Lesson 1: Relationships Among Organisms

Getting Started

Questions to Explore

  • How are offspring related to their parents?
  • How do humans relate to the natural environment?

Facts and Definitions

  • Offspring are the children of a person or animal.
  • A trait is an attribute or characteristic that an animal or human passes from parents to offspring.
  • Heredity is the passing of traits from parents to their young.
  • Genetics is the field of science that studies heredity.

Skills

  • Recognize that organisms differ from or are similar to their parents based on the characteristics of the organism. (S)
  • Identify ways in which plants and animals closely resemble their parents in observed appearance and ways they are different. (S)
  • Recognize that there is variation among individuals that are related. (S)
  • Know that plants and animals resemble their parents in appearance, needs, life processes, and interactions with the environment, even while being unique. (S)
  • Know that groups of organisms of the same type have characteristics in common as well as characteristics that may vary. (S)

Materials

  • scissors

Introduction

Ask your child if he looks like your family members. Ask if he ever wondered why he looks like one family member and not another or why he doesn't look like anyone in the house. Describe how both scenarios can be explained by something called genetics. Genetics is the field of science that studies heredity or the passing of characteristics from parents to children.

Note: If you have an adopted or foster child, you can ask if he has ever noticed a child in a family who looks like one family member but doesn't look anything like the other members of the family.