SC.7.L.15.1

Recognize that fossil evidence is consistent with the scientific theory of evolution that living things evolved from earlier species.
General Information
Subject Area: Science
Grade: 7
Body of Knowledge: Life Science
Idea: Level 2: Basic Application of Skills & Concepts
Big Idea: Diversity and Evolution of Living Organisms -

A. The scientific theory of evolution is the organizing principle of life science.

B. The scientific theory of evolution is supported by multiple forms of evidence.

C. Natural Selection is a primary mechanism leading to change over time in organisms.

Date Adopted or Revised: 02/08
Date of Last Rating: 05/08
Status: State Board Approved
Assessed: Yes

Related Courses

This benchmark is part of these courses.
2002070: M/J Comprehensive Science 2 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
2002080: M/J Comprehensive Science 2, Advanced (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
2000010: M/J Life Science (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
2000020: M/J Life Science, Advanced (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
7820016: Access M/J Comprehensive Science 2 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2018, 2018 and beyond (current))
2002085: M/J Comprehensive Science 2 Accelerated Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
7920040: Fundamental Integrated Science 3 (Specifically in versions: 2013 - 2015, 2015 - 2017 (course terminated))
2000025: M/J STEM Life Science (Specifically in versions: 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))

Related Access Points

Alternate version of this benchmark for students with significant cognitive disabilities.
SC.7.L.15.In.1: Recognize that fossils help people learn about living things that lived a very long time ago.
SC.7.L.15.Su.1: Identify fossils as parts of animals and plants that are no longer alive.
SC.7.L.15.Pa.1: Recognize that living things can die.

Related Resources

Vetted resources educators can use to teach the concepts and skills in this benchmark.

Assessment

Performance Task for a Unit on evolution:

Complete a brochure for the Galapagos Islands. The purpose of your brochure is to attract tourists to the island in order to support research and preservation of the island and its many natural resources.

Type: Assessment

Lesson Plans

Reconstructing Reptile Relationships - A Mesozoic Muddle:

In this Model Eliciting Activity (MEA), students will attempt to identify, draw, and describe evolutionary relationships between a collection of reptiles that lived during the Mesozoic Era and that shared a common reptilian ancestor that lived earlier - in the Paleozoic Era.  The students will receive images of and facts about each of the reptiles, and will use those images and facts to prepare a cladogram – a tree-shaped diagram illustrating their hypotheses about those evolutionary relationships based on shared derived traits – and describe each of the branch points on the tree they construct.

Model Eliciting Activities, MEAs, are open-ended, interdisciplinary problem-solving activities that are meant to reveal students’ thinking about the concepts embedded in realistic situations. Click here to learn more about MEAs and how they can transform your classroom.

Type: Lesson Plan

Evolution and the Emergence of Species:

In this lesson, students will be learning about interesting ancient organisms found within our oceans millions of years ago. Students will complete a card sort activity to elicit their thinking of how fossils are formed as well as how species evolve. They will then discover why the fossil record does not provide evolutionary evidence for all species.

Type: Lesson Plan

Evolutionary Timelines:

This lesson is designed to be an introduction to evolution, in which students will use pictures of fossil skeletons found throughout time to come up with evolutionary timelines. This will give them a basis for understanding evolution, and they will also be introduced to such topics as vestigial structures and the Law of Superposition.

Type: Lesson Plan

A Change is Going to Come!:

This lesson is about Charles Darwin and the theory of evolution through natural selection. Students will explore the theory of evolution using anecdotal imagery (evolution of technology - pagers/phones, cars, computers, watches) that will help them understand how fossil evidence in biological systems is vital to mapping out the origin and development of life through time.

Type: Lesson Plan

Arguing for Evolution using Fossils:

Students will review fossil formation and evolutionary theory. Then students will study some intriguing fossil progressions and evaluate how well they support the theory of evolution.

Type: Lesson Plan

Walking Whales!:

Whales had legs?! What?!!! Use this well researched and easily understood set of resources to explore the evidence for evolution in a way that is both non-threatening and engaging. Use a combination of article excerpts and videos, along with other activities, to show evidence for the clear progression of whales from land dwellers to sea masters.
This is best used, in totality, as the opener for your evolution unit. The resources provided may also support your current practices as well.

Type: Lesson Plan

Lesson Study Resource Kit

Exploring Diversity and Evolution grades 6-8:

This toolkit is designed to assist lesson study teams as they work to develop a unit on natural selection that conforms to the state academic standards for science mathematics and English language arts.

Type: Lesson Study Resource Kit

Original Student Tutorial

Fossils: Evidence of Evolution :

Learn how to recognize that fossil evidence is consistent with the scientific theory of evolution, that living things evolved from earlier species by natural selection, with this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Perspectives Video: Teaching Idea

Fossil Models:

This artistic approach to fossils will leave an imprint on your students.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Teaching Idea

Teaching Ideas

Classification, Diversity and Evolution Cladogram (Performance Task):

This is a culminating activity for 8th grade review lessons on classification and evidence of evolution.

Type: Teaching Idea

MIT BLOSSOMS - Geologic Time: The Ticking of Our Planet’s 4.6 Billion Year Clock:

The Earth is 4.6 billion years old. That's a hard number to conceptualize. What does 4.6 billion look like, and what happened during all those hundreds of millions of years between the formation of our planet and now?

This BLOSSOMS lesson will help students conceptualize the enormity of geologic time and learn about important events in Earth's history. Students will also learn how geologic time can help explain seemingly incomprehensible processes, like the formation of the Himalayan Mountains from a flat plain to their current height, and the evolution of a tiny group of reptiles into enormous dinosaurs.

