Name of Activity Smiley Genetic Engineering
Author Jay Clark
Keywords flip coins, