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Film Guides
Film Guides: The Origin of Species: The Making of a Theory

Summary

The following classroom-ready resources complement The Origin of Species: The Making of a Theory, which tells the story of the epic adventures of Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace and of the evidence they gathered for the theory of evolution by means of natural selection.

These guides and quiz support the short film The Origin of Species: The Making of a Theory. 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.

Note: The guides and quiz were revised October 2014 to incorporate field-testers' comments. The In-Depth-Guide was also revised to include film pause points and discussion questions.


Curriculum Connections:

AP Biology (201213 Standards)
1.A.1, 1.A.2, 1.A.4

IB (2009 Standards)
5.4, D2, D5

NGSS (April 2013)
MS-LS2-4, MS-LS4-1, HS-LS4-1, HS-LS4-2, HS-LS4-5, MS-LS4.A, MS-LS4.B, MS-LS4.C, MS-ESS1.C, HS-LS4.A, HS-LS4.B, HS-LS4.C


Supporting Materials (5)

Classroom Resource
This activity serves as a supplement to the HHMI short film The Origin of Species: The Making of a Theory. Students read and analyze excerpts from texts written by Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace and answer questions about the information presented, developing their nonfiction reading comprehension.
Classroom Resource
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.
Classroom Resource
This activity supports the HHMI short film The Origin of Species: The Making of a Theory. Students are presented with a map of the Malay Archipelago and some field notebooks with observations of animals. By plotting which animals are found on which island, the students discover the Wallace Line—a sharp boundary that separates distinct Asian and Australian fauna. 
Classroom Resource
This activity supports the viewing of the film The Origin of Species: The Making of a Theory. Before and after watching the film, students discuss and evaluate several statements about Charles Darwin, Alfred Russel Wallace, and the specific evidence that led each of them to the theory of evolution by natural selection. 
Short Film
The epic voyages of Darwin and Wallace led each to independently discover the natural origin of species and to formulate the theory of evolution by natural selection.

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Additional Materials

Bulletin Article
Bulletin Article