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We give science teachers the tools and skills to help students overcome misconceptions and misinformation about climate change, evolution, and the nature of science.

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No More Monkeying Around

Human beings are inherently curious about themselves. This lesson set focuses on the  anthropological account of human origins. Students investigate the origins of Homo sapiens and our evolutionary relationship to the primate family Hominidae. Students also discuss examples of recent human evolution throughout recorded history and consider the variety of traits that humans acquired as a result of evolution and culture.

This lesson set was updated June 1, 2022.

Age Level
Grades 9-12
Duration
4-6 50 minute classes

NGSS Standards

DCIs (Disciplinary Core Ideas)

LS4.A: Evidence of Common Ancestry and Diversity

  • A1. Genetic information, like the fossil record, provides evidence of evolution. DNA sequences vary among species, but there are many overlaps; in fact, the ongoing branching that produces multiple lines of descent can be inferred by comparing the DNA sequences of different organisms. Such information is also derivable from the similarities and differences in amino acid sequences and from anatomical and embryological evidence.

ESS3.A Natural Resources

  • A1. Resource availability has guided the development of human society.

Performance Expectations

  • HS-LS4-1. Communicate scientific information that common ancestry and biological evolution are supported by multiple lines of empirical evidence.
  • HS-LS4-5. Evaluate the evidence supporting claims that changes in environmental conditions may result in (1) increases in the number of individuals of some species, (2) the emergence of new species over time, and (3) the extinction of other species.
  • HS-ESS3-1. Construct an explanation based on evidence for how the availability of natural resources, occurrence of natural hazards, and changes in climate have influenced human activity.

Other Relevant NGSS References

  1. NGSS Appendix F (pdf): Science and Engineering Practices in the NGSS
  2. NGSS Appendix G (pdf): Crosscutting Concepts
  3. NGSS Appendix H (pdf): Understanding the Scientific Enterprise: The Nature of Science in the Next Generation Science Standards
  4. NGSS Appendix J (pdf): Science, Technology, Society and the Environment

This is a beta version of Lesson Set Four.