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middle school

Natural Selection and Adaptations
Adaptation Simulation

Adaptation Simulation

This adaptation simulation from The Science Education for Public Understanding Department at UC Berkley is an amazing tool for teaching how organisms change over time and how those changes affect the population. Begin by designing three birds from the predetermined options. Then, run a 500,000 year simulation and see how each bird reacts the environment. Watch as the birds mutate and change, then see how those changes help or hinder the species’ survival. Flash required.
Human Evolution Timeline Interactive

Human Evolution Timeline Interactive

“Human Evolution Timeline Interactive”, from the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, is an interactive timeline that provides lots of evidence for human evolution. Included in the timeline are milestones of humans like controlling fire, different species of humans, and finally Earth’s temperature compared to the timeline of humans – key evidence in human-caused global warming.
The Arthropod Story

The Arthropod Story

In this interactive from University of California Museum of Paleontology, with support provided by the National Science Foundation, clickthrough “The Arthropod Story” students get taken on a tour of how arthropods have endured throughout time. This tour includes plenty of interactive graphics and illustrations. It also talks about how arthropods have evolved over time. Flash required.
Evolution in Action

Evolution in Action

In this interactive learning tool students learn about how mutations can affect a population. These little critters reproduce and mutate to be different colors. Depending on the color of the background various critters die off and students get to see how camouflage can help certain organisms survive.

 Build a Fish

Build a Fish

This amazing learning tool “Build a Fish” is from the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, Illinois. Students choose a body and mouth for their fish. They then control their fish as it swims around the reef, avoiding potential predators and trying to eat prey. Students learn about how having a different mouth or body affects how a fish lives. Flash required.
Layers of time Fossil Game

Layers of Time Fossil Game

In this learning tool titled “Layers of time Fossil Game” students have to oder layers of fossils to symbolize when certain organisms existed on Earth. Students learn bout how scientists find out information by how fossils are layers in the ground. This interactive has 3 levels of varying difficulty. This comes to us from Sterling Nesbitt. Flash required.
 Natural Selection Gizmo

Natural Selection Gizmo

This interactive learning tool called “Peppered Moth” comes to us from explorelearning.com. Inspired by the famous stories of black and white moths mutating to survive by matching the color of trees affected by pollution, students learn how organisms can change their appearances to survive changes in their environment. Throughout this simulation students have to click on the black and white moths. Students will probably be more likely to click on the black mouths with a white background. Why is that?? You get immediate access to 5 minutes of the gizmo, create a free account for unlimited access. Shockwave required.
Natural Selection

Natural Selection

In this learning tool named “Natural Selection” from PhET students can control a population of rabbits by causing mutations, editing genes, and changing the environment. Students learn about how all of these factors affect a population of organisms through this amazing interactive learning tool! Java required.
The Evolution of Flight in Birds

The Evolution of Flight in Birds

This interactive learning tool titled “The Evolution of Flight in Birds” comes to us from UC Berkley. Students learn about the evolution of birds by clicking through a slideshow with lots of interactive illustrations. Students see the evolutionary connection between dinosaurs and birds. Flash required.
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KEY CONCEPTS

Evidence of Common Ancestry & Diversity (MS-LS4.A)

  • The collection of fossils & their placement in chronological order (by location in sedimentary rock layer or radioactive dating) is known as the fossil record. It documents the existence, diversity, extinction, and change of many life forms through the history of life on Earth. (MS-LS4-1)
  • Comparing similarities and differences between organisms living today and those in the fossil record, enable the reconstruction of evolutionary history. (MS-LS4-2)
  • Comparison of the embryological development of different species also reveals similarities that show relationships not evident in the fully formed adult. (MS-LS4-4)

Natural Selection (LS4.B)

  • Natural selection leads to the predominance of certain traits and the suppression of others. (MS-LS4-4)

Adaptation (LS4.C)

  • Adaptation by natural selection acting over generations is one important process by which species change over time in response to changes in environmental conditions. (MS-LS4-6)

About NGSS

Next Generation Science Standards is a multi-state effort to create new education standards that are “rich in content and practice, arranged in a coherent manner across disciplines and grades to provide all students an internationally benchmarked science education.”

ABOUT US

Our team from Temple University has developed this resource for all K-12 students and teachers of science. These vetted learning tools align to the NGSS. Find one we should include? Just fill out the form.

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TECH HELP

 

Many of these science resources require Java and Flash. Click below to download.

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