Artificial Selection Lesson Plan

Instructor: Christopher Sailus

Chris has an M.A. in history and taught university and high school history.

In this lesson plan, students learn about genetic variability, random mutations, and artificial selection and participate in class discussions to enhance understanding. Afterward, students work in pairs to investigate a modern example of artificial selection and present their research in a visual medium.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Explain genetic variation and variability
  • Explain artificial selection through real-life examples


50 minutes


  • poster board
  • markers, colored pencils, other arts and crafts supplies
  • internet access

Key Vocabulary

  • genetic variation
  • genetic variability
  • natural selection
  • random mutation
  • artificial selection
  • inbreeding

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.11-12.1

Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 11-12 topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.


Integrate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) in order to make informed decisions and solve problems, evaluating the credibility and accuracy of each source and noting any discrepancies among the data.


  • Have students read the lesson Genetic Variability, Random Mutation & Artificial Selection
  • Stop students when they reach the 'Artificial Selection' heading, discuss:
    • How does genetic variability affect a population?
    • How does the environment affect how genes are naturally selected?
    • What is the role of random mutation in this process?
  • Explain to students that the rest of the lesson will be about one particular type of manmade selection: artificial selection.
  • Have students read the rest of the lesson.
  • Play the video Artificial Selection in Evolution. Stop the video at 1:01, then discuss:
    • How is artificial selection different than natural selection?
    • What do you think are the benefits of artificial selection?
  • Finish the rest of the video then discuss:
    • What are the drawbacks to artificial selection?
  • Ask if there are any questions before moving on to the quizzes.
  • Have students take the quiz and quiz to test understanding.
  • Check the quizzes as a class, discussing any misconceptions.

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