Sickle Cell Disease and Malaria: Testing a Hypothesis
This activity has been archived while we produce a more up-to-date version of this activity and the accompanying film. We are hoping the new activity and film will be available by the end of 2021.
This activity supports concepts covered in the film Natural Selection in Humans by having students answer question about the discovery of the link between malaria resistance and sickle cell disease.
The video tells the story of how Tony Allison investigated the prevalence of the sickle cell allele and malaria in East Africa. As they watch the film, students complete a chart with questions about sickle cell disease, malaria, and the process of science. They then synthesize the information by explaining how the link between sickle cell disease and malaria is an example of human evolution.
Student Learning Targets
Explain how natural selection increases the frequency of certain traits.
Explain how a harmful trait, such as sickle cell disease, can be maintained in a population through natural selection.
Describe the scientific process of asking questions, formulating hypotheses, doing experiments, and drawing conclusions based on evidence.
alleles, anemia, hemoglobin, heterozygote, homozygote, malaria, mutation, sickle cell character
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HS-LS3-3, HS-LS4-3, HS-LS4-4; SEP6
AP Biology (2019)
EVO-1.C, EVO-1.E, IST-2.E, IST-4.A, IST-4.B, SYI-3.D; SP1, SP6
IB Biology (2016)
AP Environmental Science (2020)
Learning Objectives & Practices: ERT-2.H, SP4
IB Environmental Systems and Societies (2017)
Vision and Change (2009)
CC1, CC5; DP1