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Teaching Genetics to 5th Graders

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 schoc15 Guest
schoc15

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Teaching Genetics to 5th Graders
03-12-2008, 08:45 PM
 #1

So i am extreamly new to this... still in school actually doing field expirience and I was wondering if there is anyone who has any ideas on how to teach Genetics to 5th graders?

 michellewil Joined: Nov 2006 Posts: 16 New Member
michellewil

Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 16
New Member
just did this..
03-14-2008, 05:40 PM
 #2

Not sure how much this will make sense typed out, but here goes:
1. I start with a matching game of pictures of some of my friends and their kids. The students have to match the kid to the parent. Then we discuss what they used to identify the pairs. (traits)
2.Survey inherited traits in the class. Tally. (left/right handed, earlobes attached or unattached, etc.)
3. We play rock paper scissors to discuss dominant(what wins out)
4. We go back over #2 and try to see based on numbers what traits in the class we think were dominant and "won" most of the time.
5. Punnett squares (use very basically to show dominant and recessive and how each offspring gets one gene from their parent for each trait)- make sure you relate the Punnett square to probability in Math.
6. We create our own aliens. I give the students two Alien parents' and give them the genotype for about nine traits on the parents (body type, head type, ears, mouth, feet, etc). The students roll a dice to see which gene they will get from the mom. Even #s gets the dominant gene, odd #s gets the recessive gene. Then they repeat for dad. Next, they write the genotype for each trait of their offspring. THEN, I show them the recessive and dominant pictures of each trait. They draw their new alien offspring and we post them all together with the parents to show all the different possibilities of offspring from one set of parents.
Brainpop also has a good video on DNA.

Sorry this is long. I won't have access to our school computer for this week, or I would post the papers that go with these activities and it might make more sense.

 schoc15 Guest
schoc15

Guest
Thanks
03-16-2008, 11:53 AM
 #3

Thank you so much for your Help I really appreciate it!

 mcroonish Joined: Mar 2008 Posts: 1 New Member
mcroonish

Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 1
New Member
inherited traits
03-19-2008, 06:27 PM
 #4

I can't remember where I got this idea as I've used it for years. When beginning genetics I'll introduce inherited traits and learned behaviors. We discuss what kinds of things are inherited and what things are learned behaviors (eating with a fork; playing baseball).
For homework on the first day I give each child a chart that I modified from wherever I got the original idea. I list the traits that are most commonly thought of as being inherited:
rolling your tongue (like a hotdog bun);
holding your arms out wide, bring your hands together and clasp them. What thumb is on top? (The thumb on top doesn't have anything to do with your handedness. My students will try to put their non-dominant thumb on top and will usually say, "This doesn't feel right!");
the third one is whether your ear lobes hang freely or are connected to the jaw.
The students enjoy doing this and finding out what traits they share with their parents and with their family members.
I cannot roll my tongue and each year the 3-5 kids who also can't do it are comforted that their teacher is a non-tongue roller!
This year was the first time that I had adopted kids who had no biological siblings. They still did it and thought it was neat that their brothers and sisters still had some of the same traits!

 Aranea Joined: Mar 2008 Posts: 6 New Member
Aranea

Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 6
New Member
03-26-2008, 06:07 PM
 #5

I have an adopted child in my room. When we did the unit on genetics, one assignment was to have the child fill out a "genetic interview" sheet on themselves and an identical one on a parent or sibling, answering y/n questions about tongue-rolling, earlobes, etc.

The adopted kid handled this by interviewing a cousin and her mom, and identifying traits they shared.

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