Heredity introduces students to the process through which people inherit characteristics from their parents. Students will discover how their genetics can influence future generations. They will also learn how to use a Punnet square to determine the probability of exhibiting a particular trait.

The “Options for Lesson” section lists several suggestions that you could incorporate into the lesson plan if you want to extend it or have extra time. One idea is to invite one of each student’s parents to the class to compare their traits with those of their children.

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What our Heredity lesson plan includes

Lesson Objectives and Overview: Heredity teaches students about the concept of passing traits from one generation to the next. Students will learn how to use Punnet squares to predict the likelihood of inheriting certain traits from their parents. They will also discover how the same concept applies to other animals and plants. This lesson is for students in 5th grade and 6th grade.

Classroom Procedure

Every lesson plan provides you with a classroom procedure page that outlines a step-by-step guide to follow. You do not have to follow the guide exactly. The guide helps you organize the lesson and details when to hand out worksheets. It also lists information in the yellow box that you might find useful. You will find the lesson objectives, state standards, and number of class sessions the lesson should take to complete in this area. In addition, it describes the supplies you will need as well as what and how you need to prepare beforehand.

Options for Lesson

In the “Options for Lesson” section of the classroom procedure page, you will find several suggestions for additional ideas or activities to add to the lesson. For the activity, students could work in pairs, and you could add additional scenarios for them to complete. Another option is to invite a parent of each student to come in one day to identify traits that they passed on to their child. You could also ask students to complete a list of traits they received from their parents to help create Punnet squares for their parents. If you have any twins/triplets/etc. in the class, you could have the students compare and contrast their characteristics. For older students, one more idea is to discuss the concept of nature versus nurture, whether people can inherit emotions, and so on.

Teacher Notes

The teacher notes page provides an extra paragraph of information to help guide the lesson and remind you what to focus on. It suggests using additional resources to complement the lesson, such as a video about heredity. For more advanced students, you may also benefit from a further discussion about nature versus nurture. The blank lines on this page are available for you to write out thoughts and ideas you have as you prepare the lesson.


The Heredity lesson plan includes three worksheets: an activity worksheet, a practice worksheet, and a homework assignment. Each one will help students solidify their grasp of the material they learned throughout the lesson. You can refer to the classroom procedure guidelines to know when to hand out each worksheet.


Students will complete Punnet squares for a series of scenarios. The worksheet provides a chart that students can use if they need help. Students should use capital letters for dominant traits and lowercase letters for recessive traits. For each scenario, students must write an explanation about the offspring of the parents.


The practice worksheet requires students to match definitions with the correct terms. There are 20 total definitions, and students will use the terms in the word bank on the right of the worksheet. You can decide whether or not you allow students to use the content pages for help to complete the assignment.


For the homework assignment, students will demonstrate their understanding of Punnet squares. First, they will complete Punnet squares for six traits. Then they must answer nine questions that relate to the completed squares. The last prompt asks them to list which traits are recessive and which are dominant.

Worksheet Answer Keys

The final pages of the lesson plan document are answer keys for the three worksheets. All the answers are in red to make it easy to compare students’ responses to the correct answers. Students responses will vary on the activity worksheet. If you choose to administer the lesson pages to your students via PDF, you will need to save a new file that omits these pages. Otherwise, you can simply print out the applicable pages and keep these as reference for yourself when grading assignments.

Additional information




5th Grade, 6th Grade

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A Learn Bright Customer
Taliya T.

heredity for 5 th grade

The lesson was understandable and my 5th grader had know questions on it

Stephanie H.


Nice, efficient overview of the concepts. Easy to use.