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  • High School

    Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity

Students who demonstrate understanding can:

Performance Expectations

  1. Apply concepts of statistics and probability to support explanations that organisms with an advantageous heritable trait tend to increase in proportion to organisms lacking this trait. HS-LS4-3

    Clarification Statement and Assessment Boundary

A Peformance Expectation (PE) is what a student should be able to do to show mastery of a concept. Some PEs include a Clarification Statement and/or an Assessment Boundary. These can be found by clicking the PE for "More Info." By hovering over a PE, its corresponding pieces from the Science and Engineering Practices, Disciplinary Core Ideas, and Crosscutting Concepts will be highlighted.

Science and Engineering Practices

Analyzing and Interpreting Data

Analyzing data in 9–12 builds on K–8 experiences and progresses to introducing more detailed statistical analysis, the comparison of data sets for consistency, and the use of models to generate and analyze data.

By clicking on a specific Science and Engineering Practice, Disciplinary Core Idea, or Crosscutting Concept, you can find out more information on it. By hovering over one you can find its corresponding elements in the PEs.

Planning Curriculum

Common Core State Standards Connections


  • RST.11-12.1 - Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts, attending to important distinctions the author makes and to any gaps or inconsistencies in the account. (HS-LS4-3)
  • WHST.11-12.9 - Draw evidence from informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research. (HS-LS4-3)
  • WHST.9-12.2 - Write informative/explanatory texts, including the narration of historical events, scientific procedures/ experiments, or technical processes. (HS-LS4-3)


  • MP.2 - Reason abstractly and quantitatively. (HS-LS4-3)

Model Course Mapping

First Time Visitors

Resources & Lesson Plans

  • More resources added each week!
    A team of teacher curators is working to find, review, and vet online resources that support the standards. Check back often, as NSTA continues to add more targeted resources.
  • A Selection Pressure is the first in a three lesson series from Innovative Technology in Science Inquiry, that leads students to make sense of evolution.  This lesson is introduced in the teacher guide (this is accessible once a login has been e ...

  • Mutations is the final lesson in a three lesson series that includes "A Selection Pressure" and "Conflicting Selection Pressures" from Innovative Technology in Science Inquiry,  that leads students to make sense of evolution. ...

  • Effects of Natural Selection on Finch Beak Size is one of a series of Data Point resources from HHMI Biointeractive.  Data Points engage students in analyzing and interpreting data from primary literature in the biological sciences.  The re ...

  • Schooling Behavior of Stickleback Fish from Different Habitats is one of a series of Data Point resources from HHMI Biointeractive.  Data Points engage students in analyzing and interpreting data from primary literature in the biological science ...

  • This virtual evolution lab utilizes data collection and analysis to allow students to study evolutionary processes using modern stickleback fish and fossil specimens. Students virtually analyze the pelvic structures of the threespine stickleback f ...

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  • In this video, students learn how scientific surveys of wildlife are performed at a site in Yosemite, California. These surveys, in conjunction with studies from the early 1900s, provide evidence that animal populations in Yosemite have shifted over ...

  • The Natural Selection virtual lab allows students the opportunity to investigate into how natural selection leads to the predominance of certain traits in a population, and the suppression of others. Therefore, through this virtual lab, students will...

  • In this analysis and discussion activity, students explore the main hypotheses about the origins of the new coronavirus that is causing the current pandemic. Students learn how mutations, natural selection, and contact between species can work togeth...

  • Students use an online simulation (https://www.biologysimulations.com/natural-selection) to explore how environment can impact fur color distribution in a population.

  • In this minds-on, hands-on activity, students develop their understanding of natural selection by analyzing specific examples and carrying out a simulation. The questions in the first section introduce students to the basic process of natural selecti...

  • Students use an online simulation (https://www.biologysimulations.com/genetic-drift-founder-effect) to study a trait that increases mating success in males, but also increases the chances of being eaten by a predator.

  • Students use an online simulation (https://www.biologysimulations.com/arms-race) to test an evolutionary arms race scenario involving highly toxic prey and a predator with resistance to the toxin.

  • Students use an online simulation (https://www.biologysimulations.com/population-genetics) to test a heterozygote advantage scenario.

  • Students use an online simulation (https://www.biologysimulations.com/population-genetics) to test a self-developed hypothesis. Students study the color trait of a fictional population. Color is determined by one gene with two alleles. Population siz...

Planning Curriculum gives connections to other areas of study for easier curriculum creation.