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NSW Syllabuses

Science Life Skills Stage 6 - Life Skills - Living World Science Life Skills Living World Science LS – Module 3: Heredity and Genetics


A student:

  • SCLS6-1

    poses questions and hypotheses for scientific investigation

  • SCLS6-4

    collects and represents qualitative or quantitative data and information using media as appropriate

  • SCLS6-5

    develops conclusions from primary or secondary data and information

  • SCLS6-13

    recognises that scientific investigations can support or refute a hypothesis

  • SCLS6-14

    investigates how science impacts on society

  • SCLS6-15

    explores contemporary issues involving science

Related Stage 6 outcomes INS11/12-1, INS11/12-4, INS11/12-5, INS12-14, INS12-15

Content Focus

Students recognise observable genetic traits and identify common genetic traits within their family. They develop an understanding of the difference between inherited traits and traits that are learned or passed on in social and cultural contexts. They also consider the ethics of selecting and producing genetic traits in a range of living things.     

Working Scientifically

In this module, students collect and represent data in relation to genetic traits and use this data to draw conclusions about heredity.


  • Inherited and Learned Traits

  • Inquiry question: What is the difference between inherited and learned traits?
  • Students:
  • recognise things that make people unique, for example: DD
  • physical attributes
  • personality
  • likes and dislikes
  • recognise traits as distinguishing characteristics DD
  • identify that traits can be visible and invisible
  • classify personal traits as visible or invisible
  • recognise that the way they look is different to others DD
  • observe traits among a group of people, for example: DD
  • gender
  • eye colour
  • hair colour
  • detached earlobes
  • tongue rolling
  • freckles
  • being right-handed
  • curly hair
  • investigate the most common and least common traits of classmates by taking an inventory and recording data in a table or graph NDD
  • investigate traits shared by family members and record data N
  • use a model, for example a tree diagram, to demonstrate how traits are passed down from family members N
  • recognise that twins may or may not have the same traits
  • recognise the transfer of traits from one generation to the next as heredity
  • identify the difference between inherited traits and learned traits, for example: IU
  • physical attributes, eg eye colour and hair colour are inherited traits
  • favourite foods or sports may be learned traits
  • explore the ways in which our cultural and social environments can lead to learned traits, for example: AHCAIU
  • a favourite sport can come from living with family members who have a passion for that particular sport
  • identify that living things are made up of cells that contain DNA
  • recognise that deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) provides the recipe for the traits inherited by a living thing
  • recognise that all living things have both inherited and learned traits
  • investigate the inherited and behavioural traits of an animal species, for example: CCTDD
  • physical attributes of the red kangaroo
  • licking forearms on a hot day increases evaporation and cooling
  • Genetic Selection

  • Inquiry question: How does an understanding of genetics impact on people’s lives?
  • Students:
  • explore how an understanding of human genetics has led to scientific advancements, for example: ICT
  • increased understanding of the link between genetics and diseases, eg cancer, heart disease and diabetes
  • identify some ethical issues associated with an increased understanding of human genetics, for example: EU
  • choosing gender for personal choice
  • reducing the chance of diseases or disabilities
  • creating donors for siblings
  • explore examples of genetic selection in animals, for example: EU
  • selecting the temperaments of parent dogs for breeding dogs for different purposes, eg herding and guard dogs
  • using genetic selection to increase milk production in cows or wool production in sheep