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Lesson summary for:
Testing a hypothesis

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Overview:
Students watch a short film about natural selection in humans and answer questions on a worksheet that reinforce the evolutionary story behind malaria and sickle cell anemia prevalence.

Author/Source:
Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Grade level:
9-12

Time:
50 minutes

Teaching tips:
Answers to the worksheets are readily available online, so if this is a concern, you may wish to have students complete those in class.

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)

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

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

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

  • 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)

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

  • Scientists test their ideas using multiple lines of evidence. (P6, NOS2)

  • Scientists can test ideas about events and processes long past, very distant, and not directly observable.

  • Science is a human endeavor. (NOS7)

  • As with other scientific disciplines, evolutionary biology has applications that factor into everyday life.

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

  • Natural selection is dependent on environmental conditions.

Teacher background:

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