Hands On Activities
“Tell me and I’ll forget;
show me and I may remember;
involve me and I’ll understand.
~ Chinese Proverb “
The most compelling evidence for evolution comes from relatively new findings in science, such as molecular biology, new theories in mathematics, ecology, astronomy and paleontology. An excellent way to introduce these often complex subjects is through hands-on activities and games.
The following activities and games demonstrate what we know about evolution and how we know that evolution occurs
DNA is at the heart of biological evolution. To learn how mobile DNA creates the genetic diversity that drives evolution, you can tinker with simulated DNA.
Recreate the story of the universe with beads representing significant events, such at the emergence of light,the ignition of the sun, the appearance of the first cell, and your birthday.
Pop-beads are used to model DNA, simulate its replication, and observe molecular evolution
What percentage of the DNA in our cells encodes proteins? Use string to simulate the 2 meters of DNA in each of our cells.
Scientists look at light to learn about stars, galaxies and the age of the universe. In this activity, we use diffraction glasses to learn how scientists see back in time.
All creatures from microbes to men contain DNA, the information storage molecule. In this activity, we isolate DNA from strawberries.
People learn best when their bodies and minds are engaged in discovery. Here are more activities and games that demonstrate what we know about evolution.
This video shows you how to make a DNA molecule from wire and beads. (I don't know who the woman in this tutorial is.) http://youtu.be/G8u5Ikdgsk8
Endosymbiosis was one of the most important events in evolution. Candies and a baggies are used to model simple cells, which are then combined to model the endosymbiotic evolution of mitochondria.
Skulls - our own, from extant primates, and from fossils can tell us a lot about our human evolution. Objectives: Students learn how measure and observe primate skulls - including their own! Students will use data to reconstruct tree. Procedure Examine Skulls Record...
Reconstruct an ancient fossil skeleton by puzzling together individual paper “bones”.
Students “synthesize” DNA using colorful beads and pipe cleaners. They then “transcribe” DNA into messenger RNA and “translate” this into protein.
Students excavating "fossils" from a model of sedimentary "rocks." These fossils are found in certain layers of Earth, and not in others. Layers of various kinds of soil simulate geological strata. Materials Directions Resources Student Learning Outcomes:...
Googly Bird Adaptation: explore how shape and structure of beaks affects the type of food that birds are able to eat and thus, the bird’s survival in environment with a particular kind of seeds.
Exploring Evolution is a curriculum based on hands-on activities that allow students to discover key concepts in the Epic of Evolution.
How do we know the age of the Earth and its rocks? Count relative amounts of “Beanium” and “Cornium” to discover the age of this “rock.”
Creatures evolve in ecosystems. In this activity, students create a web with yarn to demonstrate the interdependence of various creatures in a pond ecosystem.
This is a simple mnemotic device to remember main events in the Epic Of Evolution. From David Bryson.
Elemental Birthdays: How to bring Science into Every Party. Authors Heather and Jon Cleland-Host offer fun new ways to celebrate birthdays while at the same time learning about the building blocks of our universe.
Time Spirals show the story of the universe in a delightful way that gives us a profound sense of our place in time. Just as every science classroom has a poster of the periodic table, soon, every history classroom will have a set of these Time Spirals.