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Online Lessons for Teachers: Learning Evolution

LESSON 1: Teacher Page

What is the Nature of Science?

Students will explore how the scientific process helps develop our understanding of the natural world. They also will explore how science is viewed by the general public versus by practicing scientists. By examining actual field research via video clips, students will learn about the components of the scientific process.

Activity 1: A Survey about Science

 This activity will take  two class periods.
Activity One

Students conduct a survey about the nature of science, evolution, and scientific laws, theories, and hypotheses.

Learning Goals


Examine the public perception of science


Learn about the scientific process


Appreciate the importance of scientific literacy

Activity 2: What Killed the Dinosaurs?

 This activity will take between one and three class periods.
A dinosaur fossil.

Students use the concept of the extinction of the dinosaurs to introduce the idea of formulating and examining scientific hypotheses.

Learning Goals


Use evidence to form hypotheses


Examine how evidence can be used to support more than one hypothesis


Understand that hypotheses can be tested by inference as well as by observations

Activity 3: Ancient Farmers of the Amazon

 This activity will take between one and three class periods.
A leafcutter ant.

Students analyze research on leafcutter ants to better understand the scientific process.

Learning Goals


Apply the scientific process


Develop hypotheses


Understand how evidence is used to accept or reject a hypothesis

Additional Activities
Find out what a card trick and some finches have to do with the nature of science.

View LESSON 1 Student Page

 Scientific Terms









Assessment Rubric
Guidelines for assessing students' mastery of activity.

National Science Standards for LESSON 1

Icon with a clock, representing 45 minutes of class time.Time to Learn!

Each clock icon respresents approximately one
45-minute classroom session (not including homework).

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