perhaps more charismatic) branch of the tree of life - the one belonging to elephants and their relatives.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

imageEvolution and Phylogenetic Analysis
In a flexible multisession laboratory, students investigate concepts of phylogenetic analysis at both the molecular and the morphological level. Students finish by conducting their own analysis on a collections skeletons using the Mesquite software.

Audience: 13-16

Source: Wilfred A. Franklin

Resource type: Lab activity

imageHow boogieing birds evolved: The work of Kim Bostwick
This research profile follows ornithologist Kim Bostwick through the jungles of Ecuador and the halls of museums as she investigates the evolution of an exotic bird's complex mating dance.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Research profile

imageInvestigating Common Descent: Formulating Explanations and Models
Students formulate explanations and models that simulate structural and biochemical data as they investigate the misconception that humans evolved from apes.

Audience: 13-16

Source: National Academy of Sciences

Resource type: Classroom activity

imagePhylogenetic systematics, a.k.a. evolutionary trees
Learn about phylogenetic systematics, the study of the evolutionary relationships among organisms, and how the field is shaping biological research today.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Tutorial

imagePhylogenetics and tree thinking slide set
This set of five PowerPoint slides featuring personal response questions (i.e., multiple choice questions that can be used with "clicker" technology) can be incorporated into lectures on the mechanisms of evolution in order to actively engage students in thinking about evolution.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Slide set

imagePhylogenetics laboratory: Reconstructing evolutionary history
By examining specimens, students fill in a data matrix of animal taxa and complete exercises to learn about synapomorphies, mapping characters on a phylogeny, and assessing parsimony.

Audience: 13-16

Source: Kefyn Catley and Laura Novick

Resource type: Lab activity

imageThe great clade race
This activity uses a simple puzzle to get students to use cladistic thinking without bogging them down with terminology.

Audience: 13-16

Source: American Biology Teacher

Resource type: Classroom activity

imageTree of life poster with images (large)
Print this 28x36" poster for your classroom wall. For ideas about how to use the poster in your class, visit Two- and Ten-minute Trees.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Poster

imageTree thinking basics
Tree thinking, or phylogenetics, is an important way of understanding evolutionary relationships. Reading trees correctly can pose some challenges. This video introduces the basics of three reading and addresses common problems in tree reading.
This resource is available from the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center

Audience: 13-16

Source: National Evolutionary Synthesis Center

Resource type: Video

imageTree thinking challenges
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

Audience: 13-16

Source: National Evolutionary Synthesis Center

Resource type: Video

imageTwo- and ten-minute trees
Use these quick and simple classroom activities to better develop your students' tree-thinking skills. Each takes just a few minutes and helps reinforce key ideas about tree reading and common ancestry.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Classroom activity

imageUnderstanding evolutionary history: An introduction to tree thinking
This pamphlet with self-quizzes provides students with a self-paced tutorial in tree thinking and corrects many common misconceptions about phylogenetic trees.

Audience: 13-16

Source: Laura Novick, Kefyn Catley, and Emily Schreiber

Resource type: Tutorial

imageUnderstanding evolutionary trees
Many disciplines within biology (and many basic biology texts) have come to depend on evolutionary trees. Get the basics you need to understand and interpret these key diagrams.
This article appears at SpringerLink.

Audience: 13-16

Source: Evolution: Education and Outreach

Resource type: Article

imageUsing pipe cleaners to bring the Tree of Life to life
Students build a phylogenetic tree from pipe cleaners that allows them to rotate branches, compare topologies, map complete lineages, identify informative phylogenetic features, and examine the effects of superficial structural changes on the tree.

Audience: 13-16

Source: The American Biology Teacher

Resource type: Classroom activity

imageUsing trees to uproot HIV: The work of Satish Pillai
This research profile follows scientist Satish Pillai as he studies the evolution of HIV within infected individuals. His research uses the tools of phylogenetics to investigate vaccine development and the possibility of curing the disease.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Research profile

imageWhat does it mean to be human?
In this set of advanced lessons, students use different types of data to infer/interpret phylogenies among domains, within the vertebrates, and within primates while reflecting on how they answer the question “What do you think it means to be human?” and choose a characteristic that changed substantially in the human family tree to develop a scientific argument based on evidence for when the character evolved.

