Reflection: Adjustments to Practice Look Out...Hot Topic Straight Ahead! Introducing Our Evolution Unit - Section 4: The Classroom Flow: Putting it all Together Through Classroom Discussion


Even today, teaching evolution concepts can be a tricky proposition for a teacher.  All it takes is parent opposed to having their student learn about evolution calling the school to make a teacher skittish about what they will teach both that year and every year after that.  The stress is real for both parent and teacher and the end results never fully serve the educational needs of our students.  

I have found that asking students to interview their parents is a really helpful way to bridge some of these potential pitfalls.  Student and parents wind up having substantive conversations about an important topic, parents are able to discuss their values, beliefs, and the evidence and events that shaped them.  Students learn valuable listening skills as they listen, ask questions, and paraphrase and summarize what they have heard for their written assignment and they begin to assess and compare points of view with a critical and curious lens of observation.  

So often in our busy daily lives, family life can consist of deadlines, schedules, and rushed meals.  I love the picture in my mind of an entire family sitting down over dinner discussing the theory of natural selection and thinking about what questions they have and would like to learn more about together in our classroom.  I also like that hearing about these conversations through my students' papers allows me to enhance my own level of empathy for multiple perspectives and approach my own practice critically by thinking about my audience and consistently asking myself: is my language and demeanor honoring both the science of evolution as well as the people I am teaching?  

What are some of the ways you and your science team approach potentially controversial topics in the science classroom?

  Inviting Parents into the Classroom Discussion through Student-Led Interviews
  Adjustments to Practice: Inviting Parents into the Classroom Discussion through Student-Led Interviews
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Look Out...Hot Topic Straight Ahead! Introducing Our Evolution Unit

Unit 8: Unit 8: Evolution & Biological Diversity
Lesson 1 of 11

Objective: SWBAT describe their knowledge of evolution, compare different theories about the mechanism of evolution, and interview others about the topic in order to formulate their own big questions about this topic of study.

Big Idea: Get your kids buzzing about this hot topic by asking them to gather, compare, predict, and discuss information through the use of creative scenarios and interviews with their families!

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Science, Evolution, interviews, Life Science/Biology
  50 minutes
placeholder evolution intro lesson
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