Standard #: SC.4.L.16.2

This document was generated on CPALMS -

Explain that although characteristics of plants and animals are inherited, some characteristics can be affected by the environment.

General Information

Subject Area: Science
Grade: 4
Body of Knowledge: Life Science
Idea: Level 3: Strategic Thinking & Complex Reasoning
Big Idea: 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.
Date Adopted or Revised: 02/08
Date of Last Rating: 05/08
Status: State Board Approved
Assessed: Yes

Related Courses

Course Number1111 Course Title222
5020050: Science - Grade Four (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
7720050: Access Science Grade 4 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2018, 2018 and beyond (current))

Related Access Points

Access Point Number Access Point Title
SC.4.L.16.In.2 Identify behaviors that animals have naturally (inherit) and behaviors that animals learn.
SC.4.L.16.Su.2 Recognize behaviors of common animals.
SC.4.L.16.Pa.2 Recognize similarities between self and parents.

Related Resources


Name Description
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.

Educational Software / Tool

Name Description
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.

Lesson Plans

Name Description
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.

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.

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!

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.

Original Student Tutorials

Name Description
Animal Traits

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

Plant Traits

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

Teaching Ideas

Name Description
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.

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.
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.

Unit/Lesson Sequence

Name Description
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.


Name Description
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.


Name Description
What's It Like Where You Live? The website gives great information on the different biomes and ecosystems of the world.

Student Resources

Original Student Tutorials

Name Description
Animal Traits:

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

Plant Traits:

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


Name Description
What's It Like Where You Live?: The website gives great information on the different biomes and ecosystems of the world.

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