Over 16 million comics and storyboards created

Search all lesson plans: 
Free!
Pixton Comic & Storyboard Maker

Lesson Plan by Mitchell Zuvela B. Sc., B. Ed.

Natural Selection and Evolution

Pixton Lesson Plan on Natural Selection and Evolution

Make Biology come to life with comics!

Including these awesome activities:
Print All

Your students will create amazing images like these in no time!

This free, printable Pixton lesson plan brings Biology to life with comics and storyboards.
Pixton Lesson Plan on Natural Selection and Evolution
This free, printable Pixton lesson plan brings Biology to life with comics and storyboards.

Featured Props

Natural Selection and Evolution

Student creations come alive with these themed objects – in addition to our library of over 3,000 props!

  • Brain
    Brain
  • Dinosaur
    Dinosaur
  • Dolphin
    Dolphin
  • Fish
    Fish
  • Flower
    Flower
  • Monkey
    Monkey
  • Octopus
    Octopus
  • Rabbit
    Rabbit
  • Snake
    Snake
  • Tree
    Tree
Print this Teacher Guide

Teacher Guide

Natural Selection and Evolution

Step 1Class discussion with students

Getting Started

Natural Selection Simulation

  • Divide your class into four different groups, each pretending to be birds with beaks useful for acquiring: seeds, fruit, insects, or plants. Find various images of bird beaks on the Internet, print them on cards, attach them to popsicle sticks, and randomly distribute one to each student.
  • Create multiple 'feeding stations' around the room with approximately 30 jelly beans at each location.
  • Create a pile of 18 action cards that are labelled on the bottom. Nine with the word FEED and nine with the word FLEE.
  • Split each section into groups of three, numbering each group with the number 1, 2, and 3. For example, there should be a group of three cards labelled FEED 1 and another group labelled FLEE 1. Add six red cards that are labelled ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGE. Shuffle the 24 cards and place them face down at the front of the room.
  • On the board, have a fitness meter that rates the fitness of each type of bird.The birds with the highest fitness can take three beans, while the birds with the lowest fitness can take none. Start with all four types of birds at Level 2.
  • At the start the game, each student will receive two beans.
  • Students will circulate the room collecting beans from the feeding stations. Students cannot return to a station until they have been to all other stations.
  • While your students are searching for food, randomly ask your class to freeze. Take an action card and read it to the class. FEED events require your students to eat the required number of beans on the feed card. FLEE events require a player to return the required number of beans to a feeding station. For example, when a FLEE 2 card is called, students will return two beans to their last station.
  • If an ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGE card is drawn, randomly re-assign each beak type to a new level of fitness (this is now the new number of beans that a student can take at each feeding station). Only one bird type at each level.
  • The amount of time you allow between drawing an action card will depend on your preference or how fast your students are collecting beans.
  • Students who do not have enough beans to complete an action will die and are subsequently out of the game (return to desk).
  • After a few minutes, birds with lower fitness will start to die out, while the birds with higher fitness will survive. The last bird alive will be the winner, or the most fit in the simulation.

Opening Discussion

Ask your class to answer the following questions about the Natural Selection Simulation.

  • If the simulation was run again, would the same beak type always win?
  • How does the environment influence the survival of a species?
  • Was there any luck involved? Does this play a role?
  • Why did certain species die out, while others flourish? Is this always going to be the case during each simulation?
  • What factors can affect a species' fitness?
  • What would happen if a species had a hybrid beak and could feed from multiple sources?
  • How would a new beak species occur?
  • The food supply at the start of the game was used quickly. How did this play a role in the outcome?
  • Having to flee from a predator requires an organism to consume energy. If a species has no predators, how does that increase their fitness?
  • Which type of birds would reproduce the most? How would this affect future bird populations?
Step 2Pixton comic-making activities
  • Make a Comic
    Natural Selection

    View Activity
  • Make a Comic
    Evidence of Evolution

    View Activity
  • Extension / Modification
    Explore (Extension / Modification)

    Choose an apocalyptic event to write a short analysis about. Which type of human would become the most fit for survival in their new environment?

Step 3Concluding discussion with students

Explore some of the various case studies that have been done that support the theory of natural selection.

Some examples include:

  • Darwin’s finches
  • Peppered moths
  • Giraffes
  • Bacteria
  • Elephants

Students who may be sensitive to the topic of human evolution can focus on micro evolution in animals which has been widely accepted by most religions.

Print this Activity

Pixton Activity: Natural Selection and Evolution 1 Natural Selection

Intro

Natural selection is the differential survival and reproduction ( i.e. fitness) of individuals that differ in phenotype. It is a key mechanism of evolution that allows a species to survive over generations. Natural selection can occur over a short (micro), or long period of time (macro). It is a mechanism in which the environment selects the most fit organism to survive.

Instructions

Design a Comic Strip that follows the life of an organism that adapts to an environmental change over a time period to become highly fit.

Your comic strip should illustrate the following concepts:

  • The potential for your organism to increase in number
  • How your organism adapted through mutation and sexual reproduction
  • How your organism became fit through competition for limited resources
  • The proliferation of your organism because it is better able to survive and reproduce in the environment
  • It may be useful to include a narrative that explains the evolution of your character.

