Parents and Offspring

Contributor: Beth Price. Lesson ID: 10234

Do you have Mother's eyes or Father's nose? Who in your family has your height or hair color or ears or fingers or . . . Well, you get the idea! Using games and stuff, learn about inherited traits!


Life Science

learning style
personality style
Golden Retriever
Grade Level
Primary (K-2)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!


Look at a picture of your parents. Now, look at a picture of yourself.

  • Are there similarities or differences in your Mom's eyes and your eyes?
  • How about your hair and your Dad's hair?

Look at your smile and your parents' smiles.

  • Do your eyes, hair, or smile look similar or are they different?
  • How does this happen?

You get many things from your parents: love, food, shelter, and toys, to name just a few.

  • But do you know that your hair color, eye color, skin color, and even aspects of your personality come from your parents as well?

We call these things inherited traits. Inherit means "to receive or be left with a quality, characteristic or object." Trait means "a quality or characteristic belonging to a person."

If you dad has blonde hair, and your mom has brown hair, and you have blonde hair; then you inherited your hair color from your dad. We can also say that your dad passed down his hair color to you.

If your mom has blue eyes, and your dad has brown eyes, and you have blue eyes; then you inherited blue eyes from your mom. Or, we can say your mom passed down her blue eyes to you.

Print and complete the resource My Inherited Traits from Downloadable Resources in the right-hand sidebar.

  • Did you inherit more traits from your mom or from your dad?

You might have a trait that is totally different from your mom or dad. In that case, you inherited that trait from another person in your family. One or both of your grandparents may have that trait and it was passed down to you. Ask your mom or dad for help determining who in your family has that trait.

Humans aren't the only living things that pass down traits to their babies or offspring. Baby animals also inherit traits from their parents.

Look at the pictures below of animals and their babies. Determine which traits the babies have inherited from their parents. These traits include fur, color, color pattern, and feathers.

  • What traits are similar?
  • What traits are different?

If you inherited the trait of liking to have fun, play this game matching animals to their babies. You'll learn some neat animal facts, too!

When you're done, continue on to the Got It? section to use a Venn diagram to compare traits.

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