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Indiana University Bloomington

Department of Biology

Community Outreach

Inquiry-Based Curriculum Enhancement

To view an activity choose from the links below; all activities are downloadable PDF documents. PDF forms are formatted for use with the Adobe Acrobat viewer. If your computer does not currently have a version of Acrobat Reader installed you can download the software from the Adobe site. Selecting a PDF file may open a new window in your browser.

Materials for L111: Ecology & Evolution
A Walk in the Woods 
In this activity, students learn to ask questions about nature by making observations. The major inquiry component is developing experimental designs, although other portions of the activity involve inquiry.
Evolutionary Factors 
Students explore population genetics using simulation results in this activity. The major inquiry lesson is generating and evaluating predictions.

Exploring Organisms
This activity is designed to teach the process of science and emphasize the importance of asking questions at the beginning of a semester through the use of animal replicas.
Global Warming 
Students evaluate multiple lines of data as they explore the effects of global warming on physiology, phenology, species distributions, and community interactions. They also gain considerable practice in interpreting figures.
Historical Thinking 
This activity is designed to introduce the method of historical thinking in evolutionary biology by analogy to detective work through the use of archeological and paleontological examples.
Mosaic Evolution 
In this activity, students compare hominoid skulls in order to assess evolutionary change over time. The major inquiry lesson is organizing and representing data. This activity requires cranial casts of hominoids (could be adapted to any available skulls).
Natural Selection 
This activity is designed to introduce the concept of natural selection via a concrete example and provide numerical values for using population genetics equations to track allele frequency changes and calculate relative fitness.
Plant Phylogeny 
This activity is designed to introduce students to phylogenetic reconstruction using morphological characters. Using a set of organisms (photographs provided) students develop a hypothesis of the relationship among these organisms.
Population Dynamics 
Students practice using mathematics to solve ecological problems in this activity. The content of the activity is centered on understanding and differentiating exponential and logistic growth of populations.
Sexual Selection 
This activity is designed to introduce students to basic concepts in the theory of sexual selection by contrasting it with natural selection in the context of formulating hypotheses, making predictions, and considering different outcomes with respect to the explanation of sexually dimorphic size and coloration.
Species Interactions 
This activity is designed to reinforce an understanding of basic concepts in ecology as well as the use of basic equations of population growth. It also serves as a bridge to the role of scientific study in issues of biodiversity and conservation.
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