This interesting lesson introduces the students to heredity, and most are usually intrigued and become interested in the passing of traits from parent to offspring. There are many terms the students must become aware of as well. Many excellent resources can be used to complement the lesson and it is suggested a video be presented to the class. You may further discuss nature vs. nurture with older and more advanced students.
Sample Classroom Procedure / Teacher Instruction
- Ask as series of questions such as the following examples. (You may add to or remove questions from the list or adapt them to your class.) Record the number for display, students sit between questions:
Everyone with blue eyes and who write with their left hand stand.
Everyone with brown eyes and write with their right hand stand.
Everyone with dark skin and green eyes stand.
Everyone with earlobes attached and straight hair stand.
Everyone who is double-jointed and has blonde hair stand.
- Continue questioning until every student has stood at least one time.
- Ask students: What would happen if we used more than two characteristics for each question? Or used five or more characteristics?
- Allow for responses and discussion. Lead the class to understand there would eventually be only one person standing for each question because everyone is different and unique.
- Ask: Why do some people have brown hair, blue eyes, etc.?
- Allow for responses and discussion. Lead the discussion to heredity.
- Distribute Heredity content pages. Read and review the information with the students. Clearly explain and use additional examples of Punnet Squares until students understand how they work. Save the final questions for the closing of the lesson. Use the additional resources to enhance understanding and for students to understand the vocabulary.
- Distribute Activity page. Go through the list and ask students to identify and share some of their characteristics from the list shown. Read and review the instructions.
- Once complete, allow student volunteers to share the results and explanations.
- Distribute Practice page. Check and review the students’ responses.
Common Core State Standards:
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.5.2, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.5.3, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.5.4, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.6.2, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.6.4, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.6.7
Class Sessions (45 minutes): At least 2 class sessions
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