Genetics Lesson Plans

  • A Tour Through DNA- Students design a 3 dimensional DNA Model and a Tour Guide and lead "tourists" on an imaginary trip through a DNA model.
  • Animal Hybridization - In this lesson students will examine the possibilities of animal hybridization by creating profiles of possible animal hybrids.
  • Beans and Genes/Genetic Probability- Demonstrates expected genetic ratios.
  • Blazing a Genetic Trail: Portfolios and Rubric- This activity is designed to allow teachers and students become more comfortable with portfolio work. Deveopled as a short-term portfolio, the student respond to a series of instructions which gauge their understanding of the topics and their appilcations of the topic to their own lives.
  1. Bunny Babies- In this activity students use coins to represent the gamets of their bunny baby parents. Students need to be familiar with meiosis and the terms heterozygous, homozygous, dominate, recessive, incomplete dominance, genotype,and phenotype.
  2. Candy DNA Replication- Students use candy pieces and toothpicks to "build" DNA molecules and then simulate DNA replication.
  3. DNA Extraction with Kitchen Chemistry- Students will learn that you can extract DNA from various foods that are found in your refrigerator. This lesson is designed for middle school grades.
  4. DNA Scavenger Hunt- The code shown is the DNA code; students change the code to the m-RNA codon and then look up each triplet codon to determine the letter the coden equals. The letters will form words, in this case, items to find in a scavenger hunt. The items must be listed in the order the code dictates.
  5. DNA Sequencing- In this paper lab, students learn to read a gel electrophoresis sequence, learn a technique of DNA sequencing through gel electrophoresis convert the DNA sequence into amino acid sequence.
  6. DNA/Genetics- Helps students understand DNA, which is the genetic material for every person and every other living thing.
  7. Double Helix Film Guide- This film guide consists of several "attention extorters" to help students focus while watching the film "Race for the Double Helix. Included are 5 questions to accompany the April, 1953 Nature reprint article which can be used in conjunction with the film.
  8. Drosphilia: Introduction and Genetics- Introduction to Drosophila including life cycle, sexing, and identifying mutations. Used as the introductory lab to Drosophila Genetics.
  9. Easter Egg Genetics- This is a small activity to do immediately following your introduction to the concepts of dominance, recessiveness, related vocabulary and Punnett Squares. It uses different colored halves of plastic eggs (and their tasty candies inside!) to reinforce these concepts in a quick, fun and memorable way.
  10. Easy DNA Extraction- This extraction of DNA from calf thymus uses easily obtainable materials and can be done in classes at any level.
  11. Genetic Disorders and Genetic Testing- Students will understand that a gene may be defective or abnormal and that this may adversely affect the individual physically, mentally, or socially. Students will understand that defective genes may be passed from parents to their offspring and that the parents may not possess the disorder and may be unaware that they carry the defective gene.
  12. Genetic Revolution Overview- An overview of the revolution in genetics and genetic technology, from Mendel to cloning of mammals.
  13. Genetics and Heredity - Students will understand that genes come in pairs, and that one set of genes is contributed by the mother, while the other, corresponding set of genes is contributed by the father.
  14. Genetics Role Play- This activity is an excellent way to involve your students in discovering more about various genetic anomalies.
  15. Groovy DNA Beads- The main objective of this mini-teach is provide students with a hands-on experience matching DNA nitrogenous base pairs, arranging nucleotides into codons, and visualizing the size of a single gene.
  16. History, Hieroglyphs, and DNA- This activity gives students the opportunity to experience, first hand, what it is like to dechipher an unknown code - whether it is an ancient language or DNA.
  17. Inheritance in Maize (Indian Corn)- To determine the genotypes of parents from the phenotypic ratios of their offspring.
  18. INSULIN from DNA- This excersise is divided into three sections. Each section contains either the beginning, the middle, or the end of the molecule. Students will be divided up into three groups. Each group will receive one of the segments. Based on the DNA code, the group will determine what segment they received.
  19. Mini-Symposium on Genetic Disorders- Each student will select one disorder from the list, research information on the disorder, and prepare and deliver a comprehensive, concise, and complete oral presentation to the class.
  20. Modeling the Mitochondrial DNA "Clock"- This activity is designed to help students understand the concept of a molecular clock and how the accumulation of mutations reflect the length of time two populations (or two species) have been geographically or reproductively separated from one another.
  21. Monstrous Mutations- To understand and observe mutations. To recognize and adapt to mutations.
  22. People Are Like Peas in a Pod- To promote student understanding of how dominant traits, recessive traits, genotypes, and phenotypes help produce variation in a population.
  23. Principles of Heredity- To understand the idea of dominant and recessive genes. To understand the role of chance in the inheritance of traits.
  24. Protein Synthesis and Words- In this activity students do more than simple decoding. Students display an understanding of process order and placement within the cell. Needs no special equipment.
  25. The Secret of Life: Conquering Cancer- The students will demonstrate an ability to apply their knowledge of genetic engineering and decision making strategies to recommend a decision concerning the future use of genetic engineering in humans.
  26. Traits- Students will understand that certain physical traits are inherited from their parents through the genes.
  27. Wearing My Genes: Basic Principles of Heredity- Predict the results of a monohybrid genetic cross using the Punnett Square.