Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The O'Smithsteinski-Akim-Garci-Chan Clan

The 8th graders are finishing up an activity that began on Monday.  This lab helps reinforce ideas of how family trees and formed and how traits are shown.  I came home looking to see if I could find a reflection for this lab, and found the entire lab online!  For my students, I changed the directions so that they didn't get bored with the repetition.

After introducing punnett squares, dominant and recessive traits, and genotypes, and phenotypes, we began this project about a kooky family and their bizarre traits.  More than a few times students asked if these were actually traits that humans can have.  "How many people do you know with 2 arms on the same side?  How about that are cyclops?"

I had students create the actual family tree.  If you are looking to really push those high kids, this is a great activity.  I think next year I will use butcher paper so that the kids have enough room, even though I can get the tree on a regular sheet of paper.  Once the students created the tree based on the family information sheets, I gave them one trait that the people in this family have. The traits are off the wall funny!  Students had to shade the traits and code them by genotype.  This reinforces finding genotypes by viewing family trees.

Once they were all done, I had them get my copied sheet of the tree and they filled in a tree for each of the 11 traits.  Tomorrow, students will be creating a family portrait for a small branch of this family.  I can't wait to see what they will look like!

(pictures to come)

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