This is my favorite part of the school year. Spring Break is now over, and do you know what that means?
No, it’s not the fact that we are on the home stretch with the finish line in sight. It’s not the fact that the weather is warming up and local wildlife is starting to re-awaken after a long, cold winter. It’s not the promise of summer vacation around the corner. All of these things are great, but they’re not the reason why I particularly like this time of year.
I particularly enjoy this time of year because we just started our instructional unit on the topic of evolution in my Biology classes today. Over the next few weeks, I plan to write some short posts that illustrate the type of learning experiences that occur in my classroom during this unit.
Today’s activity was a simple simulation that is intended to serve as an introduction to the unit. I walk the students through a basic scenario where they get to see the possible effects that genetic variation (mutations) and natural selection can have on a population over time.
-Genetic variation (mutation) and natural selection can, without advanced planning, eventually lead to the formation of new species.
-Adaptation and speciation are the two main events in evolution. As shown in this simulation, they seem to be the natural consequence of natural events.
If you’d like to see what the activity actually entails, feel free to download the PowerPoint.