SC.7.L.16.1

Understand and explain that every organism requires a set of instructions that specifies its traits, that this hereditary information (DNA) contains genes located in the chromosomes of each cell, and that heredity is the passage of these instructions from one generation to another.
General Information
Subject Area: Science
Grade: 7
Body of Knowledge: Life Science
Idea: Level 3: Strategic Thinking & Complex Reasoning
Big Idea: Heredity and Reproduction -

A. Reproduction is characteristic of living things and is essential for the survival of species.

B. Genetic information is passed from generation to generation by DNA; DNA controls the traits of an organism.

C. Changes in the DNA of an organism can cause changes in traits, and manipulation of DNA in organisms has led to genetically modified organisms.

Date Adopted or Revised: 02/08
Date of Last Rating: 05/08
Status: State Board Approved
Assessed: Yes
Test Item Specifications
  • Item Type(s): This benchmark may be assessed using: MC item(s)
  • Also Assesses
    SC.7.L.16.2
    Determine the probabilities for genotype and phenotype combinations using Punnett Squares and pedigrees.

    SC.7.L.16.3 Compare and contrast the general processes of sexual reproduction requiring meiosis and asexual reproduction requiring mitosis.

  • Clarification :
    Students will describe and/or explain that every organism requires a set of instructions that specifies its traits.

    Students will identify and/or explain that hereditary information (DNA) contains genes located in the chromosomes of each cell and/or that heredity is the passage of these instructions from one generation to another.

    Students will use Punnett squares and pedigrees to determine genotypic and phenotypic probabilities.

    Students will compare and/or contrast general processes of sexual and asexual reproduction that result in the passage of hereditary information from one generation to another.
  • Content Limits :
    Items may assess the general concepts of mitosis and meiosis but will not assess the phases of mitosis or meiosis. Items will not use the terms haploid or diploid.

    Items referring to sexual reproduction will not address human reproduction.

    Items addressing Punnett squares or pedigrees will only assess dominant and recessive traits.

    Items addressing pedigrees are limited to assessing the probability of a genotype or phenotype of a single individual. Items may require the identification of parental genotypes that result in certain genotypic or phenotypic probabilities in offspring.

    Items will not assess incomplete dominance, sex-linked traits, polygenic traits, multiple alleles, or codominance.

    Items addressing Punnett squares are limited to the P and F1 generations.

    Items will not assess mutation.

    Items will not address or assess the stages of meiosis, fertilization, or zygote formation.

    Items will not address or assess human genetic disorders or diseases.
  • Stimulus Attributes :
    Genotype and phenotype probabilities will only be in percent.
  • Response Attributes :
    Options may be in the form of percents or percentages.
  • Prior Knowledge :
    Items may require the student to apply science knowledge described in the NGSSS from lower grades. This benchmark requires prerequisite knowledge from SC.4.L.16.1, SC.4.L.16.2, and SC.4.L.16.3.
Sample Test Items (1)
  • Test Item #: Sample Item 1
  • Question: The gene for curled ears (C) is dominant over the gene for straight ears (c). The picture below shows a cat with curled ears (Cc) and a cat with straight ears (cc).

    What percent of the offspring are expected to have curled ears as a result of a cross between the cats shown?
  • Difficulty: N/A
  • Type: MC: Multiple Choice

Related Courses

This benchmark is part of these courses.
2002070: M/J Comprehensive Science 2 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
2002080: M/J Comprehensive Science 2, Advanced (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
2000010: M/J Life Science (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
2000020: M/J Life Science, Advanced (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
7820016: Access M/J Comprehensive Science 2 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2018, 2018 and beyond (current))
2002085: M/J Comprehensive Science 2 Accelerated Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
7920030: Fundamental Integrated Science 1 (Specifically in versions: 2013 - 2015, 2015 - 2017 (course terminated))
7920035: Fundamental Integrated Science 2 (Specifically in versions: 2013 - 2015, 2015 - 2017 (course terminated))
7920040: Fundamental Integrated Science 3 (Specifically in versions: 2013 - 2015, 2015 - 2017 (course terminated))
2000025: M/J STEM Life Science (Specifically in versions: 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)

