SC.912.L.15.13

Describe the conditions required for natural selection, including: overproduction of offspring, inherited variation, and the struggle to survive, which result in differential reproductive success.
General Information
Subject Area: Science
Grade: 912
Body of Knowledge: Life Science
Idea: Level 2: Basic Application of Skills & Concepts
Standard: Diversity and Evolution of Living Organisms -

A. The scientific theory of evolution is the fundamental concept underlying all of biology.

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

C. Organisms are classified based on their evolutionary history.

D. Natural selection is a primary mechanism leading to evolutionary change.

Date Adopted or Revised: 02/08
Date of Last Rating: 05/08
Status: State Board Approved
Assessed: Yes
Test Item Specifications
    Also Assesses:

    SC.912.L.15.14 Discuss mechanisms of evolutionary change other than natural selection such as genetic drift and gene flow.

     SC.912.L.15.15 Describe how mutation and genetic recombination increase genetic variation.

     SC.912.N.1.3 Recognize that the strength or usefulness of a scientific claim is evaluated through scientific argumentation, which depends on critical and logical thinking, and the active consideration of alternative scientific explanations to explain the data presented.

  • Clarification :

    Students will explain and/or describe the conditions required for natural selection that result in differential reproductive success.

    Students will explain and/or describe the scientific mechanisms, such as genetic drift, gene flow, and nonrandom mating, resulting in evolutionary change.

    Students will explain and/or describe how mutation and genetic recombination increase genetic variation.

    Students will identify ways in which a scientific claim is evaluated (e.g., through scientific argumentation, critical and logical thinking, and consideration of alternative explanations).

  • Content Limits :

    Items will not address descent with modification or common descent.

    Items addressing mutation and genetic recombination in relation to increasing genetic variation must be assessed in the context of evolution.

    Items will not assess the Hardy-Weinberg principle or genetic equilibrium.

    Items may address how meiosis contributes to genetic variation but may not assess the steps or stages of meiosis.

    Items assessing a scientific claim are limited to the topics discussed in SC.912.L.15.13, SC.912.L.15.14, and SC.912.L.15.15.

  • Stimulus Attributes :
    None specified
  • Response Attributes :
    None specified
  • Prior Knowledge :
    Items may require the student to apply scientific knowledge described in the NGSSS from lower grades. This benchmark requires prerequisite knowledge of SC.7.L.15.2, SC.7.L.15.3, SC.7.L.16.1, SC.7.L.16.3, SC.7.L.17.3, SC.7.N.1.7, SC.6.N.2.2, and SC.7.N.2.1.
Sample Test Items (1)
  • Test Item #: Sample Item 1
  • Question: Over time, the climate of an island became drier, which resulted in changes to the populations of various island finch species. Finch populations with a certain beak shape thrived, while those not having that beak shape decreased. Which of the following describes a necessary condition for these changes in the finch populations to occur?
  • Difficulty: N/A
  • Type: MC: Multiple Choice

Related Courses

This benchmark is part of these courses.
2002080: M/J Comprehensive Science 2, Advanced (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
2000310: Biology 1 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
2000320: Biology 1 Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
2000430: Biology Technology (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
3027020: Biotechnology 2 (Specifically in versions: 2015 and beyond (current))
2000380: Ecology (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
2001340: Environmental Science (Specifically in versions: 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
2000440: Genetics Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
2002440: Integrated Science 3 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
2002450: Integrated Science 3 Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
2002500: Marine Science 1 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
2002510: Marine Science 1 Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
2000410: Zoology (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))
2000800: Florida's Preinternational Baccalaureate Biology 1 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
7920015: Access Biology 1 (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))
2000315: Biology 1 for Credit Recovery (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
2002445: Integrated Science 3 for Credit Recovery (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2020 (course terminated))
7920040: Fundamental Integrated Science 3 (Specifically in versions: 2013 - 2015, 2015 - 2017 (course terminated))
2001341: Environmental Science Honors (Specifically in versions: 2016 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))

Related Access Points

Alternate version of this benchmark for students with significant cognitive disabilities.
SC.912.L.15.In.5: Recognize that some living things produce very large numbers of offspring to ensure that enough survive to continue the species (a condition for natural selection).
SC.912.L.15.Su.5: Recognize that some living things, such as fish and turtles, produce very large numbers of offspring because most will die as a result of dangers in the environment before they grow up.
SC.912.L.15.Pa.3: Recognize that animals produce offspring.

