Part of Unit: Basic Animal Genetics
Lesson Plan Overview / Details
This is a follow-up lesson to a basic mutation lesson. At the end of the lesson students will be able to describe how some genetic mutations are not advantageous, they will differentiate why some species survive while others become extict, and will describe how changes in the environment determine wether or not a genetic change is beneficial.
- 1 Block Period
- 90 Minutes
California Career and Technical Education Standards
- ANR.C.C4.2 Know the differences between domestication and natural selection.
- ANR.D.D5.5 Understand the role of mutations (both naturally occurring and artificially indu...
- ANR.FS.1.0 Academics
- ANR.FS.11.0 Demonstration and Application
- ANR.FS.5.3 Use critical thinking skills to make informed decisions and solve problems.
California Academic Content Standards (Reinforced)
- ELA.9-10.R.CAGT.2.5 Extend ideas presented in primary or secondary sources through original analysis...3
- S.9-12.LS.8.a Students know how natural selection determines the differential survival of grou...1
- S.9-12.LS.8.b Students know a great diversity of species increases the chance that at least so...1
Objectives and Goals
- Students will describe how some genetic mutations are not advantageous
- Students will differentiate why some species survive while others become extinct
- Students will verbally describe how the environment can determine whether or not a genetic change is beneficial.
Activities in this Lesson
- Setting the Stage - Motion Moment - Hooks / Set
Have students close their eyes and being to tell them the following scenario:
Ladies and gentlemen we as a group have been transported to a beautiful and pristine island, with loads of trees, vegetation, and varieties of wildlife surrounding us. We are no longer people however - we are now all birds on this island, and we have some differences. We have all evolved from one bird species over the course of several hundred thousand years. We have evolved three distinct beaks, tailored to the specific type of food found in our environment. Our beaks have three different shapes. Open your eyes and focus your attention to the front of the room. The three beak types include the tweezertweeters (do a hand motion with your index and middle finger together, opening and closing against your thumb) , the woodpickers (do a hand motion with your index finger, middle finger and thumb are pressed together at the tip, and move your hand back and forth) , and the spoonbills (do a hand motion where it looks like you are scooping up something with a spoon and putting it into your mouth) . Have the students mimic the motions that you are doing, and then ask them to repeat the three shapes.
Each bird group has a beak that fits a particular food item on our island. The foods on this island are rubber worms, brass bugs, and silver slugs (show students the food iteams: i.e. rubber bands, brass brads, and paper clips). Ask the students to predict which beak they think is best suited for each of the three food items.
Today, we are going to take an indepth look at evolution by competeing agaisnt each other for food resrources. By the time we leave class today we will know why some genetic mutations are not advantageous, we will know why some species out live others, and we will see just exactly how changes in the environment cause changes in species.
- Bird Land Activity - Part 1 - Lab / Shop
The birds on our island have mutated for survival, they have taken the qualities that make them unique and developed them.
In a moment, you will receive a worksheet. Be certain to read the problem and procedures and when you are fnished, focus your attention back to the front of the room. What questions are there? GREAT! (Pass out the handout and wait for students to focus their attention back to the front).
In a moment we are going to "feed". Each of us will have beak and a cup and we will have two minutes to collect as much food as we can with our beak, and place it into our cup. We feed in such short amounts of time because we are wary of predators. We are also extremely wary of each other, so if a bird has a piece of food on it's beak, we leave it alone (this will prevent unfair competition/cheating while feeding is occuring). You must only use your beak to pick up food and you can't use your cup to help. What questions are there? GREAT!
We are now going to get our supplies so that the feeding can begin. While supplies are being distributed, think about how you are going to gather as much feed as possible. When you have your supplies, wait until you hear "feed" to start collecting food. Pass out cups and "beaks", once everyone has their supplies begin.
"FEED". One minute left! 10 seconds! 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, STOP! Return to your seats with your beaks and your cups.
- BirdLandHandout.doc [ Download ]
- Processing Bird Land Part 1 - Group Work
Take the food out of your cup and separate the three types into piles in front of you and count them. You have forty-five seconds, "GO". Once students have their food separated and counted, proceed. All tweezertweeters, raise your hands, one at a time you will tell me how many rubber worms, brass bugs, and silver slugs you have collected (collect data from each, then move onto the spoonbills and woodpickers). After all of the students have reported, instruct the students to total up each column with the numbers provided and then add across to the side of the page.
Now that our charts are complete, we will answer the conclusion questions for Part 1. You will have two-minutes to answer the 4 questions individually. Questions? GO! Allow students the time to answe the questions on their own. Circulate and help out individually if needed. TIMES UP! Turn to the person sitting next to you and share with them your answers. You have two-minutes to complete this task, GO!
Wonderful, who will share their answer to question number one with the class? Elicit responses and continue with all questions as a group discussion. Then discuss aloud why even though some birds didn't compete for food as well as others, they still survived as a species. This is because their was plenty of food, and the birds were generally eating different food items.
- Bird Land Activity - Part 2 - Lab / Shop
Our story continues and the island has become infested with a variety of parasites, which completely destroy two of the three sources of food, the silver slugs and the brass bugs. Additionally, the rubber worms had their numbers reduced by about 50%.
We will repeat the feeding process with the same rules. When you hear "feed", you will collect food, remembering that you only have two minutes and that your bird is territorial and will not fight other birds for food. What questions are there?
"FEED"! One minute left! 10 seconds! 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, STOP! Return to your seats with your beaks and cups.
Take the food out of your cup and count up how much food you were able to collect. You have thirty seconds to do so, "GO". All tweezertweeters, raise your hand, one at a time tell us how many rubber worms you have collected. Who will go first? Collect date from each, and then move onto the spoonbills, and woodpickers.
Now that we have the data from our second feeding collected, we are going to answer the conclusion questions on the back of our handouts. You will answer the three questions on your own, and have two minutes to do so. What questions are there? "GO".
Time is up! Now, turn to a person sitting around you, and share your answers with them. You have two minutes to do so. "GO". TIME! Who will share their answer to number 1? Elicit responses and contine with the other two questions as a group discussion, students should discover that the tweezertweeters are the only survivors. The other groups because of their beak structures, could not obtain enough food to survive.
- Show what you Know Quiz - Assessment
Alright folks, GREAT work today! You have collected some very useful information, and hopefully today's lesson has reinforced the mutation is a naturally occuring process and that some species cannot survive in a changed environment and that over time, some species will adapt.
It's that time again, time to show what you know! Grab a piece of scratch paper, and a writing utensil, and get ready to SHOW WHAT YOU KNOW!
Have the following questions prepared on a tearsheet, written on the board, or on a slide that can be projected.
1)Give and example of a possible positive genetic mutation in agriculture
2)Why would a species survive while others become extinct?
3)How does the environment that an animal lives in determin whether they survive of become extinct?
- Value-Movement-Closure - Closure
Today we have talked about how animals can adapt to their environment and how a change in an animal's environment can lead to its extinction. We also focused on how animals adapting to their envrionment aides in their survival.
Let's remember these lessons as we move through our genetics unit, especially when we being to discuss how genes are passed down from parent to offspring!
Go ahead and turn to your partner and give them a high five for a job well done!
Bird Land Activity Sheets (1 per student)
Brass Fasteners (100)
Paper Clips (100)
Plastic Spoons (25-30)
Small paper cups (1 per student)