Big Idea 16: Heredity and Reproduction

A. Offspring of plants and animals are similar to, but not exactly like, their parents or each other.

B. Life cycles vary among organisms, but reproduction is a major stage in the life cycle of all organisms.
General Information
Number: SC.4.L.16
Title: Heredity and Reproduction
Type: Big Idea
Subject: Science
Grade: 4
Body of Knowledge: Life Science

Related Benchmarks

This cluster includes the following benchmarks.

Related Access Points

This cluster includes the following access points.

Independent

SC.4.L.16.In.1
Identify that insects spread pollen to help flowering plants make seeds.
SC.4.L.16.In.2
Identify behaviors that animals have naturally (inherit) and behaviors that animals learn.
SC.4.L.16.In.3
Identify similarities in the major stages in the life cycles of common Florida plants and animals.

Supported

SC.4.L.16.Su.1
Recognize that many flowering plants grow from their own seeds.
SC.4.L.16.Su.2
Recognize behaviors of common animals.
SC.4.L.16.Su.2
Recognize behaviors of common animals.
SC.4.L.16.Su.3
Recognize the major stages in life cycles of common plants and animals.

Participatory

SC.4.L.16.Pa.1
Recognize that many plants have flowers and leaves.
SC.4.L.16.Pa.2
Recognize similarities between self and parents.
SC.4.L.16.Pa.3
Match offspring of animals with parents.

Related Resources

Vetted resources educators can use to teach the concepts and skills in this topic.

Assessment

Inherited vs. Learned Behavior:

This is an assessment in which students will identify characteristics of organisms that are inherited from their parents and others that are learned from interacting with the environment. The assessment includes multiple choice questions and a short response question.

Type: Assessment

Educational Software / Tool

What Is It Like Where You Live?:

This site offers an abundance of information on Earth's biomes (rainforest, tundra, taiga, desert, temperate, and grasslands), as well as marine and freshwater ecosystems. The site features relevant facts, pictures, maps, indigenous plants and animals, additional links, and much more.

This resource is a wonderful reference, not a lesson plan. Teachers will need to provide an objective and structure for student interaction with the website.

Type: Educational Software / Tool

Lesson Plans

We All Need Trees:

Students are often surprised to learn how many different products we get from trees. Use this activity to help your students learn just how much we depend on trees in our daily lives.

Type: Lesson Plan

A Skateboard Riding Dog! - Exploring the Difference Between Learned and Inherited Animal Behaviors:

This is a 5E lesson which allows students to explore the differences between learned and inherited behaviors in animals. The lesson includes engaging videos of animals doing incredible things.

Type: Lesson Plan

Plant Package:

The Model Eliciting Activity (MEA) is written at a 4th grade level. The Plant Package provides students with an engineering problem in which they are asked to rank different plant packaging designs using recycled materials.

Type: Lesson Plan

BUGS...Food Of The Future?:

In this 4th grade MEA, students will work in groups to develop a procedure to rank which insect would be the best bug to farm for human consumption in the USA. Students will consider factors such as nutritional value, length of insect life cycle, stage of life cycle the insect can be served, notes from chefs, customer tasting notes, level of difficulty to farm, and price. This MEA allows students to apply scientific content, metamorphosis, in a real world application, while developing high-level problem solving skills.

Type: Lesson Plan

Wake up America!:

Students explore the impact plants, animals, and humans are having on the environment - especially native plants and animals. This lesson has some interesting hands-on investigations to help students visualize the impact pollution is having on habitats. For the final project, students use their research to create a class book informing others about plants and animals that are endangered. Students also share ways people can help!

This lesson includes reading and writing activities that could be integrated into daily reading and language arts time blocks.

Type: Lesson Plan

Glow Kitty, Glow!:

This lesson studies the emerging science of using glow technology (phosphorescence and fluorescence) to improve the well-being of living things. Students will be introduced to the Glow Kitten and other animals that are naturally bioluminescent or have been modified by human impact. Then students will take part in their own investigation and create a glowing carnation while considering ways this technology can be used in their own lives. Along the way, students will research books, articles, and websites and use journal entries to record their learning. Finally, students will create their own advertisement highlighting their glowing carnation and its amazing uses!