See the rubric for grading guidelines.

Rubric: Natural Selection

Use this interactive rubric for easy, thorough assessment. It can even be used by students for self-assessment!

4 3 2 1
Knowledge Understands scientific facts, procedures, concepts, principals, theories and methods. • demonstrates substantial scientific knowledge
• ideas are supported with strong supporting details
• Precise and advanced use of scientific terminology
• demonstrates adequate scientific knowledge
• ideas are supported with relevant supporting details
• appropriate use of scientific terminology
• demonstrates limited scientific knowledge
• ideas are supported with brief supporting details
• some use of scientific terminology
• demonstrates little scientific knowledge
• ideas are supported with weak or no supporting details
• Little to no use of scientific terminoloy
Application Applies scientific knowledge, skills and methods to hypothesize, analyze and conclude. • exceptional application of the scientific method when solving problems
• no errors in carrying out procedure
• accurately applies the scientific method when solving problems
• limited errors in carrying out procedure
• limited application of the scientific method when solving problems
• several errors in carrying out procedure
• does not apply the scientific method when solving problems
• multiple errors in carrying out procedure
Communication Communicates scientific knowledge through writing, speech and visuals. • panels are highly organized with exceptional use of relevant details
• written and visual content is highly effective
• accurate and precise communication of data
• panels are organized with consistent use of relevant details
• written and visual content is accurate and complete
• accurate and consistent communication of data
• panels are organized with few relevant details
• limited written and visual content
• incomplete or brief data communication
• panels are unorganized with little relevant details
• written and visual content is missing
• limited or no communication of data
Total

Example Comic

Natural Selection by Student

Here's the link to share this comic:

Print this Activity

Pixton Activity: Natural Selection and Evolution 2 Evidence of Evolution

Instructions

Create a Mind Map explaining how the following provide evidential support for evolution:

  • Fossils
  • Anatomical structures
  • Embryo development
  • Geographic distribution
  • Biochemical evidence

Each panel should include:

  • A title
  • A detailed explanation
  • An appropriate graphic

See the rubric for grading guidelines.

Rubric: Evidence of Evolution

Use this interactive rubric for easy, thorough assessment. It can even be used by students for self-assessment!

4 3 2 1
Knowledge Understands scientific facts, procedures, concepts, principals, theories and methods. • demonstrates substantial scientific knowledge
• ideas are supported with strong supporting details
• Precise and advanced use of scientific terminology
• demonstrates adequate scientific knowledge
• ideas are supported with relevant supporting details
• appropriate use of scientific terminology
• demonstrates limited scientific knowledge
• ideas are supported with brief supporting details
• some use of scientific terminology
• demonstrates little scientific knowledge
• ideas are supported with weak or no supporting details
• Little to no use of scientific terminoloy
Application Applies scientific knowledge, skills and methods to hypothesize, analyze and conclude. • exceptional application of the scientific method when solving problems
• no errors in carrying out procedure
• accurately applies the scientific method when solving problems
• limited errors in carrying out procedure
• limited application of the scientific method when solving problems
• several errors in carrying out procedure
• does not apply the scientific method when solving problems
• multiple errors in carrying out procedure
Communication Communicates scientific knowledge through writing, speech and visuals. • panels are highly organized with exceptional use of relevant details
• written and visual content is highly effective
• accurate and precise communication of data
• panels are organized with consistent use of relevant details
• written and visual content is accurate and complete
• accurate and consistent communication of data
• panels are organized with few relevant details
• limited written and visual content
• incomplete or brief data communication
• panels are unorganized with little relevant details
• written and visual content is missing
• limited or no communication of data
Total

Example Mind Map

Evidence of Evolution by Student
Mind MapEvidence of Evolution FossilsFossils show that ancient species show similarities in their fossil structure to species currently found. The progression of forms found in the fossil record are consistent with other evolutionary theories. The tooth of an ancient shark looks very similar to those found in sharks today. Anatomical StructuresBody parts that are from different species, but are similar in structure are known as homologous structures. The arm of a human, a whale, and a bat are all similar in structure, however, they all have different functions. Some species have vestigial structures which are structures that are no longer useful, but are still present. The tail bone is a good example found in humans. Embryo DevelopmentComparing embryonic development reveals that many species show evolutionary relationships in nature. When comparing early embryos found in amphibians, birds, and humans, very little difference can be seen in their structure. It is not until later in development that specialization occurs. Geographic Distribution Species that live on different continents have come from a common ancestor. The armadillo and anteater are cousins related by a common ancestor, even though they inhabitat two different continents. The idea is that the world was once one large landmass that has separated over time, isolating the species and changing it over time. Biochemical EvidenceComparison of DNA between species shows that certain animals came from a common ancestor. This biochemical evidence is seen through similarities in protein structure and DNA sequences. When comparing the DNA sequence of a whale and ungulates, major similarities can be found which proves they are related.

Here's the link to share this comic:

Find more lesson plans:

  • MADE AT PIXTON.COM