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Lesson summary for:
Origami Birds

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Overview:
Students build and evolve and modify paper-and-straw “birds” to simulate natural selection acting on random mutations.

Author/Source:
ENSI

Grade level:
9-12

Time:
Three to four class periods.

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)

  • An organism’s features reflect its evolutionary history.

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

  • Mutations are random.

  • Traits that confer an advantage may persist in the population and are called adaptations. (LS4.B, LS4.C)

  • Inherited characteristics affect the likelihood of an organism's survival and reproduction. (LS4.B, LS4.C)

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

  • Random factors can affect the survival of individuals and of populations.

  • Natural selection acts on the variation that exists in a population. (LS4.B, LS4.C)

  • Organisms cannot intentionally produce adaptive mutations in response to environmental influences.

  • Over time, the proportion of individuals with advantageous characteristics may increase (and the proportion with disadvantageous characteristics may decrease) due to their likelihood of surviving and reproducing. (LS4.B, LS4.C)

  • Speciation is the splitting of one ancestral lineage into two or more descendent lineages.

Teacher background:

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