Parent and Offspring - Hand It to My Parents!

A trait sets one person or thing apart from another. A trait is an inherited characteristic.

The dog at the right inherited many traits from its parents. Look carefully. What traits can you identify? Drag through to highlight the box below to see some examples of traits it inherited.

Long hair, golden color, floppy ears, large size, four legs, slobbery tongue!

We have two hands. This is a trait of our species. A species is a set of organisms with common characteristics. Cats have four legs, mice have tails, lions have sharp teeth and claws, and flowers have petals. These traits identify members of a species as being the same.

Within a species however there can be variations, or slight differences. These parakeets have the same beaks, wings, and feet, but they are different colors.

In nature some variations give individuals an advantage. They survive better in their environment or physical surroundings.

Try it!
Measure and record the hand span from thumb to pinky in centimeters of ten of your friends. Use a separate sheet of paper. Are the numbers exactly the same? Probably not. This is a variation, or slight difference, among classmates.

Do the math and learn more!

Put your ten measurements in order from the smallest to the largest.

Subtract the largest hand span from the smallest. This is the range of your distribution.

Add all your numbers and divide by 10 (the number of measurements.) This is the mean or average hand span of your study!

Now use your data to create a graph! What kind is most appropriate for your data? Drag here to check your hunch.

pictograph or bar graph or histogram

Be sure to give your graph a title and label both axes.

utah state board of education This Sci-ber Text was developed by the Utah State Board of Education and Utah educators.