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Main Curriculum Tie:
Background For Teachers:
Members of a species are alike in many ways. However, individuals within a species show small differences. Variations are differences in appearance of an inherited trait among the members of a species. Variations can be observed in traits related to size, shape, behavior, function and body parts. Most variations are minor and include differences in hair color, whisker length and flower color. Others may be major and quite apparent like a cat with six toes on each paw or an albino deer. All of these variations are inherited and can be passed down to the offspring from the parent organism.
Variations in individuals may affect their ability to survive in a changing environment. During the course of many generations, a variation that provides a survival advantage can become widespread in a population because individuals within it have a higher probability of reproducing.
Plant breeders take advantage of variations to produce improved crops. For
example, U.S. potato farmers spend millions of dollars each year on pesticides,
but insects become resistant to these pesticides. In Bolivia, a species of wild
potato has hairs on its leaves that release a sticky chemical when touched.
They act like flypaper and trap pests that feed on the leaves of the potato
plant. However, these potatoes are very small. Through plant breeding, scientists
have been able to combine the large size trait of U.S. potatoes with the insect-resistance
trait of the Bolivian potatoes to develop a high yielding, large, insect-resistant
variety of potatoes.
Intended Learning Outcomes:
Examples of Class Work That Integrates Writing Skills
In the cold, frozen barren world of snow and ice surrounded the vast Arctic Sea lives the aggressive polar bear. Polar Bears have many physical features that help them survive in this hostile environment. Their fur is transparent which allows sunlight to penetrate their black skin, that absorbs light and converts it into heat. The whiteness of their fur allows them to blend in with their snowy surroundings. One of the most amazing things about a polar bear is its paws. These wide paws, have nonslip pads that enable them to travel over the snow and ice without slipping. Everything about a polar bear makes it perfect for a climate where very few animals can survive.
In the more temperate forest regions lives the much smaller, timid black bear. The black bear is considered to be the smallest bear in North America. But all black bears aren't really all black. Some have rusty-brown or gray fur mixed in with the black that helps them to blend into their surroundings of dark forested pines. Its smaller size helps it to climb trees to remove birds ' eggs and get honey from beehives. Whether the black bear knows it 's small or just because it is timid, it avoids being seen and stays hidden in the foliage of the woods. However, the black bear does have very sharp claws and teeth that can rip open tree stumps and tear branches off trees. Black bears are definitely more suited for the forested woodlands. The black bear would not be comfortable going to visit his polar bear cousins up North.
*A participle is an action verb ending with “ing ”
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