Under the Unity and Diversity DCI, students are asked to evaluate data comparing similarities in developing embryos across different organisms. While this is a classic component of understanding evolution, the modern, real-world reason to learn it is to understand the why and how of using model organisms like zebrafish. Students will learn about how model organisms have been used to find treatments to medical problems in the past, how they are used and selected now, and will be able to draw their own conclusions about the similarities among vertebrates vs. other types of animals. This is a stand-alone lesson/investigation but it would be a great bridge between genetics and evolution and could connect to 7th-grade content.
This lesson results from a collaboration between the Alabama State Department of Education and ASTA.