SC.7.L.15.3

Explore the scientific theory of evolution by relating how the inability of a species to adapt within a changing environment may contribute to the extinction of that species.
General Information
Subject Area: Science
Grade: 7
Body of Knowledge: Life Science
Idea: Level 3: Strategic Thinking & Complex Reasoning
Big Idea: Diversity and Evolution of Living Organisms -

A. The scientific theory of evolution is the organizing principle of life science.

B. The scientific theory of evolution is supported by multiple forms of evidence.

C. Natural Selection is a primary mechanism leading to change over time in organisms.

Date Adopted or Revised: 02/08
Date of Last Rating: 05/08
Status: State Board Approved
Assessed: Yes

Related Courses

This benchmark is part of these courses.
2002070: M/J Comprehensive Science 2 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
2002080: M/J Comprehensive Science 2, Advanced (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
2000010: M/J Life Science (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
2000020: M/J Life Science, Advanced (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
7820016: Access M/J Comprehensive Science 2 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2018, 2018 and beyond (current))
2002085: M/J Comprehensive Science 2 Accelerated Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
7920040: Fundamental Integrated Science 3 (Specifically in versions: 2013 - 2015, 2015 - 2017 (course terminated))
2002200: M/J STEM Environmental Science (Specifically in versions: 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
2000025: M/J STEM Life Science (Specifically in versions: 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))

Related Access Points

Alternate version of this benchmark for students with significant cognitive disabilities.
SC.7.L.15.Pa.1: Recognize that living things can die.
SC.7.L.15.In.3: Explain extinction and give examples.
SC.7.L.15.Su.3: Recognize that some plants and animals no longer exist (are extinct).

Related Resources

Vetted resources educators can use to teach the concepts and skills in this benchmark.

Assessment

Performance Task for a Unit on evolution:

Complete a brochure for the Galapagos Islands. The purpose of your brochure is to attract tourists to the island in order to support research and preservation of the island and its many natural resources.

Type: Assessment

Lesson Plans

Reconstructing Reptile Relationships - A Mesozoic Muddle:

In this Model Eliciting Activity (MEA), students will attempt to identify, draw, and describe evolutionary relationships between a collection of reptiles that lived during the Mesozoic Era and that shared a common reptilian ancestor that lived earlier - in the Paleozoic Era.  The students will receive images of and facts about each of the reptiles, and will use those images and facts to prepare a cladogram – a tree-shaped diagram illustrating their hypotheses about those evolutionary relationships based on shared derived traits – and describe each of the branch points on the tree they construct.

Model Eliciting Activities, MEAs, are open-ended, interdisciplinary problem-solving activities that are meant to reveal students’ thinking about the concepts embedded in realistic situations. Click here to learn more about MEAs and how they can transform your classroom.

Type: Lesson Plan

Lemurs: From One to Many:

The lemurs of Madagascar are an interesting species that fully demonstrate the theory of evolution. By learning about these lemurs, students revisit geologic events of Earth, the fossil record, and evolution. Students are also exposed to various types of lemurs and their environments. Using this knowledge as a spring board, students will research one type of lemur and explain how it evolved, how it was affected by natural selection, how it relates to the fossil record, and what would happen if their lemur didn't adapt.

Type: Lesson Plan

The Fittest Shall Survive :

Students will act as predators, using variation in their mouth parts to collect prey. Working in groups, students will be given a set of utensils to represent the variation that exists among predators within the population. Students are then tasked with collecting as many prey items as possible in a specific time frame.

Type: Lesson Plan

Corals: Adapt or Die:

Will corals adapt to changing ocean conditions and survive, or will they be unable to adapt quickly enough and become extinct? Investigate what corals are, how they make a coral reef and the effects of various environmental factors (e.g., increasing water temperature, ocean acidification, addition of nutrients) using a variety of information sources - text, infographic posters, and video. Students will research, draw a conclusion, support and refute that conclusion, and write a final position statement answering the opening question.

Type: Lesson Plan

Adaptation or Extinction: A Race to Save a Species:

Students will race across a game board, hoping their species adapts before it goes extinct.

Type: Lesson Plan

How to eat, sleep and survive in the wild.:

This lesson will allow students to review adaptations and the importance of an organism's adaptations to it's environment. Students will observe examples of organisms that are adapted to various ecosystems and make inferences about how individual adaptations enable survival. They will also draw connections between adaptations and extinction.

Type: Lesson Plan

Can You See Me Now?:

In this lesson, students will be introduced to the relationship between environmental changes and the effects they have on various species. Polar Bears and Peppered Moths will be used as examples during the lesson. Students will engage in a hands-on simulation that will generate data for students to analyze. Students will also engage in guided reading in the content area as they read about the peppered moth and its changing environment. The concepts of adaptation, changing environments, and extinction will be evaluated throughout the lesson.

Type: Lesson Plan

Exploring the Theory of Evolution:

The 5E lesson addresses the theory of evolution beginning with Darwin's travels and observations. The lesson builds on the evidence and observations of Darwin by teaching how genetic variation and environmental factors affect evolution. This is then related to the ability or inability of a species to adapt with in a changing environment.

