CLASSROOM CLADOGRAM OF
© 1999 ENSI (Evolution
& the Nature of Science Institutes) www.indiana.edu/~ensiweb
This material may be copied only for noncommercial classroom
teaching purposes, and only if this source is clearly cited.
A. You will be assigned to a working team of 2-4 students,
and each team will be randomly assigned an Animal Group on which
to work. Your team will be given a strip of paper (one copy per
1. the name of your team's animal group (sometimes with names
of specific members of that group)
2. the age of the group (when it first appeared in the fossil
B. Each person will receive a sheet of traits, arranged
in clusters, each cluster identified with a color.
C. Your mission (every student):
Part 1: figure out which cluster of traits were first
exhibited by your assigned animal group. Use your textbook, other
books available (school, library, local university), the internet.
Each member of the team does this for homework, and reports
back to the team next day with selection preference; teams
will share and compare results with other teams. Problems will
be discussed and resolved in class. You will now be given a Background
Information packet and a list of Illustration Resources.
Part 2: Once the traits are properly assigned to your
group, look for pictures of examples of that group:
- a. earliest members of that group (pictures of fossils and/or
reconstructions of their likely appearance);
- b. modern-day typical representatives of that group (clade).
If possible, make photocopies of the best examples found. Record
the sources for the pictures of each animal found. Bring these
to share with your team.
Part 3: Each team prepares a large-print page (8 1/2
X 11 inches) showing: your animal group name, time of first appearance,
and the list of its traits (this sheet can be made with a word
processor, if possible), and then selects the best example of
(a) and (b) above; these three sheets (in most cases) are to
be placed on the giant cladogram on "Cladogram Day".
Select a team representative who will orally share a few interesting
and/or unusual bits of information learned about the animal group.
Part 4: On "Cladogram Day", each team will,
in turn, place their 3 sheets (for most teams) on the giant cladogram:
- a. Sheet with name of animal group, time of first appearance,
and list of traits (placed near timeline);
- b. Sheet with picture of earliest member of the branch group
(clade) - placed on or near the timeline, at the base of its
vertical branch to the modern (living) members of that clade;
- c. Sheet with picture of modern example of that group (placed
at upper end of the branch line).
SPECIAL NOTE: For Team 6, include a 4th sheet with
"Birds" on it; For Team 11, figures b and c
may be combined into one sheet.
Team representative will share interesting/unusual information
about the animal group.
Part 5: Participate in class discussion of the cladogram.
Be prepared to comment on:
- a. what does the cladogram tell us?
- b. what does the cladogram NOT tell us (that one might think
- c. what concepts were learned in making and discussing this
Part 6: Prepare a summary form (one per team) which
shows what each person on the team did, what the cladogram shows
(in general), and the main concept(s) learned. Your grade will
be the team grade, based on everyone contributing his/her fair
share, and the overall quality of your paper (2 or 3 sheets,
as necessary) and the oral presentation.