Hawks & Field Mice Lab (pg401)

Grade Levels
6th - 9th
Resource Type
Formats Included
  • Word Document File
2 pages
Share this resource
Report this resource to TPT
Also included in
  1. This is a bundle of all of the lessons, labs, PowerPoints, and worksheets for Unit 4: Evolution. The bundle also includes the Unit 4 Test and its answer key. For a walkthrough of the unit, including pictures and videos, please click here.
    Price $14.99Original Price $18.00Save $3.01
  2. This bundle includes an entire year's worth of material. It includes lessons, labs, projects, tests and more. The seven units include are as follows:Unit 1 - Forces and MotionUnit 2 - ChemistryUnit 3 - GeneticsUnit 4 - EvolutionUnit 5- AstronomyUnit 6 - Earth's SystemsUnit 7 - Environmental ScienceT
    Price $100.00Original Price $139.00Save $39.00


Before getting into the heart of Unit 4, we took a day to complete one of my favorite lessons: the Hawks and Field Mice Lab. The rules of the game are simple. Each student is a predator. Their prey are little paper mice* that come in three colors: green, yellow, and black. During each round of the game, the students get 60 seconds to run walk up onto the stage and find a mouse. Between each round, the mice reproduce. Meanwhile, the entire class keeps track of the populations. (You can see the game in action here!)

The results are exactly what you’d expect. The black mice are able to blend in with the dark  auditorium stage. The yellow and green mice are found more quickly and more often. After a few rounds, the majority of the surviving mice were black. And just like in real life, when mouse reproduction was simulated, most of the mouse babies were also black.

But a better way to explain the lab would be to say that “the mice evolved.” Over time, the population of mice developed camouflage. Our paper mice were not aware that they were developing camouflage, nor were our human predators. And yet, by the end of the game, the population seemed to fit its environment almost perfectly. Before the lesson, I tell the students it’s a lab about the predator/prey relationship. It’s not! It’s really a lab about evolution. The students just don’t know it yet.

*I used paper mice, and you can download the print-out here. But the game works even better outdoors with multicolored pasta (green, yellow, orange, etc.) You throw them in the grass and the students have to find them. And of course, the green pasta always wins. But it’s January… so indoors it is!

Total Pages
2 pages
Answer Key
Not Included
Teaching Duration
45 minutes
Report this resource to TPT
Reported resources will be reviewed by our team. Report this resource to let us know if this resource violates TPT’s content guidelines.


to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Analyze displays of pictorial data to compare patterns of similarities in the embryological development across multiple species to identify relationships not evident in the fully formed anatomy. Emphasis is on inferring general patterns of relatedness among embryos of different organisms by comparing the macroscopic appearance of diagrams or pictures. Assessment of comparisons is limited to gross appearance of anatomical structures in embryological development.
Analyze and interpret data for patterns in the fossil record that document the existence, diversity, extinction, and change of life forms throughout the history of life on Earth under the assumption that natural laws operate today as in the past. Emphasis is on finding patterns of changes in the level of complexity of anatomical structures in organisms and the chronological order of fossil appearance in the rock layers. Assessment does not include the names of individual species or geological eras in the fossil record.
Apply scientific ideas to construct an explanation for the anatomical similarities and differences among modern organisms and between modern and fossil organisms to infer evolutionary relationships. Emphasis is on explanations of the evolutionary relationships among organisms in terms of similarity or differences of the gross appearance of anatomical structures.
Gather and synthesize information about technologies that have changed the way humans influence the inheritance of desired traits in organisms. Emphasis is on synthesizing information from reliable sources about the influence of humans on genetic outcomes in artificial selection (such as genetic modification, animal husbandry, gene therapy); and, on the impacts these technologies have on society as well as the technologies leading to these scientific discoveries.
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. Emphasis is on using simple probability statements and proportional reasoning to construct explanations.


Questions & Answers


TPT empowers educators to teach at their best.

More About Us

Keep in Touch!

Sign Up