What's the best way to teach kids about evolution? Great question.
Here at Charlie's Playhouse, we answer it like this: "Hey kids! Let's all jump around with some freaky creatures and oh man, isn't evolution COOL!?"
Does this approach actually work? I don't know, call me later on that. But it definitely makes kids' eyes light up, and it's definitely fun.
But our friends at the Concord Consortium in Massachusetts are taking the question, shall we say, a bit more seriously. They're developing a computer-based evolution curriculum for the 4th grade, funded by the National Science Foundation (yes, that's our tax dollars, hooray!)
The curriculum is interactive, accurate, and both simple enough and complex enough to engage young minds. Here's a sample screenshot -- see the mountains dividing the populations of flowers? Aha, speciation!
The research is now in its second of three years. See more details and a research update here.
Thanks, Concord Consortium!