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Chapter 9: Life: From the First Organism Onward

Difficulty Level: At Grade Created by: CK-12
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(Opening image copyright Dariush M., 2010. Used under license from Shutterstock.com.)

Life: From the First Organism Onward


Lesson 9.1: Earth Forms and Life Begins

9.1.1 Earth in a Day

9.1.2 Learning about the Past

  • The Fossil Record
  • Molecular Clocks
  • Geologic Time Scale

9.1.3 How Earth Formed: We Are Made of Stardust!

9.1.4 The First Organic Molecules

  • Which Organic Molecule Came First?
  • RNA World Hypothesis

9.1.5 The First Cells

  • LUCA
  • Photosynthesis and Cellular Respiration

9.1.6 Evolution of Eukaryotes

9.1.7 Arsenic in Place of Phosphorus - New Biochemicals for Life?

Lesson 9.2: The Evolution of Multicellular Life

9.2.1 Setting the Stage: The Late Precambrian

  • Life During the Late Precambrian
  • The Precambrian Extinction

9.2.2 Life During the Paleozoic

  • Paleozoic Era

9.2.3 Mesozoic Era: Age of Dinosaurs

9.2.4 Cenozoic Era: Age of Mammals

  • KQED: The Last Ice Age

Lesson 9.3: Classification

9.3.1 Linnaean Classification

  • Binomial Nomenclature
  • Revisions in Linnaean Classification

9.3.2 Phylogenetic Classification

Pacing the Lessons

Use the Class Periods per Lesson table below as a guide for the time required to teach the lessons of this chapter.

Lesson Number of Class Periods
9.1 Earth Forms and Life Begins 2.5
9.2 The Evolution of Multicellular Life 2.0
9.3 Classification 1.5
  • Class periods are assumed to be 60 minutes long.

Online Resources

See the following Web sites for appropriate laboratory activities:

1. In this lab, students will remove fossils from sediments, classify them, and draw conclusions about their relative ages. (Lesson 9.1)

2. This role-playing lab simulates time travel to the beginning of planet Earth. On the trip, students will “witness” the origin of life and key events in the evolution of life on Earth. (Lesson 9.1)

3. Students will observe prepared slides of prokaryotes and eukaryotes to identify organelles in the evolution of prokaryotes to eukaryotes (endosymbiotic theory). (Lesson 9.1)

4. Students will compare amino acid sequences in proteins and then construct a phylogenetic tree to represent evolutionary relationships based on the sequences. (Lesson 9.3)

5. In this interactive computer lab, students will examine features of various groups of animals to decide where an extinct animal (Archaeopteryx) should be placed phylogenetically. (Lesson 9.3)

These Web sites may also be helpful:

1. For more information on particular topics, visit the Web site below. It is a multi-authored encyclopedia on the history of life on Earth.

2. An animation about the origin of life is available at the URL below.

3. You can find classroom activities, labs, and links relating to the history of life at the Web site below.

4. This online chapter is a concise and well-illustrated introduction to biological classification and provides links to several other useful Web sites.

5. This excellent introduction to the principles of taxonomy includes crossword puzzles and flashcards.

6. This informative summary of plant and animal classification has numerous links to articles, activities, and quizzes pertaining to lesson content.

Chapter Outline

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