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Biology Lesson Plan: Evolution, Unity, and Diversity

written by: Finn Orfano • edited by: Trent Lorcher • updated: 2/16/2012

This lesson plan will aid in the teaching of the second section of the first chapter in biology. Evolution, unity, and diversity are all covered in this preliminary chapter of the biology textbook. Read here for ideas on reaching your students in the classroom in these subjects.

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    This series will provide a lesson plan according to the Sixth Edition of Biology, by Neil Campbell and Jane Reece; teachers of other editions will be able to follow this guide.This second section blends the opposing topics of diversity and unity, which come together both in biology and with the introduction of evolutionBuilding on the previous section, we begin to see how important DNA and cells are to the unity and diversity of all life forms.

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    Introducing the Topics

    You should first introduce the students to the content they will learn in this section. Grasping the upcoming placement of concepts will prepare them for what they will learn. Once they see how evolution, unity, and diversity merge, they will be able to see the big picture clearer.

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    Diversity and Unity

    One fun way to supplement this section is to play a game with the students. Go through and describe the domains and kingdoms and their characteristics. Then go through and have the students choose an animal at random. Either individually or in small groups you could have students describe the placement of certain animals. This will give them some practice in the identification of animals and the meaning of the different domains and kingdoms.

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    One very educational activity on evolution can be downloaded here, courtesy of Duquesne University. This activity allows student to observe how closely animals are different or similar in regards to gene sequences on a phylogenetic tree. This activity can be completed in 20-35 minutes, and it will also draw strongly on the topics of DNA and genetics. It also allows students to make predictions of where certain items will go on the phylogenetic tree based on an interactive story which is read.

    At the website you can download and print all of the material you need for students to perform the activity. This is a great way to enhance the student's grasp of the content in this hands-on activity.

    Use these techniques to help present the material to your students. With a variety of techniques it should enhance their understanding of the content. Mix these techniques with other effective teaching aids to help in the students' understanding of the content.