Students create a "DNA recipe" for a dog by randomly selecting strips of paper that represent DNA. They then decode the DNA recipe to reveal the physical traits of their dog and create a final drawing of the organism. Students learn that differences in the DNA recipe lead to different traits by comparing their DNA recipes and dog drawings with the rest of the class to note similarities and differences.

Prior Knowledge Needed

Physical traits are observable characteristics that make individuals unique.

Time Required

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Class Time: 45 minutes


A Recipe for Traits Print-and-Go

Funding provided by a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Precollege Science Education Initiative for Biomedical Research Institutions Award (Grant 51000125)

Funding for significant revisions provided by contract U33MC00157 from the Health Resources and Services Administration, Maternal and Child Health Bureau, Genetic Services Branch and the March of Dimes.