Fact Patterns: A Film Guide

This is a part of The Origin of Species: The Making of a Theory
Fact Patterns: A Film Guide


Students are challenged to identify “fact patterns,” or patterns that emerge from a collection of different facts and observations, and draw conclusions about what they suggest. Also available in Spanish.

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Tips From Teachers

“While watching Making of a Theory, my students complete this fact-pattern activity. I then put them into groups, assigning half as 'Darwin' and half as 'Wallace.' Students write a paragraph as their scientist describing what they've discovered using evidence to back their claim and reasoning. We then pair every Darwin with a Wallace to share their results (some like to do this in character — it's great fun). Afterwards they journal with the prompt, 'What evidence from the other scientist was most important for your understanding of natural selection and why?' and we discuss how collaboration drives science.” -- Bethany Dixon (Western Sierra Collegiate Academy, CA)

Curriculum Connections:

AP Biology (2012-2013)
1.A.1, 1.A.2, 1.A.4
IB Biology (2009)
5.4, D2
NGSS (2013) LS
MS-LS2-2, MS-LS2-4, MS-LS4-1, MS-LS4-2, HS-LS4-1, HS-LS4-5, MS-LS2.A, MS-LS2.C, MS-LS4.A, MS-LS4.B, MS-LS4.C, HS-LS4.B, HS-LS4.C
NGSS (2013) ESS
Common Core (2010)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.8.1, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.8.6, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.6-8.4, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.9-10.4, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.9-10.2, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.1, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.9-10.6, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.9-10.2, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.11-12.4, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.11-12.1, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.11-12.4, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.11-12.6

Associated Resources