Related Resources

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

Assessment

Summative Assessment Evolution:

This performance task will demonstrate students' understanding of natural selection at the end of a unit on the theory of evolution.

Type: Assessment

Educational Game

EvoDots - Software for Evolutionary Analysis:

The software application, which allows the students to simulate natural selection in a population of dots, goes along with a tutorial which is also at this site.

Type: Educational Game

Lesson Plans

Humans vs. the Superbug:

In this lesson, students will analyze an intended to support reading in the content area. The article addresses how the United States is addressing the discovery of E.coli that is resistant to colistin, an antibiotic used only as a last resort. The text describes steps to take now that this superbug has reached our country. Scientists from the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine explain why it is so easy for bacteria to share their "knowledge" about antibiotic resistance and discuss how concerned the U.S. citizens should be, as well as what we can do to slow the spread of superbugs.

Type: Lesson Plan

The Evolutionary Processes of Population Change:

This is a lesson plan designed to explain three evolutionary processes: natural selection, genetic drift, and gene flow. The lesson plan consists of a brief review about mutations and DNA, a PowerPoint discussion about the three evolutionary processes, and a hands-on activity. The activity is designed to help the students understand how populations change over time due to different traits in individuals in a population, as well as how to identify the different evolutionary processes in a population.

Type: Lesson Plan

Of Mice and Mutations: Natural Selection in Action:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. In this lesson, students will analyze a text that addresses the issue of evolution by natural selection and mutation, using Florida "beach mice" as a case study. The lesson plan includes text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric. Ideas for extending the lesson are also included.

Type: Lesson Plan

Selection, Naturally: A 5E Approach to Evolution by Natural Selection:

No need to search multiple lesson plans! The 5E (Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate, Evaluate) is a way to cover natural selection in a format that addresses misconceptions and allow learners to gather information through critical thinking over a series of activities.

Type: Lesson Plan

Natural Selection on Beach Mice:

In this lesson, students simulate the process of natural selection and its effects on prey phenotype frequencies over multiple generations. Students are provided with four background patterns and many prey pieces in four corresponding patterns. In this way, each prey type is well-camouflaged for one corresponding background, but is less suited to the others in varying degrees. Following several rounds of natural selection simulation, students compare prey phenotype frequencies to those frequencies found using random selection.

Type: Lesson Plan

Is Natural Selection Random?:

Students will use the real-world example of Hurricane Opal wiping out the beach mouse population from Shell Island in 1995. Students will identify the environmental pressures that led to the differentiation of the Choctawhatchee beach mouse from the mainland population (St. Andrew beach mouse) as natural selection. They will examine the beach mouse population on this island immediately following the hurricane as an example of genetic drift, and the re-population of the island as gene flow. Students will then track changes in the population from the initial re-population following the hurricane to the current population and relate this to natural selection.

Type: Lesson Plan

Simulating Natural Selection via Paperus discus:

This is a low cost, simple to setup lab that simulates factors involved in natural selection. Students become "predators" that, along with the background environment, put selective pressure on a population of prey (discs). Students will make predictions, manipulate materials, collect data, analyze that data, and write a conclusion. This lab is easily modified to accommodate lower grade levels or expanded for higher level courses.

Type: Lesson Plan

Selection Dance Party:

In this lesson, students will learn how sexual selection leads to the evolution of species by exploring how courtship rituals lead to the selection of traits in a population.

Type: Lesson Plan

Island Biogeography:

Students will study the concept of speciation and predict an island habitat"s biodiversity based on the island's size and distance from the mainland.

Type: Lesson Plan

Identifying Misconceptions on Natural Selection:

In this lesson, students will take a short inventory on Natural Selection where they will be asked to read short passages and answer questions based on the Theory of Natural Selection. By comparing answers the students gave, the teacher will be able to identify common misconceptions they have on the Theory of Evolution.

Type: Lesson Plan

Introduction to Natural Selection:

To develop an understanding of natural selection, specifically, how it unfolds from generation to generation.

Type: Lesson Plan

Evolution by Natural Selection:

Principles of natural selection are demonstrated by a simulation involving different color pompoms on different color and texture habitats and student feeders equipped with different types of feeding implement. Students learn how different adaptations contribute to differences in survival and reproductive success, which results in changing frequencies of genotypes in the populations.

