The lesson will begin by students accessing their prior knowledge of the anatomical similarities and differences among modern and fossil organisms by creating a Venn diagram with a partner, which will compare and contrast two organisms. Next, students will complete the online modules found at "What did T. rex Taste Like?" from the University of California Museum of Paleontology, which will explain how a cladogram diagram can be used to show lines of lineage and evolutionary relationships. Students will use a cladogram to infer how a T. rex is related to modern organisms. Lastly, students will construct a written explanation to describe the anatomical similarities and differences between the T. rex and modern organisms based on evidence from the cladograms in a claim-evidence-reasoning format.
This lesson results from a collaboration between the Alabama State Department of Education and ASTA.