Life through Time: Evolutionary Activities
for Grades 58
Written by Kevin Beals, Nicole Parizeau,
and Rick MacPherson with Kimi Hosoume and Lincoln Bergman
This groundbreaking GEMS guide plunges students into the unifying
theme in life science: evolutionary change. Through the exciting
concept of time travel, changes over time are captured in rotating
station activities that introduce students to the concepts of
adaptation, relatedness, and "deep time."
Students are first introduced to the "tree of life,"
organism adaptations, and a class time line. In the next five
sessions, students carefully observe and document change over
long periods of Earth history. The highlights of these sessions
are the evolving Time Travel Aquarium and Terrarium, living dioramas
that change with every session to represent the organisms of the
period being studied. Organism-adaptation stations, fossil findings,
and continental drift also evolve over the course of the unit.
Every session includes a campaign skit of "stump speeches"
by vying organisms and a concluding election of the "most
representative organism of the age."
In the concluding session, the teacher chooses one of four options
that challenge students to apply what they've learned about changes
in life through time.
Praise for Life through Time:
"Fascinating as fossils are, and dramatic as the history
of life may be, it takes skillful teachers prepared with accurate
material to make the excitement come to life for young students.
The GEMS guide Life through Time fills the bill beautifully...."
Dr. Niles Eldredge, Chair, Committee on Evolutionary Processes
& Division of Paleontology (Invertebrates), The American Museum
of Natural History
Author of the Encyclopedia of Biodiversity, The Pattern
of Evolution, Life in the Balance, Fossils,
Center for Science Education and UC Berkeley's Museum
of Paleontology have taken a detailed look at this guide.
Here's an article on their comments,
and revised pages. We welcome feedback
and revise frequently!
What materials are needed to present this unit? See the full list.