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.


Mendel & Inheritance – powerpoint presentation covering basics of genetics

Heredity Simulation – use popsicle sticks to show how alleles are inherited
Penny Genetics – flip a coin to compare actual outcomes versus predicted outcomes from a punnett square
Heredity Wordsearch – fill in the blank, find words

Simple Genetics Practice – using mendelian genetics and punnett squares

Genetic Crosses with two traits – basic crosses, uses Punnet squares
Genetic Crosses with two traits II – basic crossses, uses Punnett squares
Dihybrid Crosses in Guinea Pigs (pdf) – step through on how to do a 4×4 punnett square

Codominance & Incomplete Dominance – basic crosses involving codominance

Genetics Practice Problems – includes codominance, multiple allele traits, polygenic traits, for AP Biology
Genetics Practice Problems II – for advanced biology students, includes both single allele and dihybrid crosses, intended for practice after students have learned multiplicative properties of statistics and mathematical analysis of genetic crosses

X-Linked Traits –  practice crosses that involve sex-linkage, mainly in fruitflies

X Linked Genetics in Calico Cats – more practice with sex-linked traits
Multiple Allele Traits – practice with blood type crosses and other ABO type alleles
Multiple Allele Traits in Chickens – shows how combs are inherited (rrpp x RRpp)
Inheritance and Eye Color – uses a simulation to show how multiple alleles can influence a single trait (eye color)

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.  As the case progresses, students learn about polygenic inheritance patterns.

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

Oompa Loompa Genetics(pdf) – basic crosses and problem sets, using oompa loompas
Norn Genetics – online simulation showing basic single allele traits, multiple allele traits and codominance

Human Genetics Survey – class takes a survey of human traits, such as ear points
Human Genetics Bingo – grid with traits, powerpoint presentation discusses traits
Human Genetics Presentation  – discusses ABO blood types, albinism, cystic fibrosis and other traits unique to humans

Design-a-Species – using the rules of inheritance (mendel), create an organism; dominance & recessiveness, multiple allele traits, codominance
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.

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
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

Fruit Fly Genetics – virtual lab where you cross different flies, gather data and statistically analyze the results
Fruit Fly (Drosophila) Virtual Lab – more extensive virtual lab through a program created by Virtual Courseware, requires set up by teacher.
Drosophilab – this virtual lab requires you to download a program to your computer,  students can choose traits to cross and run chi square analysis on outcomes, while this is more basic than the Virtual Courseware lab, it appears to have less bugs.

Dragon Genetics Word Problems (ppt) – displays genetics problems on projector for students to solve


Meiosis Label – look at cells in various stages of meiosis, identify and order
Meiosis Internet Lesson – look at animations of meiosis and answer questions
Meiosis Powerpoint – slideshow covers meiosis, homologous chromosomes, crossing over…

Modeling Chromosomal Inheritance – use pipe cleaners to show how genes are inherited; independent assortment, segregation, sex-linkage

Linkage Group Simulation – uses pipe cleaners and beads, students construct chromosomes with alleles and perform crosses, predicting outcomes (advanced)
Karyotyping Online – use a website simulator to learn how to pair chromosomes and diagnose abnormalities
Karyotyping Online II – another simulation on how to construct a karyotype
Chromosome Study – cut out chromosomes and tape them in pairs to construct a “paper” karyotype

Gender and Sex Determination – NOVA explores how sex is determined, and social issues of gender


DNA Powerpoint Presentation – covers the basics for a freshman level class

DNA Coloring – basic image of DNA and RNA
DNA Crossword – basic terms

How Can DNA Replication Be Modeled – students use colored paperclips to model how one side of the DNA serves as a template during replication (semi-conservative)

Transcription & Translation Coloring – shows structures involved, nucleotides, base pair rules, amino acids

DNA Analysis: Recombination – simulate DNA recombination using paper slips and sequences
DNA Extraction – instructions for extracting DNA from a strawberry, very simple, works every time!
DNA in Snorks – analyze and transcribe DNA sequences, construct a creature based on that sequence

How DNA Controls the Workings of a Cell – examine a DNA sequence, transcribe and translate
DNA Sequencing in Bacteria – website simulates the sequencing of bacterial DNA, PCR techniques
Ramalian DNA – imagine an alien species that has triple-stranded DNA, base pair rules still apply
Who Ate The Cheese – simulate gel electrophoresis to solve a crime
HIV Coloring  – shows how viral DNA enters and infects a cell

Genetic Science Ethics – survey as a group ethical questions involved genetics (cloning, gene therapy..)
Your Genes Your Choices – this is a more involved group assignment where groups read scenarios about genetic testing and ethics involved.
Genetic Engineering Concept Map – Complete this graphic organizer on various techniques used in genetics, such as selective breeding and manipulating DNA

Virtual Labs and Resources

Genetic Engineering – presentation on cloning, recombinant DNA, and gel electrophoresis
Biotechnology Web Lesson – students explore genetic science learning center ( and discover how clones are made, and how DNA is extracted and sequenced
Genetic Science Learning Center – explore website with animations and tutorials, answer questions

DNA From the Beginning -step by step tutorial on the discovery of genes, DNA, and how they control traits, site by Dolan DNA Learning Center
DNA Fingerprinting – another simulation, this one from PBS, that walks you through the steps of creating a DNA Fingerprint
Cloning –  Click and Clone at GSLC where you can read about how clones are made and clone your own virtual mouse