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Title: Heredity at the Read-ity

By: Emily Childs


Subject: Science, Reading, Writing,
Grade Level(s): 5th grade
Duration: 3-4 hours total
Standards and Elements:
Science:
S5CS1. Students will be aware of the importance of curiosity, honesty,
openness, and skepticism in science and will exhibit these traits in their
own efforts to understand how the world works.
a. Keep records of investigations and observations and do not alter the
records later.
b. Carefully distinguish observations from ideas and speculation about
those observations.
c. Offer reasons for findings and consider reasons suggested by others.
d. Take responsibility for understanding the importance of being safety
conscious.
S5CS6. Students will question scientific claims and arguments effectively.
a. Support statements with facts found in books, articles, and databases,
and identify the sources used.
b. Identify when comparisons might not be fair because some conditions
are different.
S5CS8. Students will understand important features of the process of
scientific inquiry.
Students will apply the following to inquiry learning practices:
a. Scientific investigations may take many different forms, including
observing what things are like or what is happening somewhere,
collecting specimens for analysis, and doing experiments.
b. Clear and active communication is an essential part of doing science. It
enables scientists to inform others about their work, expose their ideas
to criticism by other scientists, and stay informed about scientific
discoveries around the world.
c. Scientists use technology to increase their power to observe things and
to measure and compare things accurately.
d. Science involves many different kinds of work and engages men and
women of all ages and backgrounds.
*S5L2. Students will recognize that offspring can resemble parents in
inherited traits and learned behaviors.
a. Compare and contrast the characteristics of learned behaviors and of
inherited traits.
b. Discuss what a gene is and the role genes play in the transfer of traits.
Teacher note: Be sensitive to this topic since biological parents may be
unavailable.
Reading:

ELACC5RI3 Key Ideas and Details: Explain the relationships or interactions between
two or more individuals, events, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or
technical text based on specific information in the text.
ELACC5RI4 Craft and Structure: Determine the meaning of general academic and
domain-specific words and phrases in a text relevant to a grade 5 topic or subject
area.
*ELACC5RI5 Craft and Structure: Compare and contrast the overall structure (e.g.,
chronology, comparison, cause/effect, problem/solution) of events, ideas, concepts,
or information in two or more texts.
ELACC5RI6 Craft and Structure: Analyze multiple accounts of the same event or
topic, noting important similarities and differences in the point of view they
represent.
ELACC5RI10 Range of Reading and Complexity of Text: By the end of the year, read
and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and
technical texts, at the high end of the grades 45 text complexity band
independently and proficiently.
Writing:
ELACC5W1 Text Types and Purposes: Write opinion pieces on topics or texts,
supporting a point of view with reasons and information.
ELACC5W2 Text Types and Purposes: Write informative/explanatory texts to
examine a topic and convey and information clearly.
Speaking and Listening:
ELACC5SL1 Comprehension and Collaboration: Engage effectively in a range of
collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse
partners on grade 5 topics and texts, building on others ideas and expressing their
own clearly.
Summary: This lesson will integrate science, reading, writing, and speaking
standards in which students will attempt to uncover the mystery of one characters
traits.
Enduring Understanding(s): At the end of the lesson, students will acknowledge that
not all traits can be traced to its original source. Dominant and recessive genes can
be passed along, but two recessive genres have to match in order for that trait to
show, whereas one or more dominant genes will appear.
Essential Question(s):
How can you determine which physical attributes are inherited from family
members?
Which traits are dominant and recessive? Non-TAG
Could two traits be shown simultaneously?-TAG students
Evidence of Learning:
What student should KNOW: Difference between a dominant and recessive
gene, which traits are dominant and which are recessive
What students should BE ABLE TO DO: (SWBAT) Correctly complete a
Punnett square; explain how traits and behaviors are passed down through families;
trace a trait or behavior to infer where it came from

