Evolution by Natural Selection

Simulate evolution with some colorful “critters” and carnivorous “beaky birds”. Simulations are helpful to demonstrate processes like evolution that take place over many years. Observe how adaptations such as camouflage help organisms survive and pass on traits to offspring. Recognize evolution happening simultaneously in both the predator and prey (bird and critter) populations.

Grades covered: 3 through 12
Curriculum Topics: Adaptation, Evolution, Fitness, Natural Selection, Predator-Prey Interactions, Variation

Standards

Idea Sheets are cross-referenced to subjects listed in the Common Core, Next Generation Science Standards, and California Content Standards.

Common Standards Click to View

Develop models to describe that organisms have unique and diverse life cycles but all have in common birth, growth, reproduction, and death.”||Next Generation Science Standards||Grade 3||Life Science||From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes|||Analyze & interpret data to provide evidence that plants & animals have traits inherited from parents and that variation of these traits exists in a group of similar organisms. [Assessment does not include genetic mechanisms of inheritance & prediction of traits. Assessment limited to non-human examples.] ||Next Generation Science Standards||Grade 3||Life Science||Heredity: Inheritance and Variation of Traits |||Use evidence to support the explanation that traits can be influenced by the environment. ||Next Generation Science Standards||Grade 3||Life Science||Heredity: Inheritance and Variation of Traits |||Use evidence to construct an explanation for how the variations in characteristics among individuals of the same species may provide advantages in surviving, finding mates, and reproducing. ||Next Generation Science Standards||Grade 3||Life Science||Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity |||Construct an argument with evidence that in a particular habitat some organisms can survive well, some survive less well, and some cannot survive at all.||Next Generation Science Standards||Grade 3||Life Science||Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity |||Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 3 topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.||Common Core Language Arts||Grade 3||Speaking & Listening||Comprehension and Collaboration|||Construct an argument that plants and animals have internal and external structures that function to support survival, growth, behavior, and reproduction. ||Next Generation Science Standards||Grade 4||Life Science||From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes |||Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 4 topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.||Common Core Language Arts||Grade 4||Speaking & Listening||Comprehension and Collaboration|||Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 5 topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.||Common Core Language Arts||Grade 5||Speaking & Listening||Comprehension and Collaboration|||Follow precisely a multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks.||Common Core Language Arts||Grades 6-8||Reading Science/Technical||Key Ideas and Details|||Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context relevant to grades 6-8 texts and topics.||Common Core Language Arts||Grades 6-8||Reading Science/Technical||Craft and Structure|||Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence for the effects of resource availability on organisms and populations of organisms in an ecosystem. ||Next Generation Science Standards||Middle School||Life Science||Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics|||Construct an argument supported by empirical evidence that changes to physical or biological components of an ecosystem affect populations. ||Next Generation Science Standards||Middle School||Life Science||Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics|||Construct an explanation based on evidence that describes how genetic variations of traits in a population increase some individuals’ probability of surviving and reproducing in a specific environment.||Next Generation Science Standards||Middle School||Life Science||Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity|||Use mathematical representations to support explanations of how natural selection may lead to increases & decreases of specific traits in populations over time. ||Next Generation Science Standards||Middle School||Life Science||Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity|||Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 6 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.||Common Core Language Arts||Grade 6||Speaking & Listening||Comprehension and Collaboration|||Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 7 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.||Common Core Language Arts||Grade 7||Speaking & Listening||Comprehension and Collaboration|||Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 8 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.||Common Core Language Arts||Grade 8||Speaking & Listening||Comprehension and Collaboration|||Construct an explanation based on evidence for how natural selection leads to adaptation of populations. ||Next Generation Science Standards||High School||Life Science||Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity |||Evaluate the evidence supporting claims that changes in environmental conditions may result in: (1) increases in the number of individuals of some species, (2) the emergence of new species over time, & (3) the extinction of other species. ||Next Generation Science Standards||High School||Life Science||Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity |||Follow precisely a complex multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks, attending to special cases or exceptions defined in the text.||Common Core Language Arts||Grade 9-10||Reading Science/Technical||Key Ideas and Details|||Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context relevant to grades 9-10 texts and topics.||Common Core Language Arts||Grade 9-10||Reading Science/Technical||Craft and Structure|||Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 9-10 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.||Common Core Language Arts||Grade 9-10||Speaking & Listening||Comprehension and Collaboration|||Follow precisely a complex multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks; analyze the specific results based on explanations in the text.||Common Core Language Arts||Grade 11-12||Reading Science/Technical||Key Ideas and Details|||Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context relevant to grades 11-12 texts and topics.||Common Core Language Arts||Grade 11-12||Reading Science/Technical||Craft and Structure|||Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 11-12 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.||Common Core Language Arts||Grade 11-12||Speaking & Listening||Comprehension and Collaboration

California Standards (Click to View)

3.b. Examples of diverse life forms in different environments, such as oceans, deserts, tundra, forests, grasslands, and wetlands.||CA Science||Grade 3||02. Life Sciences||3. Adaptations in physical structure or behavior may improve an organism’s chance for survival.|||3.c. Living things cause changes in the environment where they live; some of these changes are detrimental to the organism or other organisms, whereas others are beneficial.||CA Science||Grade 3||02. Life Sciences||3. Adaptations in physical structure or behavior may improve an organism’s chance for survival.|||3. Living organisms depend on one another and on their environment for survival.||CA Science||Grade 4||02. Life Sciences|||3.a. Both genetic variation and environmental factors are causes of evolution and diversity of organisms.||CA Science||Grade 7||03. Evolution||3. Biological evolution accounts for the diversity of species developed through gradual processes over many generations.|||3.b. The reasoning used by Darwin in making his conclusion that natural selection is the mechanism of evolution.||CA Science||Grade 7||03. Evolution||3. Biological evolution accounts for the diversity of species developed through gradual processes over many generations.|||1.g. Recognize the use and limitations of models and theories as scientific representations of reality.||CA Science||Grade 9-12||05. Investigation and Experimentation||1. Scientific progress is made by asking meaningful questions & conducting careful investigations. As a basis for understanding this concept, & to address the content of the other strands, students should develop questions & perform investigations.|||6.g.* How to distinguish between the accommodation of an individual organism to its environment and the gradual adaptation of a lineage of organisms through genetic change. (achievement is optional)||Grade 9-12||03. Biology/Life Sciences||3. Ecology||6. Stability in an ecosystem is a balance between competing effects.|||7.a. Why natural selection acts on the phenotype rather than the genotype of an organism.||Grade 9-12||03. Biology/Life Sciences||4. Evolution||7. The frequency of an allele in a gene pool of a population depends on many factors, and may be stable or unstable over time.|||7.d Variation within a species increases the likelihood that at least some members of a species will survive under changed environmental conditions.||Grade 9-12||03. Biology/Life Sciences||4. Evolution||7. The frequency of an allele in a gene pool of a population depends on many factors, and may be stable or unstable over time.|||8.a. How natural selection determines the differential survival of groups of organisms.||Grade 9-12||03. Biology/Life Sciences||4. Evolution||8. Evolution is the result of genetic changes that occur in constantly changing environments.

Categories include:
  • Life Science
  • Grades 3-5
  • Grades 6-8
  • Science
Tags: Heredity, Biodiversity, Adaptation, Natural Selection
Subjects covered: ["Life Science"]