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Title: Common Ancestry: Finding the Proof
Description: This lesson begins with a demonstration describing adaptations of mammals to motivate the students to think about anatomical similarities and differences between species. An interactive PowerPoint presentation follows this engagement activity describing proof of common ancestry based on the fossil record, biogeography, and homologies. The lesson also features a video that explains how a complex set of genes called homeotic genes have been found in all species of animals, including sea creatures, and are responsible for body segmentation in crustaceans, like lobsters, crabs and shrimp. In humans, this same family of genes is responsible for creating our segments, such as our spine and ribs. This video also addresses how these species have evolved over millions of years as nature finds new ways to use their genetic material. Finally, students will explore common ancestry by using a data table and Venn diagram to create Cladograms, a diagram showing the degree of relationship between different organisms. 
Key Words: ancestry, fossil record, biogeography, homologous, analogous, stasis, adaptation, radiometric dating, natural selection 
Grade Level: 9-12th 
Subject: Science 
URL: http://www.pubinfo.vcu.edu/secretsofthesequence/showdetail.asp?id=29 
URL: http://www.education.txstate.edu/ci/faculty/dickinson/PBI/PBISpring07/AlienInvasion/Content/Making%20Cladograms.pdf  
File:
 ancestry lesson plan.doc
File:
 Common ancestry (NXPowerLite).pptx
File:
 Common AncestryWorksheet.docx
File:
 Common Ancestry Key.docx

Teacher's Request: Please create a lesson plan for High School Biology TEKS 7A and B The students knows evolutionary theory is a scientific explnation for teh unity and diversity of life. The student is expected to: A) Analyze and evaluate how evidence of common ancestry among groups is provided by the fossil record, biogeography, and homologies, includding anatomical, molecular, and developmental B) Analyze and evaluate scientific explanations concerning any data of sudden appearance, stasis, and sequential nature of groups in the fossil record
   

 

The PEER Program is composed of three grants entitled "GK-12 Fellows Integrate Science/Math in Rural Middle Schools", "Integrating Environmental Health Science in Rural Schools," and a Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) entitled "Science Promotion in Rural Middle Schools".

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