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How have mutations and natural selection affected fur color in mice?

Four differently colored mice

In this analysis and discussion activity, students figure out how mutations and natural selection have resulted in matches between the fur colors of populations of rock pocket mice and their environments.

Next, students view a video that presents relevant research findings, and students answer the embedded multiple-choice questions.

Then, students answer multiple questions and analyze several scenarios to enhance their understanding of mutations and natural selection.

The Student Handout is available in the first two attached files and as a Google doc designed for use in online instruction and distance learning. The Teacher Notes, available in the last two attached files, provide instructional suggestions and background information and explain how this activity is aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards.

NaturalSelectionMouseColorSHO.docx2.68 MB
NaturalSelectionMouseColorSHO.pdf415.27 KB
NaturalSelectionMouseColorTN.docx2.22 MB
NaturalSelectionMouseColorTN.pdf489.59 KB


iwaldron's picture

2024 revision

The Student Handout has been revised and reorganized to help students understand the process of natural selection. For example, I have postponed the video with multiple-choice questions until the students have developed the background that will help them understand the video and answer the questions. Correspondingly, the Teacher Notes have been revised and reorganized.

iwaldron's picture

Answer key

The Teacher Notes provide information about how to request the answer key as well as background information and instructional suggestions.

Patricia 's picture

answer key

wanted to work with my students but can't find ansswer key am I missing something

Ann Dixon's picture

Dr. Waldron’s comment

I just wanted to make sure you saw Dr. Waldron's response above. Best wishes!

Mary Ellen Sutherland's picture

Biology and Chemistry

Great site and a source of new and interesting addition to class and lab work. Thank you.

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