Natural Selection Teacher Resources

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Examine exactly what is meant by natural selection, as well as how it works in nature and through the assistance of humans. Presented with fun graphics and simple narration, the complex topic of natural selection is clearly explained in eight minutes. Part of a series of videos, it can stand alone or be used with the other videos to gain a deeper understanding of the covered concepts.
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.
Students examine how Darwin used the processes of science to support his theory. They distinguish between artificial and natural selection, recognize Darwin's contribution to science. They produce a newspaper describing the times in which Darwin introduced his theory of natural selection, reporting the public reaction to his theory.
Young scholars 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.
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. 
Students simulate natural selection using pinto beans. In this biology lesson, students identify the factors affecting organism evolution. They record data from the experiment and formulate a conclusion.
Introduce the topic of evolution and natural selection with visuals, vocabulary, and historical perspective. Budding biologists can examine the evidence on their own by going through the presentation, or the teacher can present to the whole class, stopping for discussion along the way. Learn about the observations Darwin made while in the Galapagos Islands, as well as what drove him to publish his work.
Students discuss Darwin's theory of evolution. In this biology lesson, students investigate what influenced Darwin's thinking as it relates to Evolution. They discuss pros and cons of Natural Selection.
Teens experience natural selection firsthand (or first beak) in an activity that has them act as finches foraging for food. Using different household items (tweezers, chopsticks, plastic spoons, etc.) to act as different beak styles, your little finches will collect as much food as they can from the sources available. After a storm limits the food supply and isolates the finches on different islands, they will have to see if their adaptations prove to be an asset or a death sentence. Throughout the activity, the finches will double as field biologists, recording data and reporting it out to the class. 
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.
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.
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 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."
Try a twist on the old finch beak and chopsticks activity by using M&Ms on a Twister mat. Spoons, knives, forks, and chopsticks represent beaks and are randomly assigned to your little birds, who must collect as much food as possible in 30 seconds to survive. In order to add more variety, add other textures and sizes of candies to simulate different food types. Note: If you are allowing your kids to eat their spoils after the natural selection game, make sure the Twister mat is clean. 
Students 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.
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.
Students examine and identify examples of species that developed as a result of immigration, genetic drift, and adaptive radiation. They conduct Internet research and define key vocabulary terms, and use their species example on their Natural Selection Foldable.
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.
Fourth graders represent a new predator on a population of colored worms. They mathematically determine the effect of the new predator on the survival and reproductive rates of the worms, simulating natural selection at work.

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