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Inherited and Acquired Traits Complete Unit

Inherited and Acquired Traits for Third Grade

Need a little help covering inherited and acquired traits in your 3rd-grade science class?

You will LOVE this no-prep, ready to go unit on heredity, inherited traits and acquired traits for third-grade science!

This unit starts with phenomena to help engage the students.

Inherited and Acquired Traits for 3rd-grade

Inherited and Acquired Traits for Third Grade

This is a COMPLETE UNIT that is aligned with NGSS 3rd grade standards 3-LS3-1, 3-LS3-2, and 3-LS4-2, and Utah SEEd 3.2.2, 3.2.3, and 3.2.4.

3-LS3-1 Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence that plants and animals have traits inherited from parents and that variation of these traits exists in a group of similar organisms.

3-LS3-2. Use evidence to support the explanation that traits can be influenced by the environment.

3-LS4-2.Use evidence to construct an explanation for how

 the variations in characteristics among individuals of the same species may provide advantages in surviving, finding mates, and reproducing.

Also addresses Utah SEEd for third grade.

Utah SEEd Standard 3.2.2

Analyze data and identify patterns to provide evidence that plants and animals have traits inherited from parents. Examples of patterns could include the similarities and differences in traits between parent organisms and offspring and variation of traits in groups of similar organisms.

Utah SEEd Standard 3.2.3
Construct an explanation supported by evidence that the environment can affect the traits of an organism. Examples could include normally tall plants grown with insufficient water are stunted and pets that are given too much food and little exercise may become overweight.

Utah SEEd Standard 3.2.4

Construct an explanation supported by evidence for how variations in traits and behaviors can affect the ability of an individual to survive and reproduce. Examples of traits could include a plant with large thorns or strong smelling flowers and an animal’s camouflage, thick fur, or ear length. Examples of behaviors could include animals living in groups, shivering or using the sun for warmth, or migrating with changes of the season.


I also have a complete weather unit for third grade.

Behavioral and Physical Traits

These standards are FULLY addressed through this resource.  It’s a GREAT introduction to genetics and heredity!

I’ve included several different activities in this resource:

I begin the unit with an informative 12-slide PowerPoint presentation:
Inherited and Acquired Traits for 3rd-grade

Keep your class accountable with scaffolded notes that accompany the PowerPoint:

Inherited Traits

Multiple response pages:

Traits for third gradeInherited and Acquired Traits for 3rd-grade
Third Grade Worksheets science

A set of sorting cards:

Task cards for 3rd grade science

A vocabulary foldable:

content vocabulary for third grade
And a blank foldable, in case you want to use your own vocab words:
Third Grade science
Perfect for your interactive science notebook!
This fun “pocket fold” activity asks students to list some of their own traits, and label whether they are inherited or acquired:
Foldable inherited and acquired trait
This unit is low-prep and ready to use!  Just print and go!
Your time is so precious – don’t use your free time creating your own unit.  I’ve done the work for you!

This resource has HUNDREDS of perfect ratings on Teachers Pay Teachers.  Check out a few of them:


Great activity for third-grade science.  My students loved this!  Great slide show. 

-Britlyn S.

Terrific unit with great activities.  My students really loved the pages in this unit! 

-Dale H. 

Great unit with wonderful integration.  Loved the slide show and sorting cards.  This is really well planned.

-Tina S.
Science concept addressed in this resource include:
  • Inherited Traits
  • Acquired Traits
  • Physical Traits
  • Behavioral Traits
  • Supporting Claims with Evidence
  • Making Arguments from Evidence
  • Observation
Science and engineering practices used by students include:
  • Asking questions (for science) and defining problems (for engineering)
  • Developing and using models
  • Planning and carrying out investigations
  • Analyzing and interpreting data
  • Constructing explanations for science
  • Engaging in argument from evidence
  • Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information

Try this unit in your classroom TODAY!

This unit is available for download in two places:

  1. Teaching Science with Lynda on Teachers Pay Teachers
  2. Here on

Both downloads are identical in every way – if you download directly from this site, you’re giving me the maximum amount of support!

Either way, your satisfaction is guaranteed.

This site uses 100% secure checkout with PayPal, and after checkout your download is instantly available.

Also available in a distance learning format for Google Classroom.

Thank you, and I hope you enjoy using this unit in your classroom!

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