YOU'RE THE SCIENTIST!
YOUR EVOLUTIONARY FAMILY TREE
A project-based lesson for understanding the shared evolutionary history among all living things
In this lesson, students use the Scientific Method to discover
the shared evolutionary history between and among primate species, including humans.
Phylogeny and evolution reinforce the fact that humans are one animal species among many, that we are all related through evolutionary history, and that each plays an important role in Mother Nature’s biodiversity.
I’m Abby and I’m a scientist. I developed this lesson with NEPC to guide you through the steps of creating an evolutionary family tree.
Scientists use the scientific method to answer questions, investigate hypotheses, and better understand the world around them. It hinges upon experimentation and empirical evidence.
Each step includes instructions, examples, and labs. The instructions and examples include videos and models to guide students through the scientific method process, including how to use it to develop their own evolutionary family tree in the Lab section of each step.
- Learn our evolutionary relationships to our closest living relatives in the animal kingdom
- Learn the vast amount of similarities—physical and behavioral—between us and other great apes
Students will be able to:
- Use the scientific method to answer scientific questions
- Understand the concept of phylogeny
- Identify important details in text readings
GLOSSARY OF TERMS
Empirical evidence: information received by means of the senses, particularly by observation and documentation of patterns and behavior through experimentation
Phylogeny: the history of the evolution of a species or group, especially in reference to lines of descent and relationships among broad groups of organisms
Phylogenetic tree: a diagram that represents evolutionary relationships among organisms
Taxonomy: scientific classification or naming of organisms
During this Lab, you will follow along in your Lab Notebook as you record and complete each of the steps of the scientific method. Once you have finished the lesson, you will have a complete Lab Notebook which will include Venn diagrams, a bar graph, and a phylogenetic tree.
8 steps lead you to your conclusions:
COMMON CORE STANDARDS, STEAM INTEGRATION, and STATE STANDARDS
This project supports many critical skills and standards across grade levels, including these common core standards:
Reading: Informational Text
Key Ideas and Details Standards
Integration and Knowledge of ideas
Text Types and Purposes: Write informative explanatory text
Production and Distribution of writing
Research to Build and Present Knowledge
Science and Technical Subjects:
Key Ideas and Details
Craft and Structure
Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
Will meet individual state secondary school science standards on how biological evolution accounts for the unity and diversity among living organisms.
If you are a teacher who is interested in using this project for your class, and would like assistance in determining how it meets your individual state’s standards and STEAM integration, or how to differentiate across grade levels, please write us at: [email protected].
For questions or comments, e-mail us at [email protected].