Science/Strand III/Content Standard 4/Middle School/Benchmark 1
Benchmark Question: How do scientists trace the origin
and development of species?
Focus Question: How do fossils show evidence of a
relationship between past and present animals?
Students will write a
journal entry listing ten things they know about the physical
characteristics of dinosaurs. Then students will meet in small groups and
use their lists to discuss the following questions:
1. Which modern animals have characteristics that are
similar to dinosaurs?
2. What changes in the environment might have caused
dinosaurs to change?
Small groups will share
their hypotheses with the class. Students then will examine several fossils
and hypothesize what modern organisms the fossils resemble. They will
discuss the use of fossils as scientific evidence. Then small groups will
research one of the following pairs of animals to determine similarities
and whether fossil evidence exists to support their common ancestry:
- sandhill crane / Archaeopteryx
- horse / Hyracotherium
- rhinoceros / Triceratops
- grizzly bear / Tyrannosaurus
- elephant / Wooly Mammoth
Students will present their
findings to the class.