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    Heredity: Inheritance and Variation of Traits

Students who demonstrate understanding can:

Performance Expectations

  1. Make and defend a claim based on evidence that inheritable genetic variations may result from: (1) new genetic combinations through meiosis, (2) viable errors occurring during replication, and/or (3) mutations caused by environmental factors. HS-LS3-2

    Clarification Statement and Assessment Boundary

A Peformance Expectation (PE) is what a student should be able to do to show mastery of a concept. Some PEs include a Clarification Statement and/or an Assessment Boundary. These can be found by clicking the PE for "More Info." By hovering over a PE, its corresponding pieces from the Science and Engineering Practices, Disciplinary Core Ideas, and Crosscutting Concepts will be highlighted.

By clicking on a specific Science and Engineering Practice, Disciplinary Core Idea, or Crosscutting Concept, you can find out more information on it. By hovering over one you can find its corresponding elements in the PEs.

Planning Curriculum

Common Core State Standards Connections


  • RST.11-12.1 - Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts, attending to important distinctions the author makes and to any gaps or inconsistencies in the account. (HS-LS3-2)
  • WHST.9-12.1 - Write arguments focused on discipline-specific content. (HS-LS3-2)


  • MP.2 - Reason abstractly and quantitatively. (HS-LS3-2)

Model Course Mapping

First Time Visitors

Resources & Lesson Plans

  • More resources added each week!
    A team of teacher curators is working to find, review, and vet online resources that support the standards. Check back often, as NSTA continues to add more targeted resources.
  • This resource is designed as a supporting resource for the HHMI 2013 Holiday Lecture on Science entitled, Medicine in the Genomic Era.  The interactive animation illustrates how two different cell lineages are formed during development and that ...

  • Cell Division and Cancer Risk is one of a series of Data Point resources from HHMI Biointeractive. Data Points engage students in analyzing and interpreting data from primary literature in the biological sciences. The resources are intended to provid ...

  • This is one of 30 lessons from the NSTA Press book Scientific Argumentation in Biology. The lesson engages students in an argumentation cycle by posing a question on the influence of the environment (light) on the genotype or phenotype of the tobacco ...

  •  This is one of 25 assessment probes from the book,” Uncovering Student Ideas in Life Science, Volume 2: 25 New Formative Assessment Probes”, by Page Keeley. All assessment probes in this collection are aligned to a particular scienc ...

  • This article describes a 90-minute real-world lesson in which students use online bioinformatics tools to compare gene sequences between one wild-type and one type of eight hypothetical mutant Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) strains. Using bioinform ...

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  • Extra! Extra! Hot off the presses! Presenting newly released and FREE classroom-ready resources and strategies for incorporating infectious diseases and viruses in your classroom. All of these HHMI BioInteractive resources are aligned with the NGSS, ...

  • These are the Slide for "Beyond Earlobes and Tongue Rolling"

  • In this activity, students calculate temperatures during a time in the geologic record when rapid warming occurred using a well known method called 'leaf-margin analysis.' Students determine the percentage of the species that have leaves with smooth ...

  • In this interactive, students explore, at their own pace, how global climate change may affect health issues. Issues include airborne diseases, developmental disorders, mental health disorders, vector-borne diseases and waterborne diseases.

  • In this activity from NOAA's Okeanos Explorer Education Materials Collection, learners investigate how methane hydrates might have been involved with the Cambrian explosion.

  • Students will apply the steps of mitosis and meiosis to learn about the production of both seeded and seedless watermelon. Students will learn about the discovery of colchicine, which made seedless watermelon possible and use modeling clay and beans ...

  • In this hands-on, minds-on activity, students use model chromosomes and answer analysis and discussion questions to learn about the processes of meiosis and fertilization. As they model meiosis and fertilization, students follow the alleles of a huma...

  • The goal of the Diversity of Traits virtual lab is to allow students the opportunity to investigate how variations of traits can occur because of mutations. This virtual lab complements the Natural Selection virtual lab by addressing a common misconc...

  • The goal of this virtual lab is to allow students the opportunity to investigate into how the mother’s alleles affect the chance that the offspring will produce various traits.

Planning Curriculum gives connections to other areas of study for easier curriculum creation.