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Lesson summary for:
Selection and evolution with a deck of cards


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This classroom exercise introduces the concept of evolution by natural selection in a hypothesis-driven, experimental fashion, using a deck of cards.

Evolution: Education and Outreach

Grade level:

1-2 class periods

Teaching tips:
The standard exercise is suitable for upper-level high school (AP) and introductory biology students at the college level.

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

  • Artificial selection provides a model for natural selection.

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

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

  • Populations, not individuals, evolve.

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

  • Rates of evolution vary.

Teacher background:

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