Grade Levels: 6-8, 9-12

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This lesson accompanies the BrainPOP topic Heredity, and supports the standard of describing why sexual reproduction results in offspring with genetic variation. Students demonstrate understanding through a variety of projects.

Step 1: ACTIVATE PRIOR KNOWLEDGE

Ask students:

  • What are some physical traits you’ve seen passed down in families? 

Step 2: BUILD KNOWLEDGE

  • Read the description on the Heredity topic page.
  • Play the Movie, pausing to check for understanding. 
  • Have students read one of the Related Reading articles. Partner them with someone who read a different article to share what they learned with each other.

Step 3: APPLY and ASSESS 

Students take the Heredity Quiz, applying essential literacy skills while demonstrating what they learned about this topic.

Step 4: EXTEND and DEEPEN

Students express what they learned about heredity 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: Produce a tutorial that answers this question: Based on Mendel’s laws, why might a pea plant with tall parents be short?
  • Make-a-Map: Create a concept map identifying and describing physical traits that a person might inherit from their parents. Give examples. 
  • Creative Coding: Code a digital museum exhibit featuring figures and artifacts to represent advances in the science of genetics.

More to Explore 

Related BrainPOP Topics: Deepen understanding of heredity with these topics: Genetics, Genetic Mutations, and DNA

Teacher Support Resources

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments

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