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Database Provider


Crash Course


9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, AP® / College


Science, Social Studies, Biology, History, Health

Resource Type

  • Videos, 12 minutes, 44 seconds, CC, Subtitles

Regional Focus


Natural Selection

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  • This video discusses Charles Darwin's theory of natural selection, the four principles of natural selection, and the types of selection that can occur in populations due to different types of selective pressures.
  • It uses the examples of moth color changes, bird beaks, and other phenotype differences to illustate the concepts and provides information about Darwin's own family.
Teaching Tips


  • This video is an engaging and easy-to-understand introduction to how populations undergo evolution and speciation through natural selection and other evolutionary pressures.
  • The personal information about Darwin is an interesting section that students may be interested to learn about.

Additional Prerequisites

  • There are many concepts introduced in this video, so it may be best to pause the video now and again so that students can ask questions and take notes.
  • Students should have a general understanding of terms related to biological evolution, like allele frequency and heredity.
  • By scrolling over the scroll bar at the bottom of the video, you can see at what point topics like Darwin's discovery of natural selection are discussed and skip through them if necessary.


  • Have students consider what role natural selection will play in a world where climate change and humans constantly affect ecosystems.
  • This can be connected to climate change topics easily in science classes when discussing how climate change will affect habitats, seasons, and extreme weather events.
  • This video can also be used in health classes during lessons about the effects of inbreeding on the health of future generations and in history classes during lessons about Charles Darwin and the development of the theory of evolution.
Scientist Notes
While this video is now ten years old and some of the references may be a little dated, the science content of it is top tier and thoroughly researched. So this resource is recommended for teaching natural selection.
  • Science
    • LS3: Heredity
      • HS-LS3-2. Make and defend a claim based on evidence that inheritable genetic variations may result from: (1) new genetic combinations through meiosis, (2) viable errors occurring during replication, and (3) mutations caused by environmental factors.
    • LS4: Biological Evolution
      • HS-LS4-2. Construct an explanation based on evidence that the process of evolution primarily results from four factors: (1) the potential for a species to increase in number, (2) the heritable genetic variation of individuals in a species due to mutation and sexual reproduction, (3) competition for limited resources, and (4) the proliferation of those organisms that are better able to survive and reproduce in the environment.
      • HS-LS4-4. Construct an explanation based on evidence for how natural selection leads to adaptation of populations.
      • HS-LS4-5. Evaluate the evidence supporting claims that changes in environmental conditions may result in: (1) increases in the number of individuals of some species, (2) the emergence of new species over time, and (3) the extinction of other species.
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