Y6 I.D topic Week 2 Genes and DNA

In the last post, we thought about how our identity is made up of our likes and dislikes, beliefs and opinions, hobbies and physical appearance. Most of this we don't have any say in. Nobody asked me what colour I would like my eyes to be!

We don't get to choose our own eye colour, height, hair colour or much else about our appearance. So why is it that some of us are born with brown eyes while others have blue, some of us are tall and some are short and some of us have black skin while others have brown or white?

You will learn more about this in KS3 but for now there are some key words to know:

Inheritance: When humans and animals reproduce, they pass on some of their characteristics to their babies. This is known as inheritance. Has anyone ever said to you that you look like your mum / dad / grandparent? This is because you have inherited features from them.

Follow this link for a short video and a quiz about inheritance.

DNA: DNA stands for deoxyribonucleic acid - but you don't need to remember this ... yet. It is a chemical found tucked up in the middle of every cell in your body and it carries important instructions that your body needs to grow.

Genes: Genes are short sections of DNA. Each section carries information about how each part of your body should be, such as your eye colour or ear shape.

You know I love these doctors, skip to 3 mins 54 secs in and they give a great demonstration of inheritance, DNA and Genes.

On the theme of inheritance, can you work out the background of these unusual cross breeds - remember they would get some characteristics from the mother and some from the father.

A zonkey



Zonkey = Zebra + Donkey

Cama = Camel + Lama

Wholfin = Whale + Dolphin

The study of genetics and inheritance is incredibly complex and you can go on to study entire university degrees just on this topic and scientists are still making new discoveries. It also comes up in KS3 and KS4 so there are plenty or resources online but they may be difficult to understand. Feel free to have a further look around online if this is something that interests you.

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