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Comparative Anatomy NGSS MS-LS4-2 and MS-LS4-3

Comparative Anatomy 

     The comparative study of the body structures of different species of animals in order to understand the adaptive changes they have undergone in the course of evolution from common ancestors.
      Charles Darwin made extensive use of comparative anatomy in advancing his theory, and it in turn revolutionized the field by explaining the structural differences between species as arising out of their evolutionary descent by natural selection from a common ancestor.
     Since Darwin’s time, the study of comparative anatomy has centered largely on body structures that are homologous—i.e., ones in different species that have the same evolutionary origin regardless of their present-day function. 

Comparative Anatomy and Embryological Development for Middle School

      An online unit for NGSS MS-LS4-2 and MS-LS4-3. Students will learn about evidence such as homologous structures, analogous structures, and embryological similarities. Students will see evidence that species have changed over time. This unit begins with phenomena. This unit is completely online and digital with interactive slides. You may also be interested in the Analyzing the Fossil Record unit.

Online Unit Evidence for Change in Species Over Time
All the slides are interactive with the ability to write on them and drag and drop activities.
Comparative Embryology and Anatomy
Interactive Slides forr google Classroom Online Unit

Distance Learning Science Unit: Evidence for Evolution: NGSS MS-LS4-2 and MS-LS4-3. Students will learn about homologous structures, analogous structures, and embryology as evidence for common ancestry. This is a completely online unit in Google Slides and Google Forms. These slides are interactive.  Students will read information or watch a video and they will respond right on the slide by typing on the slide or completing interactive drag and drop activities. This unit is self-directed and perfect for distance learning or Google Classroom.  It ends with a unit quiz in an editable Google Form. 

Interactive Slides and Reading Passages for Comparative Anatomy
Students will learn about
Homologous Structures
Analogous structures
Vestigial Structures
Adaptive Structures
Natural Selection

Biological Evolution Standards for Middle School Science

This unit is completely online with interactive slides.  It ends with a quiz in a Google Form that is self-checking.
This resource is aligned with
NGSS MS-LS4-2. Apply scientific ideas to construct an explanation for the anatomical similarities and differences among modern organisms and between modern and fossil organisms to infer evolutionary relationships. [Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on explanations of the evolutionary relationships among organisms in terms of similarity or differences of the gross appearance of anatomical
NGSS MS-LS4-3 Analyze displays of pictorial data to compare patterns of similarities in the embryological development across multiple species to identify relationships not evident in the fully formed anatomy. [Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on inferring general patterns of relatedness among embryos of different organisms by comparing the macroscopic appearance of diagrams or pictures.] [Assessment Boundary: Assessment of comparisons is limited to the gross appearance of anatomical structures in embryological development.]
Utah SEEd Standard 7.5.3
Construct explanations that describe the patterns of body structure similarities and differences between modern organisms, and between ancient and modern organisms, to infer possible evolutionary relationships. (LS4.A)
Utah SEEd Standard 7.5.4
Analyze data to compare patterns in the embryological development across multiple species to identify similarities and differences not evident in the fully formed anatomy. (LS4.A)
No Prep
Completely Online
Great for Distance Learning
Evidence for Ebvolution
comparing anatomy

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