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Your Inner Fish Crawls off the Page

ImageI’ve been assigning Neil Shubin’s Your Inner Fish as a reading and discussion assignment in my General Biology classes for several years now. I believe that it’s a good introduction to understanding how the process of science works in the real world, it does a good job communicating the methods and findings of a number of complex experiments, and it also walks through the history of ideas and how new information changed these ideas over time.

If I can get students to think about all these things and perhaps do a little extra digging (into the research), then I’ve down my job.

Episode I of the adaptation of this book  just aired this week and I was very impressed by the way the material was put together- refining the story from the book a little- and coming up with a standard documentary supported by computer graphics that really add to the story rather than looking tacky of fake. In fact, I think the graphics really transform the material into a living experience.

The story is told in two converging arcs. In one, we follow Shubin’s field work, where he decided that he was interested in finding the remains of one of the earliest organisms to crawl out of the water and establish terrestrial life. Prior work suggested that the earliest tetrapod ancestor on land emerged from the Devonian Seas about 370 Million Years Ago. Shubin and colleagues identified an ancient river delta of about this age in the Canadian Arctic and set out to locate some fossils.

ImageThe other story walks us through the idea of relationship with other life on Earth. What suggests this relationship? What evidence is there for it? How long does it go back?

As I said above, I have liked this adaptation very much so far and I am already planning to bring at least parts of this video into my classroom to supplement our discussions.

More on this later…

 
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Posted by on April 10, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Unit II Genes, Heredity and Inheritance- reading recommendation

Just a quick note about an excellent book about genetics

I just added some links to books that I use in my classes – but WordPress doesn’t really like that kind of link, so I had to pass you over to my Recommended Reading List at the DHS official site. One of them is the book we are already reading in class, Your Inner Fish, by Neil Shubin. The other is the one I really wanted to highlight. It is a recommended book that does an excellent job discussing much of the work that we will go over in Unit II. It’s called The Cartoon Guide to Genetics, by Larry Gonick. It really is great – it covers all of the material I address in Unit II and is also very easy reading. After all it’s a comic book. If you’re interested in taking a look, follow…

THIS LINK TO Downhousesoftware.com

And you’ll find a pointer to each of these books, as well as some others that I think provide an excellent foundation in biology.

 
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Posted by on November 5, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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