Topic: Earth’s History and the Origin of Life
69-slide PowerPoint with Notes for Teacher and Student
This PowerPoint and accompanying notes is for a high school Biology class. One of the most fascinating topics in biology concerns the origin of life. The fossil record contains many clues to this great mystery and gives us glimpses of many strange and bizarre creatures that used to inhabit the oceans and landmasses on Earth. It is clear that many of these creatures have relatives that still live today, while others have disappeared completely. How did life begin on Earth, and what changes have occurred in the past that have allowed the organisms alive today to evolve to their present forms? This lesson covers the pieces of this very large puzzle and examines the evidence that is available to us.
It has been my experience that teaching this unit first, followed by a unit on classification and taxonomy, provides the high school biology student with a solid foundation in understanding life on Earth and the changes that have occurred in the past that have led us to the life forms we see today.
If you have never taught a lesson using a Powerpoint presentation, you have to give it a try! My students always prefer this to a traditional lecture. The use of eye-catching photos and diagrams rarely fails to stimulate a lively class discussion.
This PowerPoint is called “Earth’s History and the Origin of Life.” It consists of 69 slides that are colorful, informative and visually stimulating. Pictures and diagrams are included that will greatly enhance your instruction to your students. This product also includes a set of notes for the teacher (11 pages) and a set of notes in outline form for the student (14 pages). Graphics, diagrams, clip art, and photographs were chosen to capture the attention of the student as the lesson is being taught.
Topics covered by this lesson:
1. Early Ideas About the Origin of Life: Biogenesis, spontaneous generation, abiogenesis, the experiments of Redi, Spallanzani, and Louis Pasteur.
2. Earth’s History: The age of the Earth, radioactive dating, isotopes, radioactive isotopes, carbon-14 dating, the limits of carbon-14 dating, the dating of older rocks and fossils, the chemical and physical processes that might have occurred that led to the first life forms.
3. The First Organic Compounds on Earth: The Oparin hypothesis, the experimental evidence of Miller and Urey, examination of new evidence about the atmosphere of early Earth.
4. From Molecules to Cell-Like Structures: Microspheres, coacervates, the experiments of Sydney Fox, the life like properties of microspheres and coacervates.
5. The First Life Forms: Key processes of metabolism and replication, protobionts.
6. The Origin of Heredity: RNA as the first genetic material, ribozyme, the ability to self-replicate, the role of natural selection.
7. The Fossil Record: The fossil record shows change over time, why the fossil record is incomplete, types of organisms that do and do not form fossils.
8. The First Single Celled Organisms: The anaerobic conditions on early Earth, first heterotrophic prokaryotes, rise of autotrophs, chemosynthesis, archaebacteria.
9. Photosynthesis and Aerobic Respiration: The production of organic compounds in photosynthesis, the release of oxygen into the atmosphere, the damaging nature of oxygen, the evolution of aerobic respiration, cyanobacteria, production of ozone.
10. The First Eukaryotes: Differences between prokaryotes and eukaryotes, the theory of endosymbiosis, evolution of mitochondria and chloroplasts, evidence for endosymbiosis.
11. The First Multicellular Eukaryotes: Arrival of protists, algae, fungi, plants and animals, the Cambrian explosion, first animal phyla, early animals are herbivores, appearance of predators.
12. The Colonization of Land: Solving the problem of reproduction without water and the problem of dehydration in an oxygen atmosphere, solutions to these problems, vascular tissue of plants, cuticle of plants, reproduction with pollen, the exoskeleton of arthropods, and the amniote egg.
13. Large Scale Process Have Affected Life on Earth: Continental Drift, Mass extinctions, Adaptive radiations.
This PowerPoint was written with a typical biology I class in mind. It can easily be edited to meet your needs.
It usually takes me a week to cover all of the slides on the PowerPoint due to the fact that this topic generates lively class discussion.
Also included is a set of notes to accompany this PowerPoint. It includes a complete set of notes for the teacher, and an outline of the notes for the students. Students will use the outline as the PowerPoint is being presented and will fill in the notes as the lesson is being taught. I always include both the Word document and a pdf of the notes.
Please let me know if you have any questions. Thanks for looking.
Related products include:
History of Life on Earth Question and Answer Review PowerPoint
History of Life on Earth Quizzes
Lab: Making Coacervates
Classification and Taxonomy: The Diversity of Life Powerpoint with Teacher and Student Notes
Classification Using a Dichotomous Key
Lab: The Use of Dichotomous Keys in Classification
Dichotomous Classification Key to a "Crazy" Animal Kingdom
Learning to Use and Construct a Dichotomous Classification Key
Classification (Taxonomy) Homework or Study guide
Activity: Let's Build a Cladogram!
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