Grade Levels: 6-8, 9-12

*Click to open and customize your own copy of the Natural Selection Lesson Plan.

This lesson accompanies the BrainPOP topic Natural Selection, and supports the standard of using evidence to construct an explanation for how variance of traits in a population may provide advantages in surviving, finding mates, and reproducing. Students demonstrate understanding through a variety of projects.


Ask students:

  • What different animal species live in your community?
  • What do these animals need to survive in their environment?


  • Read the description on the Natural Selection topic page.
  • Play the Movie, pausing to check for understanding. 
  • Have students read one of the Related Reading articles. Partner them with someone who read a different article to share what they learned with each other.

Step 3: APPLY and ASSESS 

Students take the Natural Selection Challenge and Quiz, applying essential literacy skills while demonstrating what they learned about this topic.


Students express what they learned about natural selection while practicing essential literacy skills with one or more of the following activities. Differentiate by assigning ones that meet individual student needs.

  • Make-a-Movie: Choose an animal species, then create a nature documentary that answers this question: How does natural selection affect this animal’s traits?
  • Make-a-Map: Create a concept map explaining the process of natural selection according to Darwin’s theory.
  • Creative Coding: Code a digital museum exhibit featuring symbols and artifacts to represent the process of natural selection.

More to Explore 

Flap to the Future: ​​This game challenges players to avoid predators by earning new adaptations to evolve from a dinosaur to a bird.

Related BrainPOP Topics: Deepen understanding of biological evolution with these topics: Charles Darwin, Human Evolution, Genetics, and Ecosystems.

Teacher Support Resources: