Academic standards correlations on Teachers' Domain use the Achievement Standards Network (ASN) database of state and national standards, provided to NSDL projects courtesy of JES & Co.
We assign reference terms to each statement within a standards document and to each media resource, and correlations are based upon matches of these terms for a given grade band. If a particular standards document of interest to you is not displayed yet, it most likely has not yet been processed by ASN or by Teachers' Domain. We will be adding social studies and arts correlations over the coming year, and also will be increasing the specificity of alignment.
In this lesson, students learn about the fossil record, the primary type of evidence scientists use to piece together the history of life and to support and refine the theory of evolution. The lesson begins with an overview of the fossil formation process, then covers the evolution of land-dwelling animals from fish, and finally looks at how some mammals (whales) ended up back in the water.
1. Have students watch the Becoming a Fossil video. Then discuss the following:
2. Have students watch the Laetoli Footprints video. Then discuss the following:
3. Have students watch the Radiometric Dating video. Then discuss the process of radiometric dating, as well as other methods of dating fossil finds.
4. Have students watch the Fish with Fingers video. Then discuss the following:
5. Have students examine the Tetrapod Limbs image. Then discuss the image with students, focusing on these specific questions:
6. Show the Evolving Ideas: How Do We Know Evolution Happens? video and discuss the following:
7. Pass out copies of the Whales in the Making handout and the Whale Evolution Data Table Worksheet (PDF) worksheet. Have students work in teams of two. Ask them to cut out the six fossil boxes from the handout and gather information about each fossil from resources in the Evolution Library (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/library) or in books from the school library.
8. Ask each team of two to prepare an Eocene epoch timeline on paper, using the same scale as the classroom model (one inch equals one million years). Their timelines should be twenty-one inches long. Each million years should be labeled, with 34 Mya at the top of the timeline and 55 Mya at the bottom.
9. Have teams mount fossil boxes 1 and 2 from the handout at the proper locations on their timelines. Point out the large gap between these two fossils. Then have students add the remaining fossils in order by the age of the fossil (from youngest to oldest).
10. Discuss the following:
To help students synthesize what they've learned about evolution from these activities, ask them to discuss the following: