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Transcript
Natural Selection
Title: Diversity/Natural Selection
Grade Level: 9–12
Subject/Content: Science/Biology
Summary of Lesson: Students will gain understanding of the mechanisms behind
biological evolution and the theories that feed it and are able to demonstrate their
knowledge of these theories in a story.
Focus Question: How did people around the world become so physically diverse from one
another?
Resource: Science in Context
Procedures:
Steps/Activities by Teacher:
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Monitor a class discussion that revolves around the idea that all things must evolve
overtime in order to survive in a changing world.
Engage students in a discussion of what the term evolution means to them. During
this discussion, try to dispel any misconceptions the students may have about the
topic.
Give the students a list of evolutionary terms (natural selection, genetic equilibrium,
genetic drift, speciation, variations, adaptations, adaptive radiation, etc.) that they
can create flashcards for as they search through Science in Context during this
assignment.
Have students search Science in Context for resources on the topic of evolution.
Students may choose to search the database on their own, or you may direct them
to the Evolution topic page. Articles such as "Evolution, Evidence of." The Gale
Encyclopedia of Science. Ed. K. Lee Lerner and Brenda Wilmoth Lerner. 4th ed.
Detroit: Gale, 2008. Gale Science in Context, may be helpful. Instruct students to
find at least four pieces of evidence to support the theory of evolution. Students may
find it helpful to search for terms such as similar embryos, fossil evidence, DNA
comparisons, and divergent and convergent evolution.
Supply students with a piece of drawing paper and instruct them to fold the paper so
that there are four squares. For each piece of evidence they have found, have the
students describe and then draw an example of that piece of evidence in one of the
four squares.
Have students search Science in Context for information on Charles Darwin. Students
should also locate information on how his evolutionary theories revolutionized the
scientific community.
Lead a class discussion reviewing evolutionary terms and help the students find the
connection between the terms and the concepts of Darwin's theory of evolution.
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Assign the students the task of creating a children's book titled How Did We Become
So Diverse? The children's story they create should be elementary in its delivery, yet
thorough in its explanation of how species have evolved over time. Encourage the
students to be creative by including many illustrations. Instruct them to use their
vocabulary terms in their explanation of evolution within the book.
Encourage students to share their books with the entire class.
Look over the Related Activities section below for information on how to tie this
activity to Global Studies and English.
Steps/Activities by Student(s):
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In a class discussion, share your knowledge of evolution with other students and
your teacher.
Create flashcards for the evolutionary terms your teacher gives you as you search
Science in Context . You may start your search by accessing the Evolution topic page
or by just searching for the terms you have been assigned.
Search Science in Context for at least four pieces of evidence to support the theory
of evolution. Some terms that may help you in your search include similar embryos,
fossil evidence, DNA comparisons, and divergent and convergent evolution.
Fold a piece of drawing paper into four squares. For each piece of evidence, describe
and then draw an example of that piece of evidence in one of the four squares.
Search on Charles Darwin to discover how his evolutionary theories revolutionized
the scientific community. Be ready to discuss his theories during a class discussion.
Create a children's book titled How Did We Become So Diverse? The book should be
elementary in its delivery, yet thorough in its explanation of how species have
evolved over time. Use your creativity to help you determine how you will present
the subject of evolution to your readers. Because the book is meant for young
readers, you should include many illustrations to improve the readers' understanding
of the subject material. Use the vocabulary terms you have collected in your
explanation of evolution.
When your book is complete, share the finished product with the class.
Outcome:
Students will be able to effectively communicate the ideas behind the theories of evolution
and understand their origin.
Related Activities: This activity can be easily integrated with the activities suggested.
Global Studies
 Ask students to consider how the beliefs and practices of people around the world
may have been influenced by their evolutionary history.
 Lead a class discussion that examines the reasons why conflict among different
cultures exists when, on an evolutionary level, all people have a common ancestry.
English
 Have the students construct a "Letter from Darwin." This letter should be written
from Darwin's perspective, detailing his findings as he travels around the Galapagos
Islands. The letter—which should be addressed to other scientists—must explain
Darwin's theory of evolution and should be supported with scientific details. The
lesson will help students with letter writing skills and demonstrate their knowledge of
scientific content.
Learning Expectation
As a result of activities, students will be able to explain basic evolutionary theories and
communicate how and why people around the world are physically diverse.
Standards Alignment
Next Generation Science Standards
HS-LS1.CC.3.1. Investigating or designing new systems or structures requires a detailed
examination of the properties of different materials, the structures of different components,
and connections of components to reveal its function and/or solve a problem. (HS-LS1-1)
HS-LS2-8. Evaluate the evidence for the role of group behavior on individual and species’
chances to survive and reproduce.
LS4.DCI.D:1. Biodiversity is increased by the formation of new species (speciation) and
decreased by the loss of species (extinction). (secondary to HS-LS2-7)
HS-LS2.CC.5.1. Much of science deals with constructing explanations of how things change
and how they remain stable. (HS-LS2-6), (HS-LS2-7)
HS-LS4-1. Communicate scientific information that common ancestry and biological
evolution are supported by multiple lines of empirical evidence.
HS-LS4-2. Construct an explanation based on evidence that the process of evolution
primarily results from four factors: (1) the potential for a species to increase in number, (2)
the heritable genetic variation of individuals in a species due to mutation and sexual
reproduction, (3) competition for limited resources, and (4) the proliferation of those
organisms that are better able to survive and reproduce in the environment.
HS-LS4-4. Construct an explanation based on evidence for how natural selection leads to
adaptation of populations.
