ALEX Classroom Resource


Heritable Behaviors

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Heritable Behaviors


Content Source:

National Geographic
Type: Lesson/Unit Plan


Students explore their own heritable behaviors and watch videos of the birds-of-paradise practicing and performing courtship displays.

Content Standard(s):
SC2015 (2015)
Grade: 7
Life Science
18 ) Construct an explanation from evidence that natural selection acting over generations may lead to the predominance of certain traits that support successful survival and reproduction of a population and to the suppression of other traits.

NAEP Framework
NAEP Statement::
L8.11a: Individual organisms with certain traits in particular environments are more likely than others to survive and have offspring.

NAEP Statement::
L8.11b: When an environment changes, the advantage or disadvantage of characteristics can change.

NAEP Statement::
L8.11c: Extinction of a species occurs when the environment changes and the characteristics of a species are insufficient to allow survival.

Unpacked Content
Scientific And Engineering Practices:
Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions
Crosscutting Concepts: Cause and Effect
Disciplinary Core Idea: Unity and Diversity
Evidence Of Student Attainment:
  • Use multiple valid and reliable sources for evidence Construct an explanation of how natural selection affects the frequency of occurrence and distribution of traits in populations.
Teacher Vocabulary:
  • Explanation
  • Evidence
  • Evolution
  • Extinct
  • Extinction
  • Natural selection
  • Generation
  • Predominance
  • Heredity
  • Trait
  • Overproduction
  • Reproduction
  • Population
  • Suppression
  • Adaptation
  • Variation
Students know:
  • Characteristics of a species change over time (i.e., over generations) through adaptation by natural selection in response to changes in environmental conditions.
  • Traits that better support survival and reproduction in a new environment become more common within a population within that environment.
  • Traits that do not support survival and reproduction as well become less common within a population in that environment.
  • When environmental shifts are too extreme, populations do not have time to adapt and may become extinct.
  • Multiple cause-and-effect relationships exist between environmental conditions and natural selection in a population.
  • The increases or decreases of some traits within a population can have more than one environmental cause.
Students are able to:
  • Articulate a statement that relates a given phenomenon to a scientific idea, including natural selection and traits.
  • Identify and use multiple valid and reliable sources of evidence to construct an explanation for natural selection and its effect on traits in a population.
  • Use reasoning to connect the evidence and support an explanation for natural selection and its effect on traits in a population.
Students understand that:
  • 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.
AMSTI Resources:
AMSTI Module:
Studying the Development and Reproduction of Organisms

Alabama Alternate Achievement Standards
AAS Standard:
SCI.AAS.7.18- Recognize that healthy specimens of organisms live longer and reproduce in larger numbers than unhealthy specimens; recognize that natural selection may lead to the successful survival of a population by supporting certain traits and suppressing others.

Tags: heredity, traits
License Type: Custom Permission Type
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Author: Stephanie Carver