Natural Selection Lesson Plan for Kids

Instructor: Kerry Gray

Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.

This lesson plan is a tool for helping students learn about natural selection. Students will be able to answer questions using text evidence to support their answers and summarize the process of adaptation using domain-specific vocabulary.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this lesson on natural selection, students will be able to:

  • Cite text evidence when answering questions about the text.
  • Summarize how a species evolves over time.
  • Use content-specific language when discussing adaptations.


90 minutes

Common Core Curriculum Standards


Quote accurately from a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.


Explain the relationships or interactions between two or more individuals, events, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text based on specific information in the text.


Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases in a text relevant to a grade 5 topic or subject area.


  • adaptations
  • diversity
  • environment
  • generations
  • inheritance
  • natural selection
  • offspring
  • organism
  • prey
  • species
  • terrain
  • traits


  • Copies of quiz
  • Copies of the lessons
  • Paper
  • Pens
  • Access to internet research
  • Packages of Skittles (1 per group)
  • Paper towels
  • Crayons

Reading & Discussion Questions

  • Preview vocabulary with students before reading the lesson.
  • Read Natural Selection Lesson for Kids as a class, and discuss the following questions:
    • What is natural selection?
    • Why is it important for the survival of a species?
    • What is an adaptation that helps polar bears survive?
    • What is inheritance?
    • What are environmental factors that influence natural selection?
    • What are some types of terrain that influence natural selection?
    • How are new species created?
    • What are some traits that are influenced by natural selection?
  • Ask if there are any questions, then give the students the lesson's printable worksheet to check for understanding.
  • Check the answers as a class.


Shared Writing

Materials: Copies of lesson, paper, pens, access to internet research sites

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