Evolution of Fur Color in Mice – Mutation, Environment and Natural Selection

This Evolution of Fur Color in Mice – Mutation, Environment and Natural Selection lesson plan also includes:

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Most species of animals include a variety of fur or hair color, but why? Scholars watch a video about a changing environment for mice. As the rocks around them change hues, different colors of mice begin to thrive. Discussion questions connect the concept to natural selection, mutation, and evolution.

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CCSS: Adaptable
NGSS: Designed
Instructional Ideas

  • Using colored paper and colored paperclips, give pupils three seconds to estimate how many of each colored paperclip are on each color of paper; discuss the difficulty when the colors are similar and how that relates to the video
  • If using with middle school ages, discuss each question together as a group rather than assigning it for individual completion
Classroom Considerations

  • Relies on prior knowledge of adaptations, characteristics, genes, inherited traits, populations, and natural selection
Pros

  • Includes tools for using as homework, individual class work, and whole group work
  • Editable worksheets make it easy to tweak the lesson to fit individual needs
Cons

  • None