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All in the Family

Grade/Unit2nd Grade Evolution and Genetics
Standards2.L.2 Remember that organisms differ from or are similar to their parents based on the characteristics of the organism. 
*2.L.2.1 Identify ways in which plants and animals closely resemble their parents in observed appearance and ways they are different. 
*2.L.2.2 Recognize that there is variation among individuals that are related.
*2.L.2.1 Students know that plants and animals resemble their parents in appearance, needs, life processes, and interactions with the environment, even while being unique.
*2.L.2.2 Students know that groups of organisms of the same type have characteristics in common as well as characteristics that may vary. 
Science & Engineering Practices*Analyzing and Interpreting DataObtaining, Evaluating, and *Communicating Information
Lesson NotesThis lesson is formatted into a set of Google Slides, with a drag and drop interactive, and videos of Amy Bowman (PHHI STEM Education) observing and discussing the content of the lesson.
Engage*Plants are something we are all familiar with but often do not know much about. We will begin this lesson by engaging students with something more familiar, family photos.  
*Begin by defining what a characteristic is and asking students if they share any characteristics with any of their family members. 
*Students will observe several family photos and notice shared traits as well as how family members are unique. *Did you know plants have families, too?
*Do you think young plants share characteristics with their parents?
Explore*To introduce the concept of plant families we will explore the seeds of three different plant families. We will specifically look at color, size and shape of seeds.
*Students will make some observations then have a chance to try sorting on their own. (In order for the sorting activity to work, students should make sure they are NOT in “Present” mode)
*Students should notice seeds in photos 2, 3, 7, 8 and 10 are all small round and dark in color. These all belong to the same family.
*It gets a little harder to determine the next family, but seeds in photos 5, 6 and 9 are more rounded and irregular than the other seeds and are of similar size and color. These seeds belong to the same family.
*Photos 1, 4 and 11 are all from the same family. Students should notice a similar shape, but that they vary in color.*Which of these seeds do you think belong to the same family? 
*What traits did you use to sort them?
Explanation*Explain to students that the passing down of characteristics from parent to child is called heredity and how those traits go from generation to generation is called genetics. 
*This is true for plants as well.  We will look more in depth into each of the plant families.
*Video of Citrus Family. We will examine three members of the citrus family, lemon, orange and grapefruit. All oranges found on the same tree would be just like brothers and sisters since they all came from the same seed.  Lemons and grapefruits would be more like distant cousins.  They are related and share many characteristics but do not share as many traits as two oranges from the same tree.
*Video of Brassicaceae Family
*Video of Cucurbitceae Family
Discussion questions
*Which two plants share more traits: a lemon and an orange or a lemon and broccoli?  Why do you think that is?*How were members of each family similar, how were they unique?
*Who do you share more traits with, your parents or your neighbors? Why?
Elaborate*Let’s watch three members of the lettuce family grow from seed to adult and see how their characteristics develop as they grow older.  
*We planted three different types of lettuce seeds and took pictures as they grew older. They are all members of the same family  
Discussion questions
*What similarities do you notice within the group? (I notice that they all start out green, plants in A and B both have long green leaves, they are all growing in the same type of containers)
*What are some differences that you notice within the group? (I notice that C has a reddish color to it and the leaves are curly, I notice that not all of the plants in pot A are the same size, just like all people the same age are not the same size.)
*What do you wonder? (I wonder if all of the types of lettuce taste the same?)
Evaluate and ExtendKale Kits: Optional at-home lab
Schools that elected to receive a kale kit for each 2nd grade student will be able to use it as an evaluation/extension exercise.
*Students will now have an opportunity to grow a kale plant on their own and watch as it changes and develops from a seed to a seedling to an adult plant. Kale is a cold season crop and can be grown both indoors as well as outdoors. Here is an example of what an adult kale plant (Black Magic variety) looks like, for comparison.
*Students will plant, maintain and observe their kale plants weekly as they develop. 
*Provide a platform for students to share pictures of their kale plants and compare similarities and differences.
*Have students measure their plant weekly and create a graph of the growth or submit measurements to compare to other students’ growth.
*After 15-20 days growth, students should describe what they think the parent plants (those that produced the seeds) looked like. What are some possible similarities and differences?
*Provide a picture of a different kale variety and have students compare their plant to a different variety.  In what way are the two varieties similar? In what way is each variety unique?  How might individual plants within a variety be unique, what traits might be shared?

Kale Kit – Planting and Growing Instructions
Evolution and Genetics Performance Task and Rubric