Natural Selection Science Games
In this series of games, your students will learn about the ways species adapt to survive. The Natural Selection learning objective — based on NGSS and state standards — delivers improved student engagement and academic performance in your classroom, as demonstrated by research.
Scroll down for a preview of this learning objective’s games and the concepts they drive home.
Natural Selection is the scientific theory that organisms are more likely to pass on traits that increase chance of survival.
Over time, species develop beneficial traits called adaptations. These can be body structures, processes, or behaviors. For example, polar bears have adapted to the cold, snowy arctic climate by developing thick, white fur for warmth and camouflage.
High genetic variation gives a species the greatest chance of surviving an environmental change. The individuals with the most beneficial traits are more likely to survive until reproductive age and pass those traits to the next generation.
Some environmental changes can cause traits that were once beneficial to be harmful. For example, peppered moths developed white bodies to camouflage with the trees they lived on. Pollution covered those trees in black soot, so white moths could no longer blend in. Only darker-colored moths survived to reproduction age, and over time, the entire species turned dark.
Abiotic conditions like pH levels and temperature, as well as changes in available resources, can affect selection, forcing species to adapt. Genetic mutations can also influence selection by creating new traits.
Sexual selection is a form of natural selection. Individuals with certain traits are more likely to find a mate, and therefore more likely to pass along those traits genetically.
A preview of each game in the learning objective is found below.
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