Related Access Points

Alternate version of this benchmark for students with significant cognitive disabilities.
SC.7.L.16.In.1: Explain that some characteristics are passed from parent to child (inherited).
SC.7.L.16.Su.1: Recognize that offspring have similar characteristics to parents.
SC.7.L.16.Pa.1: Recognize a characteristic passed from parents to self, such as eye color.

Related Resources

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

Lesson Plans

Genetic Engineering of the Ultimate Dinosaur :

This lesson can be integrated with math concepts/practices comparing probability.  The science and engineering concepts/practices are to determine the probability for genotype and phenotype combinations using Punnett Squares and Pedigrees.

Type: Lesson Plan

"Hair"-edity:

This is an introductory lesson for middle school genetics with a focus on vocabulary development and conceptual understanding.

Type: Lesson Plan

Location, Location, Location!:

The nucleus of the cell contains genetic material known as DNA. Sections of DNA are genes that code for specific traits and DNA coils to create chromosomes. Students will be able to define DNA, chromosomes, and genes. Students will also create a model to show how these structures are related and where they are found in the cell.

Type: Lesson Plan

Understanding the DNA Replication Process using Reading Strategies:

Students will use reading strategies to help them understand how the DNA replication process works.

Type: Lesson Plan

Build-A-Baby:

Students will examine Gregor Mendel's laws of genetics in this lesson. Students will first explore the range of variation in human physical traits and discuss where this variation comes from. They will be then paired into groups and given the role of genetic counselors that are trying to predict the traits of offspring using traits of their parents. A toss of a coin will represent alleles for various characteristics. Students will combine dominant and recessive traits to determine the phenotype and genotype of their genetic babies. Their predicted baby will be displayed for peers to view. As an extension to this activity, the students can learn that through gene technology, parents may soon have more choices available to them: hair color, physical size, intelligence. Students canl research and evaluate how can science answer new and ethical questions.

Type: Lesson Plan

Frankenstein Foods- GMO:

Students will read "Your Genes, Your Choices." They will explore the impact of Biotechnology and create a brochure that represents what they have learned. By the end of the lesson, students will have a better understanding of DNA, GMOs, and Biotechnology.

Type: Lesson Plan

A Taste of DNA:

"A Taste of DNA" is an activity-based lesson intended to be used as a reinforcement of the concepts associated with the structure of DNA and building DNA. It covers information pertaining to base pairing, DNA shape and structure, cellular organelles, and the function of DNA. In this lesson students will have the opportunity to move around the classroom, build a long strand across the science floor, and create their own strand with the knowledge they've gained.

Type: Lesson Plan

Fishy Forms - Adaptations Tell Us Lifestyles:

In this lesson, students explore morphology (body shape) of fish and how they can indicate the fish"s lifestyle.

Type: Lesson Plan

I Have a Pedigree too, Prince Charles!:

In this lesson students will investigate pedigrees and culminate in an activity where students create their own or imaginary pedigree.

Type: Lesson Plan

Where Do Our Looks Come From?:

This is a 7th grade Genetics lesson, primarily on genes, alleles and chromosomes. This lesson will teach dominant and recessive genes.

Type: Lesson Plan

Why Do We Look and Act the Way We Do?:

Beginning genetics lesson for 7th grade students.

Type: Lesson Plan

The Hunt for mitochondrial DNA:

Through this lesson, students will use pedigree analysis in the context of mitochondrial DNA inheritance to determine how they would identify a missing person.

Type: Lesson Plan

Dog DNA---A Recipe for Traits:

Students will discover how DNA will "code" for traits by performing a lab activity where segments of paper DNA (genes) are picked at random, a list of traits is made, and a dog is drawn featuring its genetic traits.

