Looking for an extension activity for your evolution unit? Need a way to bring natural selection to life? Give your students the chance to be real scientists by investigating and drawing conclusions based on evidence using this 3 part virtual lab!
In this virtual lab, students will complete three different activities:
- In Experiment 1, students compare live stickleback fish from two different lakes. One with predators and one without.
- In Experiment 2, students compare fossilized fish from two rock layers in order to make predictions about the kinds of environmental conditions.
- In Experiment 3, students investigate the activation of various genes and how they relate to the expression of pelvic spines.
Student packet includes a background information page that correlates to a 15 minute introduction video. Throughout this lab, students will collect and verify their data, draw conclusions, and check for their understanding with embedded quizzes. The lab ends with several reflection questions which require students to reason scientifically.
Link to 15 minute background info video:
Link to virtual lab site:
Who is this resource for?
This resource can be used by classroom teachers, tutors, and parents of students in grades 6-9. Ideal for classrooms with internet access and student devices.
How Can I Use this Resource?
- Formative or Summative Assessment
- Inquiry based instruction
- Creation of Independent Work Packet for students who are not able to be present for direct instruction.
- Extension activity for early finishers or for students who show a special interest in the topic
- Teacher Tips
- Student Booklet (14 Pages)
- Guiding Presentation
- Answer Key
Purchase includes a printable PDF file in color. On page 2 of this resource you will find a link to a student friendly Google Slide version of this file. You will be able to copy this file and use it with Google Classroom or any other paperless initiative.
Please take a look at the preview file to see more of this resource.
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NGSS Standards covered:
MS-LS4-1 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.
MS-LS4-2 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.
MS-LS4-4 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.