Students love to learn about themselves. Use this short study of observable variation of hereditary traits to engage your students to collect, analyze, and interpret relevant data. They then use that data as evidence to construct explanations. Teacher's guide, scoring rubric, science notes for reading and writing are included. This is relevant for applying math skills for surveying also.
2011 Science National Framework Grade Band Endpoints for LS3.B Variation of Traits
By the end of grade 5. Offspring acquire a mix of traits from their biological parents. Different organisms vary in how they look and function because they have different inherited information. In each kind of organism there is variation in the traits themselves, and different organisms may have different versions of the trait. The environment also affects the traits that an organism develops, differences in where they grow or in the food they consume may cause organisms that are related to end up looking or behaving differently.
Life Science3.B: Variation of Traits
Why do individuals of the same species vary in how they look, function, and behave? Variation among individuals of the same species can be explained by both genetic and environmental factors. Individuals within a species have similar but not identical genes. In sexual reproduction, variations in traits between parent and offspring arise from the particular set of chromosomes (and their respective multiple genes) inherited, with each parent contributing half of each chromosome pair. More rarely, such variations result from mutations, which are changes in the information that genes carry. Although genes control the general traits of any given organism, other parts of the DNA and external environmental factors can modify an individual's specific development, appearance, behavior, and likelihood of producing offspring. Thus, the set of variations of genes present, together with the interactions of genes with their environment, determines the distribution of variation of traits in a population.