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Birth Defects - Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

Main Core Tie

Child Development
Strand 3

Time Frame

4 class periods of 90 minutes each

Group Size

Large Groups




This can be 2 separate units or 1 extended unit.
Birth Defects can be influenced by heredity, the environment, or a combination of both. Birth defects will have certain characteristics and treatments, or ways they might be prevented. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is one type of birth defect.


An LCD projector and computer, a VCR and TV, a computer lab for research, index cards, and markers

Background for Teachers


  • March of Dimes
    Excellent web site for information about various birth defects and prenatal care.

Review birth defect information from curricula and web sites. Textbooks and books available from the school media center will also be helpful for the teacher and students.

Intended Learning Outcomes

The students will be able to identify the cause, characteristics, and the treatment or prevention of the birth defects presented in class.

Instructional Procedures



Day 1: Use FAS as an introduction to the Birth Defects Unit.
-Students will complete the Know, Want to Know, and Learned worksheet.
-Watch the FAS power point and write 3 facts on the KWL worksheet.
-Discuss the effects of drinking during pregnancy.
-Read "The King and the Scratched Diamond Story".
-Video (Meridian):Birth Defects: Causes and Preventions

Day 2: -Show the BIRTH DEFECTS power point presentation explaining the students' assignment.
Put the students in pairs (or let them pick partners) and assign them a topic from a list of common birth defects.
-Using the FACTS ABOUT BIRTH DEFECTS worksheet, students will find the information needed for their presentations (schedule the Media Center/Computer Lab for the students to collect information).
-Students will present their information in one of the following methods to the class: ...Power Point Presentation ...Poster and an Oral Report ...Brochure (one brochure for each student in class), and an Oral Report

Day 3: Guest speaker on birth defects (a parent of a child with a birth defect, doctor, etc.)

Day 4: Student Presentations - The class will take notes on all reports

Using information from the March of Dimes fact sheets and other internet/book information, create 10-12 folders for different birth defects. Working in pairs, have students pass around the folders with the information and pictures of the birth defect. This is a faster way for the students to obtain the information.



Extra Credit Assignment: Interview a parent of a child with a Birth Defect. Record the information on the sheet and have the parent sign (or identify if the information was received by phone call).

Assessment Plan

KWL pretest Written paragraph on FAS including facts and personal thoughts.

Each group will write 2 questions (with answers) from their presentations. Written test may be written using these questions.


USOE - FACS 1994 Child Development Curriculum
March of Dimes

Created: 07/06/2003
Updated: 03/31/2021