Thermoregulation in Dinosaurs

Contributor
Bob Kuhn, Centennial High School, Roswell, Georgia; HHMI BioInteractive
Type Category
Instructional Materials
Types
Article , Data , Illustration , Instructor Guide/Manual , Phenomenon
Note
This resource, vetted by NSTA curators, is provided to teachers along with suggested modifications to make it more in line with the vision of the NGSS. While not considered to be “fully aligned,” the resources and expert recommendations provide teachers with concrete examples and expert guidance using the EQuIP rubric to adapted existing resources. Read more here.

Reviews

Description

Thermoregulation in Dinosaurs is one of a series of Data Point resources from HHMI Biointeractive. Data Points engage students in analyzing and interpreting data from primary literature in the biological sciences.  The resources are intended to provide authentic phenomena to spark student discussion and exploration, but they can also serve as three-dimensional assessment items.   In this resource, students interpret a graph which illustrates the correlation between resting metabolic rates and mass for living vertebrate species with different thermoregulation strategies (endotherms, exotherms, and mesotherms) and extinct species of dinosaurs.  The resource comes with student and teacher material that include background information which could be eliminated.  

 

The primary source for this Data Point may be found at: http://science.sciencemag.org/content/344/6189/1268.full. (Free registration with AAAS is required for access to this link.)

 

Additional related materials can be found at: http://scienceintheclassroom.org/research-papers/evidence-mesothermy-dinosaurs/university

 

Additional instructional materials can be found at:

http://www.hhmi.org/biointeractive/how-did-dinosaurs-regulate-their-body-temperature

 

Intended Audience

Educator and learner
Educational Level
  • High School
Language
English
Access Restrictions

Free access - The right to view and/or download material without financial, registration, or excessive advertising barriers.

Performance Expectations

HS-LS4-1 Communicate scientific information that common ancestry and biological evolution are supported by multiple lines of empirical evidence.

Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on a conceptual understanding of the role each line of evidence has relating to common ancestry and biological evolution. Examples of evidence could include similarities in DNA sequences, anatomical structures, and order of appearance of structures in embryological development.

Assessment Boundary: none

This resource was not designed to build towards this performance expectation, but can be used to build towards it using the suggestions provided below.

Comments about Including the Performance Expectation
This HHMI Data Point could engage students at the beginning of teaching this performance expectation or as an assessment of the performance expectation. The resource is framed as a discussion starter in which students are asked to make claims in response to prompts provided in the Educator Materials as they analyze the data shown. The background information provided, coupled with the primary article on which this resource was based, could be used to help students develop an understanding that evidence for common ancestry can be inferred from the study of comparative anatomy and from the similarities of cellular processes and structures which link living species to their ancestors. .

MS-LS1-3 Use argument supported by evidence for how the body is a system of interacting subsystems composed of groups of cells.

Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on the conceptual understanding that cells form tissues and tissues form organs specialized for particular body functions. Examples could include the interaction of subsystems within a system and the normal functioning of those systems.

Assessment Boundary: Assessment does not include the mechanism of one body system independent of others. Assessment is limited to the circulatory, excretory, digestive, respiratory, muscular, and nervous systems.

This resource was not designed to build towards this performance expectation, but can be used to build towards it using the suggestions provided below.

Comments about Including the Performance Expectation
This HHMI Data Point could engage students at the beginning of teaching this performance expectation or as an assessment of the performance expectation. The resource is framed as a discussion starter in which students are asked to make claims in response to prompts provided in the Educator Materials as they analyze the data shown. The background information provided, coupled with the primary article on which this resource was based, could be used to help students develop an understanding that feedback mechanisms help living organisms maintain the proper internal conditions needed for survival.

Science and Engineering Practices

This resource appears to be designed to build towards this science and engineering practice, though the resource developer has not explicitly stated so.

Comments about Including the Science and Engineering Practice
The graph represents a mathematical model of the relationship among four different data sets. This resource engages students in analyzing and interpreting data from a primary source, but it relies heavily on the teacher to facilitate this engagement. Students analyzing the data will be able to identify that there is a correlation between resting metabolic rates and mass. The patterns in the data can lead students to question if there is a relationship between metabolic rates and an organism's thermoregulatory strategy.

Disciplinary Core Ideas

This resource appears to be designed to build towards this disciplinary core idea, though the resource developer has not explicitly stated so.

Comments about Including the Disciplinary Core Idea
The teacher can use the student analysis of this data set and corresponding Great Transitions to prompt questions about the mechanisms driving the observed phenomenon in order to help students build their understanding of this core idea. If this resource is used to engage students at the beginning of a learning sequence, then it will be important to provide students additional learning experiences that build their understanding around this core idea.

This resource appears to be designed to build towards this disciplinary core idea, though the resource developer has not explicitly stated so.

Comments about Including the Disciplinary Core Idea
The teacher can use the student analysis of this data set and corresponding Great Transitions video to prompt questions about the mechanisms driving the observed phenomenon in order to help students build their understanding of this core idea. If this resource is used to engage students at the beginning of a learning sequence, then it will be important to engage students in additional learning experiences that build their understanding around this core idea.

Crosscutting Concepts

This resource appears to be designed to build towards this crosscutting concept, though the resource developer has not explicitly stated so.

Comments about Including the Crosscutting Concept
This resource is framed around students using empirical evidence to identify patterns in the data to support a claim. Teachers can use question prompts (http://stemteachingtools.org/assets/landscapes/STEM-Teaching-Tool-41-Cross-Cutting-Concepts-Prompts.pdf) to help students utilize the crosscutting concepts as a way to make sense of the observed phenomena.

Resource Quality

  • Alignment to the Dimensions of the NGSS: This Data Point provides an authentic phenomenon that could anchor a series of three-dimensional learning activities. In this case, an initial discussion would allow the teacher to expose students’ thinking before facilitating students in exploring the phenomenon through additional learning activities. Alternatively, this resource could be used as an assessment item. In either case, the resource should be strengthened by combining it with other learning experiences. It is important to note that connections to the Crosscutting Concepts must be explicitly made.

  • Instructional Supports: By using authentic data from a primary source, this Data Point provides an excellent, scientifically accurate context in which students can engage in three-dimensional learning to make sense of a phenomenon. The background information and the discussion questions in the Educator Materials are excellent and provide guidance for teachers to support instruction. This resource is written as a discussion prompt, and a whole-class discussion would provide one venue for the teacher to hear student ideas and give feedback on those ideas. However, the resource is not a full lesson. As a result, it does not provide a full range of instructional supports, such as opportunities for students to build on feedback, guidance for differentiation, and scaffolds to support students in engaging in practices or applying crosscutting concepts. The teacher will need to incorporate these supports while building a full instructional sequence around this resource.

  • Monitoring Student Progress: Whether it is used formatively or summatively, the Data Point offers an excellent opportunity to gather evidence of students’ three-dimensional learning. A class discussion guided by the provided discussion questions would provide both an learning experience for students and a rich opportunity for informal formative assessment.

  • Quality of Technological Interactivity: This is not an interactive, technology-based resource.