Type: Lesson Plan

Who's to Blame? Me or My Parents?:

This is an integrated science and reading lesson. This lesson is intended as a beginning of year lesson to give students the foundation in some of the practice of science and writing standards. Students will conduct an investigation on inherited traits and use evidence from a research article and their investigation to support their findings.

Type: Lesson Plan

Dissect It!:

After dissecting a flower(s), the students will be able to identify the parts necessary for pollination, or reproduction of flowering plants. They will also make comparisons and find patterns in nature, leading them to the understanding of the processes of sexual reproduction in flowering plants, including pollination and fertilization (seed production).

Type: Lesson Plan

Pollination:

Information, pictures, videos, a song, and lesson plans all about pollination. Lesson plans cover making models of flowers and pollinators, hand pollinating real flowers, and classifying flowers by the pollinators they attract.

Type: Lesson Plan

Honey Bee Human--an Engineering Design Challenge:

This Engineering Design Challenge is intended to help students apply the concepts of pollination from SC.4.L.16.1 as they design an apparatus that will pollinate a field. It is not intended as an initial introduction to this benchmark.

In this Engineering Design Challenge, students will make a 2-dimensional model (a graphic illustration) rather than build a prototype.

Type: Lesson Plan

Exploring Plants:

Students will be introduced to the study of plants in this lesson. First they will sprout bean seeds on moistened paper towels, then make drawings and measurements of their growth. They will watch time-lapse videos that illustrate a plant's major growth stages. Another clip covers fruits and asks students to consider how their seeds are spread. They will gather seeds by walking outside with an old sock over one of their shoes, then plant their sock to observe the resulting plants.

Type: Lesson Plan

Have I Morphed Yet?:

In this sequence of observations, students will observe the life cycles of butterflies, darkling beetles, preying mantises, and grasshoppers to compare and contrast complete metamorphosis (butterflies and darkling beetles) and incomplete metamorphosis (preying mantis, grasshoppers, termites).

This sequence is a long-term investigation. The initial cycle requires a 45-60 minute period to introduce and model journal entries, but after that it only requires 5-10 minutes per day to make observations. Research can be done throughout the cycle at a Reading center. At the conclusion of each cycle, another 45 minute session is needed for wrap-up and assessment.

SPECIAL NOTE: To fully implement this benchmark, the teacher should repeat this basic investigation format with plants. Beans and daisies work well as flowering plants and allow the students to proceed through the entire life cycle (seed, seedling, adult, back to the seed stage). This can be done in conjunction with benchmark SC.4.L.16.1: Identify processes of sexual reproduction in flowering plants, including pollination, fertilization (seed dispersal), and germination. For non-flowering, seed-bearing plants (conifers), you can't go through an entire life cycle within the classroom. However, this website has an image that goes through the life cycle of a conifer: 

Type: Lesson Plan

Caution! School's a Zoo!:

This is a fun science lesson that teaches children about inherited animal behaviors through observation and direct instruction. Students then use their new skills to write a news article explaining what school might be like if teachers or students had different inherited and learned behaviors. This lesson can be integrated into reading and includes an opportunity for writing across the curriculum.

Type: Lesson Plan

Everglades Pollination Contest:

This is a MEA where students act as contest participants to determine the best flower to introduce to the Everglades for pollinators including those that are blind.

Type: Lesson Plan

Original Student Tutorials

Did I Know How to Wink, Or Did My Parents Teach Me? Part 2 - Learned Behaviors:

Explore learned animal behaviors and the differences between hereditary and learned behaviors in this interactive tutorial.

This is part 2 of a two-part series. Click to open Part 1, which focuses on hereditary behaviors in animals. 

