Natural Selection


Alexandra Romero

Gorton High School, Westchester


Summer Research Program for Science Teachers

August 2007


Adapted from Sciencelink                        


Subject: Living Environment (New York State Biology)

Grade Level: 9th and 10th Grades


Time: Three class periods - 42 minutes each


Unit: Evolution, Genetics


Objective: Students will be able to:

·         State Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection.

·         Formulate hypothesis and graph

·         Explain the key concepts of natural selection


Prior Knowledge:

Students should be familiar with the terms gene, allele, species, population, gene frequency and heritability from genetics.


Natural Selection is an evolutionary process by which the most adaptable individuals in a particular environment survive.  Living things that are well adapted to their environment survive and reproduce. Those that are not well adapted don’t survive and reproduce.





Day One

evolution, adapt, survival of fittest, reproduction, genes, traits, environment, selection, competition, predator, prey




Day Two







Day Three Simulation of Natural Selection

In this activity students act as predators of jelly beans which represent any species to  simulate evolution by natural selection. Students are told that smaller jelly beans are easy to catch and taste better while bigger jelly beans are faster but taste bitter.








Reading Strategy:







New York State Science Standards:

Standard 1. Performance indicator 2.3, 3.1

Standard 4. Performance indicator 3.1a-3.1i, 4.1a, 6