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Middle School Curriculum

Back in 1963 when LAB-AIDS® shipped its first kit, we had a vision, to revolutionize the middle school classroom with one of the first inquiry-based approaches to learning science through hands-on activity. More Info



13-17 (4 weeks)

In the Evolution unit, students consider whether an extinct species should be brought back to life as they begin to explore evolution. Students examine fossils as they continue to distinguish between observation and inference. A role play presents the basic concept of evolution and the process of natural selection. Activities model the lines of evidence for evolution, natural selection, and the role of genetic mutations. Finally, students evaluate the impact of humans on the extinction and evolution of species.

Content in Evolution is organized into 13 activities, as follows:

Activity Title Activity Type Activity Overview
89. Here Today, Gone Tomorrow? Talking it Over After reading about extinct mammoths and modern elephants, students discuss whether efforts should be made to save endangered elephants.
90. Figuring Out Fossils Lab Students examine eight different fossils as evidence for extinct species.
91. Fossilized Footprints Investigation Students interpret a series of fossilized footprints, differentiating between observations and inferences.
92. Time for Change Modeling Students develop a geologic-style personal timescale and then construct a geologic time scale.
93. Reading the Rocks Investigation Students examine simulated drill cores in order to develop a stratigraphic column.
94. A Meeting of Minds Role Play Students role-play an imaginary meeting between Charles Darwin and Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, who present and compare their theories on how evolution occurred.
95. Hiding in the Back-ground Modeling Students use colored toothpicks to model the effect of environment and predation in the process of natural selection.
96. Battling Beaks Modeling Students simulate the effect of natural selection on an imaginary species of “fork birds.”
97. Origins of Species Reading Students read about mutations and how they provide the genetic variation necessary for natural selection.
98. Family Histories Investigation Students draw and interpret graphs showing changes in the numbers of fossil families in the fish, reptile, and mammal classes over geological time.
99. A Whale of A Tale Investigation Students investigate anatomical evidence for evolution by comparing whale skeletons.
100. DNA: The Evidence Within Investigation Students investigate how DNA sequences can provide evidence for evolution. (For Evolution UNIT only: Includes student activity in Teacher’s Guide to be done BEFORE activity.)
101. Birds of a Feather? Talking it Over After reading about the history of the dodo bird and the common pigeon, students discuss the relationship between extinction and evolution.

LAB-AIDS® provides several useful tools to guide you and your students through the Evolution unit:


Student Book

The Evolution soft cover Student Book guides investigations and provides related readings. The Student Book uses a variety of approaches to make science accessible for all students. SEPUP’s integrated literacy strategies help students process new science content, develop their analytical skills, make connections between related concepts, and express their knowledge orally and in writing.

The built-in assessment system helps teacher’s identify students’ strengths and weaknesses from the beginning of the course. This allows them to adjust activities when needed so that all students get the best chance to build their knowledge and appreciation of science.


LAB-AIDS® Science Lab Notebook

The use of a science journal or notebook in SEPUP is strongly recommended. The journal not only models the way scientists work, but it helps to develop and reinforce students’ science learning and literacy skills.

The LAB-AIDS® Science Lab Notebook is 112 three-hole punched pages which allow students to store the completed pages in their binder. It has a 2 column design and plenty of room for notes and responses to Analysis Questions. Graph Anywhere allows data tables and graphs to be drawn in a fraction of the usual time. The Science Lab Notebook was designed with “Best Practices” in mind.


Complete Materials Package

All SEPUP materials packages are designed with teachers, students and environmental considerations in mind. Traditional laboratory style classrooms are not necessary to teach SEPUP.

Materials packages include most of the items needed for the activities. They support multiple classes – typically up to five classes of 32 students (160 total students) – before consumables need to be replaced. It’s important to note that materials are consumed at various rates; therefore, it will not be necessary to replace all consumable items every year. Exclusive to SEPUP programs are the molded tray liners that keep everything in place and easy to locate – even in a hurry.


Teacher’s Guide

The Evolution Teacher’s Guide takes you through each activity in the Student Book and helps you see the development of concepts within the big picture of the units and the course you are teaching. It helps you set up the equipment from the kit, organize the classroom, conduct activities, and manage practical details, all of which enhance students’ learning environment.

The Teacher’s Guide is packaged as a series of loose-leaf binders that you can personalize with annotations, rearrangements, and insertions. The Teacher’s Guide provides full support for teaching the program. Additional support resources can also found in the Teacher’s Guide.


Teacher Resource

The Teacher Resource provides background and suggestions to increase the overall effectiveness of implementing the program across all levels of learners. Sections include: SEPUP’s Approach to Teaching and Learning, Differentiation Strategies for Diverse Learners, Literacy Strategies for Supporting Reading Comprehension and for Enhancing Students’ Writing and finally Comprehensive instruction on the SEPUP Assessment System.


Books Online

Individual, classroom or district licenses can be purchased for access to our student books on-line. It features editable Word documents for each set of Activity Assessment Questions which allows students to e-mail their finished work back to the teacher. Microsoft Word® Tools provide strong support for diverse learners. The Spelling and Grammar Checker uses red and green underline squiggles representing spelling (red) and grammar (green) errors alerting students to potential errors. The thesaurus helps to refine writing as well as expose students to new vocabulary words. Students with poor spelling skills often have difficulty using a dictionary. This feature provides an instant definition for a highlighted word, eliminating the task of dictionary look-up. Students can also use the Thesaurus to find the synonyms of words.

All pages were created using Adobe Acrobat Reader. A great feature of the Adobe program is “The Read Aloud Function”. The program audibly reads the text, allowing the student to follow the reading on the page. You can speed up or slow down the program based on the student’s ability. This helps all students increase their vocabulary.


ExamView® Test Generating Software

ExamView® for Issues & Life Science makes it easier for educators to use your content to assess, track, and analyze student performance. Comprised of the Test Generator, Test Manager, and Test Player, ExamView® is the industry standard for paper, Internet, and LAN‐based question and test development.

Test Generator Educators can create assessments, quizzes, study guides, and worksheets using multiple question formats, pictures, tables, graphs, charts, and other multimedia elements. Works exclusively with eInstruction’s CPS™ student response systems for real‐time results.

Test Manager Educators collect results and generate comprehension reports in minutes. Test Manager also manages class rosters and automatically collects performance data from the school network to analyze student results and identify areas of concern.

Test Player Gives students the ability to take tests and view study guides over the school network. ExamView® adds even more benefits to your content.

QuickTest Wizard New tests can be created in a matter of minutes with easy step‐by‐step navigation. Simply select the question banks and the number of questions and ExamView® does the rest.

Style Gallery ExamView® tests can be easily formatted to match state or national standardized tests. Simply choose a layout based on predefined formats (e.g., TAKS, FCAT, GED, GMAT, NCLEX, etc.) and print a comprehensive answer sheet.

Multiple Question Formats ExamView® supports 14 question formats. An ExamView® question can contain pictures, graphs, charts, tables, and other multimedia elements. You can create dynamic questions (algorithms) for any subject area which allow infinite customization of a question using mathematical definitions.