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The Curriculum Cosmic Evolution Planetary Evolution Origin of Life Evolution of Life Hominid Evolution Evolution of Technology
Curriculum components

The Evolution of Life Module consists of a comprehensive teacher guide on two teacher CD-ROMs (one for home preparation, one for in-class instruction); five student CD-ROMs (one per student team); and a class set of printed student readers (one per student).

Teacher CD-ROM

Each teacher CD-ROM is a complete curriculum for the Origin of Life Module. It includes:

  • a brief overview of the module's content within the context of instruction
  • a calendar of lessons and activities
  • the detailed instructions for all lessons and activities, including learning objectives, student prerequisites, and commonly-held misconceptions
  • the standards and benchmarks addressed
  • science background information
  • student activity sheets and directions
  • assessments and answer keys
  • materials lists and preparation instructions
  • media:
    • 18 videos
    • an interactive Biogeography Database
    • the Aquatic Biome Database which includes an overview and 24 aquatic biome images and descriptions
    • the Terrestrial Biome Database, comprised of an overview and 11 terrestrial biome images and descriptions
    • the Life Over Time Extinction Timeline, which includes 39 images and descriptions
    • the Tree of Life Image Library containing a map of living things, categorized by biochemical and physical features, linked to over 361 images with descriptions.
    • a media library that contains 110 images

The organization of the teacher CD-ROM provides quick and easy access for both planning and instruction. All of the information the teacher needs for planning is on one, compact, CD-ROM. The browser format and links between components facilitate finding what is needed.

Print Materials

All materials that must be printed, such as student activity sheets, are provided both as PDF files and as MS Word files, allowing teachers to modify printed materials if desired.

Student CD-ROM

The student CD-ROM contains most of the media section from the teacher's CD-ROM, with the videos, images, simulations, the Tree of Life Image Library, the Aquatic Biome Database, the Terrestrial Biome Database, the Life Over Time Extinction Timeline, and the Biogeography Database, which are used in core lessons and activities. Additional images and videos that are not integral parts of the core instruction are also provided in an Image Library. These will be useful for students who wish to go further. A glossary of terms used in the module is included, as well as the science overview article, written by a project scientist. While the article is written primarily as a resource for the teacher, it may also be appropriate for better students.

Student Readers

The Evolution of Life Module student reader is a soft-cover printed collection of the following five articles:

  • "How Many Species Exist?" Laura Tangley National Wildlife Magazine December/January 1999
  • "When Life Nearly Died," by J. Madeleine Nash, 2001
  • "Gregor Mendel" by Seung Yon Rhee. Reprinted with permission from Access Excellence
  • "The Evolving Peppered Moth," by Carolyn Csongradi, Michael Ghiselin, and Lucy Bledosoe
  • "Evolution of Our Ideas about Evolution" by Carolyn Csongradi, Michael Ghiselin, Ph.D., and Noah Whittman

The articles are integral parts of the instruction and are usually assigned as homework reading for specific activities. Each student receives a reader to keep. Students reading at or near grade level should be able to read the articles independently.


The equipment and materials required for the VTT activities are those typically found in most high school science departments or readily available at modest cost, either locally or from science education suppliers. Preparation directions and lists of materials, including those that must be addressed well in advance of instruction, are repeated at the module, lesson, and activity levels of the curriculum. Please see Material Requirements for more details.

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Voyages Through Time is an integrated high school science curriculum for ninth or tenth grade based on the theme of evolution and delivered on CD-ROM.