UMU Lesson Plan Template
Name: Coty Lipply
Date: 3/11/15
Grade Level: 10th
Class Period: Subject: Biology
Lesson # & Title: Evolution Basics
Big Idea/Lesson Focus: Evolution/ (Natural Selection; Darwin’s postulates and finches)
Essential Question: Understand more about Natural Selection. Also understand Darwin’s postulates and
his finches.
Context for Learning:
This lesson will be taught to classroom of 10th grade students in a biology class. The classroom should have
around 20 students with a mix of boys and girls. The class consists of 10 Caucasian males and 10 females. 2
students are Latinos, and 3 students are African Americans. When students are put in groups there will be
an equal number of females and males in each.
Function of the Lesson (check all that apply):
 Introduce New Skill or Content
 Practice
 Review
 Remediation/Reteaching
Content Standards: Page 291 (ODE); Evolution is the consequence of the interactions of: 1. The potential
for a population to increase its numbers; 2. The genetic variability of offspring due to mutation and
recombination of genes; 3. A finite supply of the resources required for life; and 4. The differential survival
and reproduction of individuals with the specific phenotype.
Learning Objectives: Students will be able to demonstrate the main idea of natural selection by
summarizing and giving at least 2 examples they may know of. The students will know Darwin’s four
postulates and how his finches support those using graphs/data; this will need to be with 90% accuracy.
Academic Language (or A.L. Demands, A.L. Objectives): Natural selection, Postulates, Heritability,
Selective pressure, Peter and Rosemary Grant. Some of these terms may be familiar to students, but these
terms will be taught through discussion, student work, and PowerPoint slides.
Instructional Materials and Support: PowerPoint will be used as the main source of teaching, but there
will also be worksheets with Darwin’s Postulates and graphs/data of finches on the Galapagos Islands.
These worksheets will help students learn from each other when they are put in groups to interpret the
Prior Knowledge: Students may know the basics of evolution, natural selection, heritability, reproduction,
but they also may have mis-conceptions and not know Darwin’s Postulates or how to use his finches to
support them. The teacher needs to build on their previous knowledge of what they know, or review some
of the main topics.
Pre-Assessment for the unit: To pre-asses the lesson, the students and the teacher will have a
discussion about what they know, and see if each student can possibly think of an example of
evolution, more specially natural selection. Also pictures of evolutionary examples will be
presented on the PowerPoint.
Assessment(s) during the lesson: During the lesson the students will be assessed informally as
they are interpreting the graphs/data of the finches. Also they will need to make the connection of
the data to a specific postulate and be able to tell the teacher if it supports or doesn’t support that
specific postulate and why and why not. This will all be done informally in groups and discussions
among the class.
Assessment(s) at the end of the lesson: On the PowerPoint the common mis-conceptions of
natural selection will be addressed and other very important information to know going forward
will be stated. The assessment at the end of the lesson will also come from certain questions that
will be asked on the worksheets. Recapitulation of the content. Students will need to recall all of
Darwin’s four postulates and how his finches support those using graphs/data which helps explain
natural selection.
Post-Assessment for the unit: If the students seem to understand the information and seem
confident, then a small quiz should be given if time allows. The quiz will ask the students to
remember all of Darwin’s Postulates, and how the finches helped support them.
Strategies & Learning Tasks
Introduction: To open the lesson the students will be informed that we are going to learn about evolution,
natural selection, and about Darwin’s postulates along with his finches in the Galapagos Islands. We will
discuss why it’s important to understand evolution and why it’s important to understand where, why, how,
and when things evolved to get to what they are now. The students will be told that we will be working in
groups as well as learning through discussion with a possible quiz at the end. A video will also be shown at
the beginning to grab their attention.
Presentation/Explicit Instruction: During this step the instructor will explain the definition of natural
selection and give examples of certain cases. Also using PowerPoint Charles Darwin’s brief background will
be reviewed, and then his four postulates will be presented and explained. Next, pictures and information
about his finches will lead them into the next part of the lesson. Peter and Rosemary Grant will also be
introduced to know where a lot of the data of these finches come from. The teacher’s needs to address any
questions asked.
Structured Practice/Exploration: A worksheet will be prepared ahead of time which will have graphs
and data on it about finches in the Galapagos Islands. The worksheet will be explained to the students.
There will also be questions on it to answer as well. Much of the information on the worksheet will be
critical for understanding natural selection in the finches and the students will be able to recall this
information on future assessments of their knowledge.
Guided Practice/Specific Feedback: After explaining the postulates, finches, and worksheet to the
students they will be put into small groups to interpret and answer questions about the graphs and data of
the finches. The finches’ data will be interpreted by the students first, and then they will summarize it back
to the teacher and on the worksheet. The students will then need to explain how the data supports or
doesn’t support a certain postulates described before. Common mis-understandings will be addressed
when they arise.
Independent Practice/Application: The students will be demonstrate their mastery of the subject matter
as they repeat the main concepts back to the teacher and create a discussion in class. The discussions come
from the worksheets and questions the teacher may ask. The students will also complete the worksheet to
reinforce the information. Make sure the students use the correct terms when writing and discussing the
topics. A quiz may be given at the end if the teacher feels that the students understand the information to at
least 90%.
Closure: The teacher will restate the postulates and how certain conditions caused the changes in the
finches which support the postulates. Recapitulation should occur here about Darwin’s postulates, how
they were supported, and that natural selection works. Also the teachers need to explain some other key
points about nature of natural selection.
Differentiation, Individualized Instruction, and Assessment: To help deal with the different types of
students in the classroom one aspect to help with this is to make sure the groups strategically placed so the
instructor can individually help each group. Also this will make the students more comfortable in their
groups and allow them to communicate more.
Research and Theory: Theorists considered for this lesson were Jerome Bruner which said that learning is
an active process in which learners construct new ideas or concepts based upon their current/past
knowledge. Others considered were John Dewey (Cooperative Learning), and some of Howard Gardner
(MI). Cooperative learning deals with the discussion in the classroom which will occur between everyone.
MI always comes into play because everyone learns a certain way and has their own special intelligence.
Bloom’s vocabulary was also considered which means to consider higher-level thinking skills, and in this
lesson interpreting the data and connecting it to the postulates can be higher-level thinking. The
discussions need to allow for everyone to be able have a voice and not be afraid to give a wrong answer or
ask a question. Everyone is there to learn and deserves the same opportunities.