Suggested Vocabulary:
Chromosomes, DNA, genes, Punnett square, offspring, dominant, recessive
Procedure:
Day One:
1. Teacher will introduce the lesson and instructions for the following few
days, as in how to solve the mystery (the information provided) and how not
to (cannot simply browse the internet). Some students may get different
information (TAG and non-TAG), but you should only complete what is in your
instructions. Sometime students will work as a group, some independently,
and sometimes in pairs.
2. Teacher will next group studentscombining TAG and non-TAG students.
There should be at least four in a grouptwo TAG, two non-TAG. This balance
of students helps to scaffold questioning and bring new ideas to the group.
3. Handout Meeting 1 information to groups and allow students to start.
(10-15 minutes)
4. Write all groups main hypothesis into an excel file and post to website.
(5-10 minutes)
5. Handout Meeting 2 information and spend the rest of the class period on
this. (30+ minutes).
Day Two:
6. Start working independently on Meeting 3s questions. (5-10 minutes)
7. Once everyone has written something down, groups may work in pairs
to watch the Brainpop video and discuss the following activities on their
handout. (Should be group paired by TAG and Non-TAGTAG has other things
to research this day.) (20 minutes)
8. Get back together as a group and try to figure out Punnett squares.
During this time, the teacher should go around and help groups. (15 minutes)
9. Come together as a whole group at the end of class to check on
students progress. Complete several Punnett squares together in notes that
do not apply to Ginas family mystery. (Use Mack Pack family example
instead?) (10-15 minutes)
10.
HW for the night: read Science textbook p.328-334 and take notes
on important vocabulary, people, and events.
Day Three: All information is on the board this day, not paper handouts.
11.
Immediately start in groups and discuss last nights reading and
notes. Students should discuss then write a RACER (response strategy) for
the following question: Are there any cause and effect relationships in the
reading from last night? (Teacher take a HW grade during this time) (10
minutes)
12.
Create chart in notes underlining where Ginas trait came from in
science notebooks (10-15 minutes)

13.
Anchor chart synthesis: Add first hypothesis, data, and
supported/not supported to the anchor chart paper to share with the class.
(15-20 minutes)
14.
Museum walk. Students should make verbal observations with
their group. (15 minutes)
15.
Debrief as a classHow did Gina receive her traits? Is there one
answer? What was the best part of this activity? (10 minutes)
Assessment:
Informal through observation of student work and museum walk; Students
should be working as a group to pose questions and hypotheses to Ginas family
mystery.
Formal: Collect student packets for a classwork grade. See that all parts are
attempted and valid explanations with information at the time.
Technology Integration:
BrainPop on heredity (discussed Gregor Mendel, dominant, and recessive
genes)
Differentiation:
Enrichment: These students will be integrating higher knowledge into their
work and will take their learning further about heredity. They will learn about
codominance. Students will also have a brief question about learned behaviors
(handwriting) to start thinking in that direction. (That section of life science is taught
after directly after this.) (Labeled H pages)
Support/Intervention: For students who require more scaffolding to reach the
answer, they will be provided with a slightly different handout (Labeled A pages)
Resource(s)/Material(s):
Anchor chart paper, pencils, chromebooks, BrainPop, Science text book,
Handouts below, Promethean/projector board

A-Meeting 1
Heredity Mystery Problem
Ginas Family
Name:__________________

Gina is a 5th grader at Central Pointe Elementary School. She


10 years old and enjoyed her recent 5th grade field trip. On
the trip, Gina noticed some of her classmates with their
parent chaperones who had different hair colors or eye colors
than their mother or father. This intrigued Gina so she
started looking into her own family history.

is

Gina has blonde hair and brown eyes.

Her mother has green eyes and brunette hair. Ginas


mother used to have blonde hair as a child, but her
hair is now brown, or brunette.
When Ginas mother was a child, she lived in the
same city and went to the same elementary school
Gina attends. Ginas mother is right-handed, just like
Gina!

How could Gina have blonde hair but her mom has brunette hair?

How does Gina have brown eyes if her mother has green eyes?

List at least three hypotheses that could explain why Gina has blonde hair and
brown eyes, yet her mom has brunette hair and green eyes.

Hypothesis 1:

Hypothesis 2:

Hypothesis 3:

_____________________________________________________________________________________
Clues/Evidence:

Working as a geneticist, select the best hypothesis from above that explains why
Gina has a different eye and hair color from her mother and write it below.

