Beacon Unit Plan Library

What Makes Me Who I Am?

Carolyn Garner
Beacon Learning Center (Bay District Schools)


In this Beacon Unit Plan, students begin to understand who they are by first analyzing their genetics, and second, by taking a closer look into their cells and how these cells interact within the body. The students are formatively assessed throughout the unit in order to guide instruction and assess student understanding of the material. Finally, the students create a “What Makes Me Who I Am” picture book in which they explain to younger children the information they have discovered which makes them who they are. Created picture books are then shared with other students from lower grades.


What makes me who I am?


The planned duration of this activity is 19 days.

Associated Files

Unit Plan Overview     File Extension:  pdf

Diagnostic Assessment      File Extension:  pdf

Summative Assessment One      File Extension:  pdf

Summative Assessment Two      File Extension:  pdf

Unit Summative      File Extension:  pdf

Review for Summative Assessment One     File Extension:  pdf

Additional Handouts      File Extension:  pdf

Lesson Plans

Decidedly Different
In this first lesson of the Unit Plan, What Makes Me Who I Am, students study why scientists need to use observable characteristics, how they sort the characteristics, and why they do so. Journal entries allow students to reflect and make inferences.

Wiggle, Peak, and Roll
This is the second lesson of the fourth day of the Unit Plan: What Makes Me Who I Am? In this lesson, students learn that characteristics are inherited.

Take A Splash into the Gene Pool
This is the third lesson and fifth day of the Unit, What Makes Me Who I Am? Students further explore inherited characteristics by conducting a simulated experiment where they create a person using simple genetic coding.

Interaction Actions
This is the fourth lesson on the sixth day of the Unit, What Makes Me Who I Am? In this lesson, students work in cooperative groups to brainstorm characteristics that are the result of interaction with the environment.

Organizing Organs
This is the fifth lesson for days 9-12 in the Unit Plan, What Makes Me Who I Am? Students examine the parts of a cell. They compare and contrast plant cells to animal cells. They understand how cells are organized to form structures (tissues, organs.)

Body Systems in Action
This is the last lesson, days 13-16, of the Unit Plan, What Makes Me Who I Am? Students research the body systems. Cooperative groups create and present a short skit demonstrating how systems work together.

Web Links

Students examine the characteristics of an insect.
What's Bugging You?

Students observe how interactions with the environment affect the growth of all living organisms.
Double Trouble

Students are introduced to genetic inheritance.
Where Did You Get Those Genes?

Students correctly identify and explain the differences and similarities between plant and animal organelles.
The Mixed-Up Cells

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