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Beaks of Finches State Lab

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Beaks of Finches State Lab

Students learn about the role of adaptations in natural selection through this mandated State Lab.

Climate Change & Human Impact Unit Plan

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Climate Change & Human Impact Unit Plan

Human population growth, globalization, and industrialization are having profound impacts on the long term health and stability of ecosystems, permanently altering the products of billions of years of evolutionary history on planet Earth. In this unit, students create plans to address the population decline of endangered species, gaining a greater understanding of how humans have altered ecosystems and what actions may be taken (including the use of biotechnology) to preserve biodiversity. Students create models and utilize simulations to gain a deeper understanding of large scale geological and biological processes.

Evolution, Natural Selection, and Extinction 5E Instructional Model Plan

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Evolution, Natural Selection, and Extinction 5E Instructional Model Plan

 

The history of the Earth is filled with environmental changes, extinction events, and the evolution of a diversity of organisms. In this sequence, students explore the process of adaptation through natural selection and how this compares to the individual acclimatization of organisms in a changing environment in order to gain a better understanding of how life on Earth will adjust (or not!) to global changes such as human-caused climate change.

Investigating Solutions Resource Index

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Investigating Solutions Resource Index

This resource index can be used to select resources for students to read in order to answer their group's questions and addresses issues that arose in the Engage phase.

Investigating Solutions to Human Impact 5E Instructional Model Plan

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Investigating Solutions to Human Impact 5E Instructional Model Plan

 

Finding solutions to complex global concerns such as human-caused climate change will require coordination between stakeholders at multiple levels, and the innovative use of technology. In this sequence, students review the causes behind important environmental concerns, and explore specific actions that can be taken to address or mitigate the impacts of climate change and the overconsumption of natural resources.

Mechanisms and Effects of Climate Change 5E Instructional Model Plan

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Mechanisms and Effects of Climate Change 5E Instructional Model Plan

 

 

Climate change is a paramount global environmental concern. In order to understand this complex phenomena, one must examine a set of cause and effect relationships that connect the global carbon cycle and human use of fossil fuels to emerging climate change impacts such as sea level rise. In this sequence, students explore a variety of data sets, graphs, and other visuals to gain an insight into how human-caused climate change is occurring and how to address or mitigate its' future impacts.

Natural Selection 5E Instructional Model Plan

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Natural Selection 5E Instructional Model Plan

Ordinarily, traits evolve in organisms, based on conditions in their environment, because those traits confer a reproductive advantage. This process of evolution, through natural selection, can take place over a long period of time, particularly in more complex species. Students may have already learned about the rapid evolution of antibiotic resistance in Unit 4; this is a chance to revisit that concept in the context of natural vs. human-driven species change. This is especially important for this unit, as it will be important to surface the difference between adaptation (through natural selection) and an individual organism's ability to acclimate to the environment.

Natural Selection Simulation

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Natural Selection Simulation

In this simulation from Phet Sim, students observe concepts behind natural selection, but in a sped-up time frame.

Resources Continuum

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Resources Continuum

Students place cards on a continuum from "renewable" to "nonrenewable" as a way to surface their understandings about the content.

Species Survival Plan Performance Task

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Species Survival Plan Performance Task

In this performance task, students address the following task: "How are human activities altering the physical and living environment? Is it possible to save species from extinction? To answer these questions, write a narrative explaining three possible actions that could lead to the survival of a specific keystone species that is currently under threat. Use evidence from texts, videos, and secondary data sources, along with sound scientific reasoning and logic, to create your narrative."

Teacher Resources on Evolution

Living Environment
Unit 8: Climate Change and Human Impact: Extinction vs. Evolution
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Teacher Resources on Evolution

This is a useful resource for building background knowledge, as a teacher, about the topic of evolution.

The Beaks of Finches 3-Level Reading Guide

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The Beaks of Finches 3-Level Reading Guide

Students work in groups to complete this reading guide as a tool for navigating a complex text.