Natural Selection Teacher Resources
Find Natural Selection educational ideas and activities
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A Model for Natural Selection- Spaghetti Worms
Does the early bird really get the worm? If so, which color of worm does it prefer? In an exciting and easy week-long field investigation, young field biologists set up a one square meter feeding area for birds. If you have a webcam, learners can observe from inside the classroom. Different colored spaghetti (prepared with food coloring) is cut into worm sizes and placed in the feeding area. Each day, your budding zoologists will make observations and record data; they will gain new insight into not only the eating habits of local fauna, but also develop a deeper understanding of natural selection.
A Simple Model for Natural Selection
Do you have what it takes to survive as a fit predator or will elusive prey lead to your extinction? Find out in a creative natural selection activity. Using different colors and shapes of grains to represent different species and generations of organisms, your little hunters will try to collect as many as possible using forceps as beaks. To add some diversity to your predator populations, you could adapt the activity by having kids use tweezers, chopsticks, spoons, or other tools in addition to the forceps.
Introduction to Natural Selection
Students develop an understanding of natural selection, specifically, how it unfolds from generation to generation. They work in small groups to perform an experiment using beans. They use a worksheet imbedded in this plan to guide their research.
Evolution by Natural Selection
A diagram, data table, and reading passage top this resource. Through it, biology beginners are introduced to the concept of natural selection. They answer some questions and then participate in a simulation using fabric as a habitat and different-colored craft pom poms as animals. Acting as hunters and capturing pom poms, they find that the camouflauged animals survive and reproduce. A data table, graph, and critical thinking questions solidify learning.
Worksheet: The Theory of Natural Selection
Here is yet another variation of the classic activity in which lab groups use different tools to imitate different bird beaks as a demonstration of one of the factors in natural selection. What makes this one unique is that it is on a brightly colored worksheet and is followed by an assignment to write a paragraph about the occurrence of natural selection. Genetic variation and mutation are mentioned as part of the lesson.
Kids act as scientists and preditors in this short natural selection activity; they collect and analyze data, then apply their new knowledge to real-world examples of natural selection. The layout of the worksheet is easy enough to use in sub plans, yet challenges learners through hypothesis formation, higher-level thinking, and conclusion writing.
Color Variation over Time in Rock Pocket Mouse Populations
A species-specific look at natural selection, the resource herein examines how adaptations have helped the population of rock pocket mice survive in a changing landscape. To begin, middle or high schoolers watch a 10.5 minute video, taking notes on the attached handout. Next, based on the information they learned, they do a card sort to put pictures of the mice and their habitats in chronological order. Your future field biologists then take the data they collected and graph it to see the progression of populations over time. Finally, they answer some analysis questions based on their own research and what they know about evolution and natural selection.
Researching Natural Selection
Eleventh graders explore natural selection using an interactive online website. In this biology lesson, 11th graders research about a specific natural selection topic. They create a visual aid about it and share their findings in class.
Natural Selection - The Mechanism of Evolution
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.
Beans and Birds: A Natural Selection Simulation
Students solve the following problem concerning the evolution of seed color in pinto bean plants: "How does natural selection change the frequency of genes or traits over many generations?" They use the constructivist approach to studying as they work in teams to design and conduct an experiment that solves this natural selection "problem."
WHAT DARWIN NEVER SAW: Evolution, Science, Biology, Natural Selection
Students view video showing recent field work on a twenty two-year study of finch beaks on a small island in the Galapagos, showing natural selection clearly operating in the wild.
Population Genetics: Genetic Drift, Natural Selection, and Mutation
Students discover genetics as it relates to the population. In this biology lesson, students examine mitosis and mutations. They discuss the shift in genetics due to natural selection and genetic drift.
It's Mr. Anderson, and he's ready to explain natural selection! Be excited, because he has the ability to make scientific biology and genetic functions in terms of natural selection make sense. With great examples and a clear and gentle manner, Mr. Anderson could be a big help in explaining complicated concepts.
Natural Selection and Evidence Worksheet
Matching and fill-in-the-blank exercises give biology whizzes a chance to practice vocabulary associated with evolution. Terms to be reviewed focus on evidence for evolution, natural selection concepts, and some genetics words. You could use this as a quiz at the end of your introduction to natural selection.
Introduction to Evolution and Natural Selection
The evidence for natural selection is presented as a random variation of a characteristic allowing a particular strain of organism to survive with a higher probability of successful reproduction. Population change over a short period of time is detailed and examples of antibiotic or vaccine resistance are given. Students will find this information accessible and it would be a good complement to a teacher-led lesson.
New! The Effect of Natural Selection on Genes, Traits and Individuals
Rotating through five stations, evolutionary biologists explore the question of how changes in DNA facilitate the changes in a population over time. High-quality, colorful cards of animals, skeletons, skulls, and DNA sequences can all be laminated for repetitive use at stations where learners investigate adaptations, morphology, genes, and analogous and homologous structures. This is a top-notch resource to help make your class fit for survival!
Students use discussion questions, handout information and research topics to explore several issues related to natural selection and evolution. They examine Darwin's research on the finch and antibiotic resistance.
The Natural Selection of Stick-Worms
Young scholars discuss and role-play the elements of natural selection. They use toothpicks to represent Stick-Worms and discover the mechanisms of change of traits in populations.
Eighth graders define natural selection and adaptation. They simulate natural selection within a species and relate the elements of natural selection to the simulation. They analyze the results of natural selection in terms of adaptations.
Natural Selection I
Eighth graders list the steps of Darwin's natural selection. They demonstrate the process of natural selection in a predation activity. Students create paper origami frogs to race across the floor and analyze the differences in the shapes.