This lesson (60-80 minutes) was created to introduce genetics to 6-8th graders by introducing the word "trait"-- students will identify traits (initially physical, but then medical and behavioral) in celebrities and themselves that are both "inherited" or "acquired" and discuss how traits are passed on, and which traits pass on genetically.
Students will work individually and in groups, discuss traits, watch a short web cartoon from Learn.Genetics, make a foldable, read about traits, categorize traits, watch instincts in action and more.
Other key words: dna, gene, phenotype, instinct
A "day 2" portion of the presentation includes more practice and higher level examples if students didn't master the concept on day 1. This material could also be used later in a center or as review before a test.