Paint s Family Tree. Science/Heredity. Purpose Students will explore the complexity of heredity by studying horses and creating a horse s family tree.

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1 Paint s Family Tree Science/Heredity Purpose Students will explore the complexity of heredity by studying horses and creating a horse s family tree. Time: 1 hour Level: Elementary Materials Motivator Illustrations of Working Horses for display Activity 1 Paint s Family Tree Skit dialogue, 1 per student Trait Summary activity sheet, 1 per student Paint s Family Tree activity sheet, 1 per pair of students Paint s Family Tree Master for display (it may be helpful to color this) Family Tree Horse activity sheet, 1 per student 1 large sheet of butcher or chart paper Glue, glue sticks, or tape Colored pencils for each team of students Background For thousands of years, livestock and crop plants have been selectively bred to perpetuate desirable characteristics. Although early agriculturalists did not understand genetics like we do today, they were able to observe that plants and animals tend to exhibit traits similar to those of their parents. By carefully choosing which plants to save seeds from and which animals to save for breeding, people have domesticated and improved the agricultural qualities of numerous plants and animals. Today, modern technology allows plant and animal breeders to more precisely select for desirable traits and more rapidly develop new traits, but the basic pattern of offspring exhibiting traits inherited from their parents is still at the foundation of all breeding programs. Horse breeders are very aware of family traits. The traits for which they breed horses can be visible, such as hair coloring and muscularity, or invisible, such as temperament and health characteristics. Over time, different breeds of horses have been developed to excel at different types of work. For example, there are many breeds of draft horses, which are large, muscular, calm, and gentle animals. These traits make them well adapted for working with people and pulling heavy loads. For many years, horses were the main source of power for tilling fields and for transportation of people and materials. Today, draft horses are still widely used to pull sightseers in carriages, and some farmers even continue to use horses to work their fields, although tractors get the work done much more quickly. In contrast to draft horses, Thoroughbreds are a specific breed that has been selected specifically for racing. Horse racing is an ancient sport and has probably been practiced for as long as horses have been domesticated. The Thoroughbred was developed in 18th century Britain for speed and stamina. These horses are often considered hot-blooded and spirited. They are the most highly valued breed of horse today. Thoroughbreds are often used in crossbreeding to create new breeds or improve existing breeds. Activity Procedures Motivator 1. Show students the Illustrations of Working Horses, and ask them to describe the type of work each horse is doing. 2. As a class, brainstorm what characteristics would make a horse good at each type of work, and write them on the board. For example, a horse that helps herd cows needs to be agile and good at working with people, cows, dogs, and other horses; a racehorse needs to be fast and have good stamina; and a draft horse needs to be strong, willing to work, and easy to handle. 3. Explain to students that over time, people have selectively bred horses for specialized traits that make them suited for certain kinds of work. In order to breed horses to meet specific objectives, it is important to understand how traits are passed from parents to offspring, and that is what will be explored in this lesson. Utah Agriculture in the Classroom 1

2 Vocabulary draft horse: a horse adapted for or used in drawing heavy loads, generally over 1600 pounds in weight and over 16 hands high inherited: a trait passed from parent to offspring trait: a distinguishing characteristic or quality offspring: the child or young of two parents Thoroughbred: a breed of horse that is used mainly for racing Trait Paint Mother Father Paternal Father (father s father) Name Paint Fancy Blazing Daredevil Lady Away Body Color black with patches with black ears black light red (sorrel) Face Color black stripe (blaze) Leg Color sorrel socks on hind legs Paternal Mother (father s mother) Maternal Father (mother s father) Maternal Mother (mother s mother) Pretty Gal High Stepper Spotted Beauty sorrel dark red sorrel black with patches black with socks socks Tail Color with with sorrel black black black tip black tip Mane Color with black forelock black sorrel black black Eye Color blue brown brown brown brown brown probably blue (a head and blue eyes are fairly common) Temperament well mannered, and lively gentle calm wild gentle gentle gentle Activity 1 1. Choose four students (two girls and two boys) to play the roles in the skit, Paint s Family Tree. Have them read and act out the skit. 2. Give each student a copy of the skit and a Trait Summary activity sheet. Allow students to read the skit and fill out the activity sheet individually. 3. After students have completed their Trait Summary, break them up into pairs. 4. Give each pair of students a copy of the Paint s Family Tree activity sheet. Have them color this sheet according to how they filled out the information on the Trait Summary activity sheet. They should also label each horse with its name and relationship to Paint (see Paint s Family Tree Master ). Doing this in pairs will help students to correct any mistakes they may have made on the Trait Summary activity sheet. 5. Next, divide the students into seven groups, and give each group a Family Tree Horse activity sheet. Assign each group a different member of Paint s family. The group must come to a consensus on how to color their family member using their previously colored family trees. They may need to refer back to the skit for verification. 6. When each group is finished, review with them the Paint s Family Tree Master. Students may have socks and spots in different places; that s okay. (When horses are registered in the real world, the spots and socks are noted while looking at the horse so that the markings are accurate. This illustration then becomes part of the horse s registration). Have the groups make corrections to their horses colors and markings only if they are obviously wrong; if not, proceed to the next step. 7. Post the large sheet of butcher or chart paper in an accessible location. Have each group place their horse on the paper in the appropriate location to form a family tree. Ask the group to describe their horse s traits. Have students draw lines between the horses to show lines of descent between generations. Utah Agriculture in the Classroom 2

