Reflection: Classroom Setup Using Student Doodles to Introduce the Concept of Evolution and Natural Selection - Section 2: The Classroom Flow: Evolution Doodling Activity


Some general notes to help you create an energized and effective learning environment:

 1. The criteria you choose as a rationale for picking a student drawing for each subsequent generation does not  matter so long as it is consistent from generation to generation. For example, if you choose a fish drawing that has a slightly longer top fin than your original drawing, continue doing so throughout the generations so that the trend in fin length becomes obvious by the last generation.

 2. The type of animal you choose to draw also does not appear to matter so long as the students can easily mimic your work.  I found that the fish and spider drawings worked best in my classes--we also tried turtles, butterflies, and ladybugs. 

 3. Your directions will set the tone for the type of drawings you get--if you simply say to draw the fish, you will see quite a bit more variation in student work than if you tell the students to copy your drawing as carefully as they can. Both methods will show a shift in the population over 5-6 generations; however, I found that with my more energetic classes, the more outrageous drawings allowed for more engagement and conversation.  Check out my works cited document for more ideas as to how you could use this activity to go deeper into student investigation of natural selection and related evolutionary concepts.

  • Note: You can expect lots of great conversation about the activity during the teacher choice segment!  Most students will immediately see the connection between the activity and their prior knowledge about evolution and therefore will be confident about responding to questions within the big group setting.  it is a great time to be taking note of their comments and use them later on during the large group discussion.  

  • Students will also be very interested in seeing the final outcome of the drawings; students reported feeling satisfied at seeing the basic science concepts and vocabulary within the context of their own classroom experience.  I found that students went up to look at and comment upon the drawings from each class throughout the unit.  This visual representation of natural selection served as a reminder of and conduit for conceptual understanding and conversation.   

  Activity Tips and Reflections
  Classroom Setup: Activity Tips and Reflections
Loading resource...

Using Student Doodles to Introduce the Concept of Evolution and Natural Selection

Unit 8: Unit 8: Evolution & Biological Diversity
Lesson 2 of 11

Objective: Students will be able to define evolution and describe the process of natural selection using classroom generated examples/data.

Big Idea: Use student drawings in this engaging activity to explore the concept of natural selection.

  Print Lesson
45 teachers like this lesson
student fish activity
Similar Lessons
Who is August Wilson? Finding the Main Ideas and Supporting Details in an Obituary Using Chunking
9th Grade ELA » Fences: Character and Theme Analysis in Drama
Big Idea: Why do we study August Wilson's plays? Let chunking lead you to the central ideas, and they will uncover the answer!

Environment: Urban
Donna Fletcher
Transferring Skills To Individual Reading Books: Reader's Workshop
10th Grade ELA » What It Means to be Human
Big Idea: Can students take skills that were learned as a whole class and apply those skills to their individual reading book?
Independence, MO
Environment: Suburban
Lindsay Thompson
"It's Only Natural..."
High School Biology » 6) Exploring Change ("The Theory of Natural Selection")
Big Idea: Natural Selection is a very complex, abstract, and widely misunderstood theory. It's only natural to wonder how it all works!
Kent, WA
Environment: Suburban
Mitchell  Smith
Something went wrong. See details for more info
Nothing to upload