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Genetic Traits: From Nucleotides to Species

Module Summary
This module concentrates on the flow of genetic information from a single nucleotide to whole organisms.  The first lesson demonstrates how sexual cell division increases the diversity of populations.  In the second activity, students use Punnett squares to predict how parents’ genetic make-up will affect the physical appearance of offspring.   Using the knowledge gained from these activities, the students will move on to an organism-level understanding of DNA’s impact on traits.  Students will go on a kingdom scavenger hunt around school and locate as many specimens from each kingdom as possible.  To close the unit, a dichotomous key exercise with insects demonstrates how physical changes signaled at a genetic level culminate in the identifying features of species, genera, families, etc.

Grade Levels

Module Materials (view or download)
Delicious Division: Modeling Meiosis
Monster Genetics
Kingdom Scavenger Hunt
Insect Dichotomous Keys

Module Activity Overview Estimated Class Time
Delicious Division: Modeling Meiosis 1 (90 min) class
Monster Genetics 1 (90 min) class
Kingdom Scavenger Hunt 1 (90 min) class
Insect Dichotomous Keys 1 (90 min) class




Last updated: 3/10/2015