Survival of the Fittest


Objective: To simulate the processof natural selection using various backgrounds and different colored beans.


Materials: 50 black beans

50 lima beans

50 kidney beans

black construction paper

green construction paper




1. Place all of the beans onto the green construction paper.


2. Both students in the group will close their eyes for 30 seconds. After30 seconds, open your eyes and pick up the first bean that you see and placeit aside and close you eyes. Close your eyes and count to ten then open themand again grab the first bean that you see. Do this 10 times.


3. When you are done, count the beans remaining on the construction paperand those beans that you picked off of the construction paper. Fill in thenumbers in the data chart.


4. Now place the beans onto the black construction paper. Repeat steps 2and 3.


5. Put all of the materials away and answer the analysis questions.






Green Paper


Black Paper


Number of Black Beans Initial






Number of Black Beans Removed






Number of Black Beans Remaining






Number of Lima Beans Initial






Number of Lima Beans Removed






Number of Lima Beans Remaining






Number of Kidney Beans Initial






Number of Kidney Beans Removed






Number of Kidney Beans Remaining











1. On the green background, which bean "survived" best? Why do you thinkthis is so?


2. On the green background, which bean "survived" the worst? Why do you thinkthis happened?







3. What would eventually happen to the population of the beans that "survived"the worst? Why?






4. Which bean "survived" the best on the black background? Was it the sameor different than the bean that "survived" the best on the green background?Why do you think this is so? Explain.






5. Why did different beans survive better on the different colored backgrounds?






6. How does this lab simulate the process of natural selection?


Questions?  Comments??
Shannon Tice