Natural Selection Lesson

Standards:

TEKS Science: 6.2E, 6.3B-C, 6.12E, 7.2E, 7.3B-C, 7.11B-C CCRS Science Standards: VI-C2

 

Lesson Objectives:

  1. Students will be able to understand how adaptations help organisms survive by interpreting ling graphs of the population of a species over time. 
  2. Students will be able to develop conceptual understanding of natural selection by exploring how limiting factors, abiotic and biotic parts of an ecosystem and mutations interact and contribute to the survival of a species.
  3. Students will be able to define positive, negative and neutral mutations and give examples.
  4. Students will be able to assess the usefulness of models in scientific investigations.
  5. Students will be able to propose modifications to a model by considering how it mimics a real world event.

Lesson Overview:

The basics of natural selection will be highlighted using the Natural Selection PhET simulation where students complete a series of challenges. As a result of this experience, students will be able to explain how mutations, limiting factors, abiotic and biotic parts of ecosystem interact and contribute to the survival of a species. Students will come to understand how this simulation mimics natural selection through using and exploring the simulation. By considering real events in an ecosystem, students will understand limitations of the model and modifications that can be made to the simulation to more closely demonstrate real life. Students will also evaluate the process of adaptive radiation, as applied to the finches of the Galapagos Islands.