Next Generation Science Standards

Inherited Traits/Learned Behaviors

Good Evening! 
I am a student teacher at the University of Houston (Main Campus). I have a lesson on Inherited Traits/Learned Behaviors for a fourth grade math/science class. In the class, I have two students who are adopted (and are aware that their parents are not their birth parents.) One of the students has met her birth parents, and the other student has not. How should I go about this lesson of what students may have inherited from their parents while still being sensitive to the fact that maybe not all students know their birth parents? I also want to make sure they can make those real-world connections, but I do not want to be insensitive to the subject. 

 

Please leave your advice/comments below!

Thanks!

Rana Shahin
Rana Shahin
810 Activity Points

Perhaps you could have some of your students research inherited traits/ learned behaviors of animals.

Pamela Dupre
Pamela Dupre
92289 Activity Points

This is a topic that teachers need to be sensitive about. Pamela's suggestion to use animals is a good one. I've looked at the activities in Teach Genetics, from the University of Utah. The series of lessons Introduction to Heredity and Traits may have some suggestions you could use. The lessons are for grades 5 and up but look like they could be adapted. --Mary B  

Mary Bigelow
Mary Bigelow
10070 Activity Points

I definitely agree that this is a sensitive topic and it's awesome that you are aware of this already. I agree with Pamela's suggestion to use animals as an alternative or in addition to inherited traits/learned behaviors from parents. You could also make a small announcement (not making it a big deal) at the beginning of class the situation you have or talk to your two students off to the side about it. Possibly partnering your students up could be helpful- partner the adopted students with someone who does know their parents so they can discuss and learn from one another still so they are not missing out on this learning opportunity. Good luck!

Kate Mellon
Kate Mellon
960 Activity Points

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