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Genetic Traits

Genetic Traits

A phenotype is an individual's observable traits, such as height, eye color, and blood type. The genetic contribution to the phenotype is called the genotype. Some traits are largely determined by the genotype, while other traits are largely determined by environmental factors.

Materials for Genetic Traits

Animation

The Animated Genome

Description: An engaging 5 minute film about DNA and the human genome that is sure to please.

What are traits?

Description: An engaging one and a half minute animation on traits, and how we are shaped by both our genes and environment.

Articles/Research

Epistasis

Description: A well illustrated article that makes explaining epistasis a breeze. In a nut shell, epistasis describes how different versions of a gene affect complex, multi-step processes.

Genetic Linkage

Description: A well illustrated article explaining why some genes tend to be inherited together while others do not.

Major Color Locus

Description: Learn how sex linked genes determine the color of a pigeons feathers.

Recessive Red

Description: Some pigeons, well, do not even look like pigeons. Learn more about what makes this bird an eye catcher.

Games

Dog Breeding

Description: Practice breeding dogs to get a puppy with certain single and multigenic traits

Genome - The Secret of How Life Works

Description: A game on genetic traits and DNA complementary base paring

Interactive Tutorials

Basic Genetics

Description: A rich source of engaging games, animations, articles, interactive tutorials and more on heredity, traits, chromosomes, DNA, RNA, and proteins.

Children Resemble Their Parents

Description: Information, videos, interactive tutorials, and animations on genetic traits

Labs & Experiments

Making Reebops: A model for Meiosis

Description: Instructions for a classroom exercise modeling meiosis and gene expression (phenotype)

Teacher Resources

A Recipe for Traits (PDF 1,129.11 KB , Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: Students create and decode DNA for mans best friend to observe how variations in DNA lead to the inheritance of different traits. Strips of paper that represent DNA are randomly selected and used to assemble the dogs DNA. Students read the DNA and create a drawing of their pet, and compare it with others in the class to check for similarities and differences.

An Inventory of a Few Human Traits (PDF 26.81 KB, Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: An activity observing and comparing common human traits with discussion questions

Asparagus Odor

Description: Chances are there is a kind of food you like that at least one friend finds disgusting, and vice versa. The same goes for smells. And while many factors undoubtedly affect our personal tastes, this Science Update examines how scientists are learning that things simply smell and taste different to different people.

Do You See What I See? (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: A series of lesson plans and laboratory exercises exploring vision, color perception, color-blindness, diversity of vision across species, and how this diversity affects survival and reproduction. You may need to register to view the lesson plans, but the plans and registration is free.

Genomics and Human Identity (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: Bring genomics to life for your high school students with this lesson plan. The lessons encourage hands-on, inquiry-based learning and include genomic concepts and research projects.

Genomics and Inheritance (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: This University of North Carolina teaching module teaches students about the human genome and what makes us each unique, how traits are inherited, and how Genome Wide Association Studies (GWAS) are helping to identify genes responsible for complex human diseases. Hands on activities include the Genetic Wheel (which shows how inherited traits make each of us incredibly unique) and a GWAS activity where students get to identify a genetic marker contributing to a human disease.

Introducing Ideas About Inheritance (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: A classroom exercise illustrating genetic vs environmental influences on human traits

Introduction to Heredity and Traits (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: Five easy-to-implement clasroom activities teach the basics of heritable traits. Three take-home activities help students share what they're learning with their families.

Juniors Family Tree (PDF 122.19 KB, Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: The learner will trace the family history of a horse named Junior as they explore why he has the characteristic traits that he does. The lesson includes an interview with a horse breeder and demonstrates how traits are passed from generation to generation. The lesson makes it clear that each parent contributes to the traits of the offspring, demonstrating cause and effect.

Race and Genes (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: Visible traits of the human phenotype associated with specific races are influenced by a common set of genes all humans share, the genome, and environmental interactions. Culture determines how they are perceived.

Traits Activities (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: Activities on genetic traits and disease risk, including traits bingo, inventorying common traits among your students, and tracking traits through three generations of ginger-bread people.

Variation in Human Skin Color (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: In this lesson, students explore the factors that control variation in human skin color and the implications of this information for human society.

Genotype

Articles/Research

Genotype vs Phenotype

Description: An illustrated summary on genotype and phenotype.

Talking Glossary: Genotype

Description: An illustrated description of genotype

Teacher Resources

Genotype Versus Phenotype

Description: A song on genotype and phenotype by Greg Crowther, an Acting Assistant Professor at the University of Washington.

Wild Type and Mutant (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: A lesson plan introducing the common fruit fly as a model organism, as well as phenotype, genotype, and genetic inheritance patterns.

Phenotype

Articles/Research

Genotype vs Phenotype

Description: An illustrated summary on genotype and phenotype.

Talking Glossary: Phenotype

Description: An illustrated description of phenotype

Teacher Resources

Genotype Versus Phenotype

Description: A song on genotype and phenotype by Greg Crowther, an Acting Assistant Professor at the University of Washington.

Wild Type and Mutant (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: A lesson plan introducing the common fruit fly as a model organism, as well as phenotype, genotype, and genetic inheritance patterns.