Lesson 1 - My Traits? They Saved My Life!!!

Lesson Plan

State Standards:


Essential Question:

How did we come to be what we are today?

Lesson Question:

How do genetic traits influence organisms' survival?


Life in Planet Traiton has just started. Traiton's ecosystems are similar to Earth's. However, very little organisms exist there. You have been given the power of creation. You are to create an organism for an ecosystem. Your organisms will have very specific traits (characteristics) that will differentiate it from other species. Remember: Traits that effectively promote survival and reproduction will help your organism to be successful in its environment. Good luck!


Create an organism with traits that will enable it to survive and reproduce in case of a catastrophic change in its environment


Lesson Experiences:

Before you start this investigation, please, go to a computer and take a survey:

  1. Go to this link: Natural Selection Survey
  2. Take the survey
  3. Click done
  4. Close the window.

1st part of the investigation:

2nd part of the investigation:

Life in Planet Traiton was prospering until an extreme change in the climate happened in all environments. To illustrate this change, your group will exchange your organism and your organism traits' description with another group.

Your group will work with someone else organism but the environment is the same you have been working with. For example, you created an organism that lives in a tropical forest. The other group created an organism that lives in a wetland. When you both exchange organisms, you will have an organism from the wetland living on a tropical forest and the other group will have an organism living in a wetland that used to live in a tropical forest.

Your job now is to find ways in which your new organism can survive and reproduce in their new environment.


Congratulations!! You have successfully demonstrated the process of Evolution thought Natural Selection. At this point, you should have a better understanding of how Natural Selection effectively promote survival and reproduction of organisms with favorable heritable features that better adapt to their environment.

Now you are ready to enjoy your movie.


Research and presentation: Using your creativity you will make a Glogster poster and present the final work to the class. Your poster should answer these specific questions:

  1. What did your organism do in the new environment that assured its survival?
  2. How did the change in the environment affect your organism?
  3. Why was your organism more successful than others from its own species?
  4. What is the trait(s) in your organisms that will be inherited to your organism's offspring that will enable them to better adapt to their environment?
  5. Will your organism offspring have a heritable feature accumulated over extended time leading to changes in the heritable characteristics?
    If you can add some images from your organism, please do so.

How to start your Glogster poster:

  1. Go to the site:
  2. Create an account
  3. Have fun!
  4. Bring your poster to the classroom for presentation

Take a look on my Glogster about natural selection.

Designed an organism well suited for the environment.
1. Strong - Creatively used ALL items in the box to build an organism that has 3-5 clearly identifiable traits.
2. Good - Creatively used MOST of the items in the box to build an organism that has 3-5 clearly identifiable traits.
3. Adequate - Used MOST of the items in the box to build an organism that has at least 2 clearly identifiable traits.
4. Inadequate - Used some items to build an organism. Can NOT identify traits that can be useful for survival.


1. Survey Monkey:
Natural Selection Survey

2. Youtube movie- Bill Nye the Science Guy- Evolution

3. Glogster poster

For this investigation, your group will receive

Teacher Notes:
This lesson is one part of a unit . This investigation can only be done after students hear a lecture about evolution through the process of natural selection.

Image Credit:

“Planeta Terra e as duas luas(Scarllite e Prateowns),” October 22 2009 by Flariel, from Wikimedia Commons