Science/Strand III/Content Standard 4/Middle School/Benchmark 2
Benchmark Question: How do species change through time?
Focus Question: How can new traits become
established in a population?
Begin by finding out what
students know about moths. With a partner, students will brainstorm at
least ten questions they have about moths. The partners will share their
questions with the class and organize their questions into common
categories. Then, the teacher will ask students to think about how moths
may adapt to survive. Look at the class list of questions. The teacher will
ask students to focus on the questions related to successful moth
Next, share the scenario of
a real-world occurrence that happened with the peppered moth in England:
In the early 1800s, the
majority of the moths were light-colored, allowing them to blend into the
light-colored tree bark. By the late 1800s, the peppered moth population
had adapted their coloring to a darker color. With an expansion of local
industries, air pollution covered tree bark with dark soot. Moths adapted
their coloring to a darker hue in order to survive. As clean-up began and
pollution was reduced, the light colored moth population began increasing.
Students will cut out equal
numbers of black, red, white, and newspaper moths and glue them down on a
piece of newspaper. Students will review each other’s pictures to see which
color moths are most easily seen.
Students will create their
own models of moth species they think would best survive in this newspaper
environment. Students will present their models and explain the traits the
moths have acquired.