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MUSE | Natural Selection | Unit Overview and Materials | Section 3: Using Darwin's Model... | 3B: Exploring Variation and Heritability


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Lesson 3B: Exploring Variation and Heritability

During this lesson, students will be asked to think about two important components of Darwin's model of natural selection in greater detail. First, they will have an opportunity to explore the natural variations present in a variety of organisms. Specifically, they will examine sunflower seeds and Wisconsin Fast Plants™. Next, they will use data and graphs of that data from an artificial selection experiment to consider the role of heredity in natural selection.

Successful completion of this material includes:

  • Participation in a lab experience examining naturally occurring variation and completion of a question set related to this experience
  • Answering questions related to a graph and reviewing the statistical concepts of mean, median, mode, and range
  • Working as a group to examine and answer questions about graphs from an artificial selection experiment


There are three written assignments that are included in this lesson: One on variation, one with questions related to statistical concepts, and one on the selection graphs.