In this lesson, students will learn that natural selection is based on the principle that those who are more suited to the environment are more likely to survive and reproduce. Students will:
- explain how natural selection leads to changes in the characteristics of species.
- conduct a lab activity to simulate natural selection.
- recognize the importance of adaptations for survival.
- Adaptation: A change in an organism over time that helps it to survive in its environment.
- Biodiversity: The variety and complexity of life on Earth.
- Camouflage: Appearance that is designed for hiding in the environment.
- Competition: Living things striving for food, living space, mates, and other resources.
- Evolution: The process whereby new species arise from earlier species by accumulated changes. Often referred to as “descent with modification.”
- Fitness: The ability of a living thing to survive and reproduce in its environment.
- Natural Selection: The process by which individuals in a population inherit genes that allow them to survive and be reproductively successful.
- Variation: Differences in individual living things from each other.
90–135 minutes/2–3 class periods
- Natural Selection Notes (S-8-3-1_Natural Selection Notes.docx)
- Natural and Selective breeding (S-8-3-1_Peppered Moth Article.docx); available at http://geneticsevolution.suite101.com/article.cfm/natural_and_artificial_selection
- Peppered Moth Worksheet (S-8-3-1_Peppered Moth Worksheet and KEY.docx)
- Natural Selection in Peppered Moths (S-8-3-1_Episodic Organizer.docx)
- Natural Selection Lab Activity (S-8-3-1_Natural Selection Lab Activity and KEY.docx)
- hole punch
- paper cup
- sheet of white paper
- stopwatch/clock with second hand
Related Unit and Lesson Plans
Related Materials & Resources
The possible inclusion of commercial websites below is not an implied endorsement of their products, which are not free, and are not required for this lesson plan.
- Natural and Artificial Selection; Mechanism of Evolution: Biological Change in Wild and Domestic Animals
- What Evolution is NO