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Big Idea
Evolution of animals has led to new classification systems and complex body structures.
Essential Questions
Describe the essential functions of arthropods. Why are arthropods such a varied and large phylum?
What impact do insects have on humans? How would eliminating insects (all or some) affect the human population?  How about the plant population?
How have animals evolved in complexity from sponges to arthropods?

Science & Engineering Practices
Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions
Constructing explanations and designing solutions in 9–12 builds on K–8 experiences and progresses to explanations and designs that are supported by multiple and independent student-generated sources of evidence consistent with scientific ideas, principles, and theories.
  • Construct an explanation based on valid and reliable evidence obtained from a variety of sources (including students’ own investigations, models, theories, simulations, peer review) and the assumption that theories and laws that describe the natural world operate today as they did in the past and will continue to do so in the future. (HS-LS1-1)
Engaging in Argument from Evidence
Engaging in argument from evidence in 9-12 builds on K-8 experiences and progresses to using appropriate and sufficient evidence and scientific reasoning to defend and critique claims and explanations about the natural and designed world(s). Arguments may also come from current or historical episodes in science.
  • Evaluate the evidence behind currently accepted explanations or solutions to determine the merits of arguments. (HS-LS4-5)
Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information
Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information in 9–12 builds on K–8 experiences and progresses to evaluating the validity and reliability of the claims, methods, and designs.
  • Communicate scientific information (e.g., about phenomena and/or the process of development and the design and performance of a proposed process or system) in multiple formats (including orally, graphically, textually, and mathematically). (HS-LS4-1)
Content/Core Ideas
  • Due to the evolutionary process Arthropods have become the largest and most varied phyla of animal.  
  • Although Arthropods vary greatly they still present the essential functions in a similar manner.
  • Insects impact humans in both positive and negative ways.
  • Negative impact of insects includes causing disease and destruction of crops.  
  • Positive impacts of insects include acting as pollinators and food sources.
  • When comparing the evolution of each of the animal phyla, scientists look at a few major factors: number of germ layers, body symmetry, cephalization, presence of a coelom and development of the blastopore.   
Learning Practices
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.11-12.7 Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., quantitative data, video, multimedia) in order to address a question or solve a problem.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.WHST.11-12.7 Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem; narrow or broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize multiple sources on the subject, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.

Design and use graphic organizers to show relationships between and within content topics (flowcharts, venn diagrams, cladograms, mind maps...).

Active Engagement Partner work:  Students work with partner(s) to solve basic problems, build models, think pair share...
Academic Vocabulary
compound eye
book lung
malpighian tubule
No new vocab
No new vocab
These are SOME ways for students to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the content.
  • Students will examine the internal anatomy of a crayfish through dissection.
  • Students will read about and research the many uses of insects and then determine how to use insects for survival.
  • Students will create a cladogram showing the evolutionary trends of invertebrates.
  • Students will write a discussion explaining how invertebrates have evolved and will predict the next evolutionary trend to take place.