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Mutations

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HI, I have to teach a complete lesson that can only be 30 minutes from start to finish. The topic I have to teach about is debunking the misconception: all mutations are harmful. Does anyone know a good game or activity that would be good to incorporate in my lesson? Thanks so much!

Cris DeWolf Cris DeWolf 11965 Points

You may be able to adjust this to fit your time constraint: http://public.wsu.edu/~omoto/papers/Mutation.pdf

Michele Bloomquist Michele Bloomquist 2395 Points

Try presenting Darwin's finches as examples of adaptive evolution that works.

TraciAnn Harada TraciAnn Harada 1540 Points

When I was in biology in high school we played a game with forks, spoons and knives and gathering beans. The utensils represent the animals appendage and the beans (or what have you, represents their food). You could start them with knives and see what they can get, then upgrade to forkss and then upgrade again to spoons. You can add different things to the mix like rice or anything with different shapes. You could probably also use M&Ms and nerds or other fun things.

It is important to state that when you switch utensils that they are a new population and the reason it changed was because of a mutation. It would be best to change only a few at a time so they can see how one mutation can become dominate if it is the most advantageous.

I hope this makes sense.

Good Luck!
Traci

Michele Bloomquist Michele Bloomquist 2395 Points

TraciAnn, I really liked your idea of what to use for a fitness experiment to explain adaptive radiation in a lab. I bought expensive materials and these seem to do the same trick. We will be trying this. Only I think plastic forks and spoons are safe.

TraciAnn Harada TraciAnn Harada 1540 Points

I agree, plastics are good :) and easy to clean and store for next time!!

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