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Unit Cover Page

Topic: Natural Selection and Evolution
Subject/Course: Core Biology

Title: Darwin’s Helpers
Stage1---Desired Results

Content Standards:
Arizona State Science Standards:
S4C4PO1: Identify the following components of natural selection, which can lead to speciation: potential for a
species to increase its numbers, genetic variability and inheritance of offspring due to mutation and
recombination of genes, finite supply of resources required for life, and selection by the environment of those
offspring better able to survive and produce offspring.
S4C4PO2: Explain how genotypic and phenotypic variate can result in adaptations that influence an organism’s
success in an environment.
S4C4PO3: Describe how the continuing operation of natural selection underlies a population’s ability to adapt
to changes in the environment and lead to biodiversity and the origin of new species.
Enduring Understanding/Big Idea:
-Natural selection is a process that led to many evolutionary adaptations over time.
-Survival of the fittest does not mean how “in-shape” an organism is.
-Darwin’s observation of evolution via natural selection forever changed the way scientists view species.
Essential Questions: Write 2- 4 questions………………..
-What exactly was the point of Darwin’s finches?
-How were humans effected by natural selection? How many Neanderthals do you see nowadays?
-Who is more evolutionarily fit: the gym buff or the average joe?
-How can we observe natural selection in our everyday lives?
Stage 2----Assessment Evidence
Unit (Summative) Assessment:
Students will write a lab report based on their data from the natural selection lab described below:
Students will participate in an hour long lab focusing on natural selection between predators and prey. Students
will be given a scenario where a paper plate filled with goldfish crackers is a lake full of fish. There are also
cheese-it’s crackers that represent slower swimming fish that are easily preyed upon. The students, acting as the
predators in this scenario, will record the population of goldfish and cheese-it’s as time goes on. They will take
observations, make a data table, and graph the population of both species of fish. They will also decide what
will happen to the predator population after they have made their decisions about the species of fish. They will
have to decide how the predators will adapt to the new population of fish in the lake.
The lab report students write will be a professional format including a title page, abstract, materials, methods,
data, analysis and conclusion. It will be typed in 12 point font, Times New Roman, and the graphs and charts
must be made electronically. A rubric will be created in order to completely assess these lab reports. They will
be worth 100 points towards their lab report grades.
Students will also be given a short multiple choice/fill in the blank/short answer quiz on Charles Darwin, natural
selection, evolution and adaptations. The quiz will be 40 points. The lab report acts as the primary assessment.

Stage 3----Learning Plan
Learning Activities:
Attach a detailed planning calendar that maps out activities and lessons for a 2+ week unit. Use a variety of
instructional strategies (modeling, interactive lecture, discussion, primary document analysis, debate,
simulation, graphic organizers, student presentations, etc).
Monday (56 mins)
Tuesday (56 mins)
Friday (56 mins)
(119 mins)
January 4
January 5
January 6/7
January 8
-Introduction to
-Notes on evolution and
Teacher Inservice
the three types of
-Students will be given
-Go over unit objectives. evolution via interactive articles on a pesticide
-Set goals for the new
that was sprayed on corn.
semester and review
-Discovery lab activity:
After 2 years of spraying
goals from last semester. Darwin’s finches.
the pesticide no longer
-Review processes of
Students will make a
worked. Students will
mitosis and meiosis.
pedigree diagram based
work in groups to figure
-Review mutations.
on the pictures of the
out why it doesn’t work
-Watch video “what
finches they are given.
and present at the board.
exactly is evolution?”
-The students will turn in -Students will discuss
-Dog breeding activity
their pedigrees for 40
why evolution is
important to study and
-Darwin’s finches video. what type of evolution is
-worksheet 20 points.
January 11
January 12
January 13/14
January 15
-Who is Charles Darwin? -Student presentations on Peppered Moth Activity: -Interactive lecture on
Short introduction.
natural selection. Take
-Students will make cut
survival of the fittest and
-Natural Selection Jigup the entire hour.
outs of moths on
adaptations. ~20
Saw. Students will each
-Students will be
different colored
be assigned different
required to take notes.
construction paper. They -Students will use their
aspects of natural
-Between each group the will place all moths in
notes to create a concept
selection and will be
audience will be quizzed different environments
map using all of the
responsible for teaching
(on different poster
vocab we have learned
their fellow classmates.
-Their notes will be
boards) and pick out the
this unit.
-Students will be assigned included in their quarter ones that are easiest to
-The concept maps will
notebook check.
eat! This will be
be due for a stampsheet
repeated several times.
grade (50 points) on
 What does
The moths that are not
Tuesday the 19th.
survival of the
eaten begin to populate
-Concept maps must
fittest mean?
include the vocab words
 What is artificial
record what happens to
(given by the teacher)
circled or boxed, arrows
 Real life
showing direction of
examples of
flow, and linking terms
natural selection
discovery channel video showing the connection
on the peppered moth
between the terms.
 Behaviors
and the industrial
-If completed the
shaped by
students can use this on
natural selection
their quiz (but I won’t
tell them that until
 Human impacts
on natural

January 18
Martin Luther King Jr
No School.

January 19
Quick check on the types
of evolution and the
specifics of natural
-A quick check consists
of students working
together to answer
questions on the board
using personal white
boards. They hold the
answers up and get
points per group. The
group with the most
amount of points will
receive extra credit on
their lab report.

January 20/21
-Students will first take a
short quiz on Charles
Darwin, evolution and
natural selection. (~20
-Students will begin their
summative lab
assessment on natural
selection and evolution.
Their lab reports will be
due a week from today
for 100 points.

Resources and Materials

Student white boards
Expo markers for students
Power points created for student note taking.
Lots of colored construction paper
Access to all discovery channel videos and other videos
All print-outs (articles, worksheets, lab instructions)
Large butcher paper for presentations
Sticky notes with vocab words for concept mapping

January 22
Begin unit on
classifications! Or
depending on the student
performance on the
quick check, the quiz can
be moved to today while
the lab is the 20th/21st
along with a review.