“Beetle Battles” is one lesson from the Data Nuggets website. Data Nuggets are lessons that originated from a partnership of teachers and scientists to address both the needs of scientists to share their research broadly and improve their communication skills and the needs of teachers for authentic resources that help students engage in the practice of science. Data Nuggets give students practice interpreting quantitative information and making claims based on evidence. In this activity, students use and/or construct graphs to facilitate data interpretation, and are challenged to construct explanations based on evidence.
“Beetle battles” delves into the male-male competition amongst horned dung beetles that may lead to successful reproduction. Students are asked this driving question: “How does strength affect the male horned dung beetles’ chances of winning fights or being chosen as a mate?” The lesson involves graphing data, making a claim, and providing evidence and reasoning to support the claim. The lesson includes a teacher guide (available by email request: firstname.lastname@example.org), student activity sheets at three different proficiency levels, background information, a grading rubric, and additional support and information.