Interactive Assessment for The Beak of the Finch
A number of questions are embedded within the short film The Origin of Species: The Beak of the Finch, which explores four decades of research on the evolution of the Galápagos finches.
Evolutionary biologists Rosemary and Peter Grant spent four decades tracking changes in body traits directly tied to survival in the famous Galápagos finches. They also identified behavioral characteristics that prevent different species from breeding with one another. Their pioneering studies documented natural selection in real time and revealed clues about how 13 distinct finch species arose from a single ancestral population that migrated from the mainland 2 million to 3 million years ago.
This version of the film with embedded questions contains automatic pause points, during which students answer questions about the film to assess their understanding of the concepts presented. After answering all the questions, students can view and print their answers.
Student Learning Targets
Explain how the data collected by Peter and Rosemary Grant provide evidence for natural selection, adaptation, and speciation among populations of Galápagos finches.
adaptation, ecological niche, speciation, trait
Grant, Peter R., and B. Rosemary Grant. How and Why Species Multiply. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 2008.
Weiner, Jonathan. The Beak of the Finch: A Story of Evolution in Our Time. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., 1994.
HS-LS2-1, HS-LS3-3, HS-LS4-3, HS-LS4-5; SEP6
1.A.1, 1.A.2, 1.A.4, 1.C.1, 1.C.2; SP6
5.1 5.4, C.1
CC1, CC5; DP1