Five easy-to-implement clasroom activities teach the basics of heritable traits. Three take-home activities help students share what they're learning with their families.
Below is a suggested sequence for implementing the activities contained in the unit. Please see each individual activity for implementation instructions, suggestions for adaptations and extensions, and applicable standards.
|An Inventory of My Traits||Students take an inventory of their own easily-observable genetic traits and compare those inventories with other students in groups.|
|Observable Traits slideshow
|This click-through slideshow shows many of the traits included in An Inventory of My Traits.|
|A Tree of Genetic Traits||Students find the most and least common combination of traits in the class by marking their traits for tongue rolling, earlobe attachment, and PTC tasting on paper leaf cut-outs. Students then organize the leaves on a large "tree of traits."|
|Family Traits Trivia (Homework)||Students use game cards to inventory the traits in their family. (Note: individuals in families do not need to be related to participate in this activity.)|
|Generations of Traits||Students track and record the passage of colored "pom-pom traits" through three generations of ginger-bread people.|
|Traits Bingo||In this review activity, students cross off or color bingo squares in response to questions about their traits.|
|Handy Family Tree (Homework)||Students distinguish between inherited and learned traits by creating a "family tree of traits" using handprints. (Note: Individuals in families do not need to be related to participate in this activity.)|
|A Recipe for Traits||Students learn that differences in DNA lead to different traits by: 1) randomly choosing strips of paper that represent DNA, then 2) decoding the DNA strips to complete a drawing of a dog.|
|Family Traits and Traditions (Homework)||Students and their families play a matching game with cards to identify traits that are inherited and traits that are learned or passed on through tradition.|