Teaching Natural Selection and the Genetic Code Using the Rock Pocket Mouse
This playlist can be used to teach several core concepts in evolution and molecular biology by connecting students to actual research on the rock pocket mouse. The topics covered include adaptation, natural selection, and genetic variation at both the genotypic and phenotypic levels. The series of activities in the playlist allow students to gather evidence to explain how dark fur evolved by natural selection in some populations of rock pocket mice. The activities provide several opportunities for students to collect and analyze data.
By completing the resources in this playlist, students will be able to:
- Summarize, analyze, and describe evidence for the critical components of natural selection.
- Develop an explanation for evolution by natural selection that includes logic, evidence, and linking claims to evidence through scientific reasoning.
- Transcribe and translate portions of a gene to make connections between differences in DNA sequences and differences in phenotypes, and relate these differences to the variation observed in a population.
This playlist can be used in a general high school biology course. Implementing this playlist should take about three 50-minute class periods.