With teacher assistance, students will demonstrate an understanding of the term heredity and how it relates to the inheritance and variation of traits in dogs and plants. They will learn how to make observations and be able to explain the differences between young plants and puppies from their adult parents.
Next Generation Science Standards
LS3-1: Make observations to construct an evidence-based account that young plants and animals are like, but not exactly like, their parents.
Common Core English Language Arts Standards
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.2.8: Recall information from experiences or gather information from provided sources to answer a question.
Plant Pictures Worksheet: HERE
Dog Pictures Worksheet: HERE
Plants T-Chart: HERE
Dogs T-Chart: HERE
Heredity Writing Activity and Word Bank Worksheet: HERE
Introduction and Teacher Modeling
- Begin the lesson with an overview of the vocabulary word “heredity.” Write heredity on the board or have it typed on paper in large letters. Have the children pronounce the word aloud together as a class. Explain to the class that heredity is when certain “traits” are passed or “inherited” from parents to their offspring.
- Write the vocabulary words “inheritance” and “traits” on the board or have them typed on paper in large letters. Have the children pronounce each word aloud together as a class. Explain to the class that inheritance is when offspring (provide examples like children, young plants, puppies, etc.) receive certain traits (provide examples like eye color, hair color, flower color, leaves, behavior, etc.) from their parents. They may not look identical but will have similar features.
- As a class discussion, have students provide real-life examples of heredity, inheritance, and traits in the world around them. Review the vocabulary terms to ensure students understand before moving on to the guided practice.
- Explain to the students that they will be matching pictures of young plants and puppies, to their parents. They will be cutting out the pictures and gluing them in the correct spots on the provided T-Charts.
- Hand out the Plant Pictures Worksheet and Plants T-Chart first. Instruct students to cut the pictures out in squares (there should be 10 separate plant pictures when they finish).
- Together as a class, glue the young plants down. Instruct the students to try to match the adult parent plants to the correct young plant and glue them in the corresponding category across from that picture. Students may work in partners. The teacher can review the activity with students when they complete it.
- Hand out the Dog Pictures Worksheet and Dogs T-Chart next. Complete the same steps as above in Plant activity, except allow students to complete the entire activity themselves. Students may work in partners.
- Provide each student with a Heredity Writing Activity and Word Bank Worksheet. Give each student an adequate amount of time to complete. The teacher may also want to complete a writing example with the students prior to completing the activity independently.
Review and Closing
- Students share one thing that they learned during the lesson with the entire class. Students can also provide to the teacher a question or comment that they may have after completing the lesson.
- Heredity Memory Match Game (Plants and Dogs): The teacher can make additional copies of the pictures and cut them out in squares. The cards will be mixed up and placed face down. Students can play in pairs and practice matching young plants or puppies to their parents. The teacher can go into a deeper discussion about the specific names of plants or dog breeds, and their differences.
Dog Breeds. (n.d.). Retrieved from www.akc.org/dog-breeds.