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.