Analyzing Human Pedigrees


Biology students learn to analyze pedigrees as part of a unit on genetics.  Pedigrees are usually learned soon after students have a grasp of Punnett squares and the concept of segregation.   Some students will have an easy time with pedigrees, depending on how well they understood genetic crosses.  

In this activity, students are introduced to the concept of a pedigree of a family and they practice determining the genotypes of family members based on observed recessive phenotypes.

In addition to basic patterns learned, students are also introduced to human genetic disorders, such as Tay-Sachs and cystic fibrosis.  If your textbook doesn’t cover these topics, the pedigree analysis worksheet can serve as a starting point for discussion on human genetic diseases and how they are inherited.

Grade Level:  8-12
Time Required:  20-30 minutes

HS-LS3-3 Apply concepts of statistics and probability to explain the variation and distribution of expressed traits in a population.