Lesson

# Using Mathematical Representations to Explore Natural Selection in Marshland Crabs

## Lesson Overview

8th grade science students will use mathematical representations to support explanations of how natural selection may lead to increases and decreases of specific traits in marshland crab populations over time.

Duration
1-2 hours
Lesson Type

Series:

## Essential Question

Learning Intentions:

1. Understanding Natural Selection:

• Students will understand the concept of natural selection and its role in shaping the traits of populations over time.
• Students will be able to explain how variations in traits can impact the survival and reproduction of marshland crabs.
2. Application of Mathematical Representations:

• Students will learn to create and interpret mathematical representations (graphs) to illustrate changes in trait frequencies within crab populations.
• Students will understand how mathematical models can be used to support explanations of evolutionary processes, specifically in the context of natural selection.
3. Analyzing Data and Patterns:

• Students will develop skills in analyzing data sets related to marshland crab populations.
• Students will identify patterns and trends in the data, connecting them to the principles of natural selection.
4. Communication Skills:

• Students will effectively communicate their findings, interpretations, and predictions using mathematical representations.
• Students will participate in class discussions, sharing insights and asking relevant questions.
5. Critical Thinking:

• Students will apply critical thinking skills to determine the adaptive advantages or disadvantages of specific traits in a marshland environment.
• Students will analyze and synthesize information to make predictions about future trait frequencies based on mathematical representations.

Success Criteria:

1. Conceptual Understanding:

• Students can accurately define and explain the concept of natural selection.
• Students can articulate how variations in traits impact the fitness of marshland crabs in their environment.
2. Mathematical Representation:

• Students can create clear and accurate mathematical representations (graphs) depicting changes in trait frequencies over multiple generations.
• Students can interpret the information presented in the graphs, connecting mathematical trends to biological concepts.
3. Data Analysis:

• Students can analyze provided data sets, identifying patterns and trends related to specific crab traits.
• Students can draw conclusions about the impact of natural selection on trait frequencies based on the analyzed data.
4. Communication Skills:

• Students effectively communicate their findings and interpretations during the class discussion.
• Students actively engage in discussions, asking questions and providing insightful contributions.
5. Critical Thinking and Application:

• Students can apply critical thinking skills to assess the adaptive advantages or disadvantages of specific traits in marshland crabs.
• Students can use their understanding of natural selection and mathematical models to make predictions about future trait frequencies in crab populations.