Evolution - Homologous Structures in Humans

Evolution - Homologous Structures in Humans

Lesson 9 of 13 in this unit

  • Cool+
  • Secondary
  • Year 10
  • Science
  • Biology
  • Environmental
  • Biodiversity
  • ...

Lesson summary

Students investigate the adaptations of the human hand and foot, and speculate about the role these played in human evolution. Students are asked to observe the structure and motion of their own hands and feet and report on their observations.

Learning intentions:

Students will...

  • understand the significance of the opposable thumb in humans and how this has influenced our evolution.

Success criteria:

Students can...

  • recognise a range of adaptations of the human hand and foot
  • recognise how human feet and hands have evolved from the same homologous structure.

Lesson guides and printables

Lesson Plan
Student Worksheet

Lesson details

Curriculum mapping

Australian Curriculum (v9.0) content descriptions:


Students learn to:

  • use the theory of evolution by natural selection to explain past and present diversity and analyse the scientific evidence supporting the theory (AC9S10U02)

Syllabus OutcomesSC5-9WS, SC5-14LW.

General capabilities: Critical and Creative Thinking. 

Relevant parts of Year 10 achievement standards:
By the end of Year 10 students explain the processes that underpin heredity and genetic diversity and describe the evidence supporting the theory of evolution by natural selection. They sequence key events in the origin and evolution of the universe and describe the supporting evidence for the big bang theory.

Resources required

  • Ruler - one per student
  • Pencil - one per student
  • Student Worksheet - one copy each


This lesson is designed to build students’ competencies in the following skills:

  • problem-solving
  • creativity
  • critical thinking
  • social skills

Additional info

Level of teacher scaffolding: Low - oversee activity.

This is an original Cool+ lesson.

Related professional learning

Big History

Quick summary: Gain an overview of the Big History story, why it is important for Primary education and the cross-curriculum priority of Sustainability, and how to apply a critical, inquiry-based perspective to science education across all areas of the curriculum. There will be opportunities to learn about a range of tools, tips, lessons and resources that focus on a multi-disciplinary approach.

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