Shape of Life offers FREE classroom videos depicting the evolution of the animal kingdom on planet earth. Students and educators from all over the world explore animal adaptation, animations, and behaviors along with the amazing scientists who bring their stories to life. We also offer a rich selection of NGSS materials including lesson plans, readings, illustrations and activities that inspire a deeper dive into the phyla that explain so much of our existence.
Hot off the presses!
Each art poster is individually signed by Ray.
And!... if you happen to be attending the National Marine Educators Association conference in Long Beach on July 16 - 19, 2018 you have a chance to win a FREE Tree of Life poster! Stand by for more details!
Everyone thinks about the carbon footprint of their favorite burrito, right? Maybe not—BUT!… Dr. Eugene Cordero, a self-proclaimed “burrito connoisseur,” certainly does. And, he makes it fun for middle school science students to think about the footprint of all kinds of things.
Find out more about how Dr. Cordero turned his love of science and Climate Science Education into an innovative online resource that empowers kids to fight climate change.
Imagine the oceans 530 million years ago, during the Cambrian Explosion, filled with creatures alien to us today. Anomalocaris (ah-NOM-ah-LAH-kariss), from the Greek meaning “unusual shrimp”, was a major predator of those ancient seas. Fossils from the Cambrian in the Burgess Shale in Canada, and formations in China, Greenland, Australia, and Utah show that this large, ancient shrimp was widespread during this period.
The “unusual shrimp”, which grew up to a six feet long 6’, is the largest animal among the Burgess Shale fossils. Scientific studies of fossil body parts and entire specimens have helped scientists understand Anomalocaris’ mode of moving and its predatory behavior.
This collection consists of six lesson plans designed to help students construct an explanation of the geologic time scale based on personal connections, science concepts that include Law of Superposition and index fossils and nature of science ideas. The lessons highlight a diversity of scientists and geologic sites that complement Shape of Life videos.
A variety of modalities are engaged that encourage shared exploration with peers. Students go outside and observe the schoolyard, watch videos, create a “geologic site in a cup,” utilize technology for geologic time scale interpretations, work in small groups and participate in whole class discussions throughout the lessons.
Your students will ROCK these lessons!
With all the wacko news lately, I wasn’t sure what the vibe was going to be at the National Science Teachers Conference in Atlanta.
What I discovered was that even a downpour from the ceiling at the convention center couldn't dampen the mood. In fact, as we were ushered from the exhibit hall floor for a 3.5 hour wait while they fixed the air conditioning leak-- I saw more smiles and laughter and new friendships being forged than anything else.
We talk a lot about adaptation here at Shape of Life. Science teachers certainly illustrate this concept. Over the course of 4 days we were able to talk with lots of teachers and most shared that they feel it’s an even more important time to 'hang tough' for science education. And, believe me, based upon the energy we experienced, we have no doubt science education will prevail.
Scientists use a tree with branches to represent the common ancestry and evolutionary relationships of earth’s different kinds of organisms. In 1859 Charles Darwin sketched a Tree of Life in his book, “The Origin of Species”. He was explaining how a genus of related species might have originated from a common ancestor. This was the beginning of using a tree as a model for evolution. Since then there have been thousands of Tree of Life drawings as our knowledge has increased.
In 1992 a friend of ours, the artist Ray Troll, created his own gorgeous and quirky version. Since then he has created trees for various animal groups, which we think are delightful and engaging. So, when our friend, biologist Chuck Baxter, was turning 90, we decided to ask Ray to create a new animal Tree of Life for him and for the Shape of Life. Ray agreed, saying “It was a great honor to be asked to do something for Chuck Baxter on such a momentous occasion!”