HomeHHMI's BioInteractiveClassroom Activities: Biodiversity and Evolutionary Trees


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Classroom Resource
Classroom Activities: Biodiversity and Evolutionary Trees


Construct evolutionary trees by sorting seashells. To accompany the lecture series Exploring Biodiversity: The Search for New Medicines and the Sorting Seashells Click and Learn interactive.

The seashell phylogeny and evolution activity is an interactive online activity that can be done in class or assigned as homework. The Teacher's Guide describes supporting resources that can be used to teach students about seashells and a pre-activity exercise that uses the downloadable picture cards to familiarize students with the concept of sorting organisms.

"As an AP Biology teacher, I really like using the DNA Comparison activity with my students. It’s great because it provides an authentic, research-based context for creating phylogenetic trees to determine evolutionary relationships, and uses the same 'research-grade' tools used by working scientists. The activity gives me a solid context to train students in using these tools, and then provides them with an opportunity to use that training to answer a phylogenetic question of their own design.”

—David Knuffke (Deer Park High School, NY)

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