I started class with a video on Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace:
For the lab activity, I picked 10.3 Adaptation of Beaks from the Holt Biology curriculum (found in the online resources). Students had to use different shaped tools as beaks to pick up seeds (or beans) to see which shape is a better adaptation for that food source. They counted how many ‘seeds’ they could pick up in 30 seconds with each tool. I had aluminum pans full of dried beans to act as big seeds and sunflower chips for small seeds. Students used tweezers, pliers, chopsticks and clothes pins for ‘beaks’.
Once they determined the best beak they had to sketch a bird with their beak of choice. I particularly enjoyed this one with the plier beak which opens horizontally since they used the pliers that way to grab a bunch of seeds in one ‘mouthful’.
Lastly, I handed out templates for the Ugly Sweater Contest (free on teacherspayteachers) and told them it had to be biology themed. Below are some of the Ugly Biology Sweaters.