Introduction to Heredity and Traits
Five easy-to-implement activities teach the basics of heritable traits. Learners explore their physical features and determine how their traits relate to those of their classmates. They compile data in bar graphs and analyze similarities and differences with group discussion. They continue their study of heritable traits by identifying the presence of three traits: tongue rolling, PTC tasting, an earlobe attachment. Expanding their research to their families, scholars determine which of 10 different traits are prevalent among their families and explore how traits pass from grandparents to parents to children. After examining the difference between inherited and acquired traits among their family members, class members create family trees to show how the traits are similar throughout generations. To conclude the unit, young scientists explore the concept of DNA and learn how patterns determine traits in the DNA. Each lesson includes activities, implementation instructions, adaptations, and extensions. Three take-home activities help scholars share what they're learning with their families.