Elementary Science

Advice for Elementary Lessons on Heredity

Hello! I am currently a graduate student working for my Pre-K to Grade 4 certification. I have been assigned to develop a unit on heredity for my Elementary Science Teaching Methods class. This unit will consist of 6 to 8 lessons. I am aiming my lessons to second graders. My overarching theme of this unit is to explore the differences within a species (why do humans have so many similarities and differences). This is my first experience planning an entire unit of lessons. I would really appreciate any advice! Thanks, Alex

Alexandra Kenkelen
Alexandra Kenkelen
1145 Activity Points

Hi, I saw a great activity where student made an inventory of traits. This was for higher elementary grades but you can maybe look at it and adapt it so that it is appropriate to your grade level. You also can focus on pets, for example dob breeds or crossbreeds and have students analyze and observe their differences and similarities. Perhaps you have animal photos and have students group them or categorize them. You could also see if they can determine the parents based on physical traits.   http://teach.genetics.utah.edu/content/heredity/files/InventoryOfTraits.pdf

Jessica Ruiz Velasquez
Jessica Ruiz Velasquez
450 Activity Points

There is a website that is called betterlesson.com that is a great resource to teach science. It is filled with lessons from teachers that have taught units on different science ideas and provide videos and handouts that go with the lesson. It aligns itself quite nicely with the NGSS standards and format as well.

Justine Sandoval
Justine Sandoval
570 Activity Points

There is a website that is called betterlesson.com that is a great resource to teach science. It is filled with lessons from teachers that have taught units on different science ideas and provide videos and handouts that go with the lesson. It aligns itself quite nicely with the NGSS standards and format as well.

Justine Sandoval
Justine Sandoval
570 Activity Points

Good luck on your unit plan. I haven't worked specifically with this topic, but on first reading your question, I think it could be tricky to make a unit that uses 'humans' as the species unless you are also comfortable about getting into more 'social' type topics like diversity. I would personally pick something a little easier to work with like maybe kids 'pets' like cats, dogs, etc.. Most kids love their pets so might be very willing to discuss them!

Kristi Brockschmidt
Kristi Brockschmidt
2380 Activity Points

I completely agree! Using something like animals would let students really observe differences without offending anyone. It's also much easier to see the differences in genetics in different breeds of dogs. 

Monica Pelayo
Monica Pelayo
305 Activity Points

I think this topic is very difficult for 2nd grade. You might also want to be careful discussing humans similarities and differences. If you are going to do that, I would get prepared for some social emotional learning as well. Be careful not to reinforce stereotypes.

Daniel Carroll
Daniel Carroll
18550 Activity Points

I think this topic will be difficult to teach younger students to do, but I saw this great activity where you can teach them how heriderty through their family. Have them look at their families and have them understand it's usually carried through what your born with and family. For example if your parents have curly hair or blue eyes, most likely their children will have curly hair or blue eyes. This topic is a little hard to teach younger students but for older students you can teach them a lot more.  This website, will be good one to help you.  http://www.nclark.net/Genetics

Melissa Ruiz
Melissa Ruiz
495 Activity Points

I love this idea! Another thing you could possible add is have students create a family tree with their parents so they can observe different pictures of past family members that may not have even had a chance to meet.

Lauren Galindo
Lauren Galindo
375 Activity Points

Everyone had such great ideas regarding this unit! I will definitely be trying these activities in my future classroom if part of my curriculum.

Hailey Nouis
Hailey Nouis
1255 Activity Points

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