Thursday, May 20, 2010


Students received a Syllabus today for our final unit of the year:


As the name suggests, we will be going beyond the basics of evolution and natural selection studied in Unit 9. The most important task for all students in this final unit will be the completion of drafts of an Essay based upon a topic chosen by students, with a matching scoring rubric.

This Essay has the following goals:

  • allowing students to pursue and investigate a topic in evolutionary theory, and (if they desire) exploring other points of view where that topic is concerned
  • rehearsing some of the skills required for college papers (appropriate use of sources, APA-style bibliography and citations)
  • giving students opportunity to write, and re-write, multiple drafts...the key to good writing, as with so many things, is skill rehearsal
  • providing a structured assignment that rewards a high level of achievement with a significant number of points at the end of the semester, in effect a vehicle for students who want a meaningful opportunity to raise their grade.
I encourage students and parents to discuss the benefits and challenges of this assignment. First drafts should've been already submitted in writing or attached to an email:


They should be submitted either as Word documents or as PDF files.

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