Reproduction and Heredity


SciGuides are a collection of thematically aligned lesson plans, simulations, and web-based resources for teachers to use with their students centered on standards-aligned science concepts.

As older students enter the prepubescent years, they start to ask complex and sometimes sensitive questions. How does the egg become an organism? Do plants reproduce the same way as animals? Teaching about reproduction and heredity in these years is important since inaccuracies and misconceptions are easily developed. Whether you are teaching elementary students about characteristics and life cycles, or middle school students about reproduction and heredity, this web guide is an excellent resource for locating some of the best web sites to help develop student understanding from kindergarten through eighth grade.

This web guide has multiple sites to help students and teachers develop an understanding of themes. Some sites are interactive and allow for student exploration into a deeper understanding of the theme. Others are good for core content, career information, or data sources. Use the icons associated with each site to select those that will meet your instructional needs. If you are looking for something specific, such as assessment, you can use the icons at the top as a filter to help you locate the resources you need.

The content contained here also reminds teachers of the sensitive issues that arise when investigating human pedigrees, and offers alternative investigations into all characteristics -- whether genetic or environmental.

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Reviews (8)
  • on Fri Nov 03, 2017 1:57 PM

I am doing my student teaching this coming Spring, and I will be taking on heredity and reproduction for about a months time. This SciGuide provides a ton of great videos, images, lessons, ideas and resources for not only the student but the teacher alike. The activities such as the DIY strawberry DNA and the Baby Build are directed in a way that students can put what they're learning into practice. This SciGuide also allows for great hands on student inquiry that will allow students to explore their topics even further with questions. I cannot wait to use some of these things in the classroom!

Rachael Bickel  (Warren, OH)
Rachael Bickel (Warren, OH)

  • on Thu Sep 18, 2014 4:15 AM

SciGuides are really fantastic. When it's time to teach life science, I can be confident knowing I'll have the Reproduction and Heredity SciGuide to go to for lesson plans, simulations, and web-based resources. I'll be able to create outstanding lessons in a shorter amount of time since many resources are easily accessible in this SciGuide.

Naomi Beverly  (Marietta, GA)
Naomi Beverly (Marietta, GA)

  • on Fri Nov 30, 2012 1:12 PM

I found this Sci-Guide to be ver insightful and helpful to my class and I when learning about Heredity. While I knew I had a basic understanding of how traits were passed down genetically his Sci-guide provided many great lessons and ideas which benefited my teaching. In Addition, the Sci-Guide gave many useful resources like links to other websites and resources which provided even more support for my students. The baby building lesson went right with what I wanted to teach my students about why we have the eye and hair color we do in addition to other traits we are born with. I also found the student samples to very helpful with assessments for myself and the students. I know that I will use this resource again in the future if it is available to add just a little more to my lessons.

Michael L
Michael L

  • on Tue Feb 28, 2012 1:23 PM

Fantastic Images!

Ogechi Uwaga
Ogechi Uwaga

  • on Tue Jan 17, 2012 10:23 AM

This sci-guide introduces two of the most important bases of life: reproduction and heredity. Reproduction being the mode of how living organisms are set apart from the non-living in the sense of making their copies with both extrinsic and intrinsic characteristics of the parent organisms. These are called offspring. The pattern by which these reproduction process happen are dictated by some codes found in the domain of heredity. This is very exciting array of lessons that can establish the foundations of life in young learners.

Ronaldo Relador  (Bowie, MD)
Ronaldo Relador (Bowie, MD)

  • on Thu Nov 08, 2012 8:24 PM

The Reproduction and Heredity SciGuide was a great assistance to me. Although I have been teaching for many years, this year thanks to the SciGuide I went a little further into my lessons/discussions on reproduction and traits. My students got a greater understanding of the reason why reproduction is important in order for a species to continue. The theme Every Organism Requires a Set of Instructions for Specific Traits, went right along with my "Baby Building" lesson. From this SciGuide I was able to see lesson plan ideas and actual student samples. These resources are very helpful, learning from each other is one of the things that keep us getting stronger as educators. I strongly recommend this SciGuide to anyone who teaches Reproduction and Heredity.

Ricki Luster
Ricki Luster

  • on Sun Sep 09, 2012 8:41 PM

I like how the SciGuide provides an overview for each focus. In this case, I reviewed the "Reproduction and Heredity" SciGuide. The SciGuide map outlines the themes and keywords for the two specific themes. Each keywords had resources for teachers and students that each listed the features for that specific resource. The resources provided are reliable sources, but some sources did not work ( ). I like the "Do-It-Yourself: Strawberry DNA" activity because it provides visuals and a hands-on inquiry lesson for students to concretely understand that DNA is in all living things. This will work perfectly with all my students, especially my ELL students. The videos provided by PBS and Nova will also provide another source of visualization to help my students.

Monica Chavez  (Kailua-Kona, HI)
Monica Chavez (Kailua-Kona, HI)

  • on Sat Sep 08, 2012 4:39 PM

The SciGuide features two main sections, "Every Organism requires a set of instructions for specific traits" and "Reproduction is the characteristic of all living things." In the unit plan given in this section, it has videos on the journey of the sperm as it reaches the egg, mouse genetics, and passing on DNA. Parts of the lesson rely upon the students viewing the video prior to conducting the lesson - so like all lessons it's wise to make sure you have enough time to view these videos as well as the logistics like having a projector. Doing this lesson would undoubtedly be a bit more difficult if you are floating and don't have your own classroom. This SciGuide is also meant mostly for 6-8 graders but for teachers like me who have many ELL students the difficulty level of this SciGuide may actually be more appropriate for 9th graders, especially if you have an integrated science class. All the links that I clicked on worked, which is good, since other SciGuides in the past have had outdated links. Would recommend using this SciGuide.

Loren Nomura
Loren Nomura

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