• Science

Classroom Resources:

  • Textbook readings - you can access the online version of the book via the Resources and Links menu on the Biology Homepage
Life forms reproduce and therefore have a tendency to become more numerous.
The offspring differs from the parent in minor random ways.
If the differences are helpful, the offspring is more likely to survive and reproduce.
This means that more offspring in the next generation will have the helpful difference.
These differences accumulate resulting in changes within the population.
Over time, populations branch off to become new species as they become separated.
This process is responsible for the many diverse life forms in the world.
A paleontological tree of the evolution of man, reptiles, and fish. Haeckel's Paleontological Tree of Vertebrates (c. 1879).
The evolutionary history of species has been described as a "tree", with many branches arising from a single trunk. While Haeckel's tree is somewhat outdated, it illustrates clearly the principles that more complex modern reconstructions can obscure.


Learning Targets: 

  • Demonstrate organizational skills such as keeping a daily calendar of assignments and activities and maintaining a notebook of class work.
    • Keep your binder organized and updated. 
  • Apply strategies before, during, and after reading to increase fluency and comprehension (e.g., adjusting purpose, previewing, scanning, making predictions, comparing, inferring, summarizing, using graphic organizers) with increasingly challenging texts. 
    • Improve understanding of material by outlining material presented in class. 
  • Use a variety of appropriate sources (e.g. Internet, scientific journals) to retrieve relevant information; cite references properly. 
  • Apply active reading, listening, and viewing techniques by taking notes on classroom discussions, lectures, oral and/or video presentations, or assigned at-home reading, and by underlining key passages and writing comments in journals or in margins of texts, where permitted.  
    • Stay on task during class, annotate provided PowerPoint notes and take additional notes during board discussions. 
    • Outline provided materials and assimilate this information into material presented in class. 
  • Apply knowledge of Greek, Latin, and Anglo-Saxon affixes, inflections, and roots to understand unfamiliar words and new subject area vocabulary in increasingly challenging texts.
    • Be able to define and correctly spell all vocabulary words.
  • Actively participate in small-group and large-group discussions, assuming various roles. 
    • Participate in class discussions  and ask questions when needed on a daily basis.
  • Explain the biological definition of evolution.
  • Differentiate among chemical evolution, organic evolution, and the evolutionary steps along the way to aerobic heterotrophs and photosynthetic autotrophs. 
  • Contrast Lamarck's and Darwin's ideas about changes in organisms over time.
  • Provide examples of behaviors that have evolved through natural selection (e.g., migration, courtship rituals). 
  • Specifically describe the conditions required to be considered a species (e.g., reproductive isolation, geographic isolation). 
  • Explain how natural selection and its evolutionary consequences (e.g., adaptation or extinction) provide a scientific explanation for the fossil record of ancient life-forms and the striking molecular similarities observed among the diverse species of living organisms. 
  • Discuss evidence from the fields of geology, biochemistry, embryology, comparative anatomy, and comparative physiology that points to shared evolutionary relationships. 
  • Explain how Earth's life-forms have evolved from earlier species as a consequence of interactions of (a) the potential of a species to increase its numbers and (b) genetic variability of offspring due to mutation and recombinations of DNA. 
  • Distinguish between catastrophism, gradualism, and punctuated equilibrium. 
  • Revise, refine, and proofread own and others writing, using appropriate tools to find strengths and weaknesses and to seek strategies for improvement (using good writing methods). 
    • State, elaborate, use an example and draw a connection when answering open - ended questions.  
  • Safely use laboratory equipment and techniques when conducting scientific investigations. 
  • Manipulate variables in experiments using appropriate procedures (e.g. controls, multiple trials). 
  • Collect, organize, and analyze data accurately and precisely (e.g. using scientific techniques and mathematics in experiments)
  • Interpret results and draw conclusions, revising hypothesis as necessary and/or formulating additional questions or explanations.
  • Use mathematics to enhance the scientific inquiry process (e.g., choosing appropriate units of measurement, graphing and manipulating experimental data)
  • Write and speak effectively to present and explain scientific results, using appropriate terminology and graphics. 
  • Use appropriate essay-test taking and timed-writing strategies that address and analyze the questions.  
  • Demonstrate familiarity with test formats and test administration procedures to increase speed and accuracy. 
    • Complete tests within permitted time limits. 

Online Resources:

  • Classzone  Use this site to review the basics of this unit.  Choose high school science, Kentucky and the green biology book for Kentucky.  Although this site does not review all of the required information it does have much of the basics covered. 

  • Encyclopedia of Earth on Evolution