Skip Navigation

Is Our Health Inherited or Acquired?

Main Core Tie

Health Education - 5th Grade
Standard 6 Objective 3

Time Frame

3 class periods of 45 minutes each

Group Size

Large Groups

Life Skills

  • Thinking & Reasoning
  • Communication




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.


  • 10 index cards per student
  • markers

Background for Teachers


Have a basic understanding of inherited and acquired traits.

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: 07/02/2002
Updated: 02/05/2018