Submitted by Ivan
Palmblad, Biology Dept.
simple exercise below is designed to improve the written responses
to exam questions. Perhaps because of the widespread use of multiple
choice exams, many students lack the simple skill of answering
the question that is asked.
The students will be given the sheet that follows and be asked
to evaluate the answers. (Their sheet would not include my comments
as below.) After 10 minutes the sheets could be collected and
rated or an overhead could be used to criticize as a group each
of the 6 answers.
How did the skull and pelvis of fossil "Lucy" revolutionize
our thinking about human evolution?
EVALUATE THE FOLLOWING
1. Pelvis can show if the organism
is four legged or two legged. The skull showed the size of the
(Comments are true but fail
to address the question.)
2. The skull was smaller and
the pelvis was tipped so that upright walking was possible.
(This answer is also true
and provides more information but still does not address the
question of how "Lucy" reversed our thinking.)
3. It showed that Lucy walked
erect millions of years before we thought it was possible.
(What does "it"
refer to? I assume the pelvis. Therefore the skull portion of
the question is ignored.)
4. Because they were so close
to what the human skull looked like from that period of time.
(In addition to not answering
the question, this statement is incredibly inaccurate! The answer
suggests that Homo sapiens and "Lucy" Australopithecus
5. Lucy walked upright and yet
she had a small brain which contradicted the thinking that the
large brain came before walking man.
6. Before Lucy it was common
belief that a large brain led to tool use and then upright bipedalism.
"Lucy" showed that in fact bipedalism occurred before
Continue to other writing-to-learn
& Focused Freewriting
to Empower the Student
The Short Summary
Answer the Question!