Variations in the Clam Species Clamys sweetus
This activity engages students in learning about the mechanism of natural selection using candies to represent individuals of a species of clam.
Students begin by making observations about two containers of candies that they are told represent individuals from two strains of a species of clam. They then perform an experiment to determine which “strain” has a harder shell and graph the data. They then use these data to make a claim about which “strain” is more likely to survive in the presence of an arthropod that can eat a clam by crushing its shell. At the end of the activity, they examine several statements about natural selection and identify the one most likely to be accurate.
Student Learning Targets
Construct a bar graph using class data from an experiment.
Design an experiment to test a hypothesis about the differential survival of individuals in a population.
Explain how variations in traits in a population may result in the differential survival of individuals.
Explain the role of natural selection in evolution.
adaptation, dependent variable, experiment, fitness, frequency, graph, independent variable, predator, survival
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HS-LS4-2, HS-LS4-3, HS-LS4-4; SEP1, SEP2, SEP3, SEP6
AP Biology (2019)
EVO-1.C, EVO-1.E, EVO-1.H, EVO-1.J, EVO-1.O, SYI-3.D; SP1, SP2, SP3, SP4, SP6
IB Biology (2016)
IB Environmental Systems and Societies (2017)
Common Core (2010)
Math.S-ID.3; MP2, MP4
Vision and Change (2009)
CC1; DP1, DP2, DP3