Evolution and Inheritance

Science Year 6 The Game of Survival

Can you succeed in the Game of Survival? Take part in a series of challenges and see if you can accrue enough points to make it onto the Game of Survival leaders’ board. You will need to have your evolutionary wits about you and a keen eye for the survival of the fittest.

Session 1 Inheritance detective

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. Report and present findings from enquiries, including conclusions, causal relationships and explanations of and degree of trust in results, in oral and written forms such as displays and other presentations.
  2. Identify scientific evidence that has been used to support or refute ideas or arguments.

You Will Need

Provided Resources

  • Personal code card template
  • Hydrangea images
  • Inherited or environmental game
  • Dog Top Trumps template
  • Dog image cross breed cards

Additional resources

  • Class Guess Who photo sheets

Weblinks
Jugs (breeding information) from www.pets4homes.co.uk

Teaching and Activities

Teaching

  • Identify inherited characteristics in living things.
  • Know that variation occurs within offspring as well as across a species.

Activities

  1. Play class Guess Who and note characteristics that are inherited.
  2. Identify variations between themselves and a classmate.
  3. Create dog breed Top Trumps cards, noting variation across breeds.
  4. Use observed characteristics and simple dominant and recessive genes model to’ breed’ dogs.

Investigation - exploring, analysing secondary sources
Identify things that are inherited and things that are learned.
Explore variation through dog breeds.

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

Session 2 Mutations and adaptations

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 and plants are adapted to suit their environment in different ways and that adaptation may lead to evolution.

Working Scientifically

  1. Report and present findings from enquiries, including conclusions, causal relationships and explanations of and degree of trust in results, in oral and written forms such as displays and other presentations.
  2. Identify 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

  • Research variation and adaptation across specific animals and plants (local and global).
  • Identify advantages and disadvantages of certain characteristics.
  • Describe physical regions and their wildlife.

Activities

  1. Investigate variation across specific animals and plants.
  2. Identify subtle adaptations to environments in the animal and plant world.
  3. Identify advantages and disadvantages of certain characteristics.

Investigation - pattern seeking, exploring
Identify features that support survival in a given environment.

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

Session 3 Extreme survival

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. Report and present findings from enquiries, including conclusions, causal relationships and explanations of and degree of trust in results, in oral and written forms such as displays and other presentations.
  2. Identify 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

  • Suggest how some animals and plants are adapted to extreme environments.
  • Design an animal and a plant that should thrive and survive in a given environment.
  • Understand the implications of key physical aspects of an environment for living things.

Activities

  1. Play ‘Extreme Survivor’ to see which creatures and plants survive in given environments.
  2. Suggest how animals and plants are adapted to extreme environments.
  3. Design an animal and a plant that should thrive and survive in a given environment.

Investigation - pattern seeking, exploring
Identify features that support survival in a given environment.

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

Session 4 Meet 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. Report and present findings from enquiries, including conclusions, causal relationships and explanations of and degree of trust in results, in oral and written forms such as displays and other presentations.
  2. Identify scientific evidence that has been used to support or refute ideas or arguments.

Teaching and Activities

Teaching

  • Recognise the role fossils have in the development of evolutionary theory.
  • Learn more about the work of Anning, Darwin and Wallace.

Activities

  1. Research the life and work of Anning, Darwin or Wallace and share as a presentation.
  2. Use given evidence to attempt to back up evolutionary ideas, presenting logical findings.
  3. Play fossil ‘what if’.

Investigation - analysing secondary sources
Meet Darwin, Anning and Wallace and explore the role of fossils in scientific understanding of evolution.

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

Session 5 Evolutionary trees and fossils

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

You Will Need

Provided Resources

  • Hominid evolution image
  • Sample biscuit evolution

Additional resources

  • Variety of biscuits

Teaching and Activities

Teaching

  • Examine how the fossil record helps us understand evolutionary relationships.
  • Understand what a cladogram is and how it shows evolutionary relationships.

Activities

  1. Explore online the evolution of flight in birds through the fossil record.
  2. Create a cladogram using modern animals.

Investigation - exploring, analysing secondary sources, pattern seeking
Use the principles of biscuit evolution to animal and plant evolution.

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

Session 6 The tale of the giraffe's neck

Objectives

How did the giraffe get a long neck and why does the 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. Report and present findings from enquiries, including conclusions, causal relationships and explanations of and degree of trust in results, in oral and written forms such as displays and other presentations.
  2. Identify scientific evidence that has been used to support or refute ideas or arguments.

Extended Writing Opportunity
Argument and debate: Write up your new animal or plant explaining all adaptations to an extreme climate and why it would be the most valuable addition to the world.
Fiction: Explain through story writing how certain features of animals have evolved.

Teaching and Activities

Teaching

  • Research and present evolutionary information on a specific animal.
  • Write a traditional tale based on the Just So stories format.

Activities

  1. Write a ‘Just So’ story about a living creature and a distinguishing characteristic.
  2. 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