Audience: 13-16

Source: Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Resource type: Classroom activity

imageAnolis Lizards
Students "take a trip" to the Greater Antilles to figure out how the Anolis lizards on the islands might have evolved.

Audience: 9-12

Source: Collins, Jennifer

Resource type: Lab activity

imageChromosome Comparison 2: Comparison of Human and Chimp Chromosomes
Students observe that the banding patterns seen on stained chromosomes from humans and chimpanzees show striking similarities. Possible evolutionary relationships are explored, as are the chromosomes and relationships of other apes.

Audience: 9-12

Source: ENSI

Resource type: Lab activity

imageClassification and Evolution
Students construct an evolutionary tree of imaginary animals (Caminalcules) to illustrate how modern classification schemes attempt to reflect evolutionary history.

Audience: 9-12

Source: Gendron, Robert

Resource type: Lab 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: 9-12

Source: Peabody Museum of Natural History

Resource type: Video

imageDNA to Darwin: Woolly mammoths and their relatives
In this case study, the evolutionary relationship of the extinct Woolly mammoth to modern elephants and other species is investigated. Complete mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequences are used for this purpose.

Audience: 9-12

Source: DNA to Darwin

Resource type: Classroom activity

imageEvo in the News: A new look at dinosaur fossils pushes back the evolution of feathered wings
This news brief, from November 2012, describes what a new dinosaur fossil from North America has to tell us about the evolution of feathers.

Audience: 9-12

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

imageEvo in the news: Evolutionary evidence takes the stand
This news brief, from January of 2007, describes the role of phylogenetic evidence in a Libyan court case. Six medical workers have been convicted of injecting children with HIV-tainted blood - but the evolutionary history of the virus paints a different picture.

Audience: 9-12

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

imageEvo in the news: The new shrew that's not
This news brief from March of 2008 describes scientists' discovery of a new mammal species, a giant elephant shrew. Though elephant shrews resemble regular shrews, recent genetic evidence suggests that elephant shrews actually sprang from a much older (and perhaps more charismatic) branch of the tree of life - the one belonging to elephants and their relatives.

Audience: 9-12

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

imageEvolutionary trees and patterns in the history of life
Scientists use many different lines of evidence to reconstruct the evolutionary trees that show how species are related.
This article is located within Evolution 101.

Audience: 9-12

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Tutorial

imageHow boogieing birds evolved: The work of Kim Bostwick
This research profile follows ornithologist Kim Bostwick through the jungles of Ecuador and the halls of museums as she investigates the evolution of an exotic bird's complex mating dance.

Audience: 9-12

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Research profile

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: 9-12

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Online activity or lab

imageInvestigating Common Descent: Formulating Explanations and Models
Students formulate explanations and models that simulate structural and biochemical data as they investigate the misconception that humans evolved from apes.

Audience: 9-12

Source: National Academy of Sciences

Resource type: Classroom activity

imageLearn about the tree of life
This tutorial on phylogenetics explains the basics of tree-thinking and provides many examples from real organisms.
This resource is available from the Peabody Museum of Natural History

Audience: 9-12

Source: Peabody Museum of Natural History

Resource type: Tutorial

imageMaking 3D phylogenetic trees with mobiles
Students create three-dimensional trees in the form of mobiles so that the branching nodes pivot. Students can manipulate the mobile to see the relationships more clearly and combat common misconceptions about trees.

Audience: 9-12

Source: Carolina

Resource type: Classroom activity

imageMaking Cladograms
This lesson introduces students to the building of cladograms as evolutionary trees, showing how shared derived characters can be used to reveal degrees of relationship.

Audience: 9-12

Source: ENSI

Resource type: Classroom activity

imageModeling Evolutionary Relationships with Trees
In this lesson, students will examine a beautiful tree of life poster by artist Ray Troll and use it as a launchpad to explore evolutionary, or phylogenetic trees. Students will take a pre-assessment to address misconceptions about phylogenetic trees before completing a modeling activity to give them a better understanding of how trees are used to model evolutionary relationships.

Audience: 9-12

Source: Shape of Life

Resource type: Classroom activity

imagePredicting evolutionary relationships
Students compare the sequence of amino acids in a gene shared between humans and six other organisms and infer evolutionary relationships among the species.

