Inheriting traits studies weekly lesson plan

Science Lesson Plan: Inheriting Traits

To best utilize these science lessons, you will need to have purchased the new science curriculum.

Background Knowledge: 

Background Knowledge for teachers is in the printed and online Teacher Edition.

Lesson Plan:

  1. Day 1: (This lesson might take two days.)
    1. Look at pictures of giraffes and okapis in the student edition (Science Studies Weekly, Grade 3, Week 21). 
    2. Ask students: What do you notice about these two animals? Students will annotate the text with observations from the weekly issue. 
  2. Read the article questions with the students.
  3. Read the graphic organizer Giraffes and Okapis. Have the students underline facts about each animal.
  4. Ask students to discuss ideas with a partner and then make predictions about how these two animals are related. 
  5. If students are struggling with ideas, help them think about foraging. It is thought that food was one of the driving factors for lengthening the neck. 
  6. Day 2: 
    1. Use the Inheritance Assessment graphic organizer.
    2. Students may need to look at images and information to match offspring with their parents.
    3. Students will work with one partner. The partnership will be given a stack of cards. The cards will have a description of either a parent or offspring.
    4. Students will play Memory and make correct matches of parents and offspring. When finished, they will write down the parent and offspring matches they both agree on, using the graphic organizer.
  7. Evaluate: Have students answer the question “Why do you think giraffes have long necks and okapis have short necks? in their science journals.
Think Deeply:

How are different animals related? What traits do they have in common? What traits do they share? What traits help identify offspring?

Well-Being Questions:
  • What are three traits you have inherited from your family members that you are grateful for?
  • What is a trait you have inherited that you would change?
  • How can you change your thinking about a trait you want to change?
Let’s Write:

What are some traits you inherited from family members? 

Graphic Organizers:

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