Literacy Focus- Disciplinary Literacy for All

This group will act as a group sourced repository for classroom use disciplinary texts and literacy lessons aligned to the Durham Public Schools Curriculum Unit Maps for all high school courses. All collected materials and lessons will be curated into course folders and identified by unit and topic.
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All resources in Literacy Focus- Disciplinary Literacy for All

Climate Change Causes Loss of Genetic Diversity

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If you'd visited Tuolumne Meadows in Yosemite National Park 100 years ago, you probably would have encountered the alpine chipmunk, Tamias alpinus. Today, however, park visitors will have to hike up a nearby mountain to see one of these critters. That's because this species is sensitive to temperature and over the last hundred years of global climate change, Yosemite has warmed by about 5.5 degrees Fahrenheit. As the temperature increased, the chipmunks retreated to higher and higher elevations where it was cooler. Today, they occupy a fraction of their original range. If climate change continues, they could be squeezed right off the tops of their mountains and out of existence.

Material Type: Diagram/Illustration, Reading

Diversity of Fishes: Bloch Illustrations

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This online image collection features a brief biography of ichthyologist Marcus Elieser Bloch and 34 of his hand-colored fish illustrations. The collection is from Diversity of Fishes, a distance-learning course that is part of the Museum's Seminars on Science, designed to help educators meet the new national science standards.

Material Type: Diagram/Illustration, Reading

Error. Greed Does Not Compute

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Swarms of tiny robots have given up their selfish ways and started sharing resources for the greater good. Though this might sound like the plot of a bad summer blockbuster, it is real news. This month, a team of Swiss researchers announced that they've used robots to simulate biological evolution. The simple, mobile robots - each a little larger than a sugar cube - began their lives directionless, meandering aimlessly into walls. But after a few generations of natural selection, their computer programs evolved so that they became efficient foragers, purposefully collecting disks that represent food. None of that is particularly surprising. Scientists have long been able to simulate evolution through computer programs that mimic the processes of genetic inheritance, mutation, recombination, and reproduction. What is noteworthy is that many of these robots eventually evolved to help one another, sacrificing personal success to aid other robots in their group.

Material Type: Diagram/Illustration, Reading

Evolutionary History in A Tiny Package

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Scientists discover new species all the time, but usually these new species are microbes, plants, insects, and other forms of non-vertebrate life. Few vertebrate species have thus far evaded the curious gaze of biologists intent on understanding the diversity of life on Earth - that is, unless the vertebrate in question happens to be very, very tiny. Last month, scientists announced the discovery of not one, but four miniscule lizard species. The smallest of these new chameleons, which live in the far north of the African island of Madagascar and inhabit leaf litter, reaches an adult body size of just two centimeters.

Material Type: Diagram/Illustration, Reading

Genetics

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This science resource covers a variety of topics; however, the specific URL is on Genetics. It has significant explanations on the basic Principles of Genetics, Co-dominance, Incomplete dominance, and Sex-Linked traits. The units have precise and manageable explanations, and there are numerous links and additional resources to support instructors and students to advance learning. The access to videos and online simulations enhances particular areas, and the diverse assessments support mastery of skills. This is a very purposeful resource on genetics; it is useful to make learning more effective either as an overall instructional method or as an individualized learning supplement.

Material Type: Activity/Lab, Assessment, Case Study, Diagram/Illustration, Game, Interactive, Lecture, Lecture Notes, Lesson Plan, Primary Source, Reading, Simulation, Teaching/Learning Strategy, Textbook, Unit of Study

Helpful Hints for Field Sketching

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This online article, from Biodiversity Counts, offers insight into the task of field sketching. After discussing the difference between seeing and observing, the article offers tips designed to help make students better at observational rendering. The six hints discussed are proportions, perspective, volume, simplifying, practicing a lot, and having fun.

Material Type: Activity/Lab, Reading

Lessons for today in ancient Mass Extinctions

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If you follow environmental news at all, you'll be familiar with the most common cause of extinction in the world today: habitat loss. Habitat destruction threatens the survival of some the world's most charismatic organisms animals like the giant panda, the Sumatran tiger, and the Asian elephant. Humans have encroached on the wilderness in order to farm, mine, log, and build, and in the process, we've pushed the natural inhabitants of those areas into smaller and smaller refuges. Making matters worse, global climate change caused by our production of greenhouse gases is altering the environments within those refuges, forcing species to contend with new challenges. While these might seem like entirely modern problems, recent research indicates that's not the case and that current levels of habitat loss and climate change could have devastating consequences.

Material Type: Diagram/Illustration, Reading

Europe in Crisis: The World Wars in Europe

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World War I and World War II are often seen as one large war by historians. We will look at both wars from a political, military and social perspective, focusing on the effect that these wars had on Europe. We might also discuss non-European aspects on the war, though in less depth. Topics include the buildup to WWI, trench warfare, the Treaty of Versaiiles, the rise of the Nazi party, re-armament, and the entrance of America into WWII, among many other topics relating to the two world wars. This class is designed for students who have not studied European history in-depth before.

Material Type: Full Course

Author: Michelle Bentivegna