Evolution and Inheritance

Science Year 5/6 Survival of the Fittest

Take part in a series of challenges and explore which living things have survived in the game of life, evolving to keep one step ahead of the game. You will need to have your evolutionary wits about you and a keen eye for the survival of the fittest. Meet some evolutionary revolutionaries and use their approach to write your own Just So story.

Session 1 Play inheritance detectives

Objectives

Play inheritance detective and identify inherited and environmental characteristics. Score survival points by identifying examples of variation through the creation of your very own dog Top Trumps™ cards.

Science Objectives
i) Recognise that living things produce offspring of the same kind, but normally offspring vary and are not identical to their parents

Working Scientifically

  1. Reporting and presenting findings from enquiries, including conclusions, causal relationships and explanations of and degree of trust in results, in oral and written forms
  2. Identifying scientific evidence that has been used to support or refute ideas or arguments

You Will Need

Provided Resources

  • Class Guess Who photo sheets
  • Personal code card template
  • Hydrangea images
  • Inherited or environmental game
  • Dog Top Trumps template
  • Dog image cross breed cards


Weblinks
Dog breeding game from http://grownups.pbskids.org
Dog Breeds from www.pets4homes.co.uk

Teaching and Activities

Teaching

  • To identify inherited characteristics in living things (Yr5&6).
  • To know that variation occurs within offspring as well as across a species (Yr5&6).


Activities

  1. Play class Guess Who and note characteristics that are inherited, noting variation (Yr5&6)
  2. Create dog breed Top Trumps cards, noting variation across breeds (Yr5&6)
  3. Use observed characteristics and simple dominant and recessive genes model to’ breed’ dogs (Yr5&6)


Investigation
Inheritance Detective. Play inheritance detective and identify inherited and environmental characteristics. Score survival points by identifying examples of variation through the creation of your very own dog Top Trumps™ cards. (Exploring, Analysing secondary sources)
Years 5&6 - Play class Guess Who and note characteristics that are inherited, noting variation
Years 5&6 - Create dog breed Top Trumps™ cards, noting variation across breeds
Years 5&6 - Use observed characteristics and simple dominant and recessive genes (Y6) model to’ breed’ dogs


Vocabulary
Offspring, characteristics, vary/variation, inherit/inheritance, environmental variation

Session 2 Mutations, adaptations and survival

Objectives

Take a look at mutations and how adaptation can prove useful in the real game of survival! Meet the man behind the theory of natural selection and play the variation game.

Science Objectives
i) Recognise that living things have changed over time
ii) Identify how animals & plants are adapted to suit their environment in different ways & that adaptation may lead to evolution

Working Scientifically

  1. Reporting and presenting findings from enquiries, including conclusions, causal relationships and explanations of and degree of trust in results, in oral and written forms
  2. Identifying scientific evidence that has been used to support or refute ideas or arguments

Teaching and Activities

Teaching

  • To research variation & adaptation across specific animals and plants (local & global) (Yr5&6).
  • To note (Yr5) or identify (Yr6) advantages & disadvantages of certain characteristics (Yr5&6).


Activities

  1. Research variation across a range of animals and plants (Yr5&6)
  2. Note animal & plant adaptations and select advantages or disadvantages of certain characteristics (Yr5)
  3. Identify animal & plant adaptations & suggest advantages or disadvantages of certain characteristics (Yr6)


Investigation
Mutations and Adaptations. Take a look at mutations and how adaptation can prove useful in the real game of survival. Meet the man behind the theory of natural selection and play the variation game. (Exploring, Problem solving, Pattern seeking, Analysing secondary sources)
Years 5&6 - Research variation across a range of animals and plants
Year 5 - Note animal & plant adaptations and select advantages or disadvantages of certain characteristics
Year 6 - Identify animal & plant adaptations & suggest advantages or disadvantages of certain characteristics


Vocabulary
Suited/suitable, environment, adaptation, characteristics, vary/variation, inherit/inheritance, natural selection

Session 3 Extreme survival and adaptations

Objectives

Play ‘survivor’ to see which creatures will survive in a range of environments and biomes. Can you score more survival points through your own living thing ‘survivor’ designs?

Science Objectives
i) Identify how animals and plants are adapted to suit their environment in different ways and that adaptation may lead to evolution

Working Scientifically

  1. Reporting and presenting findings from enquiries, including conclusions, causal relationships and explanations of and degree of trust in results, in oral and written forms
  2. Identifying scientific evidence that has been used to support or refute ideas or arguments

Other Curriculum Areas
Geography: Describe and understand key aspects of physical geography, including: climate zones, biomes and vegetation belts, rivers, mountains, volcanoes and earthquakes

Teaching and Activities

Teaching

  • To explain how some animals
    and plants are adapted to an extreme environment (Yr5&6).
  • To design an animal & a plant that should thrive and survive in a given environment (Yr5&6).
  • To make logical suggestions as to the impact of the introduction of a new species (Yr6).

Activities

  1. Play ‘Extreme Survivor’ to see which creatures and plants survive in given environments (Yr5&6)
  2. Design an animal and a plant that should thrive and survive in a given environment (Yr5&6)
  3. Explain how animals and plants might be adapted to extreme environments (Yr5&6)
  4. Suggest the impact of a ‘new’ animal and plant on an extreme environment (Yr6)


Investigation
Extreme Survival. Decide which creatures will survive in a range of environments and biomes. Can you score more survival points through your own living thing ‘survivor’ designs? (Exploring, Problem solving, Pattern seeking)
Years 5&6 - Play ‘Extreme Survivor’ to see which creatures and plants survive in given environments
Years 5&6 - Design an animal and a plant that should thrive and survive in a given environment
Years 5&6 - Explain how animals and plants might be adapted to extreme environments
Year 6 - Suggest the impact of a ‘new’ animal and plant on an extreme environments


Vocabulary
Evolution, suited/suitable, environment, adapted/adaptation, characteristics, vary/variation

Session 4 Research the evolutionary pioneers!

