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Student Instructions

Tracing the History of the Theory of Evolution


Introduction: Scientific theories, such as biological evolution, are developed over many centuries. They
are never the idea of any one person. Outside of science, biological evolution is attributed mainly to
Charles Darwin. But, in actuality, Darwin studied the works of many other scientists and synthesized
these thoughts with his own observations to develop his theory. Since Darwins time, other scientists
working in the fields of earth science, natural history, genetics and development of organisms from zygote
to death added more detail and support to the theory.
Purpose: Investigate how four disciplinary areas Earth's history, life's history, mechanisms of
evolution, and development and genetics have contributed to our current understanding of evolution in
order to develop an understanding/appreciation for how theories are developed.
Georgia Standards: SCSh7. Students analyze how scientific knowledge is developed. SB5.a. Students
will trace the history of the theory of evolution.
Procedure:
1. Obtain the name of the scientist(s) you will be researching and one large index card or piece of
construction paper from your teacher.
2. Go to the website http://sites.jackson.k12.ga.us/skoenigbio and click on the evolution unit at the
top. Scroll down and click on the History Project website link. Or go to
http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/article/0_0_0/history_01 and click on timeframe indicated
on your card (pre-1800s, 1800s, 1900-present). Click the link that includes the scientist you have
been assigned.
3. Read through the information carefully and completely without taking notes.
4. Now re-read the information and pull out the important bits that are needed to present your piece
of history.
(a) Contribution and scientist(s) in large letters for the top of your card.
(b) As clearly as you can, summarize how the scientists work contributed to our understanding
of evolutionary processes.
(c) Put this all together in an attractive clear way on your card or construction paper.
5. Present the contribution of your scientist(s) to the rest of the class and place your piece of history
on the tree prepared by your teacher. (presentations will proceed in chronological order from oldest
to most recent)

Tracing the History of the Theory of


Evolution
Introduction: Scientific theories, such as
biological evolution, are developed over many
centuries. They are never the idea of any one
Outside of science, biological evolution is attributed
to Charles Darwin. But, in actuality, Darwin studied
works of many other scientists and synthesized
thoughts with his own observations to develop his
Since Darwins time, other scientists working in the
earth science, natural history, genetics and
development of organisms from zygote to death
more detail and support to the theory.

person.
mainly
the
these
theory.
fields of
added

Purpose: Investigate how four disciplinary areas

Earth's history, life's history, mechanisms of


evolution, and development and genetics have
contributed to our current understanding of evolution in order to develop an understanding/appreciation
for how theories are developed.

Student Instructions
Georgia Standards: SCSh7. Students analyze how scientific knowledge is developed. SB5.a. Students
will trace the history of the theory of evolution.
Procedure:
1. Obtain the name of the scientist(s) you will be researching and one large index card or piece of
construction paper from your teacher.
2. Go to the website http://sites.jackson.k12.ga.us/skoenigbio and click on the evolution unit at the
top. Scroll down and click on the History Project website link. Or go to
http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/article/0_0_0/history_01 and click on timeframe indicated
on your card (pre-1800s, 1800s, 1900-present). Click the link that includes the scientist you have
been assigned.
3. Read through the information carefully and completely without taking notes.
4. Now re-read the information and pull out the important bits that are needed to present your piece
of history.
(a) Contribution and scientist(s) in large letters for the top of your card.
(b) As clearly as you can, summarize how the scientists work contributed to our understanding
of evolutionary processes.
(c) Put this all together in an attractive clear way on your card or construction paper.
5. Present the contribution of your scientist(s) to the rest of the class and place your piece of history
on the tree prepared by your teacher. (presentations will proceed in chronological order from oldest
to most recent)