This is a fun, easy, low-prep speciation activity that allows students to experience the process of evolution due to random mutation and geographic isolation.
Students often have trouble with the concepts of Natural Selection and Evolution of a species. Where do new traits come from? Does the environment cause mutations to happen? Or does the mutation come first? How does geographic isolation lead to speciation?
After this activity, your students will have a solid understanding of where new traits come from and how changes in the environment can select for different traits. They also experience how evolution is limited to the traits in the population – if no individuals have a trait that aids in survival, extinction is a real possibility!
This Speciation Activity comes with…
- a full video explanation of the activity. Set up is super simple, and only takes about 10 minutes.
- a Google Slideshow to use with your class – editable!
- an activity sheet
- a three page student sheet
- a full answer key!
Additional materials needed per group:
- four small pieces of scrap (or copy) paper per student in the group
- A baggie
Click here to preview the Speciation Activity!
There are ten 5-star reviews for the Speciation Activity on Teachers Pay Teachers.
What some happy teachers are saying about it:
My students loved this activity! I had groups fighting (in a fun way) about which organism was best suited to survive the environmental changes and why. I also thought it was great visually to show how a species can change over time. – Emily T. January 12, 2022My students were SUPER engaged with this activity. It was incredibly fun and we all loved it. I hung their creature strips on the wall and they still go over and “check on” their little Mike Wazowskis. Highly recommend! – Sarah Z. December 9, 2021My students loved this activity. It was a good reinforcement for realizing that mutations are random and organisms can’t make themselves be adapted. Great resource. – Molly S. March 23, 2021