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Evolution

Evolution

Processes by which organisms are changed over time

Evolution is the process by which organisms change over time. Mutations produce genetic variation in populations, and the environment interacts with this variation to select those individuals best adapted to their surroundings. The best-adapted individuals leave behind more offspring than less well-adapted individuals. Given enough time, one species may evolve into many others.

Evolution
Images and animations are courtesy of the National Human Genome Research Institute's Talking Glossary (http://www.genome.gov/glossary/).

Materials for Evolution

Animation

Understanding Genetics

Description: A short interactive activity on gene conservation

Who's Who In Human Evolution

Description: An interactive animation that traces the evolution of mankind

Articles/Research

Evolution

Description: Introduction to evolution with links for finding further detailed information

Evolution 101 - Understanding Evolution

Description: A seven part series exploring key concepts of evolution

Evolution Education - Understanding and Teaching the Science of Evolution

Description: Information on evolution and related topics

Evolution in your life

Description: Recorded interviews with various experts describing how evolution can be seen in the world around us

Evolution: What is life’s history on Earth?

Description: Articles and interviews providing updates about current evolutionary research

How Did We Get Here?

Description: A history on evolution and discovery

The Common Genetic Code

Description: Information and a video on evolution and gene conservation

The New Genetics - Life's Genetic Tree

Description: Information from a science education booklet that covers evolutionary biology, SNPs, model organisms, circadian rhythms, bioinformatics, and gene sequencing

Games

Darwin for a Day

Description: An activity exploring and cataloging your discoveries on the Galapagos Islands using a web application and Google Street View

Do You Want To Be an Evolutionary Biologist

Description: An interactive trivia game testing your knowledge of evolutionary biology

Evolution in Action

Description: A game on natural selection and evolution

Interactive Tutorials

Evolution of Tungara Frog Mating Calls

Description: An interactive tutorial on the mating calls of Physalaemus frogs, including how the calls have evolved over time and how genetic information has been used to create an evolutionary tree

Introduction to Evolution

Description: Video and practice problems teaching core concepts of evolution, including mechanisms for evolutions and classifications and taxonomy

Life Science

Description: Videos and practice problems teaching core concepts of life science, including the structure and function of cells, cellular reproduction, heredity, evolution and biodiversity

Variation, Selection, & Time

Description: Videos, interactive tutorials, and articles on natural selection and genetic variation

Labs & Experiments

Do You See What I See?

Description: A series of lesson plans and laboratory exercises exploring vision, color perception, color-blindness, diversity of vision across species, and how this diversity affects survival and reproduction. You may need to register to view the lesson plans, but the plans and registration is free.

Exploring Mutant Organisms

Description: An evolution and genetic diversity virtual laboratory experiment

Stickleback Evolution Virtual Lab

Description: A virtual lab teaching skills of data collection and analysis to study evolutionary processes

Teacher Resources

Applied Evolution: How Will We Get There from Here? (PDF 28.17 KB, Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: Students perform a simulated natural selection activity with candy, prepare a mock HIV court case, imagine Earth in the future, track a Hantavirus outbreak, conduct “Marty the Mutating Marcescens” experiment, and brainstorm a potential detergent enzyme.

cK-12 Foundation - Teachers

Description: Ck-12 Foundation offers life-science simulations to immerse students in an interactive learning experience, practice problems, free full-text FlexBook Textbooks, tools for leading group discussions and more.

Classroom Activities: Gene Switches (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: Teaching materials on evolution and genetic variation with a classroom activity to model a gene switch

Do You See What I See? (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: A series of lesson plans and laboratory exercises exploring vision, color perception, color-blindness, diversity of vision across species, and how this diversity affects survival and reproduction. You may need to register to view the lesson plans, but the plans and registration is free.

Evolution and Medicine (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: Lesson plans on how evolution informs human health, biomedical problems, and disease treatment

Evolution in a Ring (PDF 28.17 KB, Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: This lesson engages students in critical thinking about ring species and how the process of speciation occurs.

Evolution: Are There Really Missing Links? (PDF 13.91 KB, Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: This lesson focuses on applying evidence for evolutionary transitions to the general theory of evolution. Students can investigate how Darwin’s finches would adapt to simulated island environments, create an exhibit of “missing links” art, market a virtual natural history museum and more.

Evolution: Is It Fact and/or Theory? (PDF 26.75 KB, Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: This lesson examines patterns of change in nature, mechanisms of evolution, and factual evidence for evolution.

Extinction: Is It Inevitable? (PDF 28.17 KB, Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: This lesson explores the cycle of extinction and biotic recovery, with special emphasis on the causes of extinction.

How Do New Species Form? (PDF 28.17 KB, Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: This lesson explores speciation, stasis, and change with activities that focus on comparing gradualism to punctuated equilibrium.

Identifying Angiosperms (PDF 28.17 KB, Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: The lessons use photography and guided discussion to engage students in learning about classification, co-evolution, and the mystery of disappearing bees crucial to the pollination of flowers.

Mapping Change Over Time (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: Collect information about the organisms alive at different times since the Earth formed. Discuss reasons for extinctions. Discuss advantages of change

mtDNA: So What Did You Inherit from Your Mom? (PDF 26.75 KB, Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: This lesson examines the structure and function of mitochondria and its role in evolution

Our Universe: Designed or Evolved? (PDF 15.34 KB, Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: This lesson investigates and compares two views — Intelligent Design and Evolution.

Poster: Fossil Evidence and Evolution

Description: A printable poster for your classroom. Students are challenged to place seven types of fossils into the proper geological era.

Roots: The Ancestry of Modern People (PDF 13.91 KB, Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: This lesson examines the two main models of the origin of modern humans. Students can map the movements of early humans, consider what it takes to be a paleoanthropologist, write a news flash about Lucy’s discovery, chart a book plot about the adventures of an early hominid, and create a sketchbook of hominid fossils.

Teaching Materials: Understanding Evolution

Description: Resources for teaching evolutionary patterns, processes, and theory

The Teacher-Friendly Guide™ to Evolution Using Bivalves as a Model Organism

Description: A guide providing teachers with background information to support existing curricula and aid in teaching the concept of evolution.

Visualizing Gene-Expression Patterns

Description: A slide show with video clips illustrating how scientists detect when a gene is being expressed in tissues

What Makes Honey Bees Work Together? (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: A series of lesson plans exploring how genes and environment affect behavior, as well as introduces students to research tools used to investigate gene expression. You may need to register to view the lesson plans, but the plans and registration is free.

Video

Genetic Switches

Description: A video explaining how genetic switches enable old genes to be used in new ways

The Making of the Fittest: Evolving Switches, Evolving Bodies

Description: A short film on how stickleback fish have adapted to new environments