University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Lesson 5: How do environment and modern society influence our rhythms?

This lesson is part of the unit:

Lesson Description:

In this lesson, students apply what they have learned about circadian processes to issues relevant to human light exposure, species biology and ecology. Students use light meters to examine light exposure differences around their school to illustrate the possible influences of habitat/workplace on light exposure. Students read and discuss a series of short articles that exemplify the interaction between environment and circadian rhythms. Students develop a scientific explanation to answer the question: Does environment influence circadian rhythms? Through these activities, students explore how cues from the environment entrain their biological daily clocks. In addition, they examine examples of how endogenous circadian clocks in different species have adapted over time to allow the species to survive in their light environment.

Lesson materials:

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