This collection highlights teaching activities, hands-on lessons, and online simulations we found on the web that can help students learn about evolution and natural selection. They are created by science educators and partner education organizations. Just as all our original content is free, we only recommend external resources that are free for teachers.
1. Peppered Moth Game
In this simulation from Ask A Biologist at Arizona State University, students act as birds and “eat” peppered moths of different colors. Preparatory reading materials introduce students to peppered moths, natural selection, and the scientist who worked to identify natural selection in the moths. A worksheet is included to help students work through ideas.
- Activity links: Game page, Student worksheet, Teacher key
- Reading extension: SJK articles on natural selection
- Level: Grades 9-12
2. Lizard Evolution Virtual Lab
In this virtual lab from HHMI BioInteractive, students gather and record data, analyze phylogenetic trees, and look at natural selection experiments involving lizards. The publisher includes an array of teaching materials and supports: “an interactive lab space, an informational notebook, and embedded quiz questions.” Student worksheets, teacher keys, and an iOS app are available.
- Activity links: Resource folder, Student worksheet (PDF), iOS App for iPad
- Reading extension: SJK articles on evolution
- Level: Grades 9-12
3. Natural Selection in Bacteria Simulation
In this simulation from the Science Education for Public Understanding Program (SEPUP), published by Lab-Aids, students will observe the effects of healthcare compliance – or non-compliance! – on the progression of a bacterial infection, using dice rolls to determine how antibiotics are administered over a period of time. A worksheet, graph tool, and teacher’s guide are included in the original materials.
- Activity links: Lesson plan (PDF)
- Lesson plan extension: SJK Lesson Idea video tutorial
- Level: Grades 8+
That’s Not All!
Check out our article collection on Evolution, including even more lessons, labs, and activities for your students.
Title photo: Galapagos finch by David Stanley via Wikimedia Commons