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With this lively book of activities as their guide, students can follow seven scientists into their labs and out to the field to discover how evolution works. Meanwhile, you’ll benefit from the practical help the book provides with the twin challenges of evolution: what to teach and how to teach it.
For students, Virus and the Whale brings to light some of today’s most exciting and up-to-date research through the stories of scientists who study evolution. Each featured research project highlights an important aspect of evolutionary biology, from the “arms race” between viruses and their human hosts to the long-term evolutionary changes that can turn a land mammal into a whale. The activities lead students to investigate evolution as they try out the kinds of creative thinking skills real scientists use to make new discoveries.
For teachers, three preliminary chapters explain how to use the scientists’ stories as a logical framework for teaching evolutionary concepts. These chapters provide accurate natural history background; offer additional information on the evolution of each of the seven organisms investigated in the book; and introduce common ways in which children and adults think and learn about evolution. Each activity lists learning outcomes tied to the National Science Education Standards and includes assessment questions and materials lists.
Virus and the Whale combines a dynamic narrative with easy-to-use activities, clear illustrations, and a welcome dose of humor.
Making Sense of EvolutionEvolution in Seven OrganismsTeaching and Learning About EvolutionHIV: Evolving MenaceDiatoms: One-Celled WondersAnts & Co.: Tiny FarmsHawaiian Flies: Song & Dance SuccessGalàpagos Finches: Famous BeaksHumans & Chimps: All in the FamilyWhales: Walking Into the Past
Preface and Acknowledgements
by Eugenie C. Scott
How to Use This Book
Making Sense of Evolution
Evolution in Seven Organisms
Teaching and Learning About Evolution
Exploring Evolution Activities
Activity 1 – HIV: Evolving Menace
Explore HIV, the AIDS virus, and discover how HIV’s rapid evolution makes and effective vaccine so difficult to create.
Activity 2 - Diatoms: One-Celled Wonders
Investigate the birth of a new species—a one-celled diatom—and learn from the fossil record how this species evolved.
Activity 3 - Ants & Company: Tiny Farms
Visit the smallest farm in the world—a co-evolved association between farming ants, their fungus crop, crop pests, and bacteria.
Activity 4 - Hawaiian Flies: Song & Dance Success
Learn how over 800 kinds of flies have evolved from a single species of Drosophila that blew ashore on the remote islands of Hawaii.
Activity 5 - Galápagos Finches: Famous Beaks
Conduct fieldwork on Galápagos finches and learn what has caused scientists to rethink the speed of evolution.
Activity 6 - Humans & Chimps: All in the Family
Compare the DNA of human chimpanzees to learn how closely related we are.
Activity 7 - Whales: Walking Into the Past
Travel back in time to an ancient shore—the cradle of early whales—to examine fossil evidence of whales that walked.
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