Just What Were You Thinking

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Just What Were You Thinking? (Natural Selection; Over Production of Offspring,
Variation in Traits, Competition for Resources, and Differential Reproductive Success)
Identifying Information:
(Group Members and Schools, Title of Lesson, Length in Minutes, Course
Level)
Identifying Information:
(Group Members and Schools, Title of Lesson, Length in Minutes, Course
Level)
Thomas Brewer, Port St. Joe High School
Steven Byrd, FAMU Developmental School
Heidi Montgomery, Franklin County School
Nancy Nwakanma, Lincoln High School
Group 9
Lesson Plan #2: Just What were you thinking?
52 minute class period, General High School Biology
Motivation:
To get students interested in the mechanisms of natural selection the students
should go to the following website. It is an interactive game where the students
choose certain traits for an initial population and see if their choices result in
survival of the species for 1 million years.
http://science.discovery.com/interactives/literacy/darwin/darwin.html
It is challenging and fun and you can do it in 5-8 minutes. It is best if they get to
do it a couple of times to try out different traits.
A Pre-Test (and Post-Test) is appended at the end of this lesson.
Page 1 of 12
Needed Materials & Set-Up:
Students should be in groups of 3-4 students. There should be 2 computers per
group of students with internet access. For the Motivation activity, students
should be in pairs.
For the main activity, there should be 4 baggies per table/group of 3-4 students.
In each baggie should be pictures depicting each of the following mechanisms of
natural selection. Biological pictures and non-biological pictures could be given
to help students connect to the meaning of the term.
1. Overproduction of offspring - More offspring are produced than can survive.
Pictures should show organisms in a crowded situation or many offspring being
produced. Examples are people in India, New York City, pollen or spores being
released, leftovers, crowded freeway etc.
2. Variation in traits - Pictures of organisms should show the same species with
obvious differences in (heritable) traits. Examples are pictures of faces with
different nose sizes, skin color, or eye color, Darwin’s finches, jaguars with
different jaw size, different brands of cereal, periodic table of elements, multi­
colored marbles.
3. Competition for resources - Pictures should show organisms where there are
obvious limited resources. Examples include a litter of kittens competing to
nurse, people in a soup kitchen line, lions and hyenas fighting over a kill, male
lions fighting, the Titanic (competition to get on lifeboat), a basketball player
taking a shot at a basket (or another sporting event).
4. Differential reproductive success - Pictures should show a species with 1
offpring vs. many (the Duggar family),
Also needed is the teacher and student handout (see appendix and C).
Just What Were You Thinking? (Natural Selection; Over Production of Offspring,
Variation in Traits, Competition for Resources, and Differential Reproductive Success)
Outcomes
Dimensions of K-12 Science Education Standards:
1. Scientific and Engineering Practices:
g. engaging in an argument from evidence
2. Crosscutting Concepts:
a. Patterns
3. Disciplinary Core Ideas:
LS3: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
LS4: Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity
Next Generation Sunshine State Standards:
SC.912.L.15.13: Describe the conditions required for natural selection, including:
overproduction of offspring, inherited variation, and the struggle to survive,
which result in differential reproductive success
Content Literacy Standards:
Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
2. Comprehension and Collaboration
1.
Specific Learning Outcomes:
1. Using provided materials (see above section), students will be able to be
able to identify, at least 80% accurately, the factors necessary for natural
selection to occur.
2. Using concepts explored in the activity, Students will be able to describe
the concept of “fitness”. Student descriptions need to include the
following terms, used accurately: overproduction, competition, and
differential survivability.
Page 3 of 12
Just What Were You Thinking? (Natural Selection; Over Production of Offspring,
Variation in Traits, Competition for Resources, and Differential Reproductive Success)
Presentation and Participation:
1. Learning Activities and Teacher Questions
The lesson will be taught as part of a lesson cycle comprising 5 stages: Invitation,
Exploration, Concept Invention, Application, and Reflection. Only two aspects of
the learning cycle will be taught during this lesson, invitation and exploration.
Behavior: Pre-Test (4 minutes/see appendix !)
Application/Process: Exploration; Hypothesizing; Cooperative Groups
 Containers marked as item 1 through 4 will be placed at each learning
station.
 Once the discussion is over the teacher will give the following directions:
o You have fifteen minutes, as a learning group, to examine items 1
through 4 located on the table. Make observations regarding each
item and why the pictures/objects are grouped together. Record
your observations in column A and your reason why are they
grouped together in column B of Data Table #4
Examples of possible items:
Overproducti 1. Picture of people in India or NYC, pile of trash, items
on
for sale on a clearance rack
Variation
2. hot wheels cars, marbles, a deck of cards, a picture
of Darwin’s finches
Competition 3. Representations of sporting events, lions and hyenas
fighting over food
Differential
4. Pictures showing one organism having a few
reproductive surviving offspring contrasted with the another
success
organism having many surviving offspring. (i.e. a
normal American family compared to Kate Goselin’s
family)
-After completing columns A and B in Data Table #4, students will have 10 minutes to complete columns
C and D.
-Discuss and record why these objects might be related to evolution in column C of Data Table
#4. 5 of 12
Page
-Think carefully about your answer to column C and invent a term that summarizes it. Place your answer
in column D in Data Table #4.
Questions:
(3 higher order—analysis, synthesis, evaluation)
1. Think about the “Evolution Game” you saw at the beginning of class. What
had the largest impact on your species at the end: the starting traits or the
environmental actions? Why?
2. (With the four components of natural selection posted) Which of the four
ingredients of natural selection is least important? Why?
