4. Introduction to the Case of Rock Pocket Mice

Sugat Dabholkar, Connor Bain, Philip Woods, Kevin Hall
Biology, Self-directed
40-50 min
High School Advanced Biology (AP)


In this lesson, students will be introduced to the 'anchoring phenomenon' of rock pocket mice, specifically how the color of the fur coat changed because of the change in the environment where they live. Students will explore a computational model of a population of rock pocket mice and observe changes in the population over time. 

Underlying Pages


Next Generation Science Standards
  • Life Science
    • [HS-LS2] Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
    • [HS-LS4] Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity
  • NGSS Crosscutting Concept
    • Patterns
    • Systems
    • Stability and Change
  • NGSS Practice
    • Analyzing Data
    • Using Models
    • Conducting Investigations
Computational Thinking in STEM
  • Data Practices
    • Analyzing Data
    • Manipulating Data
    • Visualizing Data
  • Modeling and Simulation Practices
    • Using Computational Models to Find and Test Solutions
    • Using Computational Models to Understand a Concept
  • Computational Problem Solving Practices
    • Troubleshooting and Debugging
  • Systems Thinking Practices
    • Investigating a Complex System as a Whole
    • Thinking in Levels
    • Understanding the Relationships within a System


This lesson is based on a curricular unit developed by HHMI (https://www.hhmi.org/biointeractive/making-fittest-natural-selection-and-adaptation).