Local Adaptation of Milkweed – Evolutionary Principles

About This Lesson

This lesson bridges basic evolutionary principles with the concept of local adaptation. Students will learn the general definitions of these principles as well as connect them to their milkweed lab where these principles have been applied.  They will consider the implications of local adaptation for milkweed population management.

This lesson plan is a component of the EXPLAIN stage of the 5E Learning Model for the overall curriculum.


After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Define evolutionary principles such as local adaptation and gene flow.
  • Explain how each of these principles relate to the milkweed lab.
  • Predict how local adaptation will influence the impact of milkweed management practices.


Information for Classroom Use:

Students should know or be familiar with:

  • Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution
  • Distributions and means

Teachers should know or be familiar with:

  • Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, and the finch example of adaptation
  • Evolution/local adaptation terms listed on the flashcards

This lesson is about 100 minutes or two class periods.

  • Computer with internet and projector capabilities
  • Scissors
  • Tape or glue

See Grade Versions of This Lesson

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