Inherited traits of organisms

Inherited traits of organisms

I can identify and explain the inherited traits of different organisms.

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Inherited traits of organisms

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Students will learn what inherited traits are and how they are passed on from generation to generation. They will be presented with different examples of inherited traits and look at pictures of organisms to determine some traits they have in common. They will also practice sorting traits as either inherited or not inherited. In the end, students complete an inherited traits survey and take note of their own traits!



Learning Objective

Students will be able to analyze and interpret data to provide evidence that plants and animals have traits inherited from parents and that variation of these traits exists in a group of similar organisms. They will be able to explain how many characteristics of organisms are inherited from their parents.


The lesson begins with a partner share in which students discuss the physical features they have that are similar to their siblings, parents, and grandparents and which of their features are different. They will be asked to think about features such as hair color, eye color, dimples, freckles, etc.


Explain what “traits” are and have students observe the pictures. What traits do they see in the pictures? After this, discuss inherited traits and define what “genes” are. Provide some examples of inherited traits like hair color, eye color, and foot size. Animals also have inherited traits. Have students draw a line to match the traits to the corresponding pictures. In addition to inherited traits, we also have learned behaviors. Share some examples. Ask students to discuss what learned behaviors they have acquired. Finally, students drag to sort traits into “inherited traits” or “learned behaviors.”


Students respond to ten multiple-choice and true or false questions.


Students will complete the inherited traits survey and bring it back the next day so they can share what inherited traits they have and from whom! A printable worksheet is included for this activity.

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