Grade 3: Inheritance and Variation of Traits (3-LS1-1)


In a classroom full of diverse learners, creative thinkers, and passionate students, this unit provides students with multiple opportunities to make new discoveries about life science including life cycles, inheritance, the variation of traits, adaptations, and DNA. This unit covers two of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). For this first piece of this lesson and the anchoring event, students play a sorting game with their desk partner to using living and nonliving cards to determine whether or not the thing on the card has a life cycle. The game gets students excited and encouraged to learn more about living things and what makes each living thing unique. As the unit progresses, the students have numerous opportunities to learn about very diverse organisms from multimedia examples, literature, class discussions, and even scientist Dr. Jill Terra. The students also learn about their own traits and make connections about how they are different from their peers. The culminating project for this unit will be for students to learn about the variation of traits of Darwin’s Galapagos finches. Students visit different stations where they learn about a specific finch at each. At this station, there is a picture of the finch, a closeup picture of its beak, food that it eats, and some tools for the students to use that.

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Content Area

NGSS Standard