In this activity, Jerusha Acterberg has students respond to a scenario where somebody is making a scientific assertion and then use the information from the readings to evaluate that assertion. Jerusha provides the students with a handout ahead of time with some basic definitions and information. In the case of this particular exercise, the handout describes the types of adaptation and fitness. The students will then have these terms in their back pockets as they do the reading.
Then, in class, Jerusha provides a specific scenario. In this case, the scenario is about anthropologist Maria Lepowski's conclusion in the 1970s that starving children during bouts of malaria is an adaptive practice to protect them. Students then work in groups to answer a series of questions that first require them to identify in the scenario concepts and terms from the reading. They then respond to the scenario and evaluate it's merits given the readings. Lastly, they are asked to think about whether they approached their own paper in this critical manner, and how they might apply this approach of critically evaluating assertions to their own work. They do this in groups and then discuss their answers with the class.
For the corresponding handouts, see the attachment.