Natural Selection NGSS LS4.B PhET Computer Simulation Google Ready


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If you are teaching NGSS Performance Expectations LS4.B and LS4.C: Natural Selection and Adaptations, this resource is perfect for you! And it’s Google Ready for Distance Learning! Students first read about Natural Selection in the Close Reading. Students then us a PhET simulation where they can manipulate variables such as biotic and abiotic factors, mutations, genes and the environment. Students type in what they observe and answer questions about what they observed.

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This is a browser-compatible Java simulation! This version will open on Chromebooks and iPads!

This product Includes the following:

-Close Reading

-Link to 15 slide Google document for Distance Learning

-Link to simulation


Concepts included:

Natural Selection






Negative Mutation

Positive Mutations

Limiting Factors

Biotic Factors

Abiotic Factors

Predator and Prey

This resource has the following NGSS Standards:

NGSS Performance Expectations (PE):

MS-LS4-4. Construct an explanation based on evidence that describes how genetic variations of traits in a population increase some individuals’ probability of surviving and reproducing in a specific environment.

MS-LS4-6. Use mathematical representations to support explanations of how natural selection may lead to increases and decreases of specific traits in populations over time.

NGSS Disciplinary Core Ides (DCI):

LS4.B: Natural Selection: Natural selection leads to the predominance of certain traits in a population, and the suppression of others. (MS-LS4-4). In artificial selection, humans have the capacity to influence certain characteristics of organisms by selective breeding. One can choose desired parental traits determined by genes, which are then passed on to offspring. (MS-LS4-5)

LS4.C: Adaptation: Adaptation by natural selection acting over generations is one important process by which species change over time in response to changes in environmental conditions. Traits that support successful survival and reproduction in the new environment become more common; those that do not become less common. Thus, the distribution of traits in a population changes. (MS-LS4-6)

NGSS Cross Cutting Concepts (CCC)

Structure and Function: Complex and microscopic structures and systems can be visualized, modeled, and used to describe how their function depends on the shapes, composition, and relationships among its parts; therefore, complex natural and designed structures/systems can be analyzed to determine how they function. (MS-LS3-1)

Patterns: Patterns can be used to identify cause and effect relationships. (MS-LS4-2). Graphs, charts, and images can be used to identify patterns in data. (MS-LS4-1), (MS-LS4-3)

Cause and Effect: Phenomena may have more than one cause, and some cause and effect relationships in systems can only be described using probability. (MS-LS4-4),(MS-LS4-5), (MS-LS4-6)

NGSS Science and Engineering Practices:

Analyzing and Interpreting Data: Analyzing data in 6–8 builds on K–5 experiences and progresses to extending quantitative analysis to investigations, distinguishing between correlation and causation, and basic statistical techniques of data and error analysis. Analyze displays of data to identify linear and nonlinear relationships. (MS-LS4-3). Analyze and interpret data to determine similarities and differences in findings. (MS-LS4-1)

Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking: Mathematical and computational thinking in 6–8 builds on K–5 experiences and progresses to identifying patterns in large data sets and using mathematical concepts to support explanations and arguments. Use mathematical representations to support scientific conclusions and design solutions. (MS-LS4-6)


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