Evolution Unit Plan


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Is lesson planning just too much on top of teaching on top of grading on top of classroom management on top of *ahem* living your life?  Get all the guidance you need to teach a comprehensive, no-prep evolution unit either in person, hybrid, or virtual with my all inclusive unit bundle!


This unit guide will save you time, engage your students, and wow your administrators! Unit overview, NGSS standards, and a pacing guide are all included with links to relevant resources to make planning a breeze.


This free unit guide covers: 

  • Enduring understandings
  • NGSS Standards
  • A brief description of all resources included in this bundle
  • Suggested pacing
  • Key vocabulary with definitions
  • Additional resources


Who is this resource for?

This resource can be used by classroom teachers, tutors, and parents of students in grades 6-9.


This resource is ideal for teachers who teach in person, online, or hybrid. Digital versions are included with all resources to make lesson planning a breeze!


How do I teach this unit? 

Download the full unit that corresponds to this unit here.


Topics covered in this unit include:

  • Natural Selection
  • Punctuated Equilibrium vs. Gradualism
  • Artificial Selection

Evidence for Evolution including:

  • Fossils
  • Comparative Anatomy (homologous, analogous, vestigial structures)
  • Comparative Embryology


Key Features of this Unit:

  • Can be implemented in person, hybrid, or virtual
  • Several engaging Google Slides lessons
  • Several guided reading resources for homework or class practice
  • Project based learning
  • Formative and summative assessment


What’s Included?

This unit guide is a downloadable PDF with a link to a Google Docs version.


Please take a look at the individual product preview files to see more of the resources included in this bundle.


Email me at laneyleeteaches@gmail.com


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Analyze displays of pictorial data to compare patterns of similarities in the embryological development across multiple species to identify relationships not evident in the fully formed anatomy. Emphasis is on inferring general patterns of relatedness among embryos of different organisms by comparing the macroscopic appearance of diagrams or pictures. Assessment of comparisons is limited to gross appearance of anatomical structures in embryological development.
Analyze and interpret data for patterns in the fossil record that document the existence, diversity, extinction, and change of life forms throughout the history of life on Earth under the assumption that natural laws operate today as in the past. Emphasis is on finding patterns of changes in the level of complexity of anatomical structures in organisms and the chronological order of fossil appearance in the rock layers. Assessment does not include the names of individual species or geological eras in the fossil record.
Construct an explanation based on evidence that the process of evolution primarily results from four factors: (1) the potential for a species to increase in number, (2) the heritable genetic variation of individuals in a species due to mutation and sexual reproduction, (3) competition for limited resources, and (4) the proliferation of those organisms that are better able to survive and reproduce in the environment. Emphasis is on using evidence to explain the influence each of the four factors has on number of organisms, behaviors, morphology, or physiology in terms of ability to compete for limited resources and subsequent survival of individuals and adaptation of species. Examples of evidence could include mathematical models such as simple distribution graphs and proportional reasoning. Assessment does not include other mechanisms of evolution, such as genetic drift, gene flow through migration, and co-evolution.
Communicate scientific information that common ancestry and biological evolution are supported by multiple lines of empirical evidence. Emphasis is on a conceptual understanding of the role each line of evidence has relating to common ancestry and biological evolution. Examples of evidence could include similarities in DNA sequences, anatomical structures, and order of appearance of structures in embryological development.
Create or revise a simulation to test a solution to mitigate adverse impacts of human activity on biodiversity. Emphasis is on testing solutions for a proposed problem related to threatened or endangered species, or to genetic variation of organisms for multiple species.
Apply concepts of statistics and probability to support explanations that organisms with an advantageous heritable trait tend to increase in proportion to organisms lacking this trait. Emphasis is on analyzing shifts in numerical distribution of traits and using these shifts as evidence to support explanations. Assessment is limited to basic statistical and graphical analysis. Assessment does not include allele frequency calculations.
Apply scientific ideas to construct an explanation for the anatomical similarities and differences among modern organisms and between modern and fossil organisms to infer evolutionary relationships. Emphasis is on explanations of the evolutionary relationships among organisms in terms of similarity or differences of the gross appearance of anatomical structures.
Gather and synthesize information about technologies that have changed the way humans influence the inheritance of desired traits in organisms. Emphasis is on synthesizing information from reliable sources about the influence of humans on genetic outcomes in artificial selection (such as genetic modification, animal husbandry, gene therapy); and, on the impacts these technologies have on society as well as the technologies leading to these scientific discoveries.
Construct an explanation based on evidence for how natural selection leads to adaptation of populations. Emphasis is on using data to provide evidence for how specific biotic and abiotic differences in ecosystems (such as ranges of seasonal temperature, long-term climate change, acidity, light, geographic barriers, or evolution of other organisms) contribute to a change in gene frequency over time, leading to adaptation of populations.
Construct an explanation based on evidence that describes how genetic variations of traits in a population increase some individuals’ probability of surviving and reproducing in a specific environment. Emphasis is on using simple probability statements and proportional reasoning to construct explanations.
Use mathematical representations to support explanations of how natural selection may lead to increases and decreases of specific traits in populations over time. Emphasis is on using mathematical models, probability statements, and proportional reasoning to support explanations of trends in changes to populations over time. Assessment does not include Hardy Weinberg calculations.
Evaluate the evidence supporting claims that changes in environmental conditions may result in (1) increases in the number of individuals of some species, (2) the emergence of new species over time, and (3) the extinction of other species. Emphasis is on determining cause and effect relationships for how changes to the environment such as deforestation, fishing, application of fertilizers, drought, flood, and the rate of change of the environment affect distribution or disappearance of traits in species.


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