HomeHHMI's BioInteractiveA Lesson on the Nature of Science


Free Resources for Science Education

Classroom Resource
A Lesson on the Nature of Science


A worksheet designed to show students how scientists make their discoveries. It provides students with background information about how Dr. Allison's work built upon the contributions made by other scientists. 

Appropriate for: high school biology (all levels), introductory college biology.

This worksheet complements the short film, The Making of the Fittest: Natural Selection in Humans, by providing students with additional information about the decades of research done on sickle cell disease (also known as sickle cell anemia) prior to Dr. Allison’s work. Students will appreciate how Dr. Allison’s discovery was made possible through the work of others and how he made the link between sickle cell disease and malaria.

Curriculum Connections:

NGSS (April 2013)
HS-LS3-1, HS-LS3-2, HS-LS4-2, HS-LS4-4, HS-LS1.A, HS-LS2.A, HS-LS3.B, HS-LS4.B, HS-LS4.C

Common Core (2010)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.9-10.3, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.9-10.4, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.9-10.3, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.2, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.11-12.4, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.WHST.9-12.2

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

IB Biology (2009)
4.1, 4.3, 5.4, D.2

Supporting Materials (6)

Short Film
In some parts of the world, there is an intimate connection between the infectious parasitic disease malaria and the genetic disease sickle cell anemia.
Classroom Resource
A lesson that requires students to work through a series of questions pertaining to the genetics of sickle cell disease and its relationship to malaria. These questions will probe students' understanding of Mendelian genetics, probability, pedigree analysis, and chi-square statistics.
Classroom Resource
A hands-on activity that uses simulations with beads to teach students about population genetics, the Hardy-Weinberg principle, and how natural selection alters the frequency distribution of heritable traits. 
Classroom Resource
A hands-on activity in which students construct models of sickle-cell hemoglobin fibers inside red blood cells to illustrate how changes in the structure of a protein can affect cell shape. Students are then asked to relate these changes to disease symptoms.
Classroom Resource
A worksheet designed to actively engage students as they watch the film. Students are asked to answer questions pertaining to the information provided in the film.
Film Guides
The following classroom-ready resources complement The Making of the Fittest: Natural Selection in Humans, which describes the connection between malaria and sickle cell anemia—one of the best-understood examples of natural selection in humans.

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