Who do you look like?

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SWBAT compare and contrast themselves to their parents and record their findings in their science notebooks.

Big Idea

Let's explore inheritance! In this lesson students begin learning about animal heredity by first looking in the mirror! They will be comparing themselves to either their mom or dad and recording their findings!

Setting the Stage:

National Science Education Science Standards Connection:

The National Science Education Standards has said that making observations is key to inquiry-based and discovery-focused learning in science instruction. In order to do this students participate in inquiry-based learning that allows them to solve a problem in science through observation, discourse and using a science journal. Students will then be give a chance to share their findings with their peers and then reflect on their own understanding.

Next Generation Science Standards Connection:

In this unit my students learn about inheritance, the variations of these traits as well as parental behaviors. They use different media to find evidence that that animal babies are similar to their parents and explore ways that parents and their offspring engage in behaviors that help the offspring to survive.

In this lesson I introduced inheritance of traits. I begin by showing my students a photograph of my parents and ask them to find ways that we are similar and different.  Then, I allow my students to do the same thing with photographs of their own parents. 

Classroom Structures:

In order to support a high level of student discourse within my science lessons I have assigned two different student partnerships.  Turn and Talk Partners are discourse partners that work together to share the deep thinking that happens throughout the day.  Workshop Partners are partners who are matched together for the purpose of working during our independent times.  In this lesson students will be engaged in both partnerships.

Vocabulary Cards:

These cards include the vocabulary that covers standards LS1-2 and LS3-1. You can choose to use these cards in different ways. I like to print all vocabulary words on card stock and hang them on my science bulletin board as a reference tool throughout the unit. You can also use these cards as flashcards or a concentration matching game.

Vocabulary - Animal Families


Photograph of your own parents

Power Words

Each student has a photograph of his/her own parent/s

Investigation Worksheet - Compare and Contrast

Science Journal - I just use blank paper in my journals so my students have space and freedom to experiment with graphic organizers, illustrations, etc.

Journal Prompt - How are you similar to your parents?


15 minutes

The NGSS asks that students make observations to conduct an evidence-based account that young animals are similar but not exactly the same as their parents. In this section I ask my students to observe a photograph of my parents and compare and contrast them to me. 

Boys and girls, do you think babies look just like their mom and dads? I allow my students to yell out their answers.  Look at these photos of my parents.

*How do I look like my mom? What is similar? What is different?

*How do I look like my dad? What is similar? What is different?

Together we have a large discussion comparing and contrasting. I guide the conversation by asking my students to pay close attention to our hair, eyes, skin color, nose shape, lip shape, etc. 

Today is going to be so exciting because you get to continue to explore  how are parents are similar to their young. Today you will need to do a lot of comparing and contrasting. I show my students my Power Words anchor chart and we review the academic words compare and contrast. Explicitly teaching academic vocabulary will not only enhance achievement on assessments it also prepares our students to be both college and career ready.


20 minutes

The Science and Engineering practice 2 asks that students to compare models to identify common features and differences. In this section my students analyze photographs of their peers and compare their peers to their parents.

Let's get started! How are your friends similar to their parents? Today you work with your workshop partner to fill in your investigation worksheet. You will begin by looking very closely at your partner and then look at the photograph of his or her parent.  Be sure to look at eye color, hair color or texture, face shape, skin color, etc.  You might notice that your partner has curly hair but her mom has straight hair and her dad has curly hair.  Be sure to write down that her dad has curly hair. Are you ready to give this a go? 

Once they have worked with their workshop partner, I rotate partnerships so they have more opportunities to see other similarities.

Comparing and Contrasting

Comparingand Contrasting

Comparingand Contrasting

Comparing and Contrasting

As my students observe and analyze, I walk around and confer with each student naming and noticing the smart thinking happening. Conferring is the process of listening and recording the work the student or students are doing and then compliment the work. As I listen, I research a teaching point and then work to provide clarification through questioning, modeling and re-teaching. I refer back to our question:  How are your friends similar to their parents?

Video - Comparing and Contrasting

Investigation Worksheet

Investigation Worksheet

Investigation Worksheet


15 minutes

The NGSS asks that students communicate and explain information from observations. In the explain section I want my students to share their observations with their turn and talk partners.  Each partnership will engage in accountable talk agreeing or disagreeing with each others' observations.  I want my students sharing their observations and explaining their thinking as well as engaging in high levels of student discourse and reasoning. 

Thank you for meeting me on the carpet with your observations. We can call the work you have in front of you, your data.  Each of you have collected a lot of really good data today.  Now you get to do just what scientists do. You are going to share your data with your turn and talk partner.  Your job is to have a thoughtful conversation with your partner about your findings and your partners findings. As your partner shares his or her work with you, I want you to listen carefully to your partner today.  Are you ready to give this a go?

After allowing them time to share, I bring them back together and I ask them this question, "Do children look exactly like their parents?"  After a whole group discuss we conclude that, "Children look similar but not exactly like their parents."

I ask for two volunteers and we confirm our findings whole group: 

Comparing photographs - whole group

Comparing photographs - whole group


5 minutes

I take this lesson a little deeper by asking my students to compare themselves to their own parents. I pass out small mirrors to each student and using the photograph of their parent they look at the similarities between themselves and their parents.   It is fun to hear my students say, "I have curly hair like my mom." or "My eyes are blue just like my dads!"


15 minutes

The Science and Engineering Practice 4 asks students to analyze data. At the K-2 level this involves students collecting, recording, and sharing observations. In this lesson the students are recording information, thoughts and ideas in their science journals. I send my students back to their science journals and ask them to write and draw the answer to our big question: How are you similar to your parents?

My students include all different forms of graphic organizers to help describe how they are similar to their parents. They include traits like hair color, eye color, skin color, etc.