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    Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity

Students who demonstrate understanding can:

Performance Expectations

  1. Evaluate the evidence supporting claims that changes in environmental conditions may result in: (1) increases in the number of individuals of some species, (2) the emergence of new species over time, and (3) the extinction of other species. HS-LS4-5

    Clarification Statement and Assessment Boundary

A Peformance Expectation (PE) is what a student should be able to do to show mastery of a concept. Some PEs include a Clarification Statement and/or an Assessment Boundary. These can be found by clicking the PE for "More Info." By hovering over a PE, its corresponding pieces from the Science and Engineering Practices, Disciplinary Core Ideas, and Crosscutting Concepts will be highlighted.

By clicking on a specific Science and Engineering Practice, Disciplinary Core Idea, or Crosscutting Concept, you can find out more information on it. By hovering over one you can find its corresponding elements in the PEs.

Planning Curriculum

Common Core State Standards Connections

ELA/Literacy

  • RST.11-12.8 - Evaluate the hypotheses, data, analysis, and conclusions in a science or technical text, verifying the data when possible and corroborating or challenging conclusions with other sources of information. (HS-LS4-5)
  • WHST.11-12.9 - Draw evidence from informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research. (HS-LS4-5)

Mathematics

  • MP.2 - Reason abstractly and quantitatively. (HS-LS4-5)

Model Course Mapping

First Time Visitors

Resources & Lesson Plans

  • More resources added each week!
    A team of teacher curators is working to find, review, and vet online resources that support the standards. Check back often, as NSTA continues to add more targeted resources.
  • This three-dimensional storyline unit from Next Generation Science Storylines (http://www.nextgenstorylines.org/) consists of three “bends” that engage students in a series of phenomena related to natural selection and evolution.  Ea ...

  • This article in NSTA’s February 2016 issue of “The Science Teacher” describes how “cover boards” can be used to create microhabitats, models of ecosystems, that allow students to investigate  interactions under diff ...

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  • In this activity, students examine pictures of pollen grains representing several species that show the structural differences that scientists use for identification. Students analyze model soil samples with material mixed in to represent pollen grai...

  • This is a lab about evidence for past climate change as captured in ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica. Students investigate climate changes going back thousands of years by graphing and analyzing ice core data from both Greenland and Antarctica....

  • This activity uses geophysical and geochemical data to determine climate in Central America during the recent past and to explore the link between climate (wet periods and drought) and population growth/demise among the Maya. Students use ocean drill...

  • In this activity, students research the relationship between hosts, parasites, and vectors for common vector-borne diseases (VBDs) and evaluate how climate change could affect the spread of disease.

  • This Earth Exploration Toolbook chapter is a detailed computer-based exploration in which students learn how various climatic conditions impact the formations of sediment layers on the ocean floor. They analyze sediment core data from the Ross Ice Sh...

  • This video describes the role that dendrochronology plays in understanding climate change, especially changes to high elevation environments at an upper tree line. Dendrochronologists from the Big Sky Institute sample living and dead trees, describe ...

  • A short video that discusses how changing climate is affecting the population of Adélie penguins.

  • This video describes the effect of a warming climate on the tundra biome and specifically the impacts of changing climate on the Rocky Mountain Pika, a small mammal that struggles with summer heat.

  • This animation illustrates how the hardiness zones for plants have changed between 1990 and 2006 based data from 5,000 National Climatic Data Center cooperative stations across the continental United States.

  • This interactive shows the extent of the killing of lodgepole pine trees in western Canada. The spread of pine beetle throughout British Columbia has devastated the lodgepole pine forests there. This animation shows the spread of the beetle and the i...

  • This video clip highlights the effort on by a group of young students to ban the use of plastic shopping bags in the city of Santa Monica. The video documents the effort and provides visual testimony of the effects that trash and specifically plastic...

  • A short video on how changing climate is impacting the ecosystem and thereby impacting traditional lifestyles of the Athabaskan people of Alaska.

  • In this video, students learn how scientific surveys of wildlife are performed at a site in Yosemite, California. These surveys, in conjunction with studies from the early 1900s, provide evidence that animal populations in Yosemite have shifted over ...

  • In this interactive, students explore, at their own pace, how global climate change may affect health issues. Issues include airborne diseases, developmental disorders, mental health disorders, vector-borne diseases and waterborne diseases.

  • In this activity, students explore how the timing of color change and leaf drop of New England's deciduous trees is changing.

  • This activity introduces students to plotting and analyzing phenology data. Students use 30 years of data that shows the date of the first lilac bloom and the number of days of ice cover of nearby Gull Lake.

  • This is lesson five of a 9-lesson module. Activity explores the effects of climate change on different parts of the Earth system and on human well-being: polar regions, coral reefs, disease vectors, extreme weather, and biodiversity.

  • In this activity from NOAA's Okeanos Explorer Education Materials Collection, learners investigate how methane hydrates might have been involved with the Cambrian explosion.

  • This activity introduces students to stratigraphic correlation and the dating of geologic materials, using coastal sediment cores that preserve a record of past hurricane activity.

Planning Curriculum gives connections to other areas of study for easier curriculum creation.