ALEX Learning Activity


The Same but Different

A Learning Activity is a strategy a teacher chooses to actively engage students in learning a concept or skill using a digital tool/resource.

You may save this Learning Activity to your hard drive as an .html file by selecting “File”,then “Save As” from your browser’s pull down menu. The file name extension must be .html.
  This learning activity provided by:  
Author: Stephanie Carver
System:Cullman City
School:Cullman City Board Of Education
  General Activity Information  
Activity ID: 2039
The Same but Different
Digital Tool/Resource:
Web Address – URL:
Not Applicable

This learning activity is an engage activity that should be used at the beginning of a lesson or unit on heredity. The class will look at a picture of a family (preferably the teacher's family) and compare how some physical characteristics are the same and some are different.

This activity results from the ALEX Resource Gap Project.

  Associated Standards and Objectives  
Content Standard(s):
SC2015 (2015)
Grade: 1
7 ) Make observations to identify the similarities and differences of offspring to their parents and to other members of the same species (e.g., flowers from the same kind of plant being the same shape, but differing in size; dog being same breed as parent, but differing in fur color or pattern).

NAEP Framework
NAEP Statement::
L4.6: Plants and animals closely resemble their parents.

Unpacked Content
Scientific And Engineering Practices:
Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions
Crosscutting Concepts: Patterns
Disciplinary Core Idea: Heredity: Inheritance and Variation of Traits
Evidence Of Student Attainment:
  • Make observations, firsthand or from media, to identify similarities and differences of plant and animal parents to their offspring.
Teacher Vocabulary:
  • identify
  • observation
  • similarities
  • differences
  • offspring
  • parents
  • members
  • species
  • evidence
  • pattern
Students know:
  • Young animals are very much, but not exactly, like their parents.
  • Plants are very much, but not exactly, like their parents.
Students are able to:
  • Use observations as evidence to identify similarities and differences between parents and offspring and between offspring and other members of the same species.
Students understand that:
  • Patterns can be used as evidence that individuals of the same kind of plant or animal are recognizable as similar but can also vary in many ways.
AMSTI Resources:
AMSTI Module:
Organisms, STC
Wild Feet, ETA/hand2mind

Alabama Alternate Achievement Standards
AAS Standard:
SCI.AAS.1.7-Identify similarities and differences between parents and offspring in animals.

Learning Objectives:

I can make observations to identify how family members have similarities and differences.

  Strategies, Preparations and Variations  

Show the students the family photo you have selected. Ask the students if they can identify the members. The students should be able to recognize the parents and the offspring. Draw a chart on the board with the name of each family member in a different column. The students will copy this chart in their science journals. Beneath each name, the students will list that person's physical characteristics (eye color, hair color, hair type, etc.). After the students have written down all the physical characteristics, they will compare them and discuss which are similar and which are different. This can be discussed with partners, groups, or as a whole group. End the activity with this question: What do you think causes all the similarities and differences? Allow the students to share their responses. This activity is just an engage activity so it is acceptable for the students' thoughts on the last question to be incorrect. The goal of that question is just to get the students thinking. 

Assessment Strategies:

Student observations in their science journal will be used to assess if the student identified how family members have similarities and differences.

Advanced Preparation:

The teacher will need to display a family photo (preferably the teacher's family but any family will do). The photo should have adults and their offspring.  

Students will need pencils and their science journals.

Variation Tips (optional):
Notes or Recommendations (optional):
  Keywords and Search Tags  
Keywords and Search Tags: