This entire game lasted about one class period. However, you could easily make it longer or shorter. This activity is centered on the Next Generation Standard:
MS –LS4-4 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.
Students will randomly pick certain animals that have specific genotypes. Using the gene/trait table, they will have to write down what each animal looks like (animal's phenotype). In this game, there are certain events that will happen to specific populations of animals that will get rid of those specific populations. The goal of the game is for students to have the most amount of animals as possible at the end of the game. After each round, they can trade animals with other students to try to increase their genetic diversity. Students will quickly learn that the more genetic diversity of their population, the better the chance they have of keeping more animals. Students will also answer four reflection questions after the game. This game was loved by my students. They kept asking if we could play more rounds.