Your task is to research the subject of adaptation and to compose an article, for example for a quality newspaper supplement, a science magazine or a science website, explaining to an interested reader:

  • why living organisms are well adapted to their natural environments,
  • why the theory of evolution by natural selection is a successful model to explain how adaptation happens.

At the top of the screen there are links to resources that you can investigate as part of your research – 'Beagle', 'Giant Tortoise', 'Galapagos Finches'and 'Weasel'. Weasel is an interactive version of Richard Dawkins' simulation, which shows the power of cumulative selection in evolution.

Additional teacher's note

The minimum time needed for both the Starter and the Assignment will depend on how you choose to organise the session. Ensure you give the students sufficient guidance on how they should approach this Assignment.

Guidance on writing an article (PDF 76kB) is an optional resource for students undertaking this assignment.

Additional activity

'Methinks 'tis like a weasel' is a model devised by Richard Dawkins to show how imposing simple rules upon an environment can seem to produce order from chaos. You could use the model as a focus for discussion about selection, or allow students to explore the subject themselves during the Assignment.