3 May Science 7–3rd simulation (Game Theory and Natural Selection/Evolution); introducing the summative on Galapagos finches

3 May Prisoner’s Dilemma–Game Theory–Intro to Summative Assessment

How do games and simulations help scientists examine natural selection and evolution?


The Game

“To accumulate as many points as possible without helping or hindering the other group.”

Group A and Group B



Reflect on in your blog and DSN:

Your and your group’s strategies.

Your and your group’s perceptions of “winning.”

How you and your group see the play and outcome of the game as related to natural selection and evolution?

How you and your group see the play and outcome of the game as related to the 1617 Seventh Grade class?

Next class you will prepare for this assessment.



Carry out the bird beak simulation (see handout or link above). Additional instructions will be given in class. Collect all data.

As individuals:

Make a visual display of the data (be sure to following good graphing practices–choose a scale that covers all the data, that makes the graph as large as possible AND that is convenient). Label axes with variable name and unit. Include a title. Graph first in pencil and make sure it is correct before using ink. Write a summary of the simulation explaining the procedure, the data, and the way natural selection of beak size is modeled. Be sure to connect the data to your ideas. Also describe which parts of the simulation correspond to reality and which parts do not. Also make a statement referring specifically to the standards. The visual display and written portion are due at the end of the next class. They should be submitted in hard copy AND uploaded correctly in your digital science notebook. You must do original work.

Natural Selection and Adaptation SA

  1. Students will carry out a simulation related to the natural selection of bird populations in the Galapagos. The simulation will generate quantitative data based on bird beak size.
  2. Data is collected from the bird beak simulation and analyzed.
  3. Analysis is made and conclusions drawn with respect to structures, environmental effect on bird populations, adaptations, and natural selection.
  4. Product: 1. Visual presentation of the collected quantitative data and analysis. 2. A brief summary of the simulation, collected data, and the cause and effect relationship between beak size and natural selection of bird populations.

The learning standards to be assessed:

Science and Engineering Practices

  • Developing and using models
  • Using mathematics and computational thinking

Cross Cutting Concepts

  • Cause and effect
  • Structure and function

Disciplinary Core Ideas

  • Natural selection and adaptations

5 May Reading and Video–context for Assessment

finches  (Read pp. 121-124. Read about activity pp. 125-134–do not conduct this activity–just prepare your mind. Read about activity pp. 135-140–do not conduct this activity–just prepare your mind. Read about activity pp. 142-144–do not conduct this activity–just prepare your mind. )

We will watch this video together on 5 May. You may watch it beforehand to identify your questions. http://www.hhmi.org/biointeractive/origin-species-beak-finch

9 May Conducting experiment

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