Activity for Your Inner Fish
This activity explores the content and research presented in the documentary film series Your Inner Fish, which describes major transitions in the evolution of vertebrate animals, including humans.
The three films in the series Your Inner Fish trace human evolutionary history starting about 375 million years ago, when our ancestors transitioned from living in water as fish to living on land as four-limbed vertebrates (also known as tetrapods). Each hour of the three-part series concentrates on a major evolutionary transition in the vertebrate lineage that eventually led to the rise of humans: the fish-to-tetrapod transition, followed by the reptile-to-mammal transition and the early primate-to-human transition.
The “Student Handout” probes students’ understanding of the key concepts addressed in the film. The “Educator Materials” document provides suggested pause points in the film with questions for students, background information, and detailed discussion points; a list of related resources and references; and an answer key for the “Student Handout.”
Student Learning Targets
- Explain how multiple sources of evidence contribute to our understanding of the evolution of the tetrapod lineage.
evolutionary transition, fossil, hominin, homology, paleobiology, tetrapod, Tiktaalik, transitional fossils, vertebrate
Shubin, Neil. Your Inner Fish: A Journey into the 3.5-Billion-Year History of the Human Body. New York: Vintage Books, 2009.
HS-LS1-1, HS-LS3-1, HS-LS4-1, HS-LS4-5; SEP6
1.A.4, 1.C.1, 1.D.2, 4.C.2; SP6
5.1, 5.3, 10.3
CC1, CC2; DP1