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Film Guides
Film Guides: The Birth and Death of Genes

Summary

The following classroom-ready resources complement The Making of the Fittest: The Birth and Death of Genes, which describes how scientists have pieced together the evolutionary history of the Antarctic icefish. The icefish makes an excellent case study for genetic evolution as both the gain and loss of genes have led to key adaptations.

Note: The In-Depth Guide was updated October 2014 to incorporate pause points and discussion questions for the film.

These guides and quiz support the short film The Making of the Fittest: The Birth and Death of Genes. The “At a Glance Film Guide” provides a short summary of the film, along with key concepts and ties to selected curricula and textbooks. The “In-Depth Film Guide for Teachers” includes a more detailed summary and background information, discussion points, lists of related resources and references, and answers to the accompanying student “Quiz.” The "Quiz" is designed as a summative assessment that probes student understanding of the key concepts addressed in the film. These documents are updated as new information and resources become available.


Curriculum Connections:

NGSS (April 2013)
HS.LS1.A, HS.LS2.A, HS.LS2.C, HS.LS3.A, HS.LS3.B, HS.LS4.B, HS.LS4.C, HS.ESS2.E

AP (2012–13)
1.A.2, 3.C.1, 3.C.2, 4.C.1

IB (2009)
4.1, 5.4


Supporting Materials (6)

Short Film
Scientists have pieced together the evolutionary history of the Antarctic icefish. The icefish makes an excellent case study for genetic evolution as both the gain and loss of genes have led to key adaptations.
Classroom Resource
A lesson that requires students to read detailed scientific passages and explain how an understanding of specific icefish adaptations might lead to a treatment or cure for human disorders, such as osteoporosis and anemia. 
Classroom Resource
A dramatic demonstration that simulates how tiny ice crystals would form and grow in the blood of most fish if they ventured into the icy waters of the Antarctic.
Classroom Resource
A simple demonstration that uses readily-available materials to simulate how blood pumps through the circulatory system of icefish and other fish.
Classroom Resource
An advanced lesson that describes the role of mutations in the birth and death of genes. It includes background information, examples, video clips, and animations.
Classroom Resource
A simple activity that investigates the importance of antifreeze proteins to icefish survival.

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