Introduction to Evolution (Historical Geology)
Skills and concepts that students must have mastered
How the activity is situated in the course
This was an assignment for one week in the online course.
I teach Earth History in four modules. This opening intro to evolution is the start of the fourth module, life through time. Students in my course have already learned: Module #1: Geologic time, dating. Module #2: Rock cycle, Plate tectonics, Orogenies through time. Module #3: Sed/Strat, Cratonic sequences, Sea level change through time. & now Module #4: Evolution, Mass Extinctions, Fossilization/Preservation, Precambrian life, Life through time. The assessments for Module #1 & #3 are a test. The assessments for Module #2 & #4 are a research papers & presentations. For Module #2 the focus is orogenies, for Module #4 famous fossil sites (lagerstatten). It isn't the focus of this activity but two of the guided questions refer to the module #4 project they are working on at the same time/building up a knowledge base for - so I have also included the project assignment sheet as a reference, too. I emphasize the arc of time in introductory lecture materials, but they also present their projects chronologically, so that the arc of Earth History is emphasized and reviewed multiple times.
Content/concepts goals for this activity
Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity
Other skills goals for this activity
Description and Teaching Materials
Guided Questions Note Sheet (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 549kB Apr9 20)
NOVA evolution lab directions (PowerPoint 2007 (.pptx) 6.1MB Apr9 20)
Fossil Site Project (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 20kB Apr9 20)
Teaching Notes and Tips
This is the first time I've tried this activity - so I'm not sure where students will have issues.
If you use "as is" the instructor should make two discussion board forums ("Evolution Misconceptions" and "Species Relationships") and three assignment upload links in your learning management system (1. 'lab report' quiz answers, 2. screen shot of completed missions, 3. answers to the guided questions). The directions here say blackboard - but I've included the editable versions, so you can change it to suit your specific needs.