Audience: 9-12

Source: NOVA

Resource type: Classroom activity

imageThe Evolution Lab
The Evolution Lab contains two main parts. In the first, students build phylogenetic trees themed around the evidence of evolution, including fossils, biogeography, and similarities in DNA. In the second, students explore an interactive tree of life and trace the shared ancestry of numerous species.

Audience: 9-12

Source: NOVA Labs

Resource type: Lab activity

imageThe great clade race
This activity uses a simple puzzle to get students to use cladistic thinking without bogging them down with terminology.

Audience: 9-12

Source: American Biology Teacher

Resource type: Classroom activity

imageTree of life poster with images (large)
Print this 28x36" poster for your classroom wall. For ideas about how to use the poster in your class, visit Two- and Ten-minute Trees.

Audience: 9-12

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Poster

imageTree thinking basics
Tree thinking, or phylogenetics, is an important way of understanding evolutionary relationships. Reading trees correctly can pose some challenges. This video introduces the basics of three reading and addresses common problems in tree reading.
This resource is available from the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center

Audience: 9-12

Source: National Evolutionary Synthesis Center

Resource type: Video

imageTree thinking challenges
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

Audience: 9-12

Source: National Evolutionary Synthesis Center

Resource type: Video

imageTwo- and ten-minute trees
Use these quick and simple classroom activities to better develop your students' tree-thinking skills. Each takes just a few minutes and helps reinforce key ideas about tree reading and common ancestry.

Audience: 9-12

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Classroom activity

imageUsing pipe cleaners to bring the Tree of Life to life
Students build a phylogenetic tree from pipe cleaners that allows them to rotate branches, compare topologies, map complete lineages, identify informative phylogenetic features, and examine the effects of superficial structural changes on the tree.

Audience: 9-12

Source: The American Biology Teacher

Resource type: Classroom activity

imageUsing trees to uproot HIV: The work of Satish Pillai
This research profile follows scientist Satish Pillai as he studies the evolution of HIV within infected individuals. His research uses the tools of phylogenetics to investigate vaccine development and the possibility of curing the disease.

Audience: 9-12

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Research profile

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: 9-12

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Online activity or lab

imageWhat does it mean to be human?
In this set of advanced lessons, students use different types of data to infer/interpret phylogenies among domains, within the vertebrates, and within primates while reflecting on how they answer the question “What do you think it means to be human?” and choose a characteristic that changed substantially in the human family tree to develop a scientific argument based on evidence for when the character evolved.

Audience: 9-12

Source: Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

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

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

imageModeling Evolutionary Relationships with Trees
In this lesson, students will examine a beautiful tree of life poster by artist Ray Troll and use it as a launchpad to explore evolutionary, or phylogenetic trees. Students will take a pre-assessment to address misconceptions about phylogenetic trees before completing a modeling activity to give them a better understanding of how trees are used to model evolutionary relationships.

Audience: 6-8

Source: Shape of Life

Resource type: Classroom activity

imageTree of life poster with images (large)
Print this 28x36" poster for your classroom wall. For ideas about how to use the poster in your class, visit Two- and Ten-minute Trees.

Audience: 6-8

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Poster

imageTwo- and ten-minute trees
Use these quick and simple classroom activities to better develop your students' tree-thinking skills. Each takes just a few minutes and helps reinforce key ideas about tree reading and common ancestry.

Audience: 6-8

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Classroom activity

imageUsing pipe cleaners to bring the Tree of Life to life
Students build a phylogenetic tree from pipe cleaners that allows them to rotate branches, compare topologies, map complete lineages, identify informative phylogenetic features, and examine the effects of superficial structural changes on the tree.

Audience: 6-8

Source: The American Biology Teacher

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

imageIt's All Relative
In this lesson, students find pictures of living things and arrange them in collages, categorizing them according to which they think are more closely related to which.

Audience: 3-5

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Classroom activity

imageTree of life poster with images (large)
Print this 28x36" poster for your classroom wall. For ideas about how to use the poster in your class, visit Two- and Ten-minute Trees.

Audience: 3-5

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Poster

imageTwo- and ten-minute trees
Use these quick and simple classroom activities to better develop your students' tree-thinking skills. Each takes just a few minutes and helps reinforce key ideas about tree reading and common ancestry.

Audience: 3-5

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

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Teaching resource database

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Dealing with objections to evolution

Correcting misconceptions

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