Genetics Lesson Plan

Instructor: Julie Zundel

Julie has taught high school Zoology, Biology, Physical Science and Chem Tech. She has a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a Master of Education.

Use this Study.com lesson on genetics to introduce students to chromosomes, alleles, genes, phenotypes and genotypes. Students will participate in two hands-on activities to illustrate the complex ideas associated with genetics.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • explain how genotype is related to phenotype
  • describe how a mutation can change the phenotype
  • define chromosome, allele, gene, homologous chromosomes and diploid
  • label an allele and homologous chromosomes

Length

1.5 to 2 hours

Materials

  • Ingredients to make two ice cream sundaes (ice cream, bananas, chocolate syrup, sprinkles, cherries, a bowl, spoon and ice cream scoop), arranged at a sundae station
  • Instructions on how to build a sundae (see instruction portion in lesson plan)
  • Construction paper and scissors

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.9-10.4

Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context relevant to grades 9-10 texts and topics.

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.9-10.5

Analyze the structure of the relationships among concepts in a text, including relationships among key terms (e.g., force, friction, reaction force, energy).

Instruction

  • Play the Study.com video Overview of Genetics.
  • Pause at 1:46 and review concepts before beginning the first activity.

Activity

  • Have 9 students line up at the sundae station. They are going to build an ice cream sundae creature based on a genotype. You will need an instruction sheet that looks something like this (depending on how many students you have, you can lengthen or shorten it):
    • ATA: Get an ice cream scoop.
    • TGC: Scoop out ice cream and place it in the bowl.
    • GAG: Peel a banana and place it in the bowl next to the ice cream.
    • GGG: Get a spoon.
    • TGG: Use the spoon to take chocolate syrup out of a jar and place the syrup on the ice cream.
    • GTC: Open the whipped cream and place whipped cream on top of the ice cream.
    • TAA: Put nuts on top of the whipped cream.
    • GCA: Place sprinkles on top of the nuts.
    • TCA: Place a cherry on top.
  • Have each student complete a task (by 'reading' the three bases) and then passing the sundae down the line. At the end, you should have a complete sundae. Take a moment to relate the video to the activity. For example, the three letters that code for a specific task are found on the DNA. Students were 'reading' the genotype, and the finished sundae is the phenotype. You can give the sundae a species name and pretend it is a living thing.


  • Continue the video, stopping at 2:30.

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