The lesson will take approximately 45 minutes. Students should have a basic understanding of biology, and a familiarity with geology is helpful but not necessary. The supplies required include a measuring tape that is at least 5 meters long, a 5 meter long piece of string, ribbon, or rope, index cards or other stiff pieces of paper, and calculators.

During the breaks, students will construct a geologic timeline of their own in the classroom and do simple calculations to determine how long amounts of time can lead to impressive changes in the height of the Himalayan Mountains and the size of a group of reptiles.

Type: Teaching Idea

Text Resources

Many Human Ails are ‘Scars’ of Evolution:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The human evolution of bipedalism (walking upright) has resulted in a change in the morphology of the spine, feet, and other features of modern humans that are also present in fossils of our hominid ancestors. These changes have resulted in unintended consequences - body pains and injuries that our non-bipedal primate relatives do not experience.

Type: Text Resource

Your Inner Neandertal:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Scientists used ancient bones to compare Neandertal DNA to that of modern humans from around the globe. The results are surprising: many of us are closer to Neandertals than previously thought. Once considered very unlikely, scientists now believe that humans and Neandertals may have interbred.

Type: Text Resource

Surprise! Fossils in a Flash:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. In this article, scientists explore the fossil of a dead fish whose cells were perfectly preserved from 100 million years ago. The remains led to further studies of decay and fossilization. Taphonomy, the study of what happens after plants and animals die, is discussed in detail, showing how studying fossilized animals can tell us about how they evolved.

Type: Text Resource

Early Tyrannosaurs Would Have Feared This Predator:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article discusses how the early tyrannosaur's rise to dominance was likely delayed by the existence of a newly discovered, fiercer predator with which it competed. The new dino, Siats meekerorum, likely postponed tyrannosaur's emergence as the top predator in its ecosystem.

Type: Text Resource

A Big Discovery About Little People:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The text describes the discovery of a new species of human, nicknamed "hobbits," believed to exist as recently as 12,000 years ago. It also covers the evidence in support of the hypothesis that hobbits are truly a new human species (and not deformed Homo sapiens).

Type: Text Resource

Discovering Fossils: Fossil Tools & Resources:

Fossil enthusiasts Roy Shephard and Luci Algar combined their professional skills in media and education to develop this informative and entertaining website. Designed to be educational and accessible to children, this site presents a wide variety of information about fossils found in Great Britain. The site contains a nice collection of images and diagrams; and includes a fossils guide for beginners, information on preparing fossils, a collection of fossil myths, information on ammonites, and more. The site also contains a Games & Activities section for teachers and students, a glossary of fossil terms, a neat diagram depicting the evolution of life on our planet, and even some free fossil desktop images.

Type: Text Resource

Fish Fossil has Oldest Known Face, May Influence Evolution:

The news article describes the discovery of a placoderm (armored fish) fossil with a facial structure similar to modern vertebrates. It may represent the origin of facial structure for all modern vertebrates. This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area.

Type: Text Resource

Who Was Ida?:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The news article thoroughly describes a transitional primate fossil and includes artist illustrations of the animal in its environment, sidebar information describing the Messel Pit, life for animals in a maar, and how the fossil was named. The article also includes a pop-up glossary of potential problematic vocabulary.

Type: Text Resource

WebQuests

Evidence for Evolution:

PBS has developed an EXCELLENT unit on Evolution It has great activities, video clips, and games that lead a student through the mechanisms that lead to evolution, evidence that supports evolution, and the evolution ideas/scientific discoveries.

Type: WebQuest

What is the Evidence for Evolution?:

This lesson on evolution consists of two activities.
In the first, students will take on the role of a paleontologist who is investigating a particular period of time in Earth's history using the Web Geological Time Machine at the University of California, Berkeley Museum of Paleontology Web site to make a detailed journal entry with illustrations.
In the second activity, Evolution WebQuest, students investigate a variety of types of evidence for evolution from different areas of science. Students divide into groups of six and each member of the group becomes a specialist in anatomy and physiology, paleontology or molecular biology. The anatomists study the structure, physiologists study function, molecular biologists study genetics, and the paleontologists study fossils to find examples of evidence for evolution.

Type: WebQuest

STEM Lessons - Model Eliciting Activity

Reconstructing Reptile Relationships - A Mesozoic Muddle:

In this Model Eliciting Activity (MEA), students will attempt to identify, draw, and describe evolutionary relationships between a collection of reptiles that lived during the Mesozoic Era and that shared a common reptilian ancestor that lived earlier - in the Paleozoic Era.  The students will receive images of and facts about each of the reptiles, and will use those images and facts to prepare a cladogram – a tree-shaped diagram illustrating their hypotheses about those evolutionary relationships based on shared derived traits – and describe each of the branch points on the tree they construct.

Model Eliciting Activities, MEAs, are open-ended, interdisciplinary problem-solving activities that are meant to reveal students’ thinking about the concepts embedded in realistic situations. Click here to learn more about MEAs and how they can transform your classroom.

Original Student Tutorials Science - Grades K-8

Fossils: Evidence of Evolution :

Learn how to recognize that fossil evidence is consistent with the scientific theory of evolution, that living things evolved from earlier species by natural selection, with this interactive tutorial.

Student Resources

Vetted resources students can use to learn the concepts and skills in this benchmark.

Original Student Tutorial

Fossils: Evidence of Evolution :

Learn how to recognize that fossil evidence is consistent with the scientific theory of evolution, that living things evolved from earlier species by natural selection, with this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Parent Resources

Vetted resources caregivers can use to help students learn the concepts and skills in this benchmark.

Perspectives Video: Teaching Idea

Fossil Models:

This artistic approach to fossils will leave an imprint on your students.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Teaching Idea