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Did I Know How to Blink, Or Did My Parents Teach Me? – Part 1 Hereditary Behaviors:

Learn how animal behaviors may be shaped by heredity and learning and how to distinguish between the two types of behavior in this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Animal Traits:

Explore animal traits and how they gain them as you complete this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Plant Traits:

Explore how traits of plants are affected by parents and the outside world in this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

The Life Cycles of Florida Plants:

Explore the life cycle of different Florida seed plants: the longleaf pine and the orange tree.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

The Life Cycles of Florida Animals:

Explore the life cycles of animals including simple, complete metamorphosis and incomplete metamorphosis in this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

A Plant's Life:

Follow the steps of the life cycle of flowering plants in this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Teaching Ideas

What's for Dinner? SeaWorld Classroom Activity:

In this activity, the students will gain an understanding of animal interaction and the role of camouflage in the dynamics of an ecosystem.

Type: Teaching Idea

Seed Dispersal:

People plant some seeds, but most plants don't rely on people. Plants rely on animals and wind and water to help scatter their seeds. This site has great resources on seed dispersal.

Type: Teaching Idea

Bird Beaks:

This lesson focuses on bird beaks, exploring the relationship between a bird's beak and its ability to find food and survive in a given environment.

Type: Teaching Idea

Jump or Be Lunch! SeaWorld Classroom Activity:

Students will predict how high they can jump and then compare the height of their jumps to how high a rockhopper penguin can jump out of the water. They will practice mathematical skills for determining averages.

Type: Teaching Idea

Specialized Structures and Environments:

This investigation will show students specialization in species as it applies to heredity and adaptation of species to their given environment.

Type: Teaching Idea

Text Resources

Metamorphosis:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article describes the complete and incomplete metamorphosis stages.

Type: Text Resource

Biology of Plants:

Younger students can learn about plant biology. Topics include characteristics of living things, germination and growth, the basic parts of plants, photosynthesis, reproduction, and ecological adaptations of plants. The information presented can also be ordered as a video.

Type: Text Resource

Forest Trees of Florida :

Florida Division of Forestry – This website provides identifications, descriptions, and biological classifications of Florida trees. The website is presented in field-guide format, providing sketches of elements such as the leaves, fruit, and flowers. Also, the trees included are grouped alphabetically.

Type: Text Resource

Unit/Lesson Sequences

Honeybee Mystery--a Comprehension Instructional Sequence Lesson Plan:

In this lesson tied to Florida Standards for English/Language Arts, students receive support as they read a complex informational text about honeybees. The teacher facilitates a close reading and writing a response-to-text.

Type: Unit/Lesson Sequence

Plants Parts and Life Cycles:

In this unit, students learn about various plants, their parts, their life cycles, and the importance of bees in plant reproduction.

Type: Unit/Lesson Sequence

Pollination:

The students will identify the plant parts involved in reproduction, identify the animal (bee) structures involved in pollination, and demonstrate how pollen moves from the male stamen to the female stigma.

Type: Unit/Lesson Sequence

Video/Audio/Animations

Plants in Motion - Sunflower germination light/dark:

This is a short time-lapse video of sunflower seeds germinating in either light or dark conditions. Different patterns of growth are observable. Includes descriptions of what is being seen.

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

Sock Seeds:

This video clip presents a fun experiment: wear an old sock over your shoe and then take a walk through a grassy or weedy field or forest, and finally plant the sock to see what grows from it. This experiment sheds some light on the local plant species and also helps teach the evolutionary strategies plants take advantage of to disperse seeds. A background essay provides some very helpful information about seed dispersal as well and discussion questions help sum it all up.

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

Soybean growth rate response to touch:

