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Investigating Common Descent: Formulating Explanations and Models (Grades 9-12)
Author/Source: National Academy of Sciences (via Understanding Evolution)
Overview: Students formulate explanations and models that simulate structural and biochemical data as they investigate the misconception that humans evolved from apes.
Concepts: This lesson covers the following concepts:
- Present-day species evolved from earlier species; the relatedness of organisms is the result of common ancestry.
- Similarities among existing organisms provide evidence for evolution.
- Anatomical similarities of living things reflect common ancestry.
- All life forms use the same basic DNA building blocks.
- Scientists pose, test, and revise multiple hypotheses to explain what they observe.
- Our understanding of life through time is based upon multiple lines of evidence.
- Scientists use the similarity of DNA nucleotide sequences to infer the relatedness of taxa.
- Scientists use anatomical evidence to infer the relatedness of taxa.
Grade Level: 9-12
Time: Two class periods
Teacher Background: Explore these links for additional information on the topics covered in this lesson: