Evolution and Inheritance
To enthuse the children, we began thinking about ourselves and our inherited and acquired characteristics. It generated a lot of discussion and reflection (yes we used mirrors!). Each child thought about their hair, eye and skin colour as well as the shape of the features and height. We then tried to link it to a parent so that we understood what inheritance meant. Following this, the children told us their many acquired skills ranging from diving to cheer leading. By the end of the session, the children had a clear idea about what they had been born with and what skills or talents they had developed.
Investigating dog breeds and different offsprings really enthused the children. They used secondary sources to identify characteristics of current breeds, then selected two different parents to create a new breed. The names of the new breeds were truly inventive but the children thought really about positive characteristics that would make a new breed.
As well as this, we classified aspects the natural world and how certain organisms have adapted to suit their habitats. These organisms included the arctic fox who sheds its white fur during the warmer months and the rose that have thorns to protect them from being eaten by predators. This activity prepared the children for designing their own new planet with a particular biome, then thought about which organisms would survive there depending on how they’ve already adapted. Again, Year 6 made some very inventive choices and planets that we’d like to visit.
To end the topic, we went prehistoric! We started with the evolution of man and matched the different stages of humans. This gave the children an insight into our own adaptation.
By exploring fossils and their original form, we reminded ourselves about how long adaptation takes. Making fossils was an exciting way to end the topic! The children thought about whether their fossil would be a creature or a plant and many chose dinosaur!