<< Back to Lessons Index

6th Grade Science / Lesson 10 - Environment Affects Traits

Environment Affect Traits
What will we be learning today?


  • In this lesson, we are going to learn all about does environment affect traits.


Does Environment Affect Traits?


  • You've learned that offspring inherit half their genes from each parent. Those genes contain instructions that determine how an organism will develop and function. However, genes are only part of the picture. The environment in which an organism lives and grows also has an effect. The environment can change how the information contained in the genes is expressed. The environment can even prevent a gene from being expressed.


Soil condition is one of the environmental factors that can influence the expression of genetic traits in plants. Flower color in hydrangeas is influenced by soil conditions. The height and shape of a tree is influenced by soil conditions, temperature, and the availability of water. Temperature can affect the trait for wing length in fruit flies. A poor diet can affect bone growth in rabbits.

When a hydrangea is grown in acid soil, the flowers are blue. If the soil is more basic, the flowers are pink


A tree growing in deep, rich forest soil may grow hundreds of feet tall. However, the same tree growing in the rocky soil and harsh conditions of a mountainside may grow only 10 or 20 feet tall.

On the left is a tree growing in a forest. On the right is a tree growing on a mountainside.


Let's Review What We Learned Today!


  • Now complete your worksheet!