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Achievement objective LW 6-3

Students will:

  • explore patterns in the inheritance of genetically controlled characteristics; Explain the importance of variation within a changing environment.


  • Classifies simple examples of variation as either genetic or environmental.
  • Describes genetic inheritance, using appropriate vocabulary.
  • Compares and contrasts mitosis and meiosis; body cells, gametes, and zygotes; alleles, genes, and chromosomes.
  • Identifies mutation as a source of new alleles.
  • Predicts a phenotype from a given genotype and attaches probabilities to the expected outcomes of simple genetic crosses.
  • Collects data that shows how a feature varies within a single population.
  • Explains how variations within a population may promote the survival of specific members of that population in a changing environment.
  • Suggests the likely outcome of continuing environmental pressure on a population over multiple generations.
  • Compares the phenotypic outcomes of sexual and asexual reproduction, and its significance in a changing environment.

Possible context elaborations

  • How can we predict the incidence of cystic fibrosis in a family with a history of this condition?
  • How could a farmer develop a flock of black sheep?
  • How can we diagnose Down’s syndrome from a karyotype?
  • Usefulness and limitations of 'the library of cookbooks' analogy/model for explaining the genome, chromosomes, genes, and alleles.
  • Develop a family tree based on one inheritable feature.
  • Can we construct a physical model of DNA and chromosomes that clearly demonstrates the difference between the two?
  • How come Huntington’s chorea is so rare when it is caused by a dominant allele?
  • Use differently coloured toothpicks on a lawn to model the advantage of camouflage.

Assessment for qualifications

At the time of publication, achievement standards were in development to align them with The New Zealand Curriculum. Please ensure that you are using the correct version of the standards by going to the NZQA website.

The NZQA subject-specific resources pages are very helpful. From there, you can find all the achievement standards and links to assessment resources, both internal and external.

Learn more with NZQA subject resources for:

Aligned level 1 achievement standards were registered for use in 2011 and level 2 for use in 2012; level 3 will be registered for use in 2013.

Learning described by this objective could be assessed using one or more of these achievement standards:

  • science AS90948 1.9
  • biology AS90925 1.1, AS90926 1.2

Last updated September 15, 2020