Menji Family Reunion

Menji Family Reunion: Investigate Menji traits across three regions and collect data to find out which varieties are most prevalent in each biome. Talk with locals in each area to gather clues about how the menjis that live there came to be that way. Using that evidence and the concepts of selection pressures and inheritance, figure out how evolution has shaped the current menji populations.

Standards Covered in Quest line:

Disciplinary Core Ideas:

  • LS4.A: Evidence of Common Ancestry and Diversity
  • LS4.B: Natural Selection
  • LS4.C: Adaptation


  • Analyzing and Interpreting Data
  • Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions
  • Engaging in Argument from Evidence
  • Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information

Cross Cutting Concepts:

  • Patterns
  • Cause and Effect

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. [Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on using evidence to explain the influence each of the four factors has on number of organisms, behaviors, morphology, or physiology in terms of ability to compete for limited resources and subsequent survival of individuals and adaptation of species. Examples of evidence could include mathematical models such as simple distribution graphs and proportional reasoning.] [Assessment Boundary: Assessment does not include other mechanisms of evolution, such as genetic drift, gene flow through migration, and co-evolution.]

HS-LS4-4. Construct an explanation based on evidence for how natural selection leads to adaptation of populations. [Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on using data to provide evidence for how specific biotic and abiotic differences in ecosystems (such as ranges of seasonal temperature, long-term climate change, acidity, light, geographic barriers, or evolution of other organisms) contribute to a change in gene frequency over time, leading to adaptation of populations.]