Table 3.

Examples of students’ progress during the fifth-grade unit: distinguishing inherited and acquired traits.

Embedded AssessmentBasic ExplanationMore Integrated Explanation
1. Imagine you are speaking to a fourth-grader. Provide an example of what you think are (1) inherited traits and (2) acquired traits in animals.Inherited traits are from your family, and acquired traits are like pierced ears.An inherited trait is a trait you get from your parents, like the color of your eyes. An acquired trait is something you get from the environment, like a tattoo or a scar.
2. John and his mother have blue eyes. His brother, sister, and father all have brown eyes. John is often told that he “has his mother’s eyes.” How can this trait be characterized?Inherited, because he and his mom both has [sic] blue eyes, he must have inherited [sic] this trait from his mom.Inherited, because he got those blue eyes from his mom because the blue took over the brown.