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Students will reenact Charles Darwin’s epic journey around the world, by analyzing animal characteristics with no content background knowledge, other than what they SEE and FEEL in front of them. Students will journey to various “islands” or lab tables around the room that have displayed various animal “pieces” with unique anatomical structures. Have the student’s DRAW what they see (just like what Charles Darwin did) & DESCRIBE each item using only four “adjectives”. Then have the students critically think about WHY certain structures evolved in that particular species and write down three ideas on how those traits came to be. Have them think about genetic ancestries, environmental & ecological conditions, ecosystem pressures, geographical factors, and even predator/prey challenges.
Activity includes 8 stations to be observed, drawn, & analyzed, plus a journal conlusion with 3 questions to critically think about the experience and the importance of observing traits.