NGSS Standard: MS-LS1-5
Science and Engineering Practices: Constructing Explanations
Crosscutting Concepts: Cause and Effect
Year Created: 2015
Phenomena: At the beginning of the activity students are shown pictures of pollinators and plants that seem to fit one another perfectly. An example is a hummingbird's long beak and the deep petals of a honeysuckle flower.
Reflection: In this activity, students are either given a necklace of a pollinator of a plant. They read the likes of their pollinator or the traits of their plants, and then meet up with other students with the opposite category to find their perfect match. They must look for key words in each partner's information in order to make a decision about who their best match would be. Students are then assessed on their ability to construct their explanation well, even if they do not end up finding their "perfect" match. One thing to note is that students may come to believe that in order for these matches to occur, birds simply wish for certain body parts or change their bodies within their lifetime. It is important to address the misconception that natural selection is a choice that animals make. I address this in the following unit on natural selection and evolution. This activity is simply meant for students to notice the way in which pollinators and plants have coevolved to meet one another's needs.