Evolution NGSS Inquiry ATLAS Journal
The evolution inquiry based science journal is an easy way for students to get engaged in the content using inquiry and models!
ATLAS (Analyzing and Thinking Like a Scientist) is an inquiry based learning journal developed to emphasize real world science without route memorization, making it easy to incorporate modern biology frameworks such as NGSS.
How to use EVOLUTION ATLAS: Read the teacher guide so that you know what is expected of the students, as well as any materials you may need. Then move on to the ATLAS journal where students work in groups.
The Evolution ATLAS comes in an easy Journal format for students to use as they explore the topics.
This typically takes 3 days to complete (if you use every activity) and is designed so that students build and explore models in "layers" before teacher instruction. Layers of the ATLAS Journals:
- Inquire (Big Idea)
- Engage (Build It)
- Explore (MAPS: Modeling, Analyzing/Applying, Predicting, and more).
Teacher instruction would complete the concept with "Explain".
EVOLUTION ATLAS OUTLINE:
Students inquire about the "Big Idea": evolution is the biological change in a species over time; and then move on to the peppered moth simulation with an optional comic sketch. There are NO wrong answers in the ATLAS Journals!
MAPS are the Exploratory portion of ATLAS. Included are the following:
1. Musical Beaks Model: A spin on the classic beak lab, a flood eliminates food sources. Students graph data on a collaborative graph.
2. Analyze: Students watch an HHMI video that dives into the Grant's research on the medium ground finch.
3. Predict: students predict the evolution of a bunny population using different variables. Hosted on PhET.
4. Case Study & Model: Students learn about antibiotics and antibiotic resistance (particular MRSA). This is a 3 part activity that includes a timeline of antibiotics with a reading comprehension activity; a video; and a simulation model "MRSA Mints".
Suggested Materials: 5 tools for beak variations, 5 food sources, colored pencils, timer, toothpicks, paper plates, mini marshmallows, butter mints
1. Why is it called ATLAS?
- Atlas stands for "Analyzing and Thinking Like a Scientist".
2. Will this work with my current teaching materials?
- Absolutely! This is an easy way to incorporate modern science frameworks into any classroom, and will work with any existing teaching materials. Simply give it to your students before you teach your typical unit.
3. What do I need to use the ATLAS journal?
- Chromebooks or student devices are used for a small portion of the ATLAS Inquiry Journals. Additional materials, such as lab supplies, are found at bottom of every preview. These materials support the hands-on activities, but can be modified.
4. Is the ATLAS a complete unit? Does this replace my teaching unit?
- No, the ATLAS is a 7-12 page journal that takes approximately 3 classes to complete. It is designed for your students to complete before teacher-lead instruction. The teacher-lead unit materials are not included, but you can use the ATLAS journals with whatever teaching materials you currently use.
5. Will my students be more prepared for the topic I teach after using the ATLAS journal?
- Yes, it is tried and true inquiry based learning, which studies have shown result in greater retention and understanding of the phenomena.
Any other questions? Just drop me a note in my Q&A, or email me: [email protected]