Digital Exploration
25-30 min.

Tracing Life's Roots

  • STEM
  • Science (Life)
  • Technology


In this Digital Exploration, students will act as zoologists to investigate common ancestry. They will obtain information about four different species to determine which two animal species are the most closely related. Students will compare embryotic development stages, anatomical evidence and genetic evidence to support their conclusion. Although species may look very similar, students will find that physical appearance doesn’t always signify close relation between animals. Finally, students will examine the diverse range of careers in zoology.

Student Will Learn

  • 21st Century Skills
    • Critical Thinking
    • Creativity

Content Areas

  • DNA and Mutations
  • Animal Ancestry
  • STEM


  • Learn basic information about four distinct animals (i.e. duck, otter, platypus and echidna)
  • Discover the tools and methods scientists use to study animals and their common ancestry
  • Experience life as a zoologist who conducts experiments in a model laboratory
  • Learn about the stages of embryology, animal anatomy and DNA and mutations

Grade Levels


Suggested Time

  • 25-30 minutes