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Science Year 6

Evolution and inheritance

Biology Strand:

Session C

Programme of study: Recognise that living things produce offspring of the

Offspring
Working
scientifically
Resources
needed

Reporting and presenting findings of enquiries


Identifying scientific evidence
Photos of family members that children bring in. Access to internet

same kind, but normally offspring vary and are not identical to their parents.

Whole class teaching:


Ask children if they look like their mother or their father, or whether they look more like an aunt or
uncle, a grandmother or grandfather. Do they have a sibling (brother or sister) that they look like or
do they look completely different? Sometimes children look very similar to one or more of their family,
sometimes they can look quite different. Ask children to bring in a photo of someone else in their
family that they look like these can be displayed (carefully, with no touching!) in see-through A4
pockets as a quiz for other children to try & work out the connections. When do we see humans who
look very similar to each other identical twins? Show photographs of identical twins unless you are
lucky enough to have a set in your class (session resources). Briefly discuss how identical twins differ
from fraternal twins, as otherwise someone is bound to ask! (Use session resources.) Fraternal or nonidentical twins are similar to two siblings born at different times each one grows from a separate
egg that was fertilised by different sperm (so they may share some features but will usually look
different & may be of different gender). Identical twins develop from one egg which splits into two at
a very early stage of development. Identical twins have the same genes/chromosomes as each other
& are always of the same gender male or female. Genes are the parts of chromosomes that pass on
a specific characteristic, e.g. blue eyes. Each chromosome (humans have 23 pairs of chromosomes
one set from each parent) is made up of thousands of genes, each of which carries the information for
a certain feature.
Look at the picture of a litter of puppies in session resources they are all Siberian Huskies, but they
also have differences. Ask children to describe the similarities/differences. Some probably look more
like the mother (bitch) & some like the father (dog). Similarly look at the twin lambs (session
resources) how do they differ/look the same?
Explain that all breeds of dog developed from original ancestors which were grey wolves. They were
domesticated by humans & over thousands of generations different characteristics have been
developed to produce the wide range of dogs that we have today. Look at a range of dogs in session
resources. Some have been bred for size (large & small), some for their hunting ability or as guard
dogs. Show children a Labrador & a poodle (session resources) & ask what they think happens when
they are crossed (bred). Show a labradoodle as they are called (session resources).
Explain that it is the same with plants the seedlings produced by poppies grow to look similar to the
parent plants - poppies. Plant breeders have however managed to grow a wide range of different
colours & numbers of petals by crossing chosen plants.

Group activities:
Adult-led:
Chn imagine they are going to create a new type of dog. Which two sorts of dogs will they cross?
What will the offspring look like? Discuss some possible crosses & then send children away to draw &
describe the offspring of their choice of cross. Children may want to research their choices further,
e.g. at http://www.justdogbreeds.com/dog-breeds.html. The description can be achieved by labels & a
caption or by a paragraph. You could instead choose cats, horses, birds, etc. or flowering plants.
Independent:
Children can be encouraged to bring in photos of their immediate family & arrange them in a family
tree. What similarities & differences can they spot, e.g. colour of hair or eyes, height, build (slim or
thick-set), straightness of hair, short-sightedness, length of fingers, shape of nose or ears, etc. Write a
short description.

Original plan copyright Hamilton Trust, who give permission for it to be adapted as wished by individual users
We refer you to our warning, at the top of the You Will Need document, about links to other websites

Science Year 6
Evolution and inheritance

Biology Strand:

Plenary:
Point out to children that if you show a young child a picture of a dog of any breed they usually
recognise it as a dog, even though they may look very different. Ask for suggestions & on the f/c list
the features that make a dog a dog. Some of the features are similar to a cat or a horse or a cow, so
how do we (or young children) tell the difference? Discuss.

I can:

1. Recognise that living things produce offspring of the same kind, but the offspring usually vary & are
not identical to their parents or to each other.
2. Explain the difference between identical & fraternal twins in simple terms.
3. I can suggest what happens when two different kinds of dog (or other animal) are crossed.

Original plan copyright Hamilton Trust, who give permission for it to be adapted as wished by individual users
We refer you to our warning, at the top of the You Will Need document, about links to other websites