Introduction to Evolution / Cosmos Video

We began Unit 6 with a brief class discussion about what students know (or think they know) about evolution.  All student ideas were recorded and served as an entry point into the second episode of Cosmos from the 2014 series hosted by Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson.  Student initial ideas are shared below.  We watched the first 30 minutes of the video today, pausing periodically to answer questions on the handout students received and which will be turned in after we complete the video tomorrow.  Students learned today during the episode (titled “Some of the Things That Molecules Do”):

  • dogs and wolves share a common ancestor (artificial selection);
  • polar bears and brown bears share a common ancestor (natural selection);
  • how random DNA mutations can occasionally produce desirable traits depending on the environment in which the organism with the mutation lives;
  • how all life on Earth is connected via DNA to a common ancestor (using the Tree of Life analogy);
  • how the evolution of sight can be traced all the way back to bacteria
1st period initial ideas
4th period initial ideas
6th period initial ideas

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