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Diversity and Adaptations of Organisms (5-8)

* Millions of species of animals, plants, and microorganisms are alive today.   There is a unity that connects all these species.   * Biological evolution accounts for the diversity of species developed through gradual processes over many generations.   * Fossils indicate that many organisms that lived long ago are extinct. Extinction of species is common. Most species that have lived on the earth no longer exist.  (NSES, 1996)

In the rectangle above, you will find the fundamental concepts and principles that underlie this standard. Below you will find a list of recommended "learning tools" for this standard. All links are in yellow, just click the link. Numbers are for reference only. Use our "Tell a Friend" feature, at the bottom,  to send this page to a friend!


The name of this "learning tool" is called Interdependence and Adaptation. Use the blue arrows in the upper right hand corner to go through the simulation. This tool has been developed by the bbc.co.uk and their Science Clips program. These are very clear, concise, and effective lessons for young students. Flash is required.


This clever and conceptually clear "learning tool" is called Build a Fish.  Build a Fish by choosing a body, mouth, and color/pattern, then release it into the reef! You can drive your fish around the reef in search of food and to evade predators. Can your fish find enough food without being eaten? Explore other fun learning tools from the Shedd Aquarium!.


The name of this learning tool is called Natural Selection and comes to us from the incredible web site called PhET from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Here you can explore natural selection by controlling the environment and causing mutations in bunnies. Check out the Teaching Ideas in this simulation.


Challenging, elegant, and very special. Ariel Dolan has created eFloys. They are territorial, have an individual personality, and the ability to evolve. This will take your biology students a little time to master, but once they have it, they will learn a life long lesson on behavior, evolution, and natural selection. This one you need to read the instructions! Visit Ariel Dolan's Artificial Life and Other Experiments to see other cool interactives.


The name of this "learning tool" is called What Killed the Dinosaurs? This tools allows students to look the various types of evidence behind each hypothesis. This comes to us from the public television series called Evolution. The web site for this series is a really rich source of information and interactives.


Evolution in Action is a “learning tool” by NOVA This interactive tool shows how random mutations can lead to species-wide change. The "world" presented in this tool is abstract—colored creatures placed within a colored environment. Students change the environment of the creatures and see how random mutations help them survive the changes.


Can you match the correct type of teeth to the correct animal? This "learning tool" does just that. Teeth and Eating uses a lion, human, sheep, and penguin to explain the concept of how teeth are adapted to the type of food that an organism eats.  This tool has been developed by the bbc.co.uk and their Science Clips program. These are very clear, concise, and effective lessons for young students. Flash is required.


This "learning tool" is called Peppered Moth.  One of the most innovative science education companies is Explorelearning.com, they call their simulations, Gizmos. They are a subscription site , but they allow you to see this Gizmo for 5 minutes.   Shockwave is required.


Build-A-Fish is a learning tool provided by MARE Students must build a fish whose adaptations make it suited to its ocean environment. Students first choose from a selection of six ocean habitats, then select body parts and coloration that they think are suited to that environment.




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