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Tubaugh Backwards Design Plan

Unit Title: Evolution via Natural Selection

Unit Length: Approximately 3.5 weeks

Stage 1: Identify Desired Results

Established Goals:
Understand evolution as the change in the genetic makeup of a population over time.
1. Students will provide support for evolution via natural selection using scientific evidence
from multiple disciplines, including mathematics (HS-LS4-1) [1.A.4].
2. Students will describe how natural selection drives evolution (HS-LS4-2,4) [1.A.1].
3. Students will discuss how natural selection acts on phenotypic variation in populations,
which is driven by genotypic variation (HS-LS4-2) [1.A.2].
4. Students will differentiate between evolution driven by natural selection and evolution
driven by random processes such as genetic drift (HS-LS4-3) [1.A.3].

Essential Questions:

Students will understand

Students will be able to answer

1. Fossils, morphology,
genetics/genomics, and mathematical
models provide evidence for evolution
via natural selection (HS-LS4-1)
2. Organisms with higher reproductive
success are more evolutionarily fit (HSLS4-2) [1.A.1].
3. Genetic diversity is necessary for
natural selection (HS-LS4-2) [1.A.1].
4. An adaptation is a trait that is favored
by natural selection, providing an
advantage in an organisms
environment (HS-LS4-2) [1.A.1].
5. Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium describes
a population that is not evolving
a. For Hardy-Weinberg
equilibrium to apply,
populations must have certain
conditions that are rarely met in
the natural world.
6. The Hardy-Weinberg formula
(p2 + 2pq + q2 = 1) is used to calculate
allele frequencies in a non-evolving

1. How did Darwin come up with his

Theory of Evolution (HS-LS4-1)
2. Why are biologists so certain of
Darwins Theory of Evolution (HSLS4-1) [1.A.4]?
3. What does it mean to be evolutionarily
fit (HS-LS4-2) [1.A.1]?
4. If a kangaroo rat has such high fitness
in the desert, why might it not fare as
well in the jungle (HS-LS4-2) [1.A.1]?
5. When is an adaptation not an
adaptation anymore, and why (HS-LS42) [1.A.1]?
6. Why might natural selection act upon
the amount of slow-twitch muscle
fibers a person has, but not muscle
mass (HS-LS4-2) [1.A.1]?
7. Why is the overuse of antibiotics in
hospitals so dangerous (HS-LS4-4)
8. In what circumstances should the
Hardy-Weinberg theorem be used, and
how does it allow biologists to measure
allele frequency in a non-evolving

Tubaugh Backwards Design Plan

population [1.A.1].
7. Variation among phenotypes originates
from mutations and new combinations
of genes in DNA (HS-LS4-4) [1.A.2].
8. The environment acts as a selective
mechanism, but not a source of
phenotypic variation (HS-LS4-4)
9. Genetic drift, rather than natural
selection, reduces genetic variation in
small populations (HS-LS4-3) [1.A.3].

Students will know

1. What evidence exists supporting the
Theory of Evolution.
2. The definitions biologists use for the
words fitness and adaptation.
3. The necessary conditions for natural
selection to occur.
4. How genetics influences the phenotypic
traits of individuals.
5. How the environment selects for certain
phenotypic traits.
6. The dangers of losing genetic variation
when populations are small.

population [1.A.1]?
9. How can one calculate allele frequency
when phenotype doesnt let the
observer know whether an individual is
homozygous dominant or heterozygous
10. Where does phenotypic variation
originate (HS-LS4-4) [1.A.2]?
11. Why dont tortoises have titanium
shells (HS-LS4-4) [1.A.2]?
12. Why do some traits, such as the
location of the optic nerve in
vertebrates, appear to have evolved
backwards (HS-LS4-4) [1.A.2]?
13. How did sickle-cell anemia become so
prevalent in certain populations (HSLS4-4) [1.A.2]?
14. Why are small populations at high risk
for having alleles disappear (HS-LS43) [1.A.3]?
Students will be able to
1. Cite evidence to support Darwins
Theory of Evolution.
2. Define in their own words concepts
such as fitness, adaptation, and
3. Explain the difference between the
environments role in selection and
genetics role in generating variation.
4. Use the Hardy-Weinberg Theorem to
report allele frequencies in a nonevolving population.
5. Apply their knowledge of natural
selection to real-life situations, such as
those involving overuse of antibiotics.
6. Discuss problems with the idea of
natural selection and explain why
natural selection doesnt result in
perfectly adapted organisms.

*NGSS Standards in (parentheses). AP Biology Standards in [brackets].

*Note that Hardy-Weinberg Theorem addresses AP Biology Standards, but isnt required by NGSS, and
therefore does not cite an NGSS Standard.

Tubaugh Backwards Design Plan

Stage 2: Determine Acceptable Evidence

Performance Tasks:

Darwins Finches Simulation

Students will each have a picture of a finch with a particular beak size. I will
introduce the type and amount of food available (large nuts vs. smaller seeds) and
have students compete for access to the food. Students will count the number of
large beaks vs. small beaks present in each generation and observe how the numbers
change depending on the type of food available. After the activity, students will have
a graphing assignment to show amount of each food type available vs. number of
each type of beak.

Modeling Draw a model of how antibiotic resistance occurs

Students will draw a step-by-step model of how the presence of antibiotics selects for
bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics, and how these bacteria replicate, causing
antibiotic-resistant illness. Students will need to include written explanations of each
step of their drawn models in order to demonstrate understanding.

AP Biology Lab 2 Mathematical Modeling: Hardy-Weinberg

Students will complete a computer simulation to explore Hardy-Weinberg principles.
After the simulation, students will write a lab report explaining the concepts of the
Hardy-Weinberg Theorem necessary to evaluate the results of the simulation.

Modeling Draw a model of how the events of meiosis generate the genetic
makeup of a subsequent generation.
Students will draw out the relevant steps of meiosis (which is covered in a previous
unit) that contribute to generating genetic variation, and explain how these events
influence overall allele frequencies in each generation of a given population.

Other Evidence:

Bellwork assignments
Each day, the students will complete a bellwork assignment. On days of direct
instruction, these bellwork assignments will focus on assessing students prior
knowledge. On days after direct instruction, these assignments will contain questions
that challenge students conceptual understanding of the material from the previous
day. On days of performance assessments, these assignments will ask students to
either make predictions (in the case of a lab), or to describe the main idea behind the
model they will be drawing.

Tubaugh Backwards Design Plan

Completion of BioZone worksheets

I will select BioZone worksheets from a set that specifically address the Essential
Questions the students are exploring in this unit. The worksheets are of high quality
and pose questions that require students to explain their reasoning behind the
conclusions they draw about problems involving evolution.

Quizzes after wrapping up coverage of major ideas

Quizzes will specifically mimic the layout of the unit exam in order to prepare
students for the challenge of the AP exam they prepare for in this class. After each
quiz, students will grade each others work as we go over the quiz together as a class.

Unit exam
The unit exam mimics the format of the AP Biology exam in order to prepare
students for the challenge of the AP exam itself. A sample unit exam question is as
In a Hardy-Weinberg population with two alleles, A and a, that are in equilibrium,
the frequency of the allele a is 0.6. What is the percentage of the population that is
homozygous for this allele?

Student Self-Assessment and Reflection:

Closures - After each lesson, students will be asked a series of questions as a closure
o If the lesson involves direct instruction, students will be asked to answer three
or four questions about the lesson and to rate each questions difficulty on a
scale of 1 being The question was very easy to 5 being The question was
very difficult.
o If the lesson involves a performance task, students will be asked to discuss
parts of the activity that clarified a concept for them, and parts of the activity
they would like more time devoted to discussing in future class sessions.

Tubaugh Backwards Design Plan

Stage 3: Plan Learning Experiences

Video about Darwins voyage with a note-taker to complete. Pause periodically

throughout to talk about different parts of the video.
Introduce Essential Questions 1 and 2.
Direct instruction discussing:
o Prevailing theories of the origin of diversity before Darwins voyage.
o Darwins observations.
o Darwins interpretations of his observations and development of the Theory of
Evolution via Natural Selection.
Facilitate Darwins Finches Simulation.
Give quiz on evidence of evolution.
Introduce Essential Questions 3 through 7.
Direct instruction discussing the mechanisms and requirements for natural selection.
Have students draw antibiotic resistance models.
Have students discuss their models with each other and allow them to revise their
models before discussing them as a class.
Give quiz on natural selection.
Introduce Essential Questions 8 through 9.
Direct instruction on Hardy-Weinberg Theorem, including necessary conditions and
how to use the Hardy-Weinberg formula.
Discuss pre-lab instructions of AP Biology Lab 2.
Complete AP Biology Lab 2.
Discuss post-lab of AP Biology Lab 2 as a full class, including how to analyze data
and what should be included in the lab report.
Quiz on Hardy-Weinberg Theorem.
Introduce Essential Questions 10-14.
Direct instruction on genetics vs. environment on selection and introduction of
Have students draw meiosis and genetics model.
Have students discuss their models with each other and allow them to revise their
models before discussing them as a class.
Give quiz on genetics vs. environment.
Give students BioZone worksheets and exam study guide.
Give unit exam.