Dragon Genetics – Understanding Inheritance
This activity allows students to simulate the processes of meiosis and fertilization as they investigate the inheritance of multiple genes. The simulation also allows the student to see the cause and effect relationship of gene transmission from parents to offspring and resulting genetic variation. Students use their understanding of dominant and recessive alleles, incomplete dominance, and sex-linked inheritance to interpret the results of the simulation. This activity can be used as a culminating activity within a unit on classical genetics, and it can serve as formative assessment to identify any areas of confusion that still remain and require additional learning experiences.
MS-LS3-2 Develop and use a model to describe why asexual reproduction results in offspring with identical genetic information and sexual reproduction results in offspring with genetic variation.
Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on using models such as Punnett squares, diagrams, and simulations to describe the cause and effect relationship of gene transmission from parent(s) to offspring and resulting genetic variation.
Assessment Boundary: none
This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this performance expectation.
Comments about Including the Performance Expectation
This activity can be used as a culminating activity after you have introduced sexual reproduction, chromosomes, and meiosis. It can serve as formative assessment to identify any areas that require additional clarification on variation in sexual reproduction.
Science and Engineering Practices
This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this science and engineering practice.
Comments about Including the Science and Engineering Practice
This simulation allows students to model the processes of meiosis and fertilization as they investigate the inheritance of multiple genes for nine different traits. This modeling allows them to use their understanding of concepts to see a direct relationship between the chromosomes from each parent and the resulting variety of traits. Whole class discussions needs to include comparison of each team’s dragon and how the random distribution of chromosomes leads to many variations even when there are only 9 different dragon traits. This can be accomplished by sharing each team’s data in a “Gallery Walk”. The facilitator should also make a connection between the dragon’s nine genes as compared to the over 20,000 human genes through the socratic questioning technique.
Disciplinary Core Ideas
This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this disciplinary core idea.
Comments about Including the Disciplinary Core Idea
This simulation uses random set of alleles from two dragon parents that code for nine traits on three chromosome pairs. Through the modeling students are able to visualize the wide range of variety that results from this random distribution of alleles. The questions provided probe for how random distribution of alleles results from meiosis and how they are then joined together in fertilization.
This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this crosscutting concept.
Comments about Including the Crosscutting Concept
This resource helps students see a definite relationship between parents’ genetic traits and the variety of traits found in their offspring due to the processes of meiosis and fertilization in sexual reproduction.
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Lab 6 – Dragon Genetics
After completing this activity, students will be able to –
- Observe the separation and independent assortment of alleles
- Complete a test cross of an organism
- Demonstrate that phenotype is determined by genotype, sex hormones, and the environment.
- Recognize the difference between dominant and recessive characteristics
- Describe homozygous and heterozygous individuals
Students will work in pairs in the lab to produce a baby dragon from the random mixing of genetic traits. Each student will be a surrogate dragon parent. They will pick up a complete set of dragon chromosomes. Surrogate dragon parent partners must be of the opposite sex, therefore one parent must pick up the X/X chromosomes while the other must pick up the X/Y chromosomes. The homologous chromosomes will be separated according to Mendel’s law of Independent Assortment. The genetic codes that are passed on to the baby dragon will be recorded on the following pages. The surrogate parents must then decode the genes inherited by their offspring to determine the phenotype of their baby dragon. Using the pictures at the end of the handout, they will cut out these traits and tape or paste them together (or draw them) to have a picture of their baby dragon.
Your TA will provide you with the pre-labeled alleles.
Lab 6 – Dragon Genetics PowerPoint Presentation Learning Objectives After completing this activity, students will be able to – Observe the separation and independent