LS4.A:1. Genetic information, like the fossil record, provides evidence of evolution. DNA
sequences vary among species, but there are many overlaps; in fact, the ongoing branching
that produces multiple lines of descent can be inferred by comparing the DNA sequences of
different organisms. Such information is also derivable from the similarities and differences
in amino acid sequences and from anatomical and embryological evidence. (HS-LS4-1)
LS4.DCI.B:1. Natural selection occurs only if there is both (1) variation in the genetic
information between organisms in a population and (2) variation in the expression of that
genetic information—that is, trait variation—that leads to differences in performance among
individuals. (HS-LS4-2), (HS-LS4-3)
LS4.DCI.B:2. The traits that positively affect survival are more likely to be reproduced, and
thus are more common in the population. (HS-LS4-3)
LS4.DCI.C:1. Evolution is a consequence of the interaction of four factors: (1) the potential
for a species to increase in number, (2) the genetic variation of individuals in a species due
to mutation and sexual reproduction, (3) competition for an environment’s limited supply of
the resources that individuals need in order to survive and reproduce, and (4) the ensuing
proliferation of those organisms that are better able to survive and reproduce in that
environment. (HS-LS4-2)
LS4.DCI.C:2. Natural selection leads to adaptation, that is, to a population dominated by
organisms that are anatomically, behaviorally, and physiologically well suited to survive and
reproduce in a specific environment. That is, the differential survival and reproduction of
organisms in a population that have an advantageous heritable trait leads to an increase in
the proportion of individuals in future generations that have the trait and to a decrease in
the proportion of individuals that do not. (HS-LS4-3), (HS-LS4-4)
LS4.DCI.C:3. Adaptation also means that the distribution of traits in a population can
change when conditions change. (HS-LS4-3)
LS4.DCI.C:5. Species become extinct because they can no longer survive and reproduce in
their altered environment. If members cannot adjust to change that is too fast or drastic,
the opportunity for the species’ evolution is lost. (HS-LS4-5)
HS-LS4.CNS.2.1. Scientific knowledge is based on the assumption that natural laws operate
today as they did in the past and they will continue to do so in the future. (HS-LS4-1), (HSLS4-4)
Common Core State Standards
Grades 9-10
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.9-10.2
Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a text;
trace the text's explanation or depiction of a complex process, phenomenon, or concept;
provide an accurate summary of the text.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.9-10.3
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.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.9-10.4
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.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.9-10.5
Analyze the structure of the relationships among
concepts in a text, including relationships among key terms (e.g., force, friction, reaction
force, energy).
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.9-10.7
Translate quantitative or technical information expressed
in words in a text into visual form (e.g., a table or chart) and translate information
expressed visually or mathematically (e.g., in an equation) into words.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.9-10.9
Compare and contrast findings presented in a text to
those from other sources (including their own experiments), noting when the findings
support or contradict previous explanations or accounts.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.9-10.10
By the end of grade 10, read and comprehend
science/technical texts in the grades 9-10 text complexity band independently and
proficiently.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.WHST.9-10.4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the
development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.WHST.9-10.6 Use technology, including the Internet, to produce,
publish, and update individual or shared writing products, taking advantage of technology's
capacity to link to other information and to display information flexibly and dynamically.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.WHST.9-10.7 Conduct short, as well as more sustained research
projects, to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem;
narrow or broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize multiple sources on the
subject, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.WHST.9-10.8 Gather relevant information from multiple authoritative
print and digital sources, using advanced searches effectively; assess the usefulness of each
source in answering the research question; integrate information into the text selectively to
maintain the flow of ideas, avoiding plagiarism and following a standard format for citation.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.WHST.9-10.9
analysis, reflection, and research.
Draw evidence from informational texts to support
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.WHST.9-10.10 Write routinely over extended time frames (time for
reflection and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range
of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences.
Grades 11-12
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.11-12.2
Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a text;
summarize complex concepts, processes, or information presented in a text by paraphrasing
them in simpler but still accurate terms.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.11-12.3
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.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.11-12.4
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.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.11-12.5
Analyze how the text structures information or ideas into
categories or hierarchies, demonstrating understanding of the information or ideas.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.11-12.7
Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information
presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., quantitative data, video, multimedia) in order
to address a question or solve a problem.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.11-12.8
Evaluate the hypotheses, data, analysis, and conclusions
in a science or technical text, verifying the data when possible and corroborating or
challenging conclusions with other sources of information.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.11-12.9
Synthesize information from a range of sources (e.g.,
texts, experiments, simulations) into a coherent understanding of a process, phenomenon,
or concept, resolving conflicting information when possible.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.11-12.10 By the end of grade 12, read and comprehend
science/technical texts in the grades 11-12 text complexity band independently and
proficiently.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.WHST.11-12.2a Introduce a topic and organize complex ideas, concepts,
and information so that each new element builds on that which precedes it to create a
unified whole; include formatting (e.g., headings), graphics (e.g., figures, tables), and
multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.WHST.11-12.2b Develop the topic thoroughly by selecting the most
significant and relevant facts, extended definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other
information and examples appropriate to the audience's knowledge of the topic.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.WHST.11-12.4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the
development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.WHST.11-12.6 Use technology, including the Internet, to produce,
publish, and update individual or shared writing products in response to ongoing feedback,
including new arguments or information.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.WHST.11-12.7 Conduct short, as well as more sustained research
projects, to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem;
narrow or broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize multiple sources on the
subject, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.WHST.11-12.8 Gather relevant information from multiple authoritative
print and digital sources, using advanced searches effectively; assess the strengths and
limitations of each source in terms of the specific task, purpose, and audience; integrate
information into the text selectively to maintain the flow of ideas, avoiding plagiarism and
overreliance on any one source and following a standard format for citation.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.WHST.11-12.9 Draw evidence from informational texts to support
analysis, reflection, and research.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.WHST.11-12.10 Write routinely over extended time frames (time for
reflection and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range
of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences.
Source: Common Core State Standards Initiative (2010)