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Lesson summary for:
Spoons, forks, chopsticks, straws: Simulating natural selection

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Overview:
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.

Author/Source:
Kathryn Flinn

Grade level:
9-12

Time:
50 minutes

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

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

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

  • 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)

Teacher background:

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