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6th Grade Science / Lesson 3 - Characteristics

What will we be learning today?

  • In this lesson, we are going to learn all about how you study characteristics.

How Can You Study Characteristics?

  • Have you ever heard of purple corn? Corn kernels can be purple as well as yellow. Color is a characteristic that is passed from the parent corn plants to the offspring. It is passed on through the seeds. The offspring grow from seeds produced by the parent plant.

  • The most common corn we eat is all yellow. Farmers can produce corn that has all yellow kernels. They make sure the seeds form from parent plants that will pass on yellow color to their offspring.

  • A characteristic that is passed from parent to offspring is called an inherited trait. In corn inherited traits include kernel color, ear size, and plant height.

  • Heredity is the passing of these traits from one generation to the next. The word generation refers to parents and offspring. Parents are one generation. Their offspring are another.

  • Heredity applies to all organisms, including plants, animals, and even bacteria. Fur color is an inherited trait passed from cats to their kittens. Humans have inherited traits, too. Hair color, eye color, and dimples are examples of human inherited traits.

    Just which traits are inherited and which are not? Scientists are still trying to find out. For example, you may inherit a body type, such as tall and slender, from your family. However, whether you develop fully into that type depends a lot on how much physical activity you do, your diet, the rest you get, and other health habits.

    Do humans inherit ability to do math? Play a piano? Scientists are still trying to find out just what traits are inherited. They are still exploring how heredity is affected by the environment and health habits.

      Physical features are just some of the traits children inherit from their parents. Inherited traits also include blood type, right- or left-handedness, color blindness, and even the ability to taste certain flavors.

    Let's Review What We Learned Today!

  • Now complete your worksheet!