Darwin to DNA

Course Overview

Evidence of biological evolution is abundant.  Evolutionary change continues to occur and relies on the process of natural selection.  The theory includes multiple causes including Charles Darwin’s concept of natural selection. This course looks at some case studies of evidence to explore the theory.

Introduction

In this course, students explore genetic changes over generations.  The process of natural selection is explored through looking closely at the case of the Stickleback fish and the Woolly mammoth.

Background information

Biological evolution is genetic change in a population from one generation to another.  The speed and direction of change is variable with different species lines and at different times.  Students will engage with interactives, video and quizzes as they explore the theory of evolution. Prior knowledge No prior knowledge is necessary although students will benefit from an understanding of differences within and between groups of organisms and scientific classifications.

Learning intentions

  1. Students can explain the role of DNA and genes in cell division and genetic inheritance.
  2. Students will be able to apply geological timescales to elaborate their explanations of both natural selection and evolution.

Estimated Duration: 60 minutes

 Victorian Curriculum Descriptors

Biological Science:
  • The theory of evolution by natural selection explains the diversity of living things and is supported by a range of scientific evidence.  (VCSSU120)
  • The transmission of heritable characteristics from one generation to the next involves DNA and genes. (VCSSU119)
Science Inquiry Skills
  • Formulate questions or hypothesis that can be investigated scientifically, including identification of independent, dependant and controlled variables. (VCSIS134)

Course Development Team Leader

Jo Tate