This guide will help teachers lead their students through Pigeonetics. This game, with 26 pigeon-breeding puzzles of increasing complexity, helps students learn about mechanisms of inheritance, and it brings together often disconnected concepts from Mendelian inheritance and molecular genetics.
The guide includes
Explanations of game features
Key information needed to solve each puzzle
A List of concepts and inheritance patterns introduced in each puzzle
Locations for additional information about inheritance patterns and other concepts featured in the puzzles
Students can use this worksheet to record information they can find in the Pigeon Breeding: Genetics at Work module. The worksheet includes puzzles and questions related to 7 different pigeon characteristics and how they are inherited.
This paper model of sexual reproduction uses real pigeon traits to demonstrate how two parents can produce highly varied offspring. Students recombine parental chromosomes, make gametes, then randomly combine two gametes. Finally, they decode the resulting allele combinations to draw the traits of a pigeon offspring.
Note: For simplicity, we’ve placed alleles on one chromosome.
Variations in the DNA sequences of genes are called alleles.
Alleles are shuffled during sexual reproduction (recombination, independent assortment, and random fertilization).
Allele shuffling during sexual reproduction contributes to genetic variation in a population.