Type: Lesson Plan

Lesson Study Resource Kits

Diversity and Evolution: A biology toolkit for grades 9-12:

This toolkit supports the development of an instructional unit on diversity and evolution and aligns with academic standards for science, English language arts, and mathematics for students in grades 9-12. The elements of this toolkit were assembled based upon their suitability for constructing a multi-day instructional unit on hominid evolution that corresponds with the 5E Learning Cycle of engage, explore, explain, elaborate, and evaluate. Your task as a lesson study team is to analyze the materials that are included in this toolkit and evaluate how they can be incorporated in a 5-E instructional unit plan that complies with the academic standards for science, English language arts, and mathematics. As you study these resources it is important to make note of any deficiencies or gaps that will need to be addressed and make modifications in the lesson resources and activities where needed.

Type: Lesson Study Resource Kit

Exploring Diversity and Evolution: A Lesson Study Resource Kit for grades 9-12:

This lesson study resource kit is designed to support lesson study teams in developing a unit of instruction for students in grades 9-12 on the topic of diversity and evolution.

Type: Lesson Study Resource Kit

Original Student Tutorials

Conditions for Natural Selection:

Explore three conditions required for natural selection and see how these conditions lead to allele frequency shifts in a population. 

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Natural Selection:

Describe the conditions required for natural selection and tell how it can result in changes in species over time. In this interactive tutorial, follow Charles Darwin through a life of exploration, observation, and experimentation to see how he developed his ideas.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Perspectives Video: Experts

Using Mathematics to Optimize Wing Design:

Nick Moore discusses his research behind optimizing wing design using inspiration from animals and how they swim and fly.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Physical Environment and Natural Selection:

This video is a natural selection for learning about evolution.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Perspectives Video: Teaching Idea

Modeling Bird Beaks for Natural Selection:

Pick up a new idea about how to teach concepts related to natural selection in this video!

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Teaching Idea

Problem-Solving Task

Aggresion in Dogs: Evolution of a Species:

Scientists know all dogs descended from the gray wolf, but they don't know exactly how that happened. In this activity, students will engage in a card game simulation to learn how selective pressures can affect an organism's evolution.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Text Resources

What the New Superbug Means for the US:

This resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The text describes how colistin-resistant bacteria have reached the United States, which is cause for great concern. There are currently some strains of bacteria that are resistant to all types of antibiotics. Scientists will have to develop new antibiotics if we are to continue our mostly successful fight against bacterial disease.

Type: Text Resource

The Mythology of Natural Selection:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The text describes how natural selection occurs when mutations occur in an individual's DNA sequence. Two different populations can have two different genetic mutations yet end up with a similar phenotype.

Type: Text Resource

Tutorials

Natural Selection and the Owl Butterfly:

This Khan Academy tutorial explains how the owl butterfly might have evolved the spots on its wings through natural selection.

Type: Tutorial

What Causes Antibiotic Resistance?:

This short video describes the process of antibiotic resistance. Right now, you are inhabited by trillions of micro organisms. Many of these bacteria are harmless (or even helpful!), but there are a few strains of ‘super bacteria' that are pretty nasty -- and they're growing resistant to our antibiotics. Why is this happening? Kevin Wu details the evolution of this problem that presents a big challenge for the future of medicine.

Type: Tutorial

Unit/Lesson Sequence

Modeling for Understanding Natural Selection:

This series of lessons introduces students to evolutionary reasoning and to the explanatory power of the Darwinian model of natural selection. Students read three evolutionary scientists' (Paley, Lamarck and Darwin) original work and compare their thinking, proposed mechanism of evolution, use of evidence, and explanatory power of their theory. They apply the three scientists thinking to another scenario to refine their understanding of the explanations.

Type: Unit/Lesson Sequence

Video/Audio/Animations

Pocket Mouse Evolution:

This simulation shows the spread of a favorable mutation through a population of pocket mice. Even a small selective advantage can lead to a rapid evolution of the population.

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

Variation in a Species:

The video describes how variation can be introduced into a species.

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

Variation Is Essential: How Does Variation Within a Population Affect the Survival of a Species?:

This is a lesson about phenotypical variation within populations and how these differences are essential for biological evolution. Students will use a model organism (in this case, kidney beans) to explore variation patterns and subsequently connect these differences to artificial & natural selection. The NGSS’ CrossCutting Concepts and Science & Engineering Practices are embedded throughout the lesson.

