Reflection: Lesson Planning Genetic Variation and Natural Selection - Section 2: Explore


In teaching natural selection and adaptation, it is important to conduct ongoing discussions about misconceptions. Once is not enough!

Keep coming back to these important areas of confusion:

- Natural selection is not all-powerful; it does not produce perfection. Genes just have to be "good enough" to be passed to the next generation.

- It's more accurate to think of natural selection as a process rather than as a guiding hand. It has no goals. 

- Natural selection is not random. Genetic variants that aid survival and reproduction are much more likely to become common than variants that don't. 

- It is not "survival of the fittest" in the sense that the strongest or smartest survive and reproduce. The "fitness" would be how well the creature "fits" its environment.

- Natural selection is not the only mechanism for evolution. Our pet dogs and flower gardens are proof there of another mechanism - artificial selection.

- Eventually natural selection eliminates unfavorable traits. As long as there are unfavorable traits in the gene pool, they will be expressed. 

  Lesson Planning: Misconceptions
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Genetic Variation and Natural Selection

Unit 7: Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity
Lesson 4 of 15

Objective: SWBAT construct an explanation based on evidence that describes how genetic variations of traits in a population increase some individuals’ probability of surviving and reproducing in a specific environment.

Big Idea: Impact of Genetic Variation on natural selection

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