ALEX Lesson Plan

Inherited Traits: How Are Parents and Their Offspring Alike and Different?

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  This lesson provided by:  
Author:Hannah Bradley
System: Dothan City
School: Carver Magnet School
  General Lesson Information  
Lesson Plan ID: 35240

Title:

Inherited Traits: How Are Parents and Their Offspring Alike and Different?

Overview/Annotation:

Students will begin the lesson by matching pictures of animal parents and offspring, then the teacher will allow students to describe how they were able to create matches. Next, the teacher will create a T-chart and allow students to share how dogs are similar in appearance in some ways but can also have different characteristics. Lastly, the students will create an illustration of a new animal using a "Trait Table" that includes characteristics of both parent animals. At the conclusion of the lesson, the students should be able to identify similarities and differences between offspring and their parents and other members of the same species.

This lesson results from a collaboration between the Alabama State Department of Education and ASTA.

 Associated Standards and Objectives 
Content Standard(s):
SC2015 (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).

Local/National Standards:

 

Primary Learning Objective(s):

  • Students will be able to identify and describe the similarities and differences in appearance of members of the same species.
  • Students will be able to identify and describe the similarities and differences in appearance between parents and their offspring.

Additional Learning Objective(s):

 
 Preparation Information 

Total Duration:

31 to 60 Minutes

Materials and Resources:

Student Materials (per student)

Pencil

"Parent and Offspring" handout (see attachments)

"Trait Table" handout (see attachments)

"Student Journal" response sheet (see attachments)

White drawing paper

Coloring supplies (colored pencils, crayons, markers, etc.)

Teacher Materials

Chart paper or board

Technology Resources Needed:

 

Background/Preparation:

Teacher Background Information: Due to inherited traits, organisms of the same species will have similar characteristics but may not look exactly the same. Likewise, parents and offspring will look similar, but not identical, in appearance. For example, flowers from the same kind of plant may be the same shape but differ in size. A purebred puppy will be the same breed as its parents but may have a different fur color or pattern.

The teacher should make copies of all required student handouts prior to teaching the lesson.

This lesson was inspired by "Animal Trait Inheritance and Variation" from Harmony D.C. Public Charter Schools.

Student Background Information: As this lesson is introductory in scope, students will not need background information to complete the lesson's objectives. However, students should understand that living things originate from other living things. For example, a puppy is born with two adult parents. The students will be required to create a drawing with simple shapes using standard art supplies (crayons, colored pencils, markers, etc.).

  Procedures/Activities: 

Before Strategy/Engage: 10 minutes

1. The teacher should begin by giving each student a copy of "Parent and Offspring" handout (see attachments). Students should examine the pictures of the young animals and the adult animals, then draw lines between the matching parent and offspring.

2. The teacher should review students' matches, and ask the students, "How did you know which baby animal (offspring) matched with which parent animal?" The teacher should allow students to describe how they created their matches between the parents and the offspring.

During Strategy/Explore & Explain: 15 minutes

1. The teacher should ask students to focus on the pictures of the golden retrievers and wolves. Ask students, "Do all dogs look the same?"

2. The teacher should record student responses on a T-chart, on the left side labeled "Same" and the right side labeled "Different".

Example: All dogs have four legs, but dogs have different-sized legs. 

3. After recording student responses on the T-chart, the teacher should lead a discussion about why all dogs have some similarities but can often look very different. The teacher should lead the students to the understanding that all dogs have some similarities because they are part of the same species, but each dog may look different depending on the traits it inherited from its mother and father.

After Strategy/Explain & Elaborate: 30 minutes

1. The teacher should explain to students they will be creating a new animal that will look similar to its parents, but not exactly the same since it will inherit traits from both.

2. The teacher should give each student a copy of the "Trait Table" handout, "Student Journal" response sheet, and a blank sheet of white paper. The students will examine the trait table and choose a trait for the animal to inherit from either the mom's or dad's side. The student should record their choice on their "Student Journal" and draw that part of the animal on the blank sheet of paper.

For example, the student may choose for its animal to inherit a circular head shape from the mom's side. The student would record their choice on the "Student Journal" response sheet. (The head shape came from the mom animal.) The student would then draw a circular head on the blank sheet of white paper.

Note: The teacher may wish to model an example drawing of an animal using the Trait Table and Student Journal response sheet before allowing students to perform these procedures independently. 

3. After students complete their drawing, the teacher should allow students to partner with a classmate. Students should compare their drawing to another student's drawing. The teacher should ask students to discuss the following questions: "Do your animals look exactly the same? Why or why not?"

4. After allowing students several minutes to discuss with their partners, the teacher should bring the whole class back together. The teacher should ask several students to share their partner discussions with the whole group. The teacher should lead the students to the understanding that their animal looked similar to their partners because both animals had the same parents, but their animals did not look exactly the same because each animal inherited different traits from each parent. The teacher can compare this to human siblings looking similar to each other because they have the same parents but often times not exactly the same because each sibling inherited different traits.



Attachments:
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  Assessment  

Assessment Strategies

Formative Assessment: The teacher should informally assess student understanding of the concept during the class discussion and creation of the T-chart in the before and during strategies.

Summative Assessment: The teacher should formally assess student understanding of the concept by reviewing each student's animal drawing and Student Journal response sheet. The teacher should listen to students' partner discussion in the after strategy to ensure each student is able to explain why their animal looks similar to their partner's but not exactly the same. The teacher can perform a final check of student understanding during the whole class discussion in the after strategy.

Acceleration:

Students who require acceleration opportunities can create a drawing of a "sibling" animal using the Trait Table. The student should show that the sibling will look similar to the original animal because they have the same parents, but it will not look exactly the same because it inherited different traits from its parents.

Intervention:

The teacher should provide additional support and scaffolding for students who require intervention strategies during the after portion of the lesson. The teacher may wish to model an example drawing of an animal using the Trait Table and Student Journal response sheet before allowing students to perform these procedures independently. 

Each area below is a direct link to general teaching strategies/classroom accommodations for students with identified learning and/or behavior problems such as: reading or math performance below grade level; test or classroom assignments/quizzes at a failing level; failure to complete assignments independently; difficulty with short-term memory, abstract concepts, staying on task, or following directions; poor peer interaction or temper tantrums, and other learning or behavior problems.

Presentation of Material Environment
Time Demands Materials
Attention Using Groups and Peers
Assisting the Reluctant Starter Dealing with Inappropriate Behavior
Be sure to check the student's IEP for specific accommodations.