If you're like me, you've had a hard time introducing and teaching the concepts of evolution from a religious and culturally sensitive point of view while still sticking to the scientific facts.
For this reason, I've created this assignment to be completely student driven and also intentionally stayed away from the traditional ape skulls which are usually examined when discussing this topic.
Before this assignment, it would be incredibly useful if your students already have some background knowledge of natural selection, artificial selection, and sexual vs. asexual reproduction.
In this assignment, students examine horse fossils and draw their own conclusions about how the species has changed over time, diverged into separate species, and adapted to changing environments. Students are allowed to make inferences about the layers of sediment and where older and younger fossils may be found as well as extending their observations on horses to fossils of other mammals.
I use this as an introduction to evolution, with no front loading. After students have completed this assignment, we use their responses to generate discussion.
Internet access is useful for this assignment, but not required. I've included a PDF version of the website link in the product.