Life's Greatest Miracle Handout

Movie: Life’s Greatest Miracle
Biology – Reynolds
NAME: __________________
Note: This program contains graphic images. If you are uncomfortable seeing a live
childbirth, please let me know before the end of the film.
This NOVA special explores reproduction with a microscopic view of conception and
development of a new human life. The program:
 explains sexual and asexual reproduction.
 discusses the importance of the mating rituals of humans and other species,
explaining the evolutionary benefits of sexual reproduction in creating variation and
improving a species' survival rate.
 explores the function of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) in carrying human genetic
 describes the human reproductive systems.
 traces the journey of sperm from the time it enters the female body to when it
fertilizes the egg.
 presents the earliest stages of development of the embryo, using time-lapse
microphotography to show the divisions of cells.
 documents the development of the embryo into a fetus, highlighting the growth and
formation of vital organs, body parts, and senses.
 concludes with the birth of a child.
Program summary:
After watching the film, you will construct a timeline of fetal development. You should use
some of the key dates given in the film (24 hrs, 48 hrs, 6 days, 2 weeks, 5 weeks, 2 months,
4 months, 5 months, 6 months, and of course, birth). In addition, you may use your
textbook (section 39-4) or timelines from the following websites below. You are required
to include AT LEAST 10 points on your timeline. For each date you choose, describe any
important events and developmental features, as well as the size and appearance of the
growing fetus (or other stage of development). Also, including a couple pictures will help
to show how fetal development changes during pregnancy.
WEB RESOURCES (Remember to cite your sources!)
In addition, you can go back and watch specific segments of the video at: