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LS3: Heredity: Inheritance and Variation of Traits

Core Idea

LS3: Heredity: Inheritance and Variation of Traits

LS3.A: Inheritance of Traits
LS3.B: Variation of Traits

Content aligned with middle school LS3

Content aligned with high school LS3


In middle school, students develop an understanding of the disciplinary core ideas in the life science domain. The middle school performance expectations build on the elementary performance expectations, as well as on students’ prior knowledge of physical and Earth sciences. In LS3: Heredity: Inheritance and Variation of Traits, performance expectations are designed for students to develop an understanding of how organisms pass traits from one generation to the next, including how gene mutations and sexual reproduction contribute to genetic variation.


High school performance expectations in the life sciences expand on middle school performance expectations, allowing students to develop and refine their understanding of life science concepts. The high school performance expectations emphasize students’ proficiency in engaging in practices and using crosscutting concepts to organize and understand information while leaving room for more expanded and in-depth study in upper level high school courses. Performance expectations in high school LS3: Heredity: Inheritance and Variation of Traits are designed for students to demonstrate an understanding of how characteristics are passed between generations and how they vary within a generation. This includes demonstrating an understanding of the mechanisms of genetic inheritance and the environmental and genetic causes of gene mutation.



Exploring Our Fluid Earth, a product of the Curriculum Research & Development Group (CRDG), College of Education. University of Hawaii, 2011. This document may be freely reproduced and distributed for non-profit educational purposes.