Reflection: Joy Cladistics - Section 3: Building a Cladogram


You might be wondering why I used dragons to explain how to build a cladogram. This year, I started adding some gamification ideas into my classroom. The theme for the "game" we have been playing has to do with training a dragon avatar by gaining experience (XP) through different assignments. The ultimate goal of the game is to gain enough XP to evolve their dragon avatar into an "elemental dragon." This piqued their imagination and curiosity to the point that any time that I can reference dragons this group of students are instantly more engaged - they see their avatars as an extension of themselves.

Now, I know that this means that in future presentations of this lesson, I will probably need to change the dragon theme to something else in order to achieve the same effect. However, I would assume that even if I were to re-use this lesson as is, having fantasy organisms would still capture any student's imagination and provide a nice bridge to the sample exercise with real organisms that the students use when working with partners in their guided notes.

  Why Dragons?
  Joy: Why Dragons?
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Unit 8: Evolution
Lesson 12 of 17

Objective: SWBAT infer evolutionary relationships using a cladogram

Big Idea: Derived characteristics in organisms may be used to determine evolutionary relationships

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38 teachers like this lesson
Science, Evolution, Genetics, fossil record (Evolution), natural selection (Evolution), Cladogram, fossils, genetic drift, cladistics, mutations, embryology
  50 minutes
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