Natural Selection & Adaptations

Guiding Question: How does natural selection lead to changes in specific traits in populations over time?


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 should be able to…

  1. Write a CLAIM about the cause-and-effect relationship between the inheritance of traits increasing the chances of successful reproduction and natural selection
  2. Identify and describe EVIDENCE of genetic variation that can be passed on to offspring, and the probability of a specific organism surviving and reproducing in its environment.
  3. Use REASONING to connect the evidence and explain the relationship between genetic variation and the success of organisms in a specific environment

LS4-6: Use mathematical representations to support explanations of how natural selection may lead to increases and decreases of specific traits in populations over time.

Students should be able to …

  1. Make a claim about a phenomenon related to natural selection (ie, a trait increasing over time such as Peppered Moths)
  2. Use a mathematical model to support the claim (ie averages, graphs, histograms that show changes over time)
  3. Analyze the model to explain that species adapt through natural selection, which may change the distributions of traits in populations over time in response to changes in environmental conditions

Class Activities Include:


Student understanding will be measured by:

  • Formative Assessment:
    • Adaptations CER
    • Gizmo: Natural Selection
  • Summative Assessment:
    • Evolution Quiz
    • Culminating Project