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Resource library Teaching materials Evolution 101

Lesson summary for:
The Making of the Fittest: Natural Selection and Adaption

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Overview:
This 10-minute film describes the research of Dr. Michael Nachman and colleagues, whose work in the field and in the lab has documented and quantified physical and genetic evolutionary changes in rock pocket mouse populations.

Author/Source:
Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Grade level:
6-8

Time:
10 minutes

Teaching tips:
HHMI provides a variety of teacher resources to accompany this video: an in-depth film guide, student quiz, and a lesson on color variation over time.

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. (LS4.C)

  • Variation is the result of genetic recombination or mutation. (LS3.A)

  • The variation that occurs within a population is random.

  • Evolution results from natural selection acting upon variation within a population. (LS4.B)

  • Traits that are advantageous often persist in a population. (LS4.B, LS4.C)

  • Individual organisms with advantageous traits are more likely to survive and have offspring. (LS4.B, LS4.C)

  • The number of offspring that survive to reproduce successfully is limited by environmental factors. (LS4.B, LS4.C)

  • Environmental changes may provide opportunities that can influence natural selection. (LS4.B, LS4.C)

  • A hallmark of science is exposing ideas to testing. (P3, P4, P6, P7)

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

  • There is variation within a population. (LS3.B)

  • Scientists use multiple research methods (experiments, observations, comparisons, and modeling) to collect evidence. (P2, P3, P4, NOS1)

Teacher background:

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