This Phylogenetics lesson plan also includes:

Introduce your class to the concept of creating phylogenetic trees by playing a game of Telephone. Participants create a mixed-up message and through the use of distance matrices, the evolution of the message is recreated. 

15 Views 6 Downloads NGSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas

  • Instead of individuals guessing the order, allow pairs to work together
  • Make a shorter message to keep the possibilities limited
Classroom Considerations

  • Part of the class will need to leave the room for a period of time
  • When creating the distance matrix, the instruction needs to be very clear about how distance cells are calculated

  • Many pupils are familiar with the game used in the demonstration
  • The lesson provides a concrete example of a complex concept

  • The solution method of the Telephone game may lose many
  • No method is provided to assess understanding