Human Skin Color: Evidence for Selection
In this case study, students use real data to propose hypotheses, make predictions, and justify claims with evidence, as an exploration of concepts presented in the short film The Biology of Skin Color.
At specific pause points, students analyze data presented in a scientific figure and interpret graphs to make evidence-based claims using the data and information from the short film. The activity brings together many science practices and was designed for introductory college courses.
This activity was adapted from the case study “The Evolution of Human Skin Color” by Dr. Annie Prud’homme-Généreux, published by the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science.
Student Learning Targets
- Make predictions and propose hypotheses based on available information.
- Use real data presented in scientific figures and information from the film to make evidence-based claims.
evolution, folate, human evolution, melanin, natural selection, skin, ultraviolet (UV) radiation, vitamin D
HS-LS1-1, HS-LS4-1, HS-LS4-2, HS-LS4-4; SEP2, SEP4, SEP6
1.A.1, 1.A.2, 1.A.4, 1.C.3, 3.C.1, 4.C.2; SP1, SP5, SP6
5.1, 5.2, D.1
CC1, CC2; DP1, DP3