Biodiversity and Evolution – Darwin’s Finches

This Biodiversity and Evolution – Darwin’s Finches lesson plan also includes:

Teens experience natural selection firsthand (or first beak) in an activity that has them act as finches foraging for food. Using different household items  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. 

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Instructional Ideas

  • Use the lesson to introduce your unit on evolution or biodiversity
  • Have kids complete further research as an individual project for assessment
Classroom Considerations

  • Best with an interactive whiteboard or projector connected to a computer, but not imperative to the activity
  • Requires preparation of several types of seeds beforehand, as well as tweezers, chopsticks, spoons, and other tools
Pros

  • Comes with necessary worksheets and presentations
  • Extension opportunities are a natural segue into another lesson on ecosystems
Cons

  • None