Friday, September 25, 2009

Dog Evolution - Case Study

Dear Case Study Teachers:

Our latest case study is “Not Necessarily on Purpose: Domestication and Speciation in the Canidae Family” by Thomas Horvath, Department of Biology, SUNY College at Oneonta.

In this clicker case, students learn about natural selection concepts and interpret phylogenies as they apply to the Canidae family. The case is based on the idea that the domestication of the dog was not likely an intentional event in human history. Rather, the dog as we know it was likely a result of natural selection events. Then, later intentional selective breeding events formed the many different breeds of dog. Most students are familiar with dogs and may be more open to the ideas of evolution and speciation when applied to this animal rather than to humans.

Teaching Notes:
Case Collection:

Dogs: Their Fossil Relatives and Evolutionary History

More interesting information about wolves, dogs, and evolution:,0,1620029.story

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Evolution and Natural Selection Concept Map Worksheet

Change Through Time – Evolution by means of Natural Selection – Concept Map

This concept map can be used in at least three ways. First, you can use the map to preview what you will be reading in your unit of study; you can use it to look up information before you read. Or, you can use this concept map after you have read about the topic so that you can review the chapters that you have read. Third, you can use it as a study guide for a test.

For each topic that is circled, you should write down short descriptive phrases or words that are important facts about the topic. For example, on one of the lines attached to the Organizing and Classifying Life’s Diversity circle, you could write the words: binomial nomenclature (which refers to Linnaeus’s naming system that is still used today). By making short notes that are attached to each topic, you are “chunking” down the information and organizing it in a way that will make it easier to remember. Adding color to your concept map may also help you remember the information.