Biological Form and Function

Lesson Title: Form and Function Lab, Part 2: Evolutionary
Academic Standards: HS-LS1-2; HS-LS1-3; HS-LS4-2; HS-LS4-4; HS-LS4-5
Content Creator: Mrs. Wendy Martin
Level: High School
Duration: 25-35 min
  /  Form and Function Lab, Part 2: Evolutionary


  • Define biological form and function.
  • Define and understand the concept of evolution.
  • Define and understand the concept of speciation.
  • See how certain species of animals have changed over time.


This lesson will focus on the concept of biological evolution. Students will learn how speciation has occurred over the course of millions of years. In addition, students will learn that speciation can cause closely related species to become highly divergent in form and function. Students will be able to handle certain animals as their adaptations are discussed. A field trip to a herpetarium in a local zoo is included.


  1. Review class objectives.
  2. Ask students how they would describe the term "evolution".
  3. Show a 2D video clip on the Big Screen.
  4. Define the word adaptation. Ask for examples. Discuss video contents and answer question on speciation and how it causes change.
  5. Students will go to lab stations. Hand them a dog. Discuss dog adaptations.
  6. Explain that dogs now are not the same as they were.
  7. Show dog video clip.
  8. Hand them a whale. Discuss whale adaptations.
  9. Explain that whales now are not the same as they were.
  10. Show whale video clip.
  11. Hand them a snake. Discuss snake adaptations.
  12. Explain that snakes now are not the same as they were.
  13. Virtual field trip to Niabi Zoo to see snakes.
  14. End in the museum where they can look at fossils or ancient ancestors of modern day species.
  15. Debrief lesson and assign homework.

Suggested Ancillary Support

1. evolution - change in characteristics of biological populations over successive generations 2. microevolution - small changes that occur from environmental change (seen in 1- a few generations) 3. speciation - evolutionary process by which biological populations evolve to become distinct species 4. natural selection - causes organisms to change and adapt over time 5. organisms most suited to their environment are more likely to survive and reproduce 6. fitness - how effective an organism is at reproducing 7. competition - how an organism affects another organisms fitness negatively 8. vestigial - an anatomical feature or behavior that no longer seems to have a purpose in its current form 9. 4 factors of Evolution a. mutation b. natural selection c. genetic drift d. gene flow