Evolution is happening all around us, and is the focus of much of the research done by scientists at the Academy. Bring evolution to life in your classroom with these hands-on activities that explore genetic variation, natural selection, adaptation, and other topics. Make these abstract ideas more concrete for your students, while exercising their observation and communication skills.


  • curriculum binder
  • 36 cowry shells
  • genetic wheel
  • PTC paper
  • black and white beans and bean containers
  • wolf skull
  • bull dog skull
  • Great Dane skull
  • chihuahua skull
  • 8 sets of the "Fish Evolution" board game
  • Books and Booklets: "Evolution and the Fossil Record" by John Pojeta Jr. and Dale A Springer; "Encyclopedia of Dog Breeds" by D Caroline Coile; "Eyewitness: Evolution" by Linda Gamlin;
  • Videos and DVDs: "Dogs and More Dogs", "Evolution" (PBS series), "Evolution: Constant Change and Common Threads", "Evolution: Fossils, Genes, and Mousetraps", "World's Last Great Places: Islands"



Observing Variation: Think all cowrie shells look alike? Guess again! Discover the remarkable range of variation within a species and give your observation skills a workout.

Genetic Wheel: Take a closer look at some of your own traits and begin to explore the variation within the human species.

Breeding Bunnies: Track genotype frequencies over generations of bunnies. As natural selection acts on the population, how will genotype frequencies change?

Knee-deep in Green Peppers: Are green peppers trying to take over the world? Discover how many green peppers could be produced in a few generations from a single ancestor and learn why fertility is important in natural selection.

Candy Bowl Predation: See natural selection in action as your class preys upon a helpless bowl of candy. What traits will help a piece of candy survive?

Dog Breeds: Learn about artificial selection as you compare the skulls of different dog breeds.

Fish Evolution: Watch the drama of evolution over time unfold in this exciting board game. Learn the importance of adaptation and see how species are affected by changes in the environment.


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