Prior Knowledge Recommended:
The Scientific Method
The general principals of Linnaean Taxonomy
How to read and interpret phylogeny trees
Basic evolutionary theory
- B2. investigate, through laboratory and/or field activities or through simulations, the principles of scientific classification, using appropriate sampling and classification techniques;
- B3. demonstrate an understanding of the diversity of living organisms in terms of the principles of taxonomy and phylogeny.
- B3.1 explain the fundamental principles of taxonomy and phylogeny by defining concepts of taxonomic rank and relationship, such as genus, species, and taxon
Scientific Investigation Skills:
- Gather, organize, and record relevant information from research
- Think critically and logically
- Process and synthesize data
- Interpret data/information to identify patterns and relationships
- Solve problems
- Draw conclusions
- Use appropriate formats to communicate results (e.g. written paragraphs, data tables)
- Express results accurately and precisely
Description of Activity:
Students research the taxonomic breakdown of a variety of organisms. Based on the taxonomic breakdown of each organism, students will determine whether a number of morphological traits are present or absent in each of the organisms.
Students will then propose a plausible evolutionary history for the organisms based on their morphological similarities.
This activity is a redesigned version of “Making Cladograms” from ENSI’s resource site at: http://www.indiana.edu/~ensiweb/lessons/mclad.html