Assessment Anchor BIO.B.3 Theory of Evolution
Anchor Descriptor BIO.B.3.2 Analyze the sources of evidence for biological evolution.
Eligible Content BIO.B.3.2.1 Interpret evidence supporting the theory of evolution (i.e., fossil, anatomical, physiological, embryological, biochemical, and universal genetic code).
Enhanced Standard 3.1.B.C3, 3.1.B.C1, 3.1.B.B3
Assessment Anchors & Eligible Content

Essential Learnings
Constancy and Change:
  • Compare and contrast various theories of evolution.
  • Interpret data from fossil records, anatomy and physiology, and DNA studies relevant to the theory of evoluation.
  • Discuss the implications of a universal genetic code for evoluation.

  • Describe species as reproductively distinct groups of organisms.
  • Analyze the role that geographic isolation can play in speciation.
  • Explain how evoluation through natural selection can result in changes in biodiversity through the increase or decrease of genetic diversity within a population.
  • Describe how the degree of kinship between species can be inferred from the similarity in their DNA sequences.

  • Describe the basic structure of DNA, including the role of hydrogen bonding.
  • Explain how the process of DNA replication results in the transmission and conservation of the genetic code.
  • Describe how transcription and translation result in gene expression.
  • Differentiate among the end products of replication, transcription and translation.
  • Cite evidence to support that the genetic code is universal.

  • Adaptation: a trait shaped by natural selection that increases an organism's reproductive success.
  • Analagous Structure: structures that have the same function, but are in different forms. (Example: wings of bats and flies).
  • Ancestral Trait: primitive features, such as teeth and nails, that also appear in ancestral forms.
  • Biogeography: the study of the geographic distribution of organisms.
  • Camouflage: a morphological adaptation that allows species to become almost invisible to predators.
  • Derived Trait: newly evolved features, such as feathers, that do not appear in the fossils of common ancestors.
  • Embryo: an early pre-birth stage of an organism's development.
  • Fitness: a measure of the relative contribution an individual trait makes to the next generation.
  • Homologous Structure: any similarity between characteristics of organisms that is due to their shared ancestry. (Example: forelimbs in mammals)
  • Mimicry: a morphological adaptation that allows one species to evolve to resemble another species.
  • Transitional Fossils: provide detailed patterns of evoluationary change for ancestors of many modern animals, including mollusks, horses, humans and whales.
  • Vestigial Structure: the reduced forms of functional structures in other organisms. (Example: human appendix)


  • chunking information
  • open-notes tests/quizzes
  • peer tutoring
  • graded on content rather than grammar, spelling

Extension Activities




Corey, Gail and Quillen, Amy. Limiting Factors/Evolution Game. 2009. 29 September 2011

Glencoe. Biology Textbook Online. n.d. 29 September 2011

Glencoe. Biology Textbook Online - Chapter 15: Evolution. n.d. 29 September 2011

McGraw-Hill. Virtual Lab - Natural Selection. n.d. 29 September 2011

O'Neill, Dennis. Early Theories of Evolution. 2011 May 2011. 29 September 2011

Understanding Evolution. 2011. University of California Museum of Paleontology. 29 September 2011