Sackler Educational Laboratory for Class Trips

Lab A: Fossil Skull Evidence for Change Through Time

October 13, 2015 - June 17, 2016


This 45-minute inquiry-based lab activity is coupled with a 45-minute Guided Field Trip Exploration in the Spitzer Hall of Human Origins. Students will collect evidence of physical traits on fossil skulls used to classify species, determine evolutionary relationships between ape and hominid species, and build an evolutionary tree to illustrate their findings.


Grade 8 Science

Essential Question: How do scientists use the fossil record to recreate the past and learn about extinct species?
Students will be able to describe the sources of variation in organisms and their structures and relate the variations to survival.

When: Monday - Friday
Morning Lab: 11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Afternoon Lab: 1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.


New York City Science Scope and Sequence
Grade 8: Unit 1
Reproduction, Heredity, and Evolution

Living Environment Key Idea 3: Individual organisms and species change over time.

New York State Science Core Curriculum
 Major Understanding: LE 3.1b: Changes in environmental conditions can affect the survival of individual organisms with a particular trait. Small differences between parents and offspring can accumulate in successive generations so that descendants are very different from their ancestors. Individual organisms with certain traits are more likely to survive and have offspring than individuals without those traits.


Prepare Your Students For Their Trip With The Following Pre-visit Activities:

Spitzer Hall of Human Origins Educator Guide
For Teachers: Pre-visit Activities, Grades 5-8
Click here.


Compare Skeletons
How is your body built differently than a chimpanzee's? What skeletal similarities do you share with Neanderthals? Find out with this photographic investigation.


Meet Your Relatives
How are you like a chimpanzee? In what ways do you differ from a Neanderthal? Find out with this detailed, interactive look at humans and their closest cousins.
Click here.


Understanding Cladistics