Grade Range
6th-8th
Active Time
60 minutes
Total Time
60 minutes
Area of Science
Genetics & Genomics
Biotechnology
Agricultural Technology
Key Concepts
sexual reproduction, asexual reproduction, heredity, genes, phenotype, genotype, grafting
Credits
publisher NAC National Agriculture in the Classroom logo

Overview

A green apple and a red apple sitting side-by-side.

Using the context of apples, students will apply their knowledge of heredity and genetics to distinguish between sexual and asexual reproduction as they explain how new varieties of apples are developed and then propagated to meet consumer demand for a tasty, uniform, consistent product.

NGSS Alignment

This lesson helps students prepare for these Next Generation Science Standards Performance Expectations:
  • MS-LS4-4. Construct an explanation based on evidence that describes how genetic variations of traits in a population increase some individuals' probability of surviving and reproducing in a specific environment.
  • MS-LS4-5. Gather and synthesize information about technologies that have changed the way humans influence the inheritance of desired traits in organisms.
This lesson focuses on these aspects of NGSS Three Dimensional Learning:

Science & Engineering Practices Disciplinary Core Ideas Crosscutting Concepts
Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information. Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information in 6-8 builds on K-5 experiences and progresses to evaluating the merit and validity of ideas and methods.

Gather, read, and synthesize information from multiple appropriate sources and assess the credibility, accuracy, and possible bias of each publication and methods used, and describe how they are supported or not supported by evidence.
LS4.B: Natural Selection. In artificial selection, humans have the capacity to influence certain characteristics of organisms by selective breeding. One can choose desired parental traits determined by genes, which are then passed on to offspring.
Stability and Change. For both designed and natural systems, conditions that affect stability and factors that control states of change are critical elements to consider and understand.

Cause and Effect. Phenomena may have more than one cause, and some cause and effect relationships in systems can only be described using probability.
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Connections to Engineering, Technology, and Applications of Science

Interdependence of Science, Engineering, and Technology. Engineering advances have led to important discoveries in virtually every field of science, and scientific discoveries have led to the development of entire industries and engineered systems.
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Connections to Nature of Science

Science Addresses Questions About the Natural and Material World. Scientific knowledge can describe the consequences of actions but does not necessarily prescribe the decisions that society takes.

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Grade Range
6th-8th
Active Time
60 minutes
Total Time
60 minutes
Area of Science
Genetics & Genomics
Biotechnology
Agricultural Technology
Key Concepts
sexual reproduction, asexual reproduction, heredity, genes, phenotype, genotype, grafting
Credits
publisher NAC National Agriculture in the Classroom logo
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