Shape of Life is a series of FREE short classroom videos that beautifully illustrate the evolution of the animal kingdom on planet earth. Based upon an original PBS Series, Shape of Life is especially designed for students and teachers who want a first-hand account of how animals adapt and thrive. The series is NGSS aligned with exquisite focus on diversity, biodiversity, adaptability, body structure, design, behaviors, and the innovative scientists who explore these creatures.

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TEACHER FEATURE: Heidi Bordeleau, Mark Twain High School

photo of Heidi Bordeleau, Science Teacher, Mark Twain High School, Center, MO

My name is Heidi Bordeleau. I am originally from Austria, but have lived in Missouri with my husband and son for 10 years. I teach at Mark Twain High School in Center, Missouri and this is my second year teaching. I love teaching science because the content is applicable to the lives of all students. I'm a huge science nerd and I love being able to pass my excitement on to the students.

This is my first year of teaching Biology II, so this is the first time I have used the Shape of Life content. The way I have set this class up is that we start with a review of Evolutionary Theory and the history of life on earth.

When Shape of Life partners with NOVA, it's an EVOLUTION LAB!

photo of a basketstar


NOVA just launched their new online game for exploring the history of life on earth-- and, they asked Shape of Life, along with the National Center for Science Education, Khan Academy, UC Berkeley's Museum of Paleontology and Cornell Lab of Ornithology to join forces in bringing an interactive digital tree of life game. NOVA's Evolution Lab contains two major components:

Join us on an amazing tour of how animal life evolved on planet earth

These short videos show students of all ages the dramatic rise of the animal kingdom and the astonishing diversity we see on earth today:

  • Stunning animations explain the intricate inner workings of animals’ bodies, demonstrating the complementary relationship of form and function.
  • Up-close films show animal behaviors while hunting and feeding in their natural habitats.
  • Scientists, shown at work, study paleontology, genetics and ecology, pursuing their passion for the animals they study.
  • From sponges, to worms, to humans, each phylum is presented in exquisite detail of its body plan and the evolutionary developments that lead to today’s astonishing diversity.
  • Other topics present exciting new developments in genetics, paleontology, and engineering.

All these videos align with the Next Generation Science Standards for Middle School and California 7th grade science standards.