A time-lapse video showing differential growth rates for touch-treated seedlings and control seedlings. This would be appropriate for lessons about plant growth responses to environmental stress and graphing growth rate. Plants were grown in a vermiculite soilless medium with calcium-enhanced water. No other minerals or nutrients were used. Plants were grown in a dark room with specially-filtered green light. The plants did not grow by cellular reproduction but only by expansion of existing cells in the hypocotyl region below the 'hook'.
Video contains three plants in total. The first two plants to emerge from the vermiculite medium are the control (right) and treatment (left) plants. A third plant emerges in front of these two but is removed at the time of treatment and is not relevant except to help indicate when treatment was applied (watch for when it disappears). When that plant disappears, the slowed growth rate of the treatment plant is apparent.
Treatment included a gentle flexing of the hypocotyl region of the treatment seedling for approximately 5 seconds. A rubber glove was used at this time to avoid an contamination of the plant tissue.
Some video players allow users to 'scrub' the playback back and forth. This would help teachers or students isolate particular times (as indicated by the watch) and particular measurements (as indicated by the cm scale). A graph could be constructed by first creating a data table and then plotting the data points from the table. Multiple measurements from the video could be taken to create an accurate graph of the plants' growth rates (treatment vs control).
Instructions for graphing usage:
The scale in the video is in centimeters (one cm increments). Students could observe the initial time on the watch in the video and use that observation to represent time (t) = 0. For that value, a mark could be made to indicate the height of the seedlings. As they advance and pause the video repeatedly, the students would mark the time (+2.5 hours for example) and mark the related seedling heights. It is not necessary to advance the video at any regular interval but is necessary to mark the time and related heights as accurately as possible. Students may use different time values and would thus have different data sets but should find that their graphs are very similar. (Good opportunity to collect data from real research and create their own data sets) It is advised that the students collect multiple data points around the time where the seedling growth slows in response to touch to more accurately collect information around that growth rate slowing event. The resulting graph should have an initial growth rate slope, a flatter slope after stress treatment, and a return to approximately the same slope as seen pre-treatment. More data points should yield a more thorough view of this. This would be a good point to discuss. Students can use some of their data points to calculate approximate pre-treatment, immediate post-treatment, and late post-treatment slopes for both the control and treatment seedlings.
This video was created by the submitter and is original content.
Full screen playback should be an option for most video players. Video quality may appear degraded with a larger image but this may aid viewing the watch and scale for data collection.

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

WebQuest

What's It Like Where You Live?:

The website gives great information on the different biomes and ecosystems of the world.

Type: WebQuest

Student Resources

Vetted resources students can use to learn the concepts and skills in this topic.

Original Student Tutorials

Did I Know How to Wink, Or Did My Parents Teach Me? Part 2 - Learned Behaviors:

Explore learned animal behaviors and the differences between hereditary and learned behaviors in this interactive tutorial.

This is part 2 of a two-part series. Click to open Part 1, which focuses on hereditary behaviors in animals. 

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Did I Know How to Blink, Or Did My Parents Teach Me? – Part 1 Hereditary Behaviors:

Learn how animal behaviors may be shaped by heredity and learning and how to distinguish between the two types of behavior in this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Animal Traits:

Explore animal traits and how they gain them as you complete this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Plant Traits:

Explore how traits of plants are affected by parents and the outside world in this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

The Life Cycles of Florida Plants:

Explore the life cycle of different Florida seed plants: the longleaf pine and the orange tree.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

The Life Cycles of Florida Animals:

Explore the life cycles of animals including simple, complete metamorphosis and incomplete metamorphosis in this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

A Plant's Life:

Follow the steps of the life cycle of flowering plants in this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Video/Audio/Animation

Sock Seeds:

This video clip presents a fun experiment: wear an old sock over your shoe and then take a walk through a grassy or weedy field or forest, and finally plant the sock to see what grows from it. This experiment sheds some light on the local plant species and also helps teach the evolutionary strategies plants take advantage of to disperse seeds. A background essay provides some very helpful information about seed dispersal as well and discussion questions help sum it all up.

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

WebQuest

What's It Like Where You Live?:

The website gives great information on the different biomes and ecosystems of the world.

Type: WebQuest

Parent Resources

Vetted resources caregivers can use to help students learn the concepts and skills in this topic.

Text Resource

Forest Trees of Florida :

Florida Division of Forestry – This website provides identifications, descriptions, and biological classifications of Florida trees. The website is presented in field-guide format, providing sketches of elements such as the leaves, fruit, and flowers. Also, the trees included are grouped alphabetically.

Type: Text Resource