Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

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Life Science: About the Course

Teacher-Talk Life

[Channel-talklife] Life Science Session 5 and 6 postings

From: Joanne Roberts <joannemroberts@msn.com>
Date: Sun Oct 09 2005 - 18:04:55 EDT
X-Mailer: MSN 9

Session 5Guided Channel-TalkLife Posting

Dogs and cats are great examples of animals whose diversity is the result of artificial selection. The variation that is evident among breeds has been purposefully developed by breeders. In your Channel-TalkLife posting for this session, describe how you could develop a unit on the fundamentals of evolution (e.g., variation, adaptation, natural selection) using these animals. Be sure to discuss how you would tailor the concepts addressed during this session to the grade level you teach.

My response:

Breeders for thousands of years have bred dogs for particular purpose. In ancient China the Chow was admired for its loyalty to owner and its ability to withstand harsh temperatures. The poodle swims very well and is very intelligent. The terrier breed is known for its tenacity and for catching rats. In third grade I would ask each student to chose a breed of dog or cat and then research the characteristics of that breed in regard to physical traits. I would then ask the students to share with the class how the breed differs from others and why breeders have selected those qualities. I would then discuss how it is that breeders can purposefully bred dogs that have puppies with those desirable characteristics.

Session 6 Guided Channel-TalkLife Posting

Both the National Science Education Standards and Benchmarks for Scientific Literacy propose standards or goals for understanding big ideas in evolution starting in the elementary grades. Of the ideas addressed in Session 5 (variation, genes, mutation, adaptation, natural selection, artificial selection) and Session 6 species, evolution of new species, relatedness, common ancestry, tree of life), which do you consider appropriate introduce at the grade level you teach? Why? Discuss this with your colleagues in your Channel-TalkLife posting for this session. Be sure to share any experiences you've had.

 

My response:

In third grade appropriate concepts to introduce are: variation adaptation, genes, natural selection, artificial selection, species, evolution of new species, tree of life and common ancestry. I think that if conversations develop within the classroom at an early age that teachers should have the knowledge and background in science to explain these concepts in an age appropriate way. I think that it would be unprofessional to teach the vocabulary only and not provide hands-on activities for younger children to be able to begin making connections with these concepts. I have taught some evolutionary concepts when our classroom conversations went in that direction, but evolution is not part of the third grade curriculum.

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Received on Sun Oct 9 20:28:07 2005

 

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