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Lesson Plan: Evolution

Teacher Name: Rachael Barker


Lesson Title: Biological Evolution
Target Grade/Subject: The target grade is 9th or 10th grade Biology. The students have a
basic understanding of the theory of evolution and its origins. The students enjoy group
work and computer interaction and have a basic knowledge of Google Earth.
Length: 1 hour

VA SOL: Standard BIO.8 c, d, e

1. What is natural selection?


2. How does natural selection lead to new species?
3. How are today’s species at a greater advantage than those of the past?
Objectives:
Students will be role-playing. Some students will be given the chance to
volunteer and come to the front of the class in an effort to illustrate evolution. Through
use of costume and masks, students will grasp the general concept. During lecture,
students will obtain new vocabulary words and understand the mechanism behind
evolution, or natural selection. Students will also use Google Earth in an effort to witness
exactly where Charles Darwin performed most of his work and developed the theory of
evolution. This will be the precursor to a major project for each student’s grade.
Tools and Resources:
-computer (Google Earth)
-costumes
-masks
Preparation
Technology/Classroom Arrangement and Management Strategies:
This lecture will be given in a computer lab. Individual work is highly
encouraged with Google Earth. Activities during lecture will be allotted approximately
10 minutes a piece. Once lecture is complete, which should take about 30 minutes, the
remainder of the class will be spent on Google Earth.
Prerequisite technology skills needed by students:
Students should know how to use the computer/internet. Students should also
have knowledge on how to access and navigate Google Earth. Teacher assistance will be
available.
Lesson Development
Focus and Review of previous work/knowledge:
The lesson will begin with an open discussion based on the class’s knowledge of
the theory of evolution. This will be followed by lecture on the origins of evolution and
the mechanisms behind it, as well as certain advantageous/disadvantageous
characteristics of certain species. This lecture will build upon the student’s limited
knowledge’s of the theory. Google Earth will then be accessed.
Anticipatory Set:
1. When students arrive to class, prompt them with the question, what do you know
already about the theory of evolution?
2. Open discussion will commence, with the teacher asking the class various follow-
up questions such as, which characteristics about yourself do you find put you at
an advantage above other species? (This should last about 5 or 10 minutes)
Instructional Activity:
1. Lecture on a brief description of the theory of evolution and its many components
will be given.
2. During lecture, two breaks will be allotted to provide students the chance to come
to the front of the class and partake in an illustration. The first break will consist
of 4 or 5 students volunteering to come to the front of the class, each given a
different monkey costume (not to envelop the entire student, just a mask). Each
mask will illustrate a certain characteristic change due to biological evolution.
3. The second break will consist of 4 or 5 students volunteering to come to the front
of the class, each given a different bird mask (beak). Each beak will, too,
illustrate a certain characteristic change due to biological evolution.
Guided practice and checking for understanding (Student activities):
1. Upon completion of lecture, the teacher will allot each student access to Google
Earth. Once achieved, each student will search for the Galapagos Islands, the
location where Charles Darwin conducted the majority of his research.
2. The students will be required to write down what is noticed, such as scenery,
longitude/latitude, etc.
3. Once each student has located these islands and evaluated their characteristics,
they will then be assigned partners. Each pair will be assigned a different
Galapagos Island on which to perform general research of its history and what
Charles Darwin found on each. This activity will not be due during this class.
Independent Practice:
1. Students will be given the remainder of classtime (after lecture completed) to
experiment with Google Earth and gain experience in its utility.
Closure:
1. Ask students the following question:
a. Why do you think certain traits (of any species) have developed?
b. What are the advantages/disadvantages to these traits?
Evaluation Procedure
Assessment of objectives:
Students will be awarded participation grades for involvement in class discussion. They
will also be graded for completion of Google Earth activity, entailing descriptions and
sketches of what was seen. Students will be told prior to class that participation is
necessary for this content.
Rubric:
Activities during this lecture will not be graded based on accuracy, but rather, on
completion and participation. This lecture is more discussion-based. Quizzes and tests
on this content will be implemented in the future, though.