Grade 5 : Standard 4 - Heredity

Conceptual Strand 4

Plants and animals reproduce and transmit hereditary information between generations.

Guiding Question 4

What are the principal mechanisms by which living things reproduce and transmit information between parents and offspring?

Grade Level Expectations

Checks for Understanding

State Performance Indicators

GLE 0507.4.1 Describe how genetic information is passed from parents to offspring during reproduction.

GLE 0507.4.2 Recognize that some characteristics are inherited while others result from interactions with the environment.


0507.4.1 Explain how genetic information is transmitted from parents to offspring.

0507.4.2 Create a chart that compares hereditary and environmental traits.

0507.4.3 Distinguish between a scar and a birthmark in terms of their origins.

SPI 0507.4.1 Recognize that information is passed from parent to offspring during reproduction.

SPI 0507.4.2 Distinguish between inherited traits and those that can be attributed to the environment.

Tennessee Vocabulary 2009 Version with this Unit

inherited traits

Bedtime 5 for this Unit

Day 1 - Review Activities

  1. Review

  • Cell Parts (Use science notebooks to cards to review cell parts and their functions.)

  • Animal Classification (Use science notebooks to review characteristics of vertebrates.)

PowerPoint with Review Questions..\Review Science Unit 1.ppt

  1. Give Chapter 1 Unit Test

Day 2 - Heredity & Traits

  1. Compare photos of families. PowerPoint with Photos Heredity.ppt
    Humans ../../../animals/reproduction/family_photos.htm


Discuss similarities and differences in parents and their offspring.
Emphasize the only clear way to tell a parent from its offspring is the size.

  1. BrainPop on Heredity

  2. Tennessee Science Workbook Chapter 4 Part 1 pages 78-79 "How Are Traits Inherited?"

  3. Studying Traits Activity
    Resource - Discussion on genes (dominate and recessive)

Students should evaluate themselves for each of the above traits (characteristics). After recording the data, complete a class bar graph with the findings.

  1. Trait Bingo

Day 3 - Inherited and Acquired Traits

  1. Make graphic organizer with 2 pockets for:

    • Inherited Traits

    • Acquired Traits

    List traits on cards to sort into pockets:

    Inherited Traits Acquired Traits
    rolled tongue how to ride a bicycle
    widow's peak chicken pox marks
    curved thumb scars
    free or attached earlobe tooth with cavity
    dimples muscle tone
    cleft chin black eye
    coloring (eyes, hair, skin) sun tan
    fingerprints dyed hair
    bushy eyebrows ability to read
  1. Ten Questions on Inherited or Acquired Traits

  2. Discussion and Graphic Organizer

    *      0507.4.1 Explain how genetic information is transmitted from parents to offspring.






    • thread-like structures in the nucleus of almost every cell
    • come in matching pairs, one member of the pair providing genetic information from the mother, the other from the father

    • an extremely long molecule that is the main component of chromosomes and is the material that transfers genetic characteristics in all life forms
    • ladderlike two long chains twisted into a double helix
    • A portion of a DNA molecule that serves as the basic unit of heredity

    Chromosomes are thread-like structures in the nucleus of almost every cell. They come in matching pairs, one member of the pair providing genetic information from the mother, the other from the father.  Each human parent gives its child 23 chromosomes (23 from the mother and 23 from the father), totaling 46 in all.

    Each chromosome contains a very complex molecule called DNA.  The DNA molecule contains genes. A common analogy is that DNA is like the strands of a necklace and the chromosomes are the beads. Genes direct how an organismís body is built and maintained.

    Boy or Girl

    Twenty-two of the pairs of chromosomes are similar in males and females. The 23rd pair is different. A female has two X chromosomes and a male has an X and a Y chromosome.

  3. Experiment "Boy or Girl?"
    Explain to students that gender is determined by chromosomes that are inherited from parents. If an organism inherits two X chromosome, it will be female. If the organism inherits and X and Y chromosome it will be male. Complete the following experiment. (Marked one lima bean with a Y on one side and an X on the other. On another mark an X on both sides. Shake the beans and drop them on a desk. Record the results on a chart. After 10 times discuss.)

  4. Experiment (extract DNA from strawberries)

Day 4 - Dominant and Recessive Genes

  1. BrainPop

  2. Dominant or Recessive Genes

  3. Video Punnett Square - Gregor Mendel's Rules of Heredity: Using Punnett Squares [05:04]

  4. Make graphic organizer for science notebooks

  5. Plant Trait Activity

  6. Discuss plant hybrids and cuttings. (Plant spider plants.)

Day 5 - Dominant and Recessive Genes

  1. Marshmallow activity


  1. Birthmarks and Scars

    • Discuss differences

    • Make graphic organizer to distinguish the two

  2. Give Chapter 4 Unit Test