Science and Teaching for Field Instructors

Related & Different

Are you related to a lizard? This Adaptations Activity gives students insights into
how very different organisms are actually related (distantly). Students search for two somewhat closely related organisms (like two kinds of insects, or a spider and an insect) to compare, using Venn diagrams. Then they debate which two organisms studied by a team are most closely related, supporting their ideas with evidence and reasoning. Finally, they interpret a “Tree of Life” diagram to see how living things on Earth share common ancestors. This activity helps students develop a foundation for understanding key ideas about evolution.

Students will:
  • Compare and contrast organisms.
  • Understand that all organisms are related.
  • Use patterns in body structures to infer relatedness.
  • Make explanations about how closely related different organisms might be.
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Related & Different Instructor Guide