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Brooks River Brown Bears: Inheritance and Variation of Traits

The 5Es


Lesson 1 gives students an opportunity to express what they know about bears. They engage with the Guiding Question, “Why are there differences between the ways individual brown bears look and act?”, and make connections between what they know and new ideas about inherited and acquired traits.


Lesson 2 allows students to explore the phenomenon of brown bears converging at the Brooks River to fish for salmon. Students discover differences between bears’ fishing techniques, then turn and talk to explain to each other why the techniques are learned and not inherited traits.


Lessons 2 and 3 provide students with opportunities to elaborate: They ask their own questions about bears on the live cams, discuss and compare their ideas, and develop a deeper understanding of individual differences between the inherited and acquired traits of brown bears.


As evaluation at the end of Lesson 3, students review and reflect on their own learning and new understandings.