This classroom exercise introduces the concept of evolution by natural selection in a hypothesis-driven, experimental fashion, using a deck of cards.
Evolution: Education and Outreach
1-2 class periods
The standard exercise is suitable for upper-level high school (AP) and introductory biology students at the college level. This exercise can be easily modified to teach advanced evolutionary topics in upper-level courses in evolution and/or ecology and suggestions are given.
Correspondence to the Next Generation Science Standards is indicated in parentheses after each relevant concept. See our conceptual framework for details.
- Rates of evolution vary.
- Artificial selection provides a model for natural selection.
- Evolution results from natural selection acting upon genetic variation within a population.
- Natural selection may favor individuals with one extreme value for a trait, shifting the average value of that trait in one direction over the course of many generations.
- A hallmark of science is exposing ideas to testing.