Type: Lesson Plan

Heredity Mix 'n Match:

Students randomly select jelly beans (or other candy) that represent genes for several human traits such as tongue-rolling ability and eye color. Then, working in pairs (preferably of mixed gender), students randomly choose new pairs of jelly beans from those corresponding to their own genotypes. The new pairs are placed on toothpicks to represent the chromosomes of the couple's offspring. Finally, students compare genotypes and phenotypes of parents and offspring for all the "couples" in the class. In particular, they look to see if there are cases where parents and offspring share the exact same genotype and/or phenotype, and consider how the results would differ if they repeated the simulation using more than four traits.

Type: Lesson Plan

Toothpick Chromosomes:

Students will use toothpicks (representing chromosomes) with dots on them (representing genes) to understand how traits are passed from parents to offspring. They will understand the relationship between genes, chromosomes, and traits.

Type: Lesson Plan

Original Student Tutorial

Heredity:

Explore heredity--how genetic information in DNA is passed from parents to offspring. In this interactive tutorial, you'll see how inherited genetic information impacts traits in offspring. 

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Perspectives Video: Experts

Using Cross-fostering Methods to Assess Behavioral Patterns in Birds:

In this video, Jim Cox describes cross-fostering as a research method for evaluating behavioral traits in birds.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

DNA Microsatellite Analysis for Plant Ecology:

Dr. David McNutt explains how large clonal plant populations can be analyzed with microsatellite analysis of their DNA.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Perspectives Video: Teaching Ideas

Strawberry DNA Extraction:

DNA extraction, for your choice of strawberries or jellyfish.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Teaching Idea

Eye Color Genetics Videos:

Do you want to see an idea about teaching eye color patterns and genetics?

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Teaching Idea

Clay DNA:

This hands-on DNA modeling idea will reinforce your base knowledge.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Teaching Idea

Teaching Idea

Engineering Design Challenge: DNA, the Human Body Recipe:

As a class, students work through an example showing how DNA provides the "recipe" for making our body proteins. They see how the pattern of nucleotide bases (adenine, thymine, guanine, cytosine) forms the double helix ladder shape of DNA, and serves as the code for the steps required to make genes. They also learn some ways that engineers and scientists are applying their understanding of DNA in our world.

Type: Teaching Idea

Text Resources

Your Inner Neandertal:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Scientists used ancient bones to compare Neandertal DNA to that of modern humans from around the globe. The results are surprising: many of us are closer to Neandertals than previously thought. Once considered very unlikely, scientists now believe that humans and Neandertals may have interbred.

Type: Text Resource

A Success for Designer Life:


This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article reveals how scientists have found a way to make a synthetic chromosome and insert it into yeast cells. Scientists discovered that this chromosome can alter or create new traits in an organism. This research could lead to creating an entirely synthetic genome, which scientists expect to accomplish in the next few years.

Type: Text Resource

What Makes a Dog?:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Studying dog DNA may have many applications including helping scientists to have a better understanding of canine origins and how dogs became domesticated. Understanding and locating certain genes has many breeding applications. Studying and understanding dog diseases may be able to further the study of human diseases.

Type: Text Resource

Where Native Americans Come From:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The article describes how scientists have found that Native Americans have ancestral roots in Asia using DNA evidence from a 12,600 year old toddler skeleton from the Clovis culture in Montana.

Type: Text Resource

Concept 41: "Genes Come in Pairs":

This resource comes from the Cold Springs Harbor Laboratory: DNA from the Beginning online module series. There are 41 modules located on this site all focused on DNA and organized by individual concepts. The science behind each concept is explained in each module by: animations, an image gallery, video interviews, problems, biographies, and additional links. This is the 2nd module in the series, and it is focused on how genes come in pairs.

