I’m continuing the New Notebook Blog Series with this post about inherited traits, learned behaviors, and adaptations. These standards are a pretty big deal for students in Texas. While traits and behaviors is usually pretty clear, we usually spend a bit more time practicing comparing adaptations and identifying organisms’ structural adaptations and their functions. Bringing in some furry and not-so-furry friends help us address this standard up close!
I like to start by identifying inherited traits of a furry (or non-furry) friend.
Here, we have informational text from Life Science Informational Text Cards. Then we identify how different inherited breathing structures help animals survive.
These sorting cards are from my Oceans Thematic Unit. For most students, identifying learned behaviors vs. inherited traits is pretty simple. Instincts sometimes throw them off, so we look at behaviors of animals more in-depth.
Here, we use the materials from All in One Interactive Science Notebook to learn more about instincts and learned behaviors. First, we sort the 6 different behaviors as instincts or learned. As a class, we identify the differences that we notice. Finally, students complete a foldable page with information about learned behaviors and instincts as output.
Next up, we are ready to move on to adaptations. Students have thought about this a little bit previously from our ecosystems unit and plants unit. We read What Do You Do With a Tail Like This? and reflect as a class. Then, we use the Adaptations PowerPoint and Differentiated Notes to introduce new ideas. Students reflect on new learning on the next page. In this case, a graphic organizer is used to show how adaptations can be behaviors or structures. The goal of both is survival.
Next, we look at examples of structures animals have and the functions of those structures by bringing critters into the classroom. Identifying the external and internal structures, as well as their functions, can be tough for some students. They need multiple opportunities to practice.
We continue working on physical adaptations and their functions using the foldable page on the left from All in One Interactive Science Notebook. Then students create their own Adaptations Cards for organisms of their choice. These Adaptations Cards are free just for you!
We work on comparing and contrasting structural adaptations and their functions. As a mini-lesson, we analyze a table about black bears and polar bears from Adapt! Stations.
After Adapt Stations and projects showcased in my Time to Teach Adaptations blog post, our unit comes to a close!
Want to see photos for more units?