Understanding Evolution: your one-stop source for information on evolution
Resource library Teaching materials Evolution 101 Support this project

Teaching materials : 6-8 teachers' lounge :
Focus on the fundamentals

There are four essential components of natural selection — an important mechanism of evolution:

Variation: All life forms vary genetically within a population.

Inheritance: Genetic traits are inherited from parents and are passed on to offspring.

Selection: Organisms with traits that are favorable to their survival and reproduction are more likely to pass on their genes to the next generation.

Time: Evolutionary change can happen in a few generations, but major change, such as speciation, often takes many thousands of generations.

By the end of eighth grade, students should understand all the components of natural selection described above. They should also understand how the different components of natural selection work together, resulting evolutionary change.

In grades 6-8, students should continue to be engaged in activities that reinforce the nature and process of science. This will help them differentiate between science and non-science, recognize the validity of evolution as science, and appreciate the explanatory power of evolutionary theory. To find resources for teaching these topics, visit the grades 6-8 teachers' lounge on our sister site, Understanding Science.

6-8 teachers' lounge

Identify your learning goals


6-8 lounge
page 2 of 5
<< previous | next  >>

Teachers' lounges 9-12 Undergrad 6-8 3-5 K-2

All-level resources
Guide to Evo 101

Conceptual framework

Teaching resource database

Image library

Dealing with objections to evolution

Correcting misconceptions

Alignment with science standards

Suggest a lesson or resource for Understanding Evolution