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Utah Science

Curriculum Consortium

Tyson Grover 

tgrover@dsdmail.net

Annette Nielson

afonnesbeck@dsdmail.net

Storyline Narrative 7.5.2

Standard 7.5.2: Analyze and interpret data for patterns in the fossil record that document the existence, diversity, extinction, and change of life forms throughout the history of life on Earth under the assumption that natural laws operate today as in the past.

Student Friendly Objective: I can analyze and interpret data about patterns found in the fossil record that document different life forms throughout Earth's history.

Anchor Phenomenon: Horse ancestors had toes.

Big Idea: Fossil record gives evidence that life has changed over time.

Students will be engaged by looking at a picture of gaming systems. They will see how they were started and how they have changed over time. This picture will allow students to think and analyze about how one system was developed and changed over time to having many results. It will also raise the question of how we know where the systems started and what gave rise to newer systems. Introduce the phenomenon on the next slide of the evolution of horses, showing the feet of early horse ancestors.

Students will explore the phenomena of the fossils of the earth. They will analyze and interpret data on how fossils can show us patterns about what the environment and climate was like. Fossils allow us to learn what organisms lived long ago and how they came to be. Just as the gaming systems show change over time, students will see through the fossil record that organisms change over time as well. Students will learn about organisms that live today which resemble those of the past. Fossils can teach us about extinct organisms and how they came to be extinct. Students are also able to compare through fossils, the changes that have occurred in a species over time. Students will look at fossils over geological time and in different climates to see how a species developed, protected itself, changed over time and became extinct.

 

​Students will explore by working with imaginary fossils and organizing them into a timeline. Once on the timeline students will be able to identify and explain where mutations and changes have occurred and whether those changes were beneficial or detrimental to the survival of the organism. They will work with evolutionary trees to organize their data.

In the extension, students can continue to explore by looking at maps of bone locations and try to figure out if there are patterns to show what happened to cause a large group of carnivores to come together and then become extinct. Students will use the patterns to explain which hypothesis gives them the best evidence of what occurred. They can also use the patterns to see what animals lived in the same environment at the same time. Students will be able to construct explanations of what may have happened to cause the extinction of so many species. Why did the organisms die? Why are there massive number of Carnivores? What brought them all together in one location? What caused their extinction? Students will predict what they think happened at the Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry.

Students then can elaborate their understanding of fossil records but learning about and creating a method for tracking evolutionary relationships (episode 3).

Students will move on to standard 7.5.3 before evaluation.

Episode 1

Question

What do fossils tell us?

Snapshot

Students will look at fossils over geological time and in different climates to see how a species developed, protected itself, changed over time and became extinct.

Conceptual Understandings

Organisms have changed over time in order to survive. Those that could not change have become extinct.

Can we identify the patterns or changes within a species that change over time?

 

Conceptual Understandings

Some patterns are found to carry on through time. Others however have had mutations. These mutations or changes have then been passed down.

How do scientists create models to track these changes? (E3)

Are there patterns that help students to understand why a species died? (E2) Extension

Snapshot

Students will use fossils and a timeline to investigate changes to two species over time.

Episode 2

Question

Can we identify the patterns or changes within a species that change over time?

 

Episode 2: Extension Activity

Question

Are there patterns that help students to understand why a species died?

Snapshot

Students will look at maps of bone locations and try to figure out if there are patterns to show what happened to cause a large group of carnivores to come together and then die together.

 

Conceptual Understandings

Organisms have changed over time in order to survive. Those that could not change have become extinct.

How do scientists create models to track these changes?

Conceptual Understandings

Some patterns are found to carry on through time. Others however have had mutations.  These mutations or changes have then been passed down.

Can looking at bones from the past and the present organisms help us find patterns of evolutionary descent?

Snapshot

Students will place imaginary fossils and sequences that show patterns of evolution or evolutionary trees.  They will investigate the two major hypotheses on how evolution take place:

Episode 3

Question

Can the patterns or changes within a species that change over time?