with Leigh Ann Yoder
Darwin's Theory and Evidence of Evolution
Class discussions were quite engaging this week. First we focused on Darwin's actual job on the HMS Beagle, as well as his discoveries. We spent a good deal of time discussing what a Scientific Theory actually is and how it differs from a Scientific Fact. We also discussed Natural Selection as nature's process of Selective Breeding. Next, we delved into the scientific evidence which supports Darwin's Theory of Evolution. I did point out that the text book did not discuss evidence that does not support Darwin's Theory, and the fact that there are many people who do not support his theory. The students seemed quite competent in the material, vocabulary and the concepts.
Interestingly, the students asked for my own personal beliefs as they pertain to the topic. I did share since they asked, and I explained how my beliefs help me stay true to both my religion and my scientific understandings. I urged them all to speak with their own families, and ask these same difficult questions. I find the students are eager to make sense of the science they now have a solid understanding of. It is a great opportunity for educated dinner discussions!
Bird Beak Adaptations
In this fun activity students were given a plate of seeds and 'insects'. They were also provided with four different tools to use as beaks. Choosing one 'beak' they had one minute to pick up as many seeds as they could and place in a cup. They repeated and tried to pick up 'insects'. They tried multiple beaks and at the end voted. The class was almost unanimous on the best beak for seeds and the best beak for 'insects.' This illustrated Darwin's observations of adaptations: a trait that helps an organism survive and reproduce.
Nature at Work Lab
The purpose of this lab was to see how a species changes over time and how its environment can influence the changes. Students simulated a population of white and brown mice living in two different environments, white sand and forest floor. They simulated survival rates over several generations. Students were able to collect all of their data, but they did not have time to complete the Analysis and Conclusion. These are to be completed on separate paper for homework. We will be going over these answers in class next week.
Complete the Analysis and Conclusion section for our lab. Be certain to write answers on a separate piece of paper.
Read 5.3 and complete the Study Guide
Project: Build your display or presentation
Chapter 5 Key Terms and Connecting Concepts
Study Chapter 5
Chapter 5 Review:
There will be an optional Chapter 5 review next week at 9:30AM