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Resource library Teaching materials Evolution 101

Lesson summary for:
The Making of the Fittest: The Birth and Death of Genes

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Overview:
This 13-minute film describes how scientists have pieced together the evolutionary history of the Antarctic icefish by studying its genome – an excellent case study for genetic evolution as both the gain and loss of genes have led to key adaptations.

Author/Source:
Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Grade level:
6-8

Time:
15-20 minutes

Teaching tips:
HHMI provides a variety of teacher resources to accompany this video: an in-depth film guide, student quiz, two demonstrations and three student lessons.

Concepts:
Correspondence to the Next Generation Science Standards is indicated in parentheses after each relevant concept. See our conceptual framework for details.

  • There is a fit between organisms and their environments, though not always a perfect fit. (LS4.C)

  • An organism’s features reflect its evolutionary history.

  • Variation is the result of genetic recombination or mutation. (LS3.A)

  • The variation that occurs within a population is random.

  • Evolution results from natural selection acting upon variation within a population. (LS4.B)

  • Traits that are advantageous often persist in a population. (LS4.B, LS4.C)

  • Environmental changes may provide opportunities that can influence natural selection. (LS4.B, LS4.C)

  • Scientists test their ideas using multiple lines of evidence.

  • Scientists use multiple lines of evidence to study life over time.

  • There is variation within a population. (LS3.B)

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