Grade Levels: 6-8, 9-12

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This lesson accompanies the BrainPOP topic, Genetics, and supports the standard of understanding that organisms transfer genetic material to their offspring and these genes affect the traits of the offspring. Students demonstrate understanding through a variety of projects.


Pose the following discussion question to pairs of students or small groups. Allow time for them to discuss their predictions and hypotheses, encouraging them to use information observed in their daily life. Ask:

  • Why do you think that biological families of people, plants, or animals, tend to look alike or share characteristics? What causes people to look like their biological parents? What causes a litter of dogs to look like their parents?


Step 3: APPLY and ASSESS 

Assign Genetics Quiz, prompting students to apply essential literacy skills while demonstrating what they learned about this topic.


Students express what they learned about genetics while practicing essential literacy skills with one or more of the following activities. Differentiate by assigning ones that meet individual student needs.

  • Make-a-Movie: Create a BrainPOP-style movie that describes what genes are and where they come from. 
  • Make-a-Map: Make a concept map identifying the roles of genes, DNA, and chromosomes. Use analogies like the ones in the movie to explain how genes are passed down from the parents to the offspring.
  • Creative Coding: Code a comic with two characters: a white-flowered pea plant and a purple-flowered pea plant. Have them describe how they will pass down their traits to their offspring.

More to Explore 

Flap to the Future: Explore evolution by earning adaptations in this interactive learning game.

Related BrainPOP Topics: Deepen understanding of inheritance and variation of traits with these topics: Heredity, DNA, and RNA.

Teacher Support Resources:

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments