Grade Level

High School

Topics

Biology

Authors

Mary Brunson, Claire Meaders

Lesson Summary

This lesson is meant to be used early in the evolution unit. Students explore bacterial evolution occurring in a stable environment, which counters the intuitive misconception that environmental change is a necessary component to natural selection. A landmark study provides the backdrop against which students can challenge their thinking about what it means for a population to evolve. Upon completion of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • predict the fate of different mutations depending on the type of mutation and the context in which the mutation arises;
  • explain that mutations and natural selection happen, even in a constant, stable environment; and
  • differentiate between types of mutations and be able to explain why the appearance of a mutation does not always guarantee its longevity.

 

Standards

Science and Engineering Practices:

SP4, SP6

MA Science and Technology/Engineering (2016):

HS-LS4-2, HS-LS4-5

NGSS (2013):

HS-LS4-2, HS-LS4-4

Common Core Math/Language Arts Standards:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.9-10.1, CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.9-10.7  

Tags

adaptation, allele, allele frequency, evolution, fitness, fixation, mutation, natural selection

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