Fossil Evidence of Common Ancestry and Diversity

Next Generation Standards

MS-LS4-1 - Analyze and interpret data for patterns in the fossil record that document the existence, diversity, extinction, and change of life forms throughout the history of life on earth under the assumption that natural laws operate today as in the past.

Clarification Statement - Emphasis is on finding patterns of changes in the level of complexity of anatomical structures in organisms and the chronological order of fossil appearance in the rock layers.

Assessment Boundary - Assessment does not include the names of individual species or geological eras in the fossil record.

Massachusetts Standards

6.MS-LS4-1 - Analyze and interpret evidence from the fossil record to describe organisms and their environment, extinctions, and changes to life forms throughout the history of Earth.

Clarification Statement - Examples of evidence include sets of fossils that indicate a specific type of environment, anatomical structures that indicate the function of an organism in the environment, and fossilized tracks that indicate behavior of organisms.

Assessment Boundary - Names of individual species, geological eras in the fossil record, or mechanisms for speciation are not expected in state assessment.

Unit & Lesson Plans

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Simulations & Investigations

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Additional Resources

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