This 12 page lab activity introduces several more advanced concepts to the students through introductory reading and simulations using "chenillefish". Specific natural selection situations including directional, diversifying and stablizing selection are examined over several generations using "pipecleaner" fish manipulatives. The manipulatives for this activity are very inexpensive, simple to create and an be stored and used year after year.
This activity is suitable for AP Biology or a lower level Biology class given sufficient teacher guidance. The student handout is available in both editable word and pdf format. An answer key to the questions has been included. It has been correlated to the ETS AP Biology, NGSS and Common Core learning objectives and standards. These are listed below this description..
AP Biology Curriculum
Big Idea 1: The process of evolution drives the diversity and unity of life.
Essential knowledge 1.A.1: Natural selection is a major mechanism of evolution.
Essential knowledge 1.A.2: Natural selection acts on phenotypic variations in populations.
Big Idea 4: Biological systems interact, and these systems and their interactions possess complex properties.
Essential knowledge 4.A.5: Communities are composed of populations of organisms
Essential knowledge 4.B.3: Interactions between and within populations influence patterns of species distribution and abundance.
Essential knowledge 4.C.1: Variation in molecular units provides cells with a wider range of functions.
Essential knowledge 4.C.3: The level of variation in a population affects population dynamics.
Science Practice 1: The student can use representations and models to communicate scientific phenomena and solve scientific problems.
Science Practice 2: The student can use mathematics appropriately.
Science Practice 6: The student can work with scientific explanations an
ETS AP Biology Learning Objectives
LO 1.1 The student is able to convert a data set from a table of numbers that
reflect a change in the genetic makeup of a population over time and to apply
mathematical methods and conceptual understandings to investigate the cause(s)
and effect(s) of this change.
LO 1.2 The student is able to evaluate evidence provided by data to qualitatively and
quantitatively investigate the role of natural selection in evolution.
LO 1.4 The student is able to evaluate data-based evidence that describes
evolutionary changes in the genetic makeup of a population over time.
LO 1.5 The student is able to connect evolutionary changes in a population over
time to a change in the environment.
Common Core Reading and Writing Standards Addressed
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
NGSS Learning Standards
Students who demonstrate understanding can:
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-LS4-3. Apply concepts of statistics and probability to support explanations that organisms with an advantageous heritable trait tend to increase in proportion to organisms lacking this trait.
HS-LS4-4. Construct an explanation based on evidence for how natural selection leads to adaptation of populations.
HS-LS4-5. 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, and (3) the extinction of other species.
- Purchase of the product is for classroom use by the purchaser only. It is a violation for individuals, schools, and districts to redistribute, sell, or post this item on the Internet or to other individuals.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License