Natural Selection Experiments

Natural Selection Experiments

Lesson 3 of 13 in this unit

  • Cool+
  • Secondary
  • Year 10
  • Science
  • Biology
  • Environmental
  • Biodiversity
  • ...

Lesson summary

Students model the effect of feeding strategies on natural selection by experiments.

Learning intentions:

Students will...

  • understand what is meant by the term ‘natural selection’
  • understand what is meant by the term ‘selective agent’.

Success criteria:

Students can...

  • demonstrate that variations in camouflage or feeding strategies can influence natural selection.

Lesson guides and printables

Lesson Plan
Student Worksheet

Lesson details

Curriculum mapping

Australian Curriculum (v9.0) content descriptions:


Students learn to:

  • use the theory of evolution by natural selection to explain past and present diversity and analyse the scientific evidence supporting the theory (AC9S10U02)

Syllabus OutcomesSC5-14LW.

General capabilities: Critical and Creative Thinking. 

Relevant parts of Year 10 achievement standards:
By the end of Year 10 students explain the processes that underpin heredity and genetic diversity and describe the evidence supporting the theory of evolution by natural selection. They sequence key events in the origin and evolution of the universe and describe the supporting evidence for the big bang theory.

Resources required

  • A bell (optional)
  • A device capable of presenting a video to the class
  • ‘Beaks’
    • Scissors – 6 x pairs
    • Tweezers – 6 x pairs
    • Teaspoons – 6 x pairs
    • Clothes pegs – 6 x pairs
    • Forks – 6 x pairs (can be plastic picnic utensils)
    • Knives – 6 x pairs (can be plastic picnic utensils)
  • Factsheet – Natural selection – one per student
  • ‘Food’
    • Marbles – 30 odd
    • Pipe cleaner lengths – 2cms – 30 odd
    • Toothpicks – 30 odd
    • Paper clips – 30 odd
    • Beans, such as large, dried broad beans – 30 odd
    • Paper squares – 4cmx4cm – 30 odd.
  • Image – Bird Beaks
  • Paper cups or other containers to hold all the different materials.
  • Timer or stopwatch
  • Student Worksheet – one per student


This lesson is designed to build students’ competencies in the following skills:

  • problem-solving
  • creativity
  • critical thinking

Additional info

Level of teacher scaffolding: Low - oversee activity, facilitate discussion.

This is an original Cool+ lesson.

Related professional learning

Big History

Quick summary: Gain an overview of the Big History story, why it is important for Primary education and the cross-curriculum priority of Sustainability, and how to apply a critical, inquiry-based perspective to science education across all areas of the curriculum. There will be opportunities to learn about a range of tools, tips, lessons and resources that focus on a multi-disciplinary approach.

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