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Resource library Teaching materials Evolution 101

Lesson summary for:
Artificially Selecting Dogs

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Overview:
Students learn how artificial selection can be used to develop new dog breeds with characteristics that make the dogs capable of performing a desirable task.

Author/Source:
Collins, Jennifer

Grade level:
13-16

Time:
90 minutes

Concepts:
Correspondence to the Next Generation Science Standards is indicated in parentheses after each relevant concept. See our conceptual framework for details.

  • There is a fit between organisms and their environments, though not always a perfect fit.

  • An organism's features reflect its evolutionary history.

  • Some traits of organisms are not adaptive.

  • There is a fit between the form of a trait and its function, though not always a perfect fit.

  • Artificial selection provides a model for natural selection.

  • People selectively breed domesticated plants and animals to produce offspring with preferred characteristics.

  • Evolution can sometimes be directly observed.

  • Inherited characteristics affect the likelihood of an organism's survival and reproduction.

  • Depending on environmental conditions, inherited characteristics may be advantageous, neutral, or detrimental.

  • Our understanding of life through time is based upon multiple lines of evidence.

  • Scientists use experimental evidence to study evolutionary processes.

  • Scientists use artificial selection as a model to learn about natural selection.

Teacher background:

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