The reason I put this in IMHO is because I’m just looking for ideas, not to start a debate or get factual answers. This is intended to be a fun thread.
Disclaimer: I am not a 5th grade teacher. I don’t even know any 5th graders. I do not want to know any 5th graders. This is just a random brain fart turned outwards.
Let’s suppose you are a 5th grade teacher given the task of teaching your class the basics of evolution. Due to scheduling problems, budget cutbacks, pressure from creationists, etc., you have only, say, two classes in which to explain as much about evolution as you can. Let’s further say that on day one you will do an experiment, and on day two you will discuss the results. And perhaps you might not even get your day two.
I would think that two concepts would need to be taught–random variation and natural selection. You need to show how these two concepts combine to change the characteristics of a population over time. For now you can forget things like speciation and puctuated equalibrium, and just focus on the basics mentioned previously.
You might decide some sort of game would be the best way to do this. It gets the students involved, is fun, and teaches them in a way that they will truly learn from. Perhaps it can be a game involving dice, or flipping coins. Perhaps colored construction paper can be used. Perhaps the students can wear fun little hats. One restriction–you have a small budget. You don’t even have computers. In fact, let’s assume standard school supplies and a budget of $10.
What sort of game would you devise?