Type: Lesson Plan

Animal Adaptations:

Students model using different kinds of tools that simulate bird beaks with the type of food the beaks is best suited for. Data is collected and presented in graphic form, and students also answer analysis questions and write conclusions about their findings. Students then extend their learning to other organisms' adaptations. Suggestions for research extensions is also provided. Suggested formative assessments are also included.

Type: Lesson Plan

Florida Birds: Who has the Best Beak?:

In this lesson, students will recognize and explain ways an organism can be affected by genetics, environmental factors and relate how an organism can be in danger of extinction if it cannot adapt to its environment.

The teacher implements a variety of instructional components:

  • Students read two e! Science News articles (can read online if internet accessible or the teacher can make copies for class ahead of time) on bird adaptations.
  • Students then research a Florida coastal bird from a list provided in the lesson to create a "Vote for Me" poster. With this, students summarize their research and information gathered on a Florida coastal bird and try to convince their classmates that their bird's beak is the "best."
  • Students will engage in the Battle of the Beaks hands-on activity using everyday items to simulate different bird beaks.
  • Finally, students will write a response to "Who has the best beak?" using references from the science news articles, the poster presentations, and their research (website links in lesson)

Type: Lesson Plan

Breeding Bunnies and Flashy Fish:

Students will see how evolution works with a simulated breeding bunnies lab using red and white beans, one representing dominant alleles and the other recessive alleles. This lesson can be used in sixth grade with some minor modifications of the directions and the data being recorded.

Type: Lesson Plan

Lesson Study Resource Kit

Exploring Diversity and Evolution grades 6-8:

This toolkit is designed to assist lesson study teams as they work to develop a unit on natural selection that conforms to the state academic standards for science mathematics and English language arts.

Type: Lesson Study Resource Kit

Original Student Tutorial

Do or Die: Extinction in a Changing World:

Learn how the environment on Earth is constantly changing and that populations of organisms adapt to this change by evolving via natural selection. In this interactive tutorial, you'll discover how organisms do and do not avoid extinction.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Perspectives Video: Teaching Idea

Science Concepts Charades:

One word. Two syllables. Rhymes with giants. It's science!

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Teaching Idea

Teaching Idea

The Benefits of Biodiversity:

This activity explores concepts studied by genetic scientists as well as biomedical and environmental engineers.

Type: Teaching Idea

Text Resources

Caught in the Act:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. 

This article describes several fascinating examples of rapid evolution by natural selection. It explains research on three organisms, cichlids, crickets and sea urchins, that demonstrates how these creatures have quickly adapted to their changing environments. This is a very useful article for students beginning to explore the concepts of natural selection, evolution, and extinction.  

 

Type: Text Resource

Tropical Species at Great Risk from Climate Change: Study:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article describes a study that suggests tropical animals are in danger of extinction due to climate change—more so than animals living in polar climates. This is because these species are already at their thermal tolerance limits, and further increases in temperature could greatly lower their fitness.

Type: Text Resource

Explainer: How Invasive Species Ratted Out the Tuatara:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This short article is about how a changing environment has lead to a near extinction of tuatara (a lizard species) in New Zealand. It discusses how invasive species—in the tuatara's case, predatory mammals—can wipe out native species that are unable to adapt.

Type: Text Resource

Evolved to Run:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The text compares the bone and muscle structure of early Homo sapiens and Neandertals. It describes the ability to run long distances in one and not the other and explains how this difference may have evolved.

Type: Text Resource

WebQuest

Evidence for Evolution:

PBS has developed an EXCELLENT unit on Evolution It has great activities, video clips, and games that lead a student through the mechanisms that lead to evolution, evidence that supports evolution, and the evolution ideas/scientific discoveries.

Type: WebQuest

STEM Lessons - Model Eliciting Activity

Reconstructing Reptile Relationships - A Mesozoic Muddle:

In this Model Eliciting Activity (MEA), students will attempt to identify, draw, and describe evolutionary relationships between a collection of reptiles that lived during the Mesozoic Era and that shared a common reptilian ancestor that lived earlier - in the Paleozoic Era.  The students will receive images of and facts about each of the reptiles, and will use those images and facts to prepare a cladogram – a tree-shaped diagram illustrating their hypotheses about those evolutionary relationships based on shared derived traits – and describe each of the branch points on the tree they construct.

Model Eliciting Activities, MEAs, are open-ended, interdisciplinary problem-solving activities that are meant to reveal students’ thinking about the concepts embedded in realistic situations. Click here to learn more about MEAs and how they can transform your classroom.

Original Student Tutorials Science - Grades 9-12

Do or Die: Extinction in a Changing World:

Learn how the environment on Earth is constantly changing and that populations of organisms adapt to this change by evolving via natural selection. In this interactive tutorial, you'll discover how organisms do and do not avoid extinction.

Student Resources

Vetted resources students can use to learn the concepts and skills in this benchmark.

Original Student Tutorial

Do or Die: Extinction in a Changing World:

Learn how the environment on Earth is constantly changing and that populations of organisms adapt to this change by evolving via natural selection. In this interactive tutorial, you'll discover how organisms do and do not avoid extinction.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Parent Resources

Vetted resources caregivers can use to help students learn the concepts and skills in this benchmark.

Perspectives Video: Teaching Idea

Science Concepts Charades:

One word. Two syllables. Rhymes with giants. It's science!

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Teaching Idea