Geneticist Team Hypothesis:

A-Meeting 2:

Gina continues to research her family history to try and discover the physical traits
she has inherited.
While looking through the family photo album, Gina finds a picture of her
grandmother from 1960. In the photo, her grandmother is getting married to her
grandfather. Ginas grandmother has very light blonde hair and looks to be about 20
years old.
This makes Gina wonder about where her hair color came from.
Gina cannot see her grandmothers eyes in the picture. She decides to look for
another picture in order to see the color of her grandmothers eyes. This might
help me figure out where I inherited my hair and eye color! Gina thinks to herself
while she searches.
After some time looking in another photo album, Gina finds a picture of her
grandmother smiling at the camera standing with her son, Ginas father. Gina is
surprised when she discovers that her grandmother had blue eyes.
Wait. Gina pauses, confused. I have brown eyes, but my grandmother has blue
eyes and my mother has green eyesblue and green mix to make yellow and I
certainly dont have yellow eyes. This stumps Gina further, but she has not given
up yet!
How did Gina get her brown eyes? What clues does this information
provide or add to the mystery of Ginas traits? Complete the family tree with
traits and attributes included. (Leave blanks for family members that you do not
know their traits.)

Compare and Contrast Ginas Traits with her mothers:


Gina
Ginas mother

Compare and Contrast Ginas traits with her grandmothers (fathers mother):
Gina
grandmother

Ginas

A-Meeting 3:
Ginas dad grew up in Kentucky, a different state than his wife and Ginas mother.
Ginas father has brown eyes, but his mother (Ginas grandmother) has blue eyes.

Gina is confused wondering how and why her father would have a different eye
color than his mother. This is just like me! Gina persists, I have a different eye
color than my mother; therefore, if I can figure out how my dad have a different eye
color than his mom, maybe I can solve my own mystery!
What can you predict?

Why would Ginas father have brown eyes, but his mother had blue eyes?

What eyes color can you predict Ginas grandfather (her fathers father) has?

AFTER filling out the questions above:


Watch BrainPop on heredity. (username: shakerages; password: sharks)
Add vocabulary words and important people mentioned in the video to your science
notebook.
How can you utilize the information from the video to better understand the
information?
(Rewatch the video as many times as needed to collect information and figure out
how to do the same process with Ginas traitseye and hair color.)
Click on the dominant and recessive list of genes part of Brainpop. Which traits
apply to YOU! Do any apply to Gina?!
What are some new predictions you can make about Ginas heredity?
1.
2.
3.
Create a Punnett Square with the information learned from Gina and her relatives.
Ex: Eye color (Use Ginas parents to find the possibilities)
Complete a Punnett Square to prove your hypothesis on dominance.

A-Meeting 4: Synthesis

Read p.328-334 page from your science textbook and take notes. Look for important
vocabulary, people, and events. (HOMEWORK)
--Answer this question in your notebook: What cause and effect relationship(s)
is/are found in characteristics?

Discuss important parts to take away from the reading within your group.
Then discuss what information from the textbook can help you solve this mystery.

In your notebook, create a chart of Ginas traits and her family members
underlining which person/people she inherited the trait. (There may be a direct link
to a specific person and there may not be a direct link to a specific person.)

Final Instructions!

Write your groups first team hypothesis (from Meeting 1) on your anchor chart
paper at the top. State whether your hypothesis is supported or not supported
from the evidence you have received each day. (Science is about testing hypotheses
and learning from them, not about being correct each time.)

Next, list the specific pieces of evidence you deem important to your conclusion
about Ginas traits. Organize it into GROUPS. (Not a list, groups or areas of
important evidence.)
Please write it out so others can understand your thinking.**

Finally, summarize what your group determined to the source where Gina got her
eye color and hair color into a sentence.

**Museum walk

H-Meeting 1
Heredity Mystery Problem
Ginas Family

Name:__________________

Gina is a 5th grader at Central Pointe Elementary School. She


10 years old and enjoyed her recent 5th grade field trip. On
the trip, Gina noticed some of her classmates with their
parent chaperones who had different hair colors or eye colors
than their mother or father. This intrigued Gina so she
started looking into her own family history.

is

Gina has blonde hair and brown eyes.

Her mother has green eyes and brunette hair. Ginas


mother used to have blonde hair as a child, but her
hair is now brown, or brunette.

When Ginas mother was a child, she lived in the


same city and went to the same elementary school
Gina attends. Ginas mother is right-handed, just like Gina!

How could Gina have blonde hair but her mom has brunette hair?

How does Gina have brown eyes if her mother has green eyes?

List at least three hypotheses that could explain why Gina has blonde hair and
brown eyes, yet her mom has brunette hair and green eyes.

