Big idea: Variation, adaptation and evolution

There is a great diversity of organisms, living and extinct, with many similarities and differences between them.

Differences between organisms cause species to evolve by natural selection of individuals better adapted to compete for limited resources when environmental conditions change, and the passing of advantageous heritable characteristics to subsequent generations. The diversity of organisms is the result of evolution by natural selection.

 

Download teacher notes for this big idea

Evolution

 

Resources for age 11-14

Research informed progression toolkits to help you develop the big ideas of science

The big idea is developed through a series of key concepts at age 11-14, which have been organised into teaching topics.

Topic 1: Variation

Topic 2: Classification

  • Key concept 1
    Identifying and classifying organisms

    Resources for this key concept will be uploaded in April 2019.
  • Key concept 2
    Classification systems

    Resources for this key concept will be uploaded in April 2019.

Topic 3: Adaptation and evolution

  • Key concept 1
    Adaptations



    Resources for this key concept will be uploaded in January 2020.
  • Key concept 2
    Competition



    Resources for this key concept will be uploaded in January 2020.
  • Key concept 2
    Developing the theory of evolution by natural selection

    Resources for this key concept will be uploaded in January 2020.

Is there a recommended teaching order?

Biology subject map

The Best Evidence Science Teaching resources can be used with your existing scheme of work, if desired. 

However, we have used research evidence on learning pathways and effective sequencing of ideas to develop subject maps for biology, chemistry, earth science and physics. 

View the biology subject map