Note: I recommend that you first check out this resource in order to get the most out of this lesson!
In high school I took several drafting classes and, for a while, I had hoped to become an architect. With respect to planning instruction and teaching, I feel that I can still live out the detailed approach to building something intricate and complex even though the product is a lesson rather than a certain "built environment".
The lesson-planning document that I uploaded to this section is a comprehensive overview of how I approach lesson planning. This template includes the "Big Three" aspects of the NGSS standards: Disciplinary Core Ideas, Crosscutting Concepts, and Science Practices. Of course, there are many other worthy learning goals, skills, instructional strategies, and assessments that can be integrated into a class session. I don't feel compelled to check every box but, rather, use it as a guide to consider various options and tailor the lesson in light of these.
With regard to this particular lesson...
1. students will construct an explanation based on the evidence that the process of evolution primarily results from four factors (HS-LS4-2):
2. students will construct an explanation based on evidence for how natural selection leads to adaptation of populations, including effect(s) of changing biotic and abiotic conditions on resulting in changing adaptations among members of a population. (HS-LS4-4)
I hope you get some value from my work!
This instructional series represents the culmination of the instruction and learning that has been happening for some three weeks now. So there is a good body of concepts, facts, processes, and a mental model of "theory" thrown in.
Teaching Challenge: How do I support students to persevere and grapple with complex tasks?
It begins with activating prior knowledge (where we have been) and a clear sense of where we are presently. In light of this, I pose the following question to assess what students have actually learned and can recall. This response will be a foundation upon which to build during this, and the following two, lessons in this mini-series. Students should spend about five minutes during the first part of class and just free write; I emphasize that grammar, spelling, and organization are not the most important (in this particular case only).
Quick Write (1.0)- “What are the underlying biological processes make evolution happen?” In other words, explain how evolution works.
Necessarily, my instructional plan accounted for several key hurdles that students will need to encounter and overcome:
1. How do I make sense of a really abstract idea (Theories in general and Natural Selection in particular)?
2. What should an argument look like? How do I meld a claim, its evidence, and underlying thinking (reasoning)?
3. What is the evidence brought forward by evolutionary biologists?
4. When looking at nature, how would Darwin explain its patterns and processes?
Teaching Challenge: How do I support my students to compose, communicate, and evaluate a clearly stated, evidence-based argument?
Teaching Challenge: How do I support students to develop and use scientific models?
Structure of the CER model (refer here for a more thorough explanation). Mental model of a scientific theory. Lines of evidence. Mental model of Natural Selection. Case study application.
These scaffolded elements will be necessary to help students walk through the process of explaining, based on evidence, the processes driving Natural Selection. This then is the output of this series built on the combined skills and knowledge leading up to this point.
Using an interactive lecture strategy, the specific tenets of Natural Selection will be outlined and investigated in turn.
The Theory Lecture (slides #1- 18)- Emphasis on these concepts:
3-2-1 Exit Task:
Students are prompted to jot down three things learned, two questions they still have, one thing they still wonder about.
Please click here for the next lesson in this series.
Finish “3-2-1” prompt as needed.