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Mendelian Genetics

By: Matthew Lance, Zackary Melton, Hunter Starling

Overview of Learning Experience:
Heredity and Mendel's Laws of genetics can be hard to understand at times, that is why

this activity is trying to make it as succinct and understandable as possible. The lesson

and activity will explain dominant and recessive traits and how its alleles function. The

expression of alleles into physical traits, how dominant and recessive traits work and are

expressed, and how genetics are passed down from adult to offspring are all covered

within the material we have and are expressed within the activity.

The activity is to give students a basic understanding of how heredity works and how

Dominant and Recessive traits can be applied in life. In this activity a software

application called Nearpod will be used, in which students will be given an outlined face

to draw their dominant and recessive traits. All the traits will be determined by a pre-set

list of alleles. It should be noted these aren't the actual traits, just examples for the

lesson. For the activity the students will determine eye color, hair color, hair type, hair

length, freckles or not, earlobe shape, eye size, ear size, and cleft chin or not. These

phenotypic traits will be based on the students themselves. Every possible trait will be

linked to how dominant or recessive the traits are and they will apply them to their child

accordingly. As stated before the main goal here is to give a simplistic idea of Genetics,
so all the talk about dominant genes, recessive genes, and alleles does not become non-

comprehensive material.

Media and Description of Integration:

Once the students are presented a PowerPoint and then lectured through genetics and

traits they will be given an activity on the software application Nearpod. Nearpod is an

application where students on their laptops or phones (through the free mobile app) will be given

a code that lets the teacher present something that they have created across all the student’s

screens. The students will be presented with a blank face template on their screen which will be

the “offspring” where they then partner up in groups of two. “Parents” will place their traits and

draw a face using their own genetics (hair color, eye color, etc.). The image of the faces will be

used to show the crosses between dominant and recessive traits. Students will split into pairs and

use common human traits and cross their traits with their partner’s traits to determine what

common human trait their “child” (template of the blank face) will be. For example, if one

partner has brown hair and one has blonde the offspring will have brown hair because brown is a

dominant allele (BB) and blonde is a recessive trait (bb) resulting in the offspring being (Bb)

giving them brown hair. The same applies to eye color as well if one “parent” has brown eyes

which are dominant (BB) and the other “parent” has blue eyes which are recessive (bb) the

“offspring” will have brown eyes because dominant alleles show over recessive ones.
Student Activity Example:

Before Drawing [Template]
Completed Activity Example

North Carolina Standards
Bio.3.2
• Understand how the environment, and/or the interaction of alleles, influences
the expression of genetic traits.
Bio.3.2.1
• Explain the role of meiosis in sexual reproduction and genetic variation.
Bio.3.2.2
• Predict offspring ratios based on a variety of inheritance patterns (including
dominance, co-dominance, incomplete dominance, multiple alleles, and sex-linked
traits).
Bio.3.2.3
• Explain how the environment can influence the expression of genetic traits.
Enhancing Education with the 5 E’s
Engage:
• Student will connect past and present experiences with Genetics and Heredity.
• Students will complete a Genetics Activity.
• Students will critically think about how genetics is related to their lives and explain
how it occurs in Germ, Somatic and Gamete cells.

Explore:
• After completing the activity, Students will collaborate with their peers and observe
other student’s traits
• Students will discuss their traits with other students.
• Students will develop their own hypothesis about the occurrence of Genetics

Explain:
• Students will be presented with a short presentation explaining genetics and how it
pertains to the world around them.
• The presentation will explain phenotypes, genotypes, inherence, and a general
overview of genetics.

Elaborate:
• Students will be given 20-30 minutes to discuss their activity with other students.
• Students will get in groups to discuss their creations with other students.

Evaluate:
• Students will be asked to answer questions regarding the lesson and activity

Question sets with Model Student Answers:

Bio.3.2.1

1. Explain is the process of meiosis?
Answer: “Meiosis is a process that all plants and animals go through in order to
sexually reproduce offspring.

2. Why does meiosis occur in plants and animals? (HOTS)
Answer: “Meiosis happens to plants and animals in order to sexually reproduce
offspring to repopulate a specific species”.
3. What is the role of meiosis in sexual reproduction of animal and plant organisms?
Answer: “Meiosis is an intelligently organized system for plant and animal cells to
sexually reproduce, minimizing possible confounding variables”.

4. What is Genetic Variation and why does it occur?
Answer: “Genetic Variation is different features of a plant or animal that makes it a
specific species. It happens because during meiosis alleles of different chromosomes will cross
over each other, thus trading certain features of a plant or animal”.

Bio.3.2.2

1. What is an Offspring ratio and why would scientists need to use them? (HOTS)
Answer: “Offspring ratios are ratios of traits that can be converted into percentages to
explain the chance of a certain outcome of dominant trait”.
2. What is an Inheritance Pattern and why would scientists need to study them in an
experiment? (HOTS)
Answer: “An Inheritance Pattern is a code of traits that are created based on the
crossed alleles of meiosis. The code is a pattern that is carried down through the family tree
of a plant or animal”.

3. What is an allele?
Answer: “An allele is a portion of a chromosome that carries a specific trait of a
parent”.

4. How do alleles affect the way animals and plants look and act?
Answer: “Alleles carry physical, as well as internal traits that are crossed over during
meiosis. This process allows animals to look similar but not the same.”

5. Why do traits determine physical features of plants and animals? (HOTS)
Answer: “Physical traits for plants and animals are coded in the molecules of the plant
or animal cell. Having different molecular structures allows for different plant animal
features”.

Bio.3.2.3
1. How can the environment influence different traits? (HOTS)
Answer: “Plants and animals living in different regions of the planet will develop
similar traits as a grown adult. These traits are specific to their light absorption, living
altitude, size, and many more”.

2. Why do plants and animals in certain regions of the planet have certain aspects and
abilities that other plants and animals don't? (HOTS)
Answer: “Some plants and animals that live in certain areas of the world do not
contain molecules that will not thrive in their living region. For example, A gecko may
develop large eyes in a rainforest, because of the low light their eyes receive on a daily basis”.
3. Are dominant traits specific to one type of plant or animal species? Explain. (HOTS)
Answer: “No dominant traits are developed based on their survivability in an
organism”.

Teaching and Learning Standards/References:

K-12 STANDARDS, CURRICULUM AND INSTRUCTION. (n.d.). Retrieved April 29, 2018,
from http://www.dpi.state.nc.us/curriculum/

Mendel's First Law of Genetics (Law of Segregation). (n.d.). Retrieved April 17, 2018, from
https://www.ndsu.edu/pubweb/~mcclean/plsc431/mendel/mendel1.htm

Tools for the most important job in the world. (n.d.). Retrieved March 2, 2018, from
https://nearpod.com/