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Natural Selection and the Peppered Moth

Peppered moths on tree barkIn this minds-on analysis and discussion activity, students interpret evidence concerning natural selection in the peppered moth.

This evidence includes (1) the results of experiments that evaluated predation by birds on different color forms of the peppered moth in different environments, (2) the genetic basis for the different color forms, and (3) correlated changes in both the environment and the frequency of each color form in industrialized and rural regions in England and the US.

This activity will help students to consolidate a scientifically accurate understanding of the process of natural selection.

(This activity is very similar to the last section of the hands-on activity Evolution by 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. (For additional instructions, see, especially item 7.) 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.

NaturalSelection moth SHO.docx1.22 MB
NaturalSelection moth SHO.pdf522.97 KB
NaturalSelection Moth TN.docx38.76 KB
NaturalSelection Moth TN.pdf158.18 KB


iwaldron's picture

2022 revision

The Student Handout has been revised and reorganized to improve logical flow, clarity and student understanding of natural selection.


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