moaPBS Video Series -- Evolution

Goal: For this activity, students will view 7 video clips about evolution at the PBS site, after each clip a short essay will be written that answers a question about the topic covered in the clip.

Go to: - Click on "For Students", then "Evolving Ideas" to access video clips. The full series is several hours long.


There are 7 Short Videos to watch on this page, open the videos using the QUICKTIME link and watch, take notes as you watch the clips and feel free to play them again.Use the computer headphones to listen to the sound.

For each video segment, you have one question to answer. Please write your answers on a separate piece of paper and write them in paragraph form, pay attention to grammar and punctuation.  Each answer should be approximately 2-3 sentences in length.   Turn in each paper separately as you finish ­ Label the top with your name and video segment/ question the essay is related to.

videoVideo 1 - Isn't Evolution Just a Theory?

Is it correct to say the evolution is JUST a theory? Is gravity JUST a theory? Defend your answer.

videoVideo 2 - Who was Charles Darwin?

Why was Darwin considered to be a "revolutionary"?

videoVideo 3 - How Do We Know Evolution Happens?

Describe the transitional fossils associated with whale evolution. Include specific examples of these fossils and explain why they are considered to be whale ancestors?

videoVideo 4 - How Does Evolution Really Work?

Describe the process of natural selection and how it affects hummingbird populations.  

videoVideo 5 - Did Humans Evolve?

Explain how DNA sequences are used to provide evidence of common ancestry.

videoVideo 6 - Why Does Evolution Matter Now?

Why is the theory of evolution an important theory in for doctors and the field of medicine?  How does the theory affect the way illnesses and treatments are approached?

videoVideo 7 - Why Is Evolution Controversial Anyway?

Many mainstream religions (including Catholicism) do not find a conflict between faith and evolution.  Describe how a person can reconcile what the bible says with what science says and include your own views about whether you think a person can believe in God (and the bible) and also understand the Theory of Evolution.

Grading of Answers
Beginning Knowledgeable Exemplary
Expression Ideas are vague and not well supported (1 pts) Ideas expressed are concrete and supported by thoughts and evidence (2 pts) Ideas expressed are concrete, show depth of thought, and are well supported (3 pts)
Clarity The question of the essay is not answered, opinions are meandering and unfocused (1 pt) The question is answered clearly and thoughtfully, focus is somewhat lacking. (2 pts) The question is answered clearly and thoughtfully, writer maintains focus and clearly defends position. (2 pts)

Total Possible: 5 pts per essay