Resources for Teaching Genetics

Genetics includes the study of heredity, or how traits are passed from parents to offspring.   The topics of genetics vary and are constantly changing as we learn more about the genome and how we are influenced by our genes.

rabbitInheritance Patterns and Punnett Squares

Notes and Slides on Mendelian Genetics – basic lesson to introduce genetics and probability

Simple Genetics Practice – using mendelian genetics and Punnett squares

Peas, Please – practice setting up squares for basic Mendelian traits in pea plants (Key, TpT)

How to Solve Dihybrid Crosses – step by step guide on setting up 4×4 squares and determining ratios

Advanced Bunny Genetic Crosses with two traits – also includes fruit fly genetics
Bunny Genetics 2 – basic crosses, rabbits have gray or white hair, black or red eyes

Practice Punnett Squares with Skinny Pigs – hairless guinea pigs are the result of a recessive gene (Key, TpT)

Horse Genetics – basic practice worksheet on monohybrid and dihybrid crosses, using a gait trait found in horses

Fruit Fly Genetics (Vg) – practice worksheet on vestigial wing flies and eye color, which is sex-linked (Key, TpT)

Genetics Practice Problems – crosses involving guinea pigs, goats, and pea plants; monohybrid and dihybrid crosses

Explore the Genetics of Corn Snakes – dihybrid crosses with corn snakes, color is polygenic

Blood Disorder Genetics – a worksheet with genetics problems that relate to specific disorders:  sickle cell anemia, hemophilia, and Von Willebrand disease.

Heredity Wordsearch – fill in the blank, find the words on a puzzle, basic vocabulary

Genetics Review Guide – focus on vocabulary, Mendel’s crosses, and practice genetics with Punnett squares

Simulations and Hands-on Activities

Penny Genetics – flip a coin to compare actual outcomes versus predicted outcomes from a Punnett square

Heredity Simulation – use popsicle sticks to show how alleles are inherited

Variations on a Human Face – toss a penny to determine the features of a face, such as freckles, dimples; then draw that face.

Paper Pets – another simulation using paper models with traits for eyes, nose, mouth, and hair.

calico catCodominance, Multiple Alleles, and Sex-Linkage

Codominance and Incomplete Dominance – practice genetics on roan cows and pink flowers

Cow Genetics – roan coloration and horns, also includes a two-trait cross

Slides and Notes on Sex-Linked Genes

Fruit Flies and X-Linked Traits –  practice crosses that involve sex-linkage; fruit flies and calico cats

Sex Linked Traits – students practice doing crosses; tortoiseshell cats, colorblindness, and eye color in fruit flies

Drosophila (Fruit fly) Simulation – use a simulator to run crosses with flies to determine phenotype ratios and perform chi square analysis

Calico Cats and X Linked Traits – more practice with sex-linked traits, see also advanced version that goes into tortoiseshell vs calico

Why Are There No Male Calico Cats – case study and slide presentation that explore X inactivation and coat color in cats

Epistasis in Labrador Retrievers – explore the black (B_E_) , yellow (B_ee) , and brown (bbE_ ) color patterns in dogs

Sexy Chickens – inheritance patterns in birds, using the ZW sex determination concept

Blood Type Genetics – practice with blood type crosses and other ABO type alleles, multiple allele traits

Multiple Allele Traits in Chickens – shows how combs are inherited (rrpp x RRpp)

Frizzle Frazzled Chickens – incomplete dominance in feather types, with double dominant being unhealthy

How Do Genes Determine Skin Color? – this case study uses presentation slides to explore a real-life scenario where a Nigerian mother has two very fair skinned children.  

Design-a-Species – using the rules of inheritance (Mendel), create an organism; with dominant and recessive traits, multiple allele traits, and codominance

Genetics Project – Create a species and show how its traits are influenced by genetics

Genetics Overview for AP Biology – summarizes the various types of crosses students may encounter on the AP test

cornGenetics and Statistics

Hardy-Weinberg Problem Set – statistical analysis, using HW equation and some dragons

Hardy Weinberg Simulation – track an allele in population by simulating how parents pass alleles to offspring

Corn Genetics and Chi Square – statistical analysis, using preserved corn and counting kernels

Albino Corn Genetics – grow corn, 3:1 albino ratio, lab report analyzes F1, F2 crosses

Chi Square Modeling Using Candy  – count the number of each color in a bag to determine if they occur in equal proportions

Drosophila Virtual Lab – choose fruit fly parents and analyze offspring in this virtual lab

Genetics of Wisconsin Fast Plants – grow plants from seeds and analyze phenotype; perform chi square analysis

Human Genetics

Case Study – Cystic Fibrosis Mutations

Cystic Fibrosis and Cell Membrane Transport

SRY not SRY – case study on the sex determining region of the Y chromosomes

Case Study – How Do Genes Determine Skin Color

Analyzing Human Pedigrees

Human Genetics Overview

Your Genes Your Choices – this is a more involved group assignment where groups read scenarios about genetic testing and ethics involved.

Genetic Science Ethics – survey as a group ethical questions involved genetics (cloning, gene therapy..)

Name the Gene – Explore Genes with BLAST – submit gene sequences to determine the related human trait

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