Life through Time: Evolutionary Activities for Grades 5–8

Written by Kevin Beals, Nicole Parizeau, and Rick MacPherson with Kimi Hosoume and Lincoln Bergman

This groundbreaking GEMS guide plunges students into the unifying theme in life science: evolutionary change. Through the exciting concept of time travel, changes over time are captured in rotating station activities that introduce students to the concepts of adaptation, relatedness, and "deep time."

Students are first introduced to the "tree of life," organism adaptations, and a class time line. In the next five sessions, students carefully observe and document change over long periods of Earth history. The highlights of these sessions are the evolving Time Travel Aquarium and Terrarium, living dioramas that change with every session to represent the organisms of the period being studied. Organism-adaptation stations, fossil findings, and continental drift also evolve over the course of the unit. Every session includes a campaign skit of "stump speeches" by vying organisms and a concluding election of the "most representative organism of the age."

In the concluding session, the teacher chooses one of four options that challenge students to apply what they've learned about changes in life through time.

Praise for Life through Time:

"Fascinating as fossils are, and dramatic as the history of life may be, it takes skillful teachers prepared with accurate material to make the excitement come to life for young students. The GEMS guide Life through Time fills the bill beautifully...."

–Dr. Niles Eldredge, Chair, Committee on Evolutionary Processes & Division of Paleontology (Invertebrates), The American Museum of Natural History
Author of the Encyclopedia of Biodiversity, The Pattern of Evolution, Life in the Balance, Fossils, Reinventing Darwin.

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The National Center for Science Education and UC Berkeley's Museum of Paleontology have taken a detailed look at this guide. Here's an article on their comments, and revised pages. We welcome feedback and revise frequently!

What materials are needed to present this unit? See the full list.

ISBN: Grade Level Format Price
0-924886-67-6 5–8 7 activities
358 pages

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