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TeachNet NYC: Lesson Plans
Darwin's Evolution

Project URL:

How it works:
This unit deals with the Father of Evolution, his theories and the impact they have on us today. In this unit students will have the opportunity to see a well-crafted video on Darwin.   This video is informative and only 30 minutes long.  You feel for Darwin as he tries to find purpose to his life after the death of his beloved mother.  It covers his life, voyage on the H.M.S. Beagle, formulation of his theories and their consequences on the world.  

The students will also experience the Internet.  They will be brought to sites full of interesting information where insight can be obtained and synthesized through PowerPoint work, as well as  formal presentations.  Creationism is brought out to balance Darwin’s Theories.  It is current and apropos in a country of such diversity.  Modern Theories will be seen with an in-class lab using the Hardy-Weinberg Law which refuted spontaneous generation.   This adds reality by using the Scientific Method.  The teacher may want to use only one or all of these lesson plans.

The concluding plan asks: "Life – How did it get here?" then proceeds to  review, at the same time providing students the opportunity to explore Internet sites of interest on the topic.

Standards addressed:
The science standards for grades 9 through 12 are addressed and shown in the first lesson plan entitled:  "Darwin’s Evolution."  They range from New York State Performance Indicators 3.1 to 3.5.

Software/Materials needed:
You will need the use of a television and vcr, the video “Evolution’s Voice,” PowerPoint and/or Clarisworks software, and Internet access.
Recommended: Biology The Study of Life by Prentice Hall, 1991 or similar student text

The students:
These are young people from all walks of life, from the four corners of the globe.  There are students who have just arrived from their home countries and want to get an education, students from the projects and students from urban Queens.  Franklin K. Lane is an inner city school with an inner city population.

Overall value:
This unit has something for everybody.  There is a video to get your students’ attention (its only 30 minutes long) entitled “Evolution’s Voice.”  There are Internet sites to help teacher and student alike research information on Evolution, Modern Theories, and future prospects.  An in-class lab to bring evolution into your classroom is also there.  Presentation and PowerPoint work are an added form of enrichment.  Another plus can be publishing your student’s work on the web.

When you use the video “Evolution’s Voice” make sure you have your students take notes and ask questions. Their finished projects can be posted on the Internet as an added perk for this unit. You’d be surprised how self-esteem soars when students see their work on the web.

Mrs. Amelia Anderson, a new teacher in the public school system, has taught for three years in the inner city school Franklin Knight Lane High School.  She is presently the Director of Science Research and teaches Bilingual Biology, Environmental Science, Earth Science and Authentic Science Research.  This teacher uses whatever it takes to get students to learn.  With a little of this and a little that she makes up her lesson plans.  If you’d like to see what she has cooked up visit her website at: http://teachersnetwork.org/teachnet-lab/fklane/aanderson

E-mail Contact: AmeliaAnd@aol.com

Estimated number of class periods: seven class periods of 50 minutes each

Subject area: Biology, Living Environment

Beginning grade level: 9

Ending grade level: 10



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