Multidisciplinary and Applied Science—Core Materials

5.1 Evolution: Change over Time.

3rd ed. Anthea Maton, Jean Hopkins, Susan Johnson, and others. Prentice Hall Science Integrated Learning System series. Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Prentice Hall, 1997.

Program Overview The Prentice Hall Science Integrated Learning System series is a program for middle school or junior high school students. Designed to cover all relevant areas of science, this program consists of 19 books, each in a particular topic area, such as sound and light, the planet earth, and evolution—change over time. Seven science themes are incorporated into the program; the themes are energy, evolution, patterns of change, scale and structure, systems and interactions, unity and diversity, and stability. For each unit, teaching materials, ancillary student materials, and some optional components are available.

Student Edition Recommended grade level: 7-8. Reading level: early 8. The texbook Evolution: Change over Time is organized in 3 chapters: (1) "Earth's History in Fossils," (2) "Changes in Living Things over Time," and (3) "The Path to Modern Humans." During the course, students are introduced to 6 types of fossils and to information on geologic eras and periods. They also learn about the biochemical, anatomical, and fossil evidence of evolution and about natural selection and the effects of overproduction, variation, migration, and isolation on evolutionary change. Students study the general characteristics of the primates and the characteristics that are unique to humans. They also examine some of the fossil and chemical evidence that allows scientists to study human evolution, and they find out about probable ancestors of humans.

Each chapter includes a lab investigation. Students make casts and molds of 3 small objects and compare the casts with the original objects. They draw a geologic time line to help them visualize the relationships between evolutionary events. They also measure their jaw and thumb indexes and compare them with those of a gorilla and Australopithecus to identify changes that occurred among earlier hominids and hominids of today.

Each chapter contains comprehensive reading sections that introduce major science concepts. Suggestions are provided for activities in which students "find out by doing," "find out by calculating," and "find out by writing." Other activities are also suggested—for example, researching the names of several index fossils

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