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Spoons, forks, chopsticks, straws: Simulating natural selection


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In this classroom activity, students participate in demonstrating how natural selection works. They play the roles of predators with different feeding appendages—spoons, forks, chopsticks, or straws—and compete to gather beans as prey.

Kathryn Flinn

Grade level:

50 minutes

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

  • 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)

Teacher background:

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