How To Teach: Evolution and Inheritance In Science

Written by Dan

Last updated

As teachers, we know the value of science in the curriculum. A solid understanding of evolution and Inheritance is critical for any science teacher. This blog post will discuss how to teach these concepts engagingly and effectively. By the end of this post, you will better understand how to approach these topics with your students. Stay tuned for some great tips!

What Is Evolution?

Evolution is the process of change and adaptation over generations, with new generations inheriting characteristics from the previous one. This process works by selecting beneficial traits to an environment or species, meaning they will be passed down and become more prominent in future generations.

Because of this phenomenon, individuals put in a given environment gradually develop superior traits adapted to dealing with the demands of their surrounding living conditions.

As these changes accumulate over time, we can see how species keep evolving until they adjust to any new environment effectively.

Identify How Habitats Are Different and How This Impacts Animals

Teaching the intricate details of evolution and Inheritance can be daunting, but discussing how habitats are different and how it impacts animals can help make the process easier. Each habitat provides its own unique set of conditions that shape a particular species’ development over time.

For example, one animal in a tropical environment may naturally develop fur that is effective in aiding heat retention, while another in colder climates may grow a thicker coat.

In this way, natural selection encourages changes to the various traits a species must possess to match their individual environments best: animals living in different habitats will experience other sources of selection pressure, leading to different adaptations and fates during the evolutionary process.

Discuss How Fossils Are Formed

Fossils provide a great window into the past, giving us insight into our history and environment. Through fossils, we can answer questions about ourselves that have remained unanswered for centuries.

Essentially, fossilisation involves dead organisms being preserved in sedimentary rock over hundreds of thousands of years – bones and even complex parts like shells remain remarkably intact! Some evidence can come from tracks or footprints left behind by these ancient creatures.

Nevertheless, mainly environmental conditions are necessary for fossilization to take place. If remains are subjected to too much water or oxygen, they will disintegrate or decompose instead of forming a helpful fossil.

To comprehend these marvellous creations that stand as proof of evolution and Inheritance, students must realize that life on Earth has been around for billions of years, and the evidence continues today!

Fossils are like time capsules that open a window into Earth’s history. They allow us to travel back and observe how extinct creatures lived, interacted with their surroundings, and evolved over the years.

By educating our students about evolution and Inheritance through fossil records, we can foster an appreciation for life’s intricate beauty while helping them comprehend the immense diversity of species on this planet.

Environments Can Change

For students, comprehending how surroundings can shift and the dangers this presents to living creatures is often tricky.

We must educate our pupils that organisms must constantly adjust to remain alive; thus, discussing environmental changes will help them understand the survival of the fittest.

Stimulate conversations and explore how animals have evolved over generations in their habitats, such as polar bears with white fur and shorter ears to retain heat.

Through this exercise, students will appreciate the necessity of being able to perceive threats and adjust accordingly.

Offspring Will Change

Appreciating the intricacies of living organisms, from their structure and characteristics to reproduction, requires understanding this concept. Students must comprehend that each offspring inherits features from its parent, resulting in a singular combination of alleles- making it rare for two individuals to look exactly alike.

Introducing this concept to students will help them understand nature and its diversity and recognize the importance of personal appreciation.

As they further explore these ideas, they can discover a newfound admiration for life’s complexity.

How Animals Adapt To Their Environment

Animals and plants have developed remarkable alterations to suit their habitat, helping them thrive in different climates. Take the thick fur of mammals as an example; they can withstand frigid temperatures.

Cacti can remain composed under sweltering desert heat, while amphibians undergo natural selection that allows certain species to evolve according to the environment’s needs.

This evidence of change across generations is crucial to evolution’s ongoing progress.

Sure, here are five other websites that offer advice about the importance of evolution and inheritance being taught in school:

  1. Understanding Evolution

Understanding Evolution is a website created by the University of California Museum of Paleontology that provides resources for teaching and learning about evolution. Their article on why teaching evolution argues that it is essential for understanding the natural world has practical applications in fields like medicine and agriculture, and fosters critical thinking skills.

  1. National Center for Science Education (NCSE)

The NCSE is a nonprofit organization dedicated to defending the integrity of science education in schools across America. Their article on the importance of evolution education emphasizes its role in preparing students for careers in STEM fields, promoting scientific literacy among citizens, and helping students understand the interconnectedness of life on Earth.

  1. Education Week

Education Week is an independent news organization covering K-12 education policy and practice. Their opinion piece on why teaching evolution is significant argues that it helps students understand how science works, promotes critical thinking skills and prepares them for a rapidly changing world.

  1. Science News for Students

Science News for Students is an online publication for young people interested in science. Their explainer article on evolution and how it works provides an accessible introduction, emphasizing its relevance to genetics, ecology, and medicine.

  1. American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)

The AAAS is a non-profit organisation dedicated to advancing science around the world. Their article on why we must teach evolution and inheritance emphasizes their central role in biology education and their connections to fields like medicine, agriculture, and conservation.


What is evolution

Evolution is the remarkable transformation that living creatures undergo over time through genetic change, natural selection and environmental pressures. This phenomenon has resulted in an incredible range of species becoming better suited to survive in their surroundings.

How does Inheritance work in evolution?

A. Inheritance is the transfer of genetic information from parents to their offspring, including traits like eye colour and height. When two individuals reproduce, their child receives a unique combination of both parents’ genes, creating an individual with either mixed or entirely new characteristics that may not have been seen before in its family line.

How do mutations play a role in Inheritance and evolution?

A. Mutations are alterations in an organism’s hereditary material that can either be passed down or inherited from its progenitors. Depending on the external world they find themselves in, these changes could yield more success, such as higher adaptability to their environment and better fitness levels.

How is natural selection related to evolution?

A. Natural selection is the process in which individuals who possess advantageous traits have a greater chance of survival and reproduction, thus passing down these qualities to their descendants. This causes favourable characteristics to become more widespread than unfavourable ones over time, resulting in species adapting to different environments.

Natural selection plays an essential role in the evolution and has been utilized for centuries as the primary reason behind life’s diversity on Earth.

About The Author

I'm Dan Higgins, one of the faces behind The Teaching Couple. With 15 years in the education sector and a decade as a teacher, I've witnessed the highs and lows of school life. Over the years, my passion for supporting fellow teachers and making school more bearable has grown. The Teaching Couple is my platform to share strategies, tips, and insights from my journey. Together, we can shape a better school experience for all.






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