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Flinn, Kathryn M. – American Biology Teacher, 2015
In this classroom activity, students build a phylogeny for woody plant species based on the morphology of their twigs. Using any available twigs, students can practice the process of cladistics to test evolutionary hypotheses for real organisms. They identify homologous characters, determine polarity through outgroup comparison, and construct a…
Descriptors: Class Activities, Science Activities, Teaching Methods, Educational Strategies
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Senter, Phil; Ambrocio, Zenis; Andrade, Julia B.; Foust, Katanya K.; Gaston, Jasmine E.; Lewis, Ryshonda P.; Liniewski, Rachel M.; Ragin, Bobby A.; Robinson, Khanna L.; Stanley, Shane G. – American Biology Teacher, 2015
Lists of vestigial biological structures in biology textbooks are so short that some young-Earth creationist authors claim that scientists have lost confidence in the existence of vestigial structures and can no longer identify any verifiable ones. We tested these hypotheses with a method that is easily adapted to biology classes. We used online…
Descriptors: Biology, Evolution, Creationism, Science Education
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Robischon, Marcel – American Biology Teacher, 2015
Genetic drift is a concept of population genetics that is central to understanding evolutionary processes and aspects of conservation biology. It is frequently taught using rather abstract representations. I introduce three real-life zoological examples, based on historical and recent color morphs of tigers, tapirs, and ravens, that can complement…
Descriptors: Genetics, Animals, Science Instruction, Teaching Methods
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Hubler, Tina; Adams, Patti; Scammell, Jonathan – American Biology Teacher, 2015
The molecular basis of evolution is an important and challenging concept for students to understand. In a previous article, we provided some of the scientific background necessary to teach this topic. This article features a series of laboratory activities demonstrating that molecular events can alter the genomes of organisms. These activities are…
Descriptors: Laboratory Experiments, Science Activities, Molecular Biology, Genetics
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Bouwma-Gearhart, Jana; Bouwma, Andrew – American Biology Teacher, 2015
The "Next Generation Science Standards" (NGSS Lead States, 2013) recommend that science courses engage communities of students in scientific practices that include building accurate conceptual models of phenomena central to the understanding of scientific disciplines. We offer a set of activities, implemented successfully at both the…
Descriptors: Scientific Concepts, Scientific Literacy, Scientific Principles, Science Activities
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Zeeh, Ann; Quell, Andrew – American Biology Teacher, 2015
Teachers are being challenged to engage students in ways that will elevate student interest and understanding of concepts in science and encourage students to gather evidence to support what we know about science. It is critical for teachers to have budget-friendly, supporting activities that are aligned with current educational standards, that…
Descriptors: Science Instruction, Scientific Concepts, Student Interests, Science Activities
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Davenport, K. D.; Milks, Kirstin Jane; Van Tassell, Rebecca – American Biology Teacher, 2015
Interpreting cladograms is a key skill for biological literacy. In this lesson, students interpret cladograms based on familial relationships and language relationships to build their understanding of tree thinking and to construct a definition of "common ancestor." These skills can then be applied to a true biological cladogram.
Descriptors: Science Instruction, Biology, Genetics, Language Usage
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Hubler, Tina; Adams, Patti; Scammell, Jonathan – American Biology Teacher, 2015
The molecular basis of evolution is an important concept to understand but one that students and teachers often find challenging. This article provides training and guidance for teachers on how to present molecular evolution concepts so that students will associate molecular changes with the evolution of form and function in organisms. Included…
Descriptors: Molecular Biology, Science Education, Evolution, Scientific Concepts
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Schultheis, Elizabeth H.; Kjelvik, Melissa K. – American Biology Teacher, 2015
Current educational reform calls for increased integration between science and mathematics to overcome the shortcomings in students' quantitative skills. Data Nuggets (free online resource, http://datanuggets.org) are worksheets that bring data into the classroom, repeatedly guiding students through the scientific method and making claims…
Descriptors: Inquiry, Science Process Skills, Educational Change, Statistical Analysis
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Cooper, Robert A. – American Biology Teacher, 2015
This paper presents an activity that engages students in model-based reasoning, requiring them to predict the behavior of the trp and lac operons under different environmental conditions. Students are presented six scenarios for the "trp" operon and five for the "lac" operon. In most of the scenarios, specific mutations have…
Descriptors: Biology, Models, Prediction, Vignettes
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Cameron, Jacquelyn; Moore, Randy – American Biology Teacher, 2015
Many biology teachers visit Dayton, Tennessee, to experience "ground zero" of the evolution-creationism controversy. This article provides concise descriptions, addresses, and GPS coordinates for the trial-related sites in and around Dayton.
Descriptors: Biology, Creationism, Evolution, Controversial Issues (Course Content)
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Kudrna, Jeremy; Shore, Marta; Wassenberg, Deena – American Biology Teacher, 2015
Anthropogenic climate change (ACC) and evolution are examples of issues that are perceived differently by scientists and the general public. Within the scientific community, there are clear consensuses that human activities are increasing global temperatures (ACC) and that evolutionary mechanisms have led to the biodiversity of life on Earth…
Descriptors: Climate, Evolution, Science Instruction, Comprehension
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Bland, Mark W.; Morrison, Elizabeth – American Biology Teacher, 2015
Evolution is widely regarded as biology's unifying theme, yet rates of rejection of evolutionary science remain high. Anecdotal evidence suggests that cognitive dissonance leading to an emotional response is a barrier to learning about and accepting evolution. We explored the hypothesis that students whose worldviews may be inconsistent with the…
Descriptors: Biology, Emotional Response, Evolution, Science Instruction
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Nash, Troy R.; Yang, Suann; Inman, John C. – American Biology Teacher, 2015
We describe an alternative to the kinds of observation-based lab exercises that are often used to cover animal and plant evolution with respect to transitioning from aquatic to terrestrial habitats. We wrote this activity to address these objectives, but also to model the process of scientific inquiry and to require students to collect and analyze…
Descriptors: Science Activities, Evolution, Botany, Animals
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Countryman, Lyn L.; Maroo, Jill D. – American Biology Teacher, 2015
Considerable anecdotal evidence indicates that some of the most difficult concepts that both high school and undergraduate elementary-education students struggle with are those surrounding evolutionary principles, especially speciation. It's no wonder that entry-level biology students are confused, when biologists have multiple definitions of…
Descriptors: Secondary School Science, College Science, Evolution, Scientific Principles
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