Evolutionary Evidence

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1 Evolutionary Evidence 7th Grade, Science and English/Language Arts: Age of Mammals Make the most of your Museum field trip by integrating it into your classroom curriculum. These lesson plans provide a sequence of pre visit, visit, and post visit activities. Built around grade appropriate essential questions, these lesson plans use a Museum field trip to activate student prior knowledge, engage minds, and expand thinking. Essential Question: Why have mammals evolved? Inspirational Work: Evolution Explosion Hall: Age of Mammals Content Standards: English/Language Arts Standards: Research and Technology 1.4 Identify topics; ask and evaluate questions; and develop ideas leading to inquiry, investigation, and research. Science Standards: Evolution, 3.a, Students know both genetic variation and environmental factors are causes of evolution and diversity of organisms. 3.b. Students know the reasoning used by Charles Darwin in reaching his conclusion that natural selection is the mechanism of evolution. 3.c. Students know how independent lines of evidence from geology, fossils, and comparative anatomy provide the bases for the theory of evolution. 3.d. Students know that extinction of a species occurs when the environment changes and the adaptive characteristics of a species are insufficient for its survival. Materials for your fieldtrip: Graphic Organizer (Document 7.4) Pencils Clipboards

2 Pre Visit: Introduction of terms and content Print out vocabulary list, Darwin biography and pictures (Document ) Distribute and discuss biography and vocabulary list, project or distribute images from PowerPoint Ask students the following questions and have them share their responses with a partner (use descriptive and specific vocabulary words) If you were the animal in this picture, predict: What would you hear, smell, touch, taste, etc? How would you respond to these environmental stimuli? What aspects of these pictures could contribute to evolution? Why have mammals evolved? Visit: Note: print out graphic organizer (document 7.4) for each student prior to visit Whole group: (10 minutes) Gather students in front of the Early Mammal and Evolution Explosion Ask students the following questions: How does the early mammal relate to the modern mammals seen here? What physical differences can you identify? What factors have led to those differences? (Reference terms on vocabulary list Document 7.1) Small groups: (20 30 minutes) Divide students into groups of four or five and assign each group a starting point: - Climate (Challenges for Mammals) - Food supply (Grasslands) - Survival (Predator/Prey) Students use graphic organizer (Document 7.4) to take notes and sketch images about evolutionary categories (see leading questions on graphic organizer) Teachers and Chaperones circulate throughout Hall to ensure critical thinking, collaboration and specific note taking Optional whole group: (5 minutes) Have students share findings informally in the Hall (location TBD by teacher)

3 Post Visit: Students gather in their small groups from the museum and compare notes from graphic organizer Each small group is asked to focus on one of the categories they investigated at the museum Each small group will create a poster that presents the connection between their category and the evolutionary process using image and text Small groups select a speaker to present findings to the rest of the class using poster Extended learning opportunities Students select a mammal from research list (Document 7.5) Students use essential question to guide research on selected mammal Students create a multi paragraph essay, PowerPoint presentations, or short video exploring the evolution of selected mammal

4 Document 7.1 Key Vocabulary List: Age of Mammals Hall The following are terms that students should be familiar with prior to the Visit to the Age of Mammals Hall. Please note that the definitions are presented as they relate to the content of the Hall. Evolution Climate Adaptation Predator Prey Natural selection Food sources Geology Fossil Comparative anatomy Evolution is the change in the inherited traits of a population of organisms through successive generations. Temperature, humidity, atmospheric pressure, wind, rainfall, and numerous other meteorological elements in a given region over long periods of time. A physical or behavioral feature which is especially important for an animal s survival. For example, the adaptation of horses' teeth to the grinding of grass, or their ability to run fast and escape predators. An animal or organism that hunts its food. An animal or organism that is hunted by a predator. traits that aid survival and reproduction to become more common, and traits that hinder survival and reproduction to become more rare Where and how animals find their food. A science that deals with the history of the earth as recorded in rocks. Any evidence of pre historic life. A remnant or trace of an organism of a past geologic age, such as a skeleton or leaf imprint, embedded and preserved in the earth's crust. The study of similarities and differences in the anatomy of organisms. It is closely related to evolutionary biology and phylogeny (the evolution of species).

5 Images of Mammal Evolution Document 7.2 (Complete PowerPoint presentation is separate file) Oredont (early mammal) Walking Whale (early marine mammal) Early Horse Have horses evolved over time? Smilodon (Sabertooth Cat) Predator or Prey? Polar Bear and Pygmy Sperm Whale How are these mammals affected by Climate Change?

6 Document 7.3 A Brief Introduction to Charles Darwin Charles Darwin: Born Feb. 12, 1809, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, England died April 19, 1882, Downe, Kent) British naturalist. The grandson of Erasmus Darwin and Josiah Wedgwood, he studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh and biology at Cambridge. He was recommended as a naturalist on HMS Beagle, which was bound on a long scientific survey expedition to South America and the South Seas ( ). His zoological and geological discoveries on the voyage resulted in numerous important publications and formed the basis of his theories of evolution. Seeing competition between individuals of a single species, he recognized that within a local population the individual bird, for example, with the sharper beak might have a better chance to survive and reproduce and that if such traits were passed on to new generations, they would be predominant in future populations. He saw this natural selection as the mechanism by which advantageous variations were passed on to later generations and less advantageous traits gradually disappeared. He worked on his theory for more than 20 years before publishing it in his famous On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection (1859). The book was both popular and controversial: although Darwin was a religious man himself and once considered a career in the church, his theory of evolution was attacked by those who felt it was contrary to the teachings of the Bible. Today Darwin's theories are embraced by nearly all scientists and his theories are the starting point for the modern study of evolutionary biology, even as the religious arguments continue. Darwin published many other books and pamphlets on the topic in later years, most notably The Descent of Man (1871).

7 Document 7.4 Evidence of Evolution As you explore the Age of Mammals Hall, please consider your assigned category and focus on finding evidence of the effect of this category on the evolutionary process. You will be teaching your peers about this category, so become an expert! Sketch Image of Food Supply/ Environment in Grasslands: Focus on the natural environment: how did animals have to change to access the food? Why? Sketch image of Survival in Predator/Prey: Focus on the anatomy: What is the relationship between these mammals? Which physical features contribute to their success or failure in this moment? How do you know?

8 Sketch image of Climates in Climate Change: Focus on the natural environment: where do these mammals live? How do they survive in this climate? What would happen if the climate changed?

9 Document 7.5 List of Mammals for Further Research Present day: Cheetah Polar bear Zebra Pygmy Sperm Whale Sea cow Camel Siberian tiger (endangered species) Alpaca Gazelle Horse Pronghorn Extinct: Dire Wolf, Canus dirus Saber tooth cat, Smilodon Bone cracking dog, Epicyon Prehistoric hippo, Oredont

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