Hypothesis 1:

Hypothesis 2:

Hypothesis 3:

_____________________________________________________________________________________
Clues/Evidence:

Working as a geneticist, select the best hypothesis from above that explains why
Gina has a different eye and hair color from her mother and write it below.

Geneticist Team Hypothesis:

H-Meeting 2:
Gina continues to research her family history to try and discover the physical traits
she has inherited.

While looking through the family photo album, Gina finds a picture of her
grandmother from 1960. In the photo, her grandmother is getting married to her
grandfather. Ginas grandmother has very light blonde hair and looks to be about 20
years old.

This makes Gina wonder about where her hair color came from.

Gina cannot see her grandmothers eyes in the picture. She decides to look for
another picture in order to see the color of her grandmothers eyes. This might
help me figure out where I inherited my hair and eye color! Gina thinks to herself
while she searches.

After some time looking in another photo album, Gina finds a picture of her
grandmother smiling at the camera standing with her son, Ginas father. Gina is
surprised when she discovers that her grandmother had blue eyes.

Wait. Gina pauses, confused. I have brown eyes, but my grandmother has blue
eyes and my mother has green eyesblue and green mix to make yellow and I
certainly dont have yellow eyes. This stumps Gina further, but she has not given
up yet!

How did Gina get her brown eyes? What clues does this information
provide or add to the mystery of Ginas traits? Complete the family tree with
traits and attributes included. (Leave blanks for family members that you do not
know their traits.)

Compare and Contrast Ginas Traits with her mothers:

Gina
Ginas mother

Compare and Contrast Ginas


traits with her grandmothers
(fathers mother):

Gina
grandmother

Ginas

H-Meeting 3:

Ginas dad grew up in Kentucky, a different state than his wife and Ginas mother.
Ginas father is left-handed. This is different from Ginas mother and her, both of
whom are right-handed. Do you inherit which hand you write with from your family
or is it an individual choice? Gina ponders. For another day she muses. Right
now she is hot on the trail for different hair and eye color! Ginas father has brown
eyes, but his mother (Ginas grandmother) has blue eyes. Gina is confused
wondering how and why her father would have a different eye color than his mother.
This is just like me! Gina persists, I have a different eye color than my mother;
therefore, if I can figure out how my dad have a different eye color than his mom,
maybe I can solve my own mystery!

What can you predict?

Why would Ginas father have brown eyes, but his mother had blue eyes?

What eyes color can you predict Ginas grandfather (her fathers father) has?

Do you have any predictions about the handwriting commentary from Gina?
Do you think it is inherited or each person chooses?

AFTER filling out the questions above:


Watch BrainPop on heredity. (username: shakerages; password: sharks)
Add vocabulary words and important people mentioned in the video to your science
notebook.
How can you utilize the information from the video to better understand the
information?

(Rewatch the video as many times as needed to collect information and figure out
how to do the same process with Ginas traitseye and hair color.)
Read co-dominance article (from BrainPop).

Click on the dominant and recessive list of genes part of Brainpop. Which traits
apply to YOU! Do any apply to Gina?!

What are some new predictions you can make about Ginas heredity?

1.

2.

3.

Create a Punnett Square with the information learned from Gina and her relatives.
Concerning Co-dominance, could Gina be showing two traits??
Complete a Punnett Square to prove your hypothesis on dominance.

H-Meeting 4: Synthesis

Read p.328-334 page from your science textbook and take notes. Look for important
vocabulary, people, and events. (HOMEWORK)
--Answer this question in your notebook: What cause and effect relationship(s)
is/are found in characteristics?

Discuss important parts to take away from the reading within your group.
Then discuss what information from the textbook can help you solve this mystery.

In your notebook, create a chart of Ginas traits and her family members
underlining which person/people she inherited the trait. (There may be a direct link
to a specific person and there may not be a direct link to a specific person.)

Final Instructions!

Write your groups first team hypothesis (from Meeting 1) on your anchor chart
paper at the top. State whether your hypothesis is supported or not supported
from the evidence you have received each day. (Science is about testing hypotheses
and learning from them, not about being correct each time.)

Next, list the specific pieces of evidence you deem important to your conclusion
about Ginas traits. Organize it into GROUPS. (Not a list, groups or areas of
important evidence.)
Please write it out so others can understand your thinking.**

Finally, summarize what your group determined to the source where Gina got her
eye color and hair color into a sentence.

**Museum walk