This lesson is part of a unit that addresses the following Life Science Disciplinary Core Idea:
LS3 - Heredity: Inheritance and variations
The performance expectations in LS3 help students formulate an answer to the question, "How do living organisms pass traits from one generation to the next?"
This lesson introduces students to genetic traits. This lesson will give students the foundational knowledge to be able to successfully complete the following performance expectation and cross cutting concept:
To engage students in lesson I show students the following 4 pictures:
I give students 2 minutes to write down observations from all 4 pictures. In addition I ask students to find any similarities or common theme amongst all pictures.
The objective of this section of lesson is for students to begin to grasp the concept that there exists a variation of traits amongst members of a species. Students will take an inventory of their own traits in the next section of lesson.
Students explore trait diversity by taking an inventory of their own easily-observable genetic traits. Working in small groups, they observe how their trait inventories differ from those of others. Students record their observations in a data table and make a bar graph to show the most and least common traits in the group.
Prior Knowledge Needed
In this section of lesson I show students a narrated presentation by the University of Utah's Learn Genetics titled What is a Trait?.
Students are required to take Cornell Notes during presentation.
Cornell Notes provides students with another tool for organizing, reviewing and reflecting upon information received at school.
In this section of lesson students elaborate on what they have learned by completing a math extension of the Inventory of Traits activity completed earlier (MP4- Model with Mathematics). In this math extension, students calculate the frequency of traits in their classroom, then compare their calculations with given frequencies for the general population.
In this section of lesson students complete an Exit Slip using the CERC (Claim Evidence Reasoning Conclusion) model that student have been practicing all year. The writing task is for students to create a scientific explanation on genetic traits inheritance using evidence from lessons activities. (SP7 - Engaging in argument from evidence/W.7.1 - Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence. (MS-LS2-4)