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Science - 5th Grade
Standard 5 Objective 1
Health Education - 5th Grade
Standard 5 Objective 3
This lesson engages students in a discussion about learned vs. instinctive behaviors.
The idea that some behaviors are actually inherited is a hard concept for students to grasp. Its easy when discussing barking dogs or purring cats, but when you try to tell them that some of their actions are instincts, they have a hard time discerning those from learned behaviors. Make a list of behaviors on the board with the help of the students. Then go back through the list with two symbols, one for instinctive and one for learned. See if the students can decide which behaviors are which. Most of the behaviors will probably have both symbols, because it is hard to tell which human behaviors are learned and which are instinct.
1. Use Science Process and Thinking Skills
4. Communicate Effectively Using Science Language and Reasoning
Invitation to Learn
Ask students to raise their hand if they have a pet. If they do, have them describe some funny things they do. As they tell their behaviors, ask them to decide if it is something their pet has learned (playing dead, rolling over, coming to their food dish at the sound of a rustling bag) or if it is something instinctive to their species (barking at cats, playing with their tails, pouncing). Tell them that these are obvious behaviors. You can tell if they are learned from their surroundings or if they would act that way no matter where they were. Sometimes its not so easy to tell.
ESL/Special Needs Students