Who Doesn't LOVE Genetics?
In my many years of teaching, it has been a very rare occasion to have a student in my class who did not enjoy my genetics unit. It is such a fun and interesting topic to teach! My students always love to discover if they have a widow's peak, a hitch hikers thumb, or a crooked little finger. And, of course, what kid hasn't been rolling (or trying to roll!) his tongue for most of his life?
Thanks to the work of Gregor Mendel, the very scientific Austrian monk, the study of genetics began in his abbey garden in the mid-1800's. By spending many years in the patient breeding of pea plants, Mendel provided the world with the basic laws of genetics that we still use today.
I would bet that every biology teacher today begins with the story of Mendel. From Mendel's work we can teach such vocabulary words as trait, hybrid, gene, alleles, dominant, recessive, segregation, homozygous, heterozygous, genotype and phenotype. As soon as these terms are mastered, we jump into Punnett squares and probability.
For some teachers, this is where our trouble begins. No, it is not that the material is hard or that students fail to master it. The problem lies within the biology texts that are commonly used today. It seems that they have precious few practice problems available to our students. Having spent many, many years in the biology classroom, I have collected quite a few great genetics problems that I use for practice material.
FREEBIE!!) Before more complicated problems can be attempted, the student must be able to complete a very simple one-factor problem... the monohybrid cross. This simple worksheet has just four problems. The student completes the Punnett square, fills in a chart of genotypes, phenotypes and probabilities, and finishes the problem by answering a series of questions. I called this Monohybrid Mice! because all of the problems deal with the coat color of mice.
You can download this worksheet for free from my store on TeachersPayTeachers.com. Once your students have completed this exercise, they will, no doubt, be ready to master more complicated problems.
Enjoy the freebie, and good luck with your teaching!
Related products include:
Genetics Complete Unit Plan Bundle of Products
Genetics PowerPoint and Notes
Codominance and Multiple Alleles