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Is Our Health Inherited or Acquired?

Life Skills:

  • Thinking & Reasoning
  • Communication

Time Frame:
3 class periods that run 45 minutes each.

Group Size:
Large Groups


Students will be able to list the traits they get from their parents. They will be able to distnguish inherited traits from acquired ones, especially those relating to health.

Main Curriculum Tie:
Health Education - 5th Grade
Standard 6 Objective 3

Recognize influences that may affect body types and sizes.


  • 10 index cards per student
  • markers

Background For Teachers:
Have a basic understanding of inherited and acquired traits.

Web Sites

Student Prior Knowledge:
Understand the connection between offspring and heredity.

Intended Learning Outcomes:
Students will be able to distinguish between inherited and acquired traits. Students will be able to identify aspects of their health that are affected by choices.

Instructional Procedures:
Step 1 - Define and describe what a trait is.
Step 2 - Define and describe inherited and acquired traits.
Examples of inherited traits include eye color, height, hair color, etc.
Examples of acquired traits include shaved head, dyed hair, increased weight due to overeating, etc.
Note that weight/shape can be both inherited and acquired
Step 3 - Give each student 10 index cards. Have students think about their own traits and write down five they believe to be inherited and five they believe to be acquired.
Step 4 - Divide the chalk board into two parts, one labeled "inherited" and one labeled "acquired".
Step 5 - Have students hold up one of their inherited traits. Ask them to tape the index card to the board under "inherited".
Step 6 - Repeat step 5 for one of their acquired traits.
Step 7 - Review the cards listed in each category, making sure they have been placed correctly.
Step 8 - Have students discuss which acquired traits affect their health and how they can improve their health through the choices they make.

Strategies For Diverse Learners:
Students draw the inherited and aquired traits on their index cards.

Assessment Plan:
Students will be assessed on their participation. This activity is done mainly as a class. Each student needs to fill out their index cards as part as their participation.


PE Central - This website provides teachers many ideas for Health and P.E.


Created Date :
Jul 02 2002 11:04 AM