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Genetic Drift Teacher Resources
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Students use a mathematical simulation of genetic drift to answer questions about the factors that influence this evolutionary process. They run a series of simulations varying allele frequency and population size and then analyze their data and propose a model to explain their results. A second set of simulations is performed with natural selection added to the simulation.
What does appearance have to do with survival in nature? Allow your future biologists a chance to learn about natural selection through games, flashcards, discussions, and an interesting writing prompt about squirrel colors in the Grand Canyon. Also included are several ways to differentiate, possible extensions, and school-home connections.
A sufficient slide show on natural selection is available to use with your biology class. It introduces viewers to foundations of this mechanism of evolutionary change. Notes are provided to support your lecture on genetic variation and the three types of selection: directional, stabilizing, and disruptive. Helpful graphs and photos enhance understanding of the concept of natural selection.
High schoolers use this activity as a logic problem that is based on real organisms and real data. The problem is to develop phylogenies for seven related populations of lizards living on the Canary Islands. Three phylogenetic charts are constructed, each using different forms of data, geography, geology, morphology, and molecular genetics.
Students complete an interactive Internet activity simulating the sequencing of DNA. In this genetics lesson plan, students use a virtual activity to act as scientists sequencing chromosomal DNA bases. They learn about the race to sequence the genome and explore sequenced DNA to learn about its functions. A Jeopardy game is provided to review the material with students.
Students work in groups to investigate and present genetic variation, adaptation, and sexual selection as it relates to evolution. In this evolution lesson, students watch a video discuss how the human eye could evolve due to natural selection. They view more videos and research three aspects of evolution. They present their findings to the class and discuss the evolution of different finch beaks on the Galapagos Islands.