The main learning objectives are:

  • Using a model (kidney beans) to explore the natural variations within a population.
  • Measuring differences between individuals in a population (population of beans).
  • Describing how genetic/phenotypic variation is a key part of biological evolution because it is a prerequisite for natural selection.
  • Demonstrating in which ways genetic variation is advantageous to a population because it enables some individuals to adapt to the environment while maintaining the survival of the population.

The NGSS Performance Expectations covered are HS-LS4-2. & HS-LS4-4.

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

Virtual Manipulative

Natural Selection:

Students will explore natural selection by controlling the environment and causing mutations in bunnies. This will demonstrate how natural selection works in nature. They will have the opportunity to throw in different variables to see what will make their species of rabbit survive.

Type: Virtual Manipulative

Worksheet

The Biology Corner:

This resource for biology teachers includes a lesson plan section which contains classroom activities, labs and worksheets. The activity sheets are categorized by Science and Literacy, Anatomy, Scientific Method, Cells, Phyla, Evolution and Taxonomy, Genetics, Ecology, and Plants.

Type: Worksheet

Original Student Tutorials Science - Grades 9-12

Conditions for Natural Selection:

Explore three conditions required for natural selection and see how these conditions lead to allele frequency shifts in a population. 

Natural Selection:

Describe the conditions required for natural selection and tell how it can result in changes in species over time. In this interactive tutorial, follow Charles Darwin through a life of exploration, observation, and experimentation to see how he developed his ideas.

Student Resources

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

Original Student Tutorials

Conditions for Natural Selection:

Explore three conditions required for natural selection and see how these conditions lead to allele frequency shifts in a population. 

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Natural Selection:

Describe the conditions required for natural selection and tell how it can result in changes in species over time. In this interactive tutorial, follow Charles Darwin through a life of exploration, observation, and experimentation to see how he developed his ideas.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Educational Game

EvoDots - Software for Evolutionary Analysis:

The software application, which allows the students to simulate natural selection in a population of dots, goes along with a tutorial which is also at this site.

Type: Educational Game

Perspectives Video: Expert

Physical Environment and Natural Selection:

This video is a natural selection for learning about evolution.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Tutorials

Natural Selection and the Owl Butterfly:

This Khan Academy tutorial explains how the owl butterfly might have evolved the spots on its wings through natural selection.

Type: Tutorial

What Causes Antibiotic Resistance?:

This short video describes the process of antibiotic resistance. Right now, you are inhabited by trillions of micro organisms. Many of these bacteria are harmless (or even helpful!), but there are a few strains of ‘super bacteria' that are pretty nasty -- and they're growing resistant to our antibiotics. Why is this happening? Kevin Wu details the evolution of this problem that presents a big challenge for the future of medicine.

Type: Tutorial

Video/Audio/Animations

Pocket Mouse Evolution:

This simulation shows the spread of a favorable mutation through a population of pocket mice. Even a small selective advantage can lead to a rapid evolution of the population.

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

Variation Is Essential: How Does Variation Within a Population Affect the Survival of a Species?:

This is a lesson about phenotypical variation within populations and how these differences are essential for biological evolution. Students will use a model organism (in this case, kidney beans) to explore variation patterns and subsequently connect these differences to artificial & natural selection. The NGSS’ CrossCutting Concepts and Science & Engineering Practices are embedded throughout the lesson.

The main learning objectives are:

  • Using a model (kidney beans) to explore the natural variations within a population.
  • Measuring differences between individuals in a population (population of beans).
  • Describing how genetic/phenotypic variation is a key part of biological evolution because it is a prerequisite for natural selection.
  • Demonstrating in which ways genetic variation is advantageous to a population because it enables some individuals to adapt to the environment while maintaining the survival of the population.

The NGSS Performance Expectations covered are HS-LS4-2. & HS-LS4-4.

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

Virtual Manipulative

Natural Selection:

Students will explore natural selection by controlling the environment and causing mutations in bunnies. This will demonstrate how natural selection works in nature. They will have the opportunity to throw in different variables to see what will make their species of rabbit survive.

Type: Virtual Manipulative

Parent Resources

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

Perspectives Video: Expert

Physical Environment and Natural Selection:

This video is a natural selection for learning about evolution.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Perspectives Video: Teaching Idea

Modeling Bird Beaks for Natural Selection:

Pick up a new idea about how to teach concepts related to natural selection in this video!

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Teaching Idea