This resource was not designed to build towards this performance expectation, but can be used to build towards it using the suggestions provided below.
Comments about Including the Performance Expectation
The simulation provides evidence for students to explore, but the teacher will need to provide guidance in organizing this evidence and formulating an explanation. One suggestion is to assign a particular island to a group of students, have them make a data table for the species changes, competition, habitat, food source and predators for their island over the 5 million years. They can then identify the change that took place in their population of pollenpeepers, the selective advantage of the trait in the new environment, which population survived better, reproduced and passed their genes on as well as what the variation in the population is like now. Students can then present their argument on the causes to the class in a presentation or poster to try and convince them that the cause that they identified is the cause of the change in the population over time. Some of the questions that might be asked include “What was the average beak in the population like in the population like 5 million years ago and what were the variations?”, “How was the environment different on the new islands?” “How did this new environment affect the selective advantage of the beak?”, “Which birds survived better, reproduced more and passed their genes on to the next generation in the new environment?” and “What is the average beak like now in the population and what are the variations?” Students can then be asked to write a paragraph explaining how the process of natural selection occurred from five million years ago to the present using the answers to the questions above as a guide.