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Target Concept: Inherited traits versus learned traits

grade Science: 112.14.b.10.b : explore that some

characteristics of organisms are inherited such as the number of limbs on an
animal or flower color and recognize that some behaviors are learned in
response to living in a certain environment such as animals using tools to get
Standards/Rationale: Third

Lesson Objectives: The

learner will distinguish

inherited traits from learned traits in a
writing with 80 percent accuracy.
Materials: Foldable,


Writing paragraph about traits

flash cards, paper, computer for research

Lesson Cycle:(Direct instruction)

The teacher will:
Focus/Mental Set:

The student will:

Organize students in a circle to perform a

Find Someone Who. Once students are in
position ask them notice the similarities
and differences physically among them.
Ask students to find someone in the class
who has the same eye color as them.
Ask students to find someone in the class
who has the same hair color as them.
For students who are selected, ask if their
parents or siblings have the same hair or
eye color.
Call on students until they see the
similarities and that typically another
family member has these traits.

Stand in circle facing each other and take

notice of traits of those around them.

Explain that this lesson will focus on traits

that we are born with and how they are
different from traits that we learn in our
Ask students to return to their seats.

Find classmates who have the same

features or different features that the
teacher has mentioned.
Discuss how others in their family have the
same traits.
Answer responses as they are called upon
by the teacher.

Return to seats.

Teacher Input:

Explain to students that there are various

traits which are passed on genetically from
parents to children, these are called
inherited traits. These are usually physical
aspects of individuals that people are born
with in their DNA.
Eye color

Write on foldable that inherited means

born with and is in DNA. Understand
that these traits do not change and come
from parents.
Cut out various traits from foldable such as
eye color, hair color, height,

Earlobe attachment
Curly hair
A person will have these traits from birth.
They are born with them. However, after
they are born, things have an ability to gain
traits based on things they learn. These are
called learned responses.
For students, this might be:
Learning to read;
Being good at baseball; or
Using a fork to eat food.
These traits are learned through lifestyle
practices rather than simply being born.

freckles, curly hair. Glue these under

the column of Inherited on foldable.

Write on foldable that Learned Traits are

gained through practice and learned
after birth.

Continue to match traits from cut out pile

to corresponding heading as trait is
discussed. Learned Traits will have
examples such as ability to read,
intelligence, being good at baseball.

Guided Practice:

Show pictures of individuals to the class

and ask which inherited traits they see in
the picture.
Select students to name traits they see
which are inherited. Ask if there are any
traits seen which are learned.
Examples of pictures given/inherited traits:
Kristoff (boy): hair color/eye
color/height/straight hair.
Merida (girl): curly hair/eye color/hair

Come to carpet without foldable to see

examples of traits.
View pictures on screen and review their
paper to see what types of inherited traits
are being witnessed. Raise hand to answer
which traits they observe.

Ask students to form groups of three to

participate in Fan-N-Pick and distribute
question cards to each group. Ask students
to take turns reading the card, answering
the card, and helping/cheering for the
person who is answering.

Meet in a group of three to participate in

Fan-N-Pick and take turns asking
questions, answering questions, and
evaluating or adding to the answers given.

Once groups have completed, ask a

question from each card and ask a group to
share their answers for the class to ensure

Share answers with the class for the card in

question based on what the group has

Independent Practice:

Ask students to go on a Web Quest for their

favorite television or movie characters.
Draw out which inherited traits those
characters have. Based on the knowledge
of the character, ask them to write some of
the learned behaviors of the character. Print
a picture of the character to go with the

Research on computer and pick character

of their choice. Print a picture of character
in action. Write a list and explain their
inherited traits. Write a sentence or two
about their learned traits based on what the
character is performing.

Closure: Ask

students to participate in
Turn to partner for Timed Pair Share of
Timed Pair Share by turning to their
what they have learned during the lesson.
partner and listing 2 things they learned in
the lesson today. Allow students 30 seconds
to each verbalize their understanding.
Enrichment: Provide

students with examples

that show why some traits are inherited,
such as having freckles protects skin from
burning too quickly in the sun. Have them
critically think of traits that do not exist yet
but could help people survive. If needed,
ask to illustrate this idea.


Ask students to think about a time that they

have practiced something. Spending time
on this skill shows that they have learned it
and it is a behavior. One has to practice
behaviors such as riding a bike or reading
in order to say they have that trait.
Parts of who they are they have not had to
work for, but things they were born with.
Ask them to think of things about them
which require no skill or practice. Listen
for physical characteristics about them such
as their eye or hair color. Ask if they need
to practice anything to maintain their hair
color. Explain that these traits are inherited
rather than learned because they did not
need to practice a skill, but it is something
that was passed down through DNA.


Follow the IEP for select students.