Objectives

Meet Darwin, Anning and Wallace - the evolutionary dream team - and find out the scientific importance of their work and have a go at proving their theories. Play ‘fossil, what if’ to top up your survivor score.

Science Objectives
i)Recognise that living things have changed over time and that fossils provide information about living things that inhabited the Earth millions of years ago

Working Scientifically

  1. Reporting and presenting findings from enquiries, including conclusions, causal relationships and explanations of and degree of trust in results, in oral and written forms
  2. Identifying scientific evidence that has been used to support or refute ideas or arguments

Teaching and Activities

Teaching

  • To recognise the role fossils have in the development of evolutionary theory (Yr5&6).
  • To learn more about the work of Anning, Darwin and Wallace (Yr5&6).


Activities

  1. Research the life and work of Anning, Darwin or Wallace and share as a presentation (Yr5&6)
  2. Use given evidence to attempt to back up evolutionary ideas, presenting logical findings (Yr5&6)
  3. Play fossil ‘what if’, identifying possible challenges to scientific thinking (Yr5&6)


Investigation
Meet the Evolutionary Pioneers. Meet Darwin, Anning and Wallace - the evolutionary dream team - and find out the scientific importance of their work and have a go a proving their theories. Play ‘fossil, what if’. (Analysing secondary sources)
Years 5&6 - Research the life and work of Anning, Darwin or Wallace and share as a presentation
Years 5&6 - Use given evidence to attempt to back up evolutionary ideas, presenting logical findings
Years 5&6 - Play fossil ‘what if’, identifying possible challenges to scientific thinking


Vocabulary
Evolution, adapted/adaptation, offspring, characteristics, vary/variation, fossils, theory, opinion

Session 5 Fossils and evolutionary trees

Objectives

Have you ever wondered how the humble biscuit has evolved over the past 100 years? Well, this is your chance! Create a biscuit cladogram and use your evolutionary expertise in the exploration of bird flight and animal cladograms.

Science Objectives
i) Recognise that living things have changed over time and that fossils provide information about living things that inhabited the Earth millions of years ago

Working Scientifically

  1. identifying scientific evidence that has been used to support or refute ideas or arguments

Teaching and Activities

Teaching

  • To examine how the fossil record helps us understand evolutionary relationships (Yr5&6).
  • To understand what a cladogram is and how it shows evolutionary relationships (Yr5&6).


Activities

  1. Complete online exploration of the evolution of flight in birds through the fossil record (Yr5 –support /Yr6 – ind.)
  2. Create a cladogram using modern animals (Yr5&6)


Investigation
Fossils and Evolutionary Trees. Create a biscuit cladogram and use your evolutionary expertise in the exploration of bird flight and animal cladograms. (Exploring, Problem solving, Pattern seeking, Analysing secondary sources)
Years 5&6 - Complete online exploration of the evolution of flight in birds through the fossil record (Y5 –support & Y6 - ind)
Years 5&6 - Create a cladogram using modern animals


Vocabulary
Evolution, natural selection, adapted/adaptation, characteristics, vary/variation, cladogram, fossils

Session 6 The traditional tale of the giraffe's neck

Objectives

How did the giraffe get a long neck and why does camel have a hump? Read some traditional folk tales to explain these features then find out the evolutionary facts behind the myths and write your own fact-based versions. Add up your survivor score - will you make it onto the leaders’ board?

Science Objectives
i) Recognise that living things have changed over time and that fossils provide information about living things that inhabited the Earth millions of years ago
ii) Recognise that living things produce offspring of the same kind, but normally offspring vary and are not identical to their parents
iii) Identify how animals and plants are adapted to suit their environment in different ways and that adaptation may lead to evolution

Working Scientifically

  1. Reporting and presenting findings from enquiries, including conclusions, causal relationships and explanations of and degree of trust in results, in oral and written forms
  2. Identifying scientific evidence that has been used to support or refute ideas or arguments

Other Curriculum Areas
English: Increase familiarity with a wide range of books, including myths, legends and traditional stories, and books from other cultures and traditions, identify the audience for and purpose of the writing, selecting the appropriate form and using other similar writing as models for their own

Teaching and Activities

Teaching

  • To research and present evolutionary information on a specific animal.


Activities

  1. Write a ‘Just So’ story about a living creature and a distinguishing characteristic (Yr5&6)
  2. Explain scientifically how a given creature has evolved in terms of a specific characteristic (Yr5&6)

Investigation
The Tale of the Giraffe’s Neck. How did the giraffe get a long neck and why does camel have a hump? Read some traditional folk tales to explain these features then find out the evolutionary facts behind the myths and write your own fact-based versions. (Exploring, Analysing secondary sources)
Years 5&6 - Write a ‘Just So’ story about a living creature and a distinguishing characteristic
Years 5&6 - Explain scientifically how a given creature has evolved in terms of a specific characteristic


Vocabulary
Evolution, suited/suitable, environment, adapted/adaptation, offspring, characteristics, vary/variation, inherit/inheritance, fossils, natural selection