3 8. As a class, discuss the similarities and differences in traits among the family members and how each trait might have been inherited. Point out to students that traits are inherited from both parents. However, these traits are not always expressed in every generation (such as the blue eyes that Paint and his maternal grandmother have). Consider using the following questions to further the discussion: What traits were unique to Paint? Can you name other inherited traits that may not be visible? From which relatives did Paint get the black on his tail and mane? His face? His temperament? If another animal (pig, chicken, cow, etc.) were chosen, would you be able to determine from which parent its traits may have been inherited? How would you do it? Imagine that Kuan s family ranch wants to start giving tours using horse-drawn wagons. What characteristics would make their horses suited to this kind of work? What could they do to make sure that the next generation of horses is well suited to pulling wagons? Concept Elaboration and Evaluation After conducting these activities, review and summarize the following key concepts: Traits are passed from parents to offspring. Ranchers and farmers use knowledge of inherited traits to breed animals to meet specific objectives. Additional Activities Invite a horse breeder to come to your class as a guest speaker. Further explore the use of draft horses by showing students the video Introduction to Draft Animal Power from the Cornell Small Farms Program (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6jqdbiv0tdi). Then, use the Living History Farm page titled Horses Finally Lose their Jobs (http://www. livinghistoryfarm.org/farminginthe40s/machines_13.html) to help lead a discussion about the pros and cons of farming with horses and farming with tractors. This lesson was adapted with permission from California Agriculture in the Classroom s unit Where d You Get Those Genes for Grades 5-7. Utah Agriculture in the Classroom 3

4 Illustrations of Working Horses

5 Paint s Family Tree Skit Heather, Jose, Zamen, and Kuan are studying heredity in their fifth-grade science class. They have been assigned, as a team, to investigate and report on the family traits of an animal one of them owns. They have decided to learn about Kuan s horse, Paint, and have met at her family s ranch. Kuan: Lots of horses are almost all one color on their faces, bodies, legs, and even their manes and tails. Here s my horse, Paint. I like him because he has areas of that make him unique. What traits do you see that he has? Zamen: His body is black with patches, and he has legs. Kuan: Right. He s called a pinto because he has patches of different colors on his body. Jose: His tail is with a black tip. His mane is with a black forelock, which is the part that hangs down on his forehead. Heather: His face is all, but his ears are black. Kuan: A face is called a bald face on horses. Zamen: His eyes are blue. Kuan: One thing you can t see by looking at him is his well-mannered but lively personality. Jose: Kuan, do you know who Paint s mother and father are? Kuan: Yes, his mother is right over there. Her name is Fancy Lady. Heather: Her body, face and mane are black, but she has legs. Zamen: Her tail is with a black tip. Jose: She has brown eyes. What s her personality like, Kuan? Kuan: She is very gentle. Heather: Who is Paint s father, Kuan? Kuan: His father is Blazing Away. He s in the separate pasture over there. He s a very calm horse. Jose: Blazing Away is a different color. He s a light reddish brown on his body and legs. Kuan: That color is called sorrel.

6 Jose: His mane and tail are the same color as his body. Heather: He has a stripe on his sorrel face that runs between his eyes down to his nose. Kuan: That stripe is called a blaze. Heather: Oh! That s how he got his name! Zamen: He has brown eyes, just like Paint s mother. That s a surprise, since Paint s eyes are blue. Kuan: Yes, blue eyes are a trait that appears and disappears in Paint s family tree. His grandparents are getting rather old, but we re lucky to still have all four of them. His father s mother is Pretty Gal. She s over there under the tree. Jose: She s dark red with a black mane and tail. Zamen: Her legs are black except that she looks like she s wearing little socks. She has brown eyes, too. Kuan: She s very gentle. But Paint s father s father is a bit wild and difficult to work with. His name is Daredevil, and he s in the pasture with Paint s father. Heather: He s a sorrel with socks only on his hind legs. Zamen: He has brown eyes, too, just like most of the horses in Paint s family tree. Jose: What about Paint s grandparents on his mother s side? Kuan: Paint s mother s mother is right over there. Her name is Spotted Beauty. We liked to ride her when we were younger because she was so gentle. Jose: Her body is black with patches, and she has a black mane and tail. Heather: She has a face and four legs. Kuan: High Stepper is the father of Paint s mother. He s also very gentle. Zamen: He s a sorrel with four socks on his lower legs. Heather: He has brown eyes, too. Jose: Now that we have all of the information about Paint s family tree, it s time to see if we can figure out who he inherited each of his traits from. I m really interested in where he got those blue eyes!

7 Trait Summary Trait Paint Mother Father Paternal Father (father s father) Name Body Color Face Color Leg Color Tail Color Mane Color Eye Color Temperament Paternal Mother (father s mother) Maternal Father (mother s father) Maternal Mother (mother s mother)

8 Paint s Family Tree

9 Paint s Family Tree Master Maternal Grandparents Spotted Beauty & High Stepper Paternal Grandparents Pretty Gal & Daredevil Mother - Fancy Lady Father - Blazing Away Offspring - Paint

10 Family Tree Horse Each group needs a horse to create a bulletin board of the seven members of Paint s family tree.

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