Type: Text Resource

Video/Audio/Animations

Introduction to Basic Genetics Terminology:

This website allows students and/or teachers to refresh their memory on terms such as DNA, traits, heredity, and genetics.

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

MIT BLOSSOMS - Discovering Genes Associated with Diseases and Traits in Dogs:

In this video module, students learn how scientists use genetic information from dogs to find out which gene (out of all 20,000 dog genes) is associated with any specific trait or disease of interest. This method involves comparing hundreds of dogs with the trait to hundreds of dogs not displaying the trait, and examining which position on the dog DNA is correlated with the trait (i.e. has one DNA sequence in dogs with the trait but another DNA sequence in dogs not displaying the trait). Students will also learn something about the history of dog breeds and how this history helps us find genes. The methods shown are the same as those used in studies looking for genes in people for diseases like cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. This lesson will take one full class period. In preparation for the lesson, it may be helpful for students to have some basic understanding of what DNA is and that differences in DNA between people can cause genetic disorders. However, these topics are reviewed briefly in the lesson. All necessary handouts and worksheets are downloadable in Word and PDF formats, and students need only paper and pen/pencil to complete the lesson. Other than a few group discussion questions, there are four main in-class activities in this lesson. First, students match 4 dog breeds to 4 breed behaviors. Second, students make a dog breed by choosing founders from 28 dogs. Third, students complete a chart showing 3 DNA positions in 8 dogs to demonstrate understanding of what it means for a site on the DNA to be correlated with a specific trait. Fourth, students use real DNA data from a specific scientific study to find the gene that is altered in boxer dogs displaying the trait of white coat color.

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

Autism Genes:

This 13-minute video segment produced by NOVA Science Now explores the work by one committed family and researchers to identify patterns in the genetic information of autism patients.

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

Variation in a Species:

The video describes how variation can be introduced into a species.

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

Original Student Tutorials Science - Grades K-8

Heredity:

Explore heredity--how genetic information in DNA is passed from parents to offspring. In this interactive tutorial, you'll see how inherited genetic information impacts traits in offspring. 

Student Resources

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

Original Student Tutorial

Heredity:

Explore heredity--how genetic information in DNA is passed from parents to offspring. In this interactive tutorial, you'll see how inherited genetic information impacts traits in offspring. 

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Text Resource

Concept 41: "Genes Come in Pairs":

This resource comes from the Cold Springs Harbor Laboratory: DNA from the Beginning online module series. There are 41 modules located on this site all focused on DNA and organized by individual concepts. The science behind each concept is explained in each module by: animations, an image gallery, video interviews, problems, biographies, and additional links. This is the 2nd module in the series, and it is focused on how genes come in pairs.

Type: Text Resource

Video/Audio/Animations

Introduction to Basic Genetics Terminology:

This website allows students and/or teachers to refresh their memory on terms such as DNA, traits, heredity, and genetics.

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

Autism Genes:

This 13-minute video segment produced by NOVA Science Now explores the work by one committed family and researchers to identify patterns in the genetic information of autism patients.

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

Parent Resources

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

Perspectives Video: Teaching Ideas

Eye Color Genetics Videos:

Do you want to see an idea about teaching eye color patterns and genetics?

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Teaching Idea

Clay DNA:

This hands-on DNA modeling idea will reinforce your base knowledge.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Teaching Idea

Text Resource

Concept 41: "Genes Come in Pairs":

This resource comes from the Cold Springs Harbor Laboratory: DNA from the Beginning online module series. There are 41 modules located on this site all focused on DNA and organized by individual concepts. The science behind each concept is explained in each module by: animations, an image gallery, video interviews, problems, biographies, and additional links. This is the 2nd module in the series, and it is focused on how genes come in pairs.

Type: Text Resource

Video/Audio/Animation

Autism Genes:

This 13-minute video segment produced by NOVA Science Now explores the work by one committed family and researchers to identify patterns in the genetic information of autism patients.

Type: Video/Audio/Animation