3. Your school just recruited the nation’s best basketball player. Describe five
physical characteristics that would be found in that athlete.
Reflection:
Students will complete a KWL chart on an exit slip that will serve as the starting
review point at the beginning of the next lesson. Exit slip is found in appendix D.
Teacher should begin the next day by returning student exit slips and addressing
any incorrect answers with the class as a review. Exit slips can also contain
individual comments from the teacher for individual students to read.
Additionally, a Post-Test (and the associated Pre-Test) are appended at the end of
this lesson.
Item analysis should be performed on the post test so that specific errors can be
identified and retaught if necessary.
Just What Were You Thinking? (Natural Selection; Over Production of Offspring,
Variation in Traits, Competition for Resources, and Differential Reproductive Success)
Safety:
This is a very safe lesson. Care should be used to monitor the activity on the
computer to ensure that inappropriate webpages, etc.
Transformative:
(Accommodations for at least 2 special needs students)
VISUALLY IMPARED STUDENTS: Due to the heavily visual nature of
the lesson, many accommodations are built into the lesson; however a visually
impaired (not blind) student should be paired with a partner who can read
directions aloud.provide worksheets for him with larger font
4. ESOL STUDENTS: There is a Spanish language version of the data
table
5. VARYING EXCEPTIONALITIES/E.H. STUDENTS: Due to the
requirement of group work, teachers need to be aware of the need to group in a
heterogenous manner.
3.
Page 7 of 12
Utilize:
1. Students may have difficulty distinguishing natural selection from artificial
selection. In these situations, teachers can provide pictures of artificially
selected organisms, focusing on examples of organisms that exhibit traits
that do not add to the overall fitness (cosmetic traits).
www.boneclones.com/catalog-dogs.htm is a resource for dog skull
pictures. English Bulldog and Chihuahua skulls are great examples of traits
chosen to exist that actually detract from their overall health.
2. It is unclear whether students will understand fitness as it relates to
changing environments and other pressures, as opposed to natural
selection working towards some predetermined ideal. Peppered moths
and/or rock-pocket mice are good examples of natural selection acting on a
naturally occurring variation to succeed in different environments.
Coelacanths, velvet worms, and lampreys are good examples of “living
fossils” that have been under fairly constant evolutionary pressures, so
rather than being evidence against natural selection, they serve as solid
examples.
3. After scoring the post-test and running an item analysis, teachers can
readdress missed content in a variety of ways. If the majority of the
students do not answer 70% or above correctly on the entire post-test, the
teacher will readdress the entire concept.
Just What Were You Thinking? (Natural Selection; Over Production of Offspring,
Variation in Traits, Competition for Resources, and Differential Reproductive Success)
Appendicies:
A: Pre- and Post- Tests
Natural Selection Pre-Test
1. Which of the following is not a main principle of the theory of natural selection?
(A) variation
(B) adaptation
(C) overproduction of offspring
(D) sexual reproduction
2. How do artificial selection and natural selection differ?
(A) In artificial selection, the environment acts as the selecting agent.
(B) In natural selection, traits that are useful to humans are inherited.
(C) In natural selection, humans act as the selecting agent.
(D) In natural selection, the environment acts as the selecting agent.
3. What term describes all the individuals of the same species that live in the same
area?
(A) environmental group
(B) population
(C) community
(D) competitive group
4. Which term is a measure of the ability to survive and produce the most offspring?
(A) overproduction
(B) variation
(C) adaptation
(D) fitness
5. Does natural selection cause the variations we find within a species?
(A) Yes, new alleles are formed by mutagens in the environment.
(B) Yes, natural selection changes an organism's genetic material.
(C) No, species do not change at all, regardless of the pressures they are under.
(D) No, natural selection works only on existing variations
Page 9 of 12
Natural Selection Post-Test
1. Which of the following is not a main principle of the theory of natural selection?
(A) variation
(B) adaptation
(C) overproduction of offspring
(D) sexual reproduction
2. How do artificial selection and natural selection differ?
(A) In artificial selection, the environment acts as the selecting agent.
(B) In natural selection, traits that are useful to humans are inherited.
(C) In natural selection, humans act as the selecting agent.
(D) In natural selection, the environment acts as the selecting agent.
3. What term describes all the individuals of the same species that live in the same
area?
(A) environmental group
(B) population
(C) community
(D) competitive group
4. Which term is a measure of the ability to survive and produce the most offspring?
(A) overproduction
(B) variation
(C) adaptation
(D) fitness
5. Does natural selection cause the variations we find within a species?
(A) Yes, new alleles are formed by mutagens in the environment.
(B) Yes, natural selection changes an organism's genetic material.
(C) No, species do not change at all, regardless of the pressures they are under.
(D) No, natural selection works only on existing variations
Just What Were You Thinking? (Natural Selection; Over Production of Offspring,
Variation in Traits, Competition for Resources, and Differential Reproductive Success)
B: Student Data Sheet
Items
Observations:
Why might these
pictures/objects be
grouped together?
A
B
How might these
objects relate to
evolution?
C
Invent a term that
summarizes your answer
from column C.
D
1.
2.
3.
4.
C: Student Data Sheet (en Espanol)
Objecto
observación:
A
¿Por qué podrían
ser estas imágenes
u objetos se
agrupan?
B
¿Cómo podrían
estos objetos se
relacionan con la
evolución?
C
Inventar un término que
resume la respuesta de
la columna C.
D
1.
2.
3.
4.
D: KWL Chart for Exit Slip
What I Know
What I Want To Know
What I Have Learned
Page 11 of 12
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