Author: Sharon Janulaw
Overview: In this lesson students will look at populations of living things and identify variations in physical features.
Grade Span: K2
Gather pictures of populations or individuals of the same species.
Time: One period
Grouping: Small groups
Natural selection acts upon variation in a population. This is the basis of evolution. While young children cannot grasp this concept, they can understand that there is variation within populations, i.e., not all individuals in a population are exactly like all others. If students know this by the end of second grade, they will be prepared to understand natural selection in later years.
Teacher Resources: The following websites show pictures of populations.
Remember the purpose of the lesson. Individuals vary within a species. Keep this in mind as you have wide-ranging discussions with students about the animals they find interesting.
Vocabulary: variation, population
You might consider using variation of the appearance or dietary preferences of the humans in the classroom. All the same species, but a lot of variation. This is a potentially fruitful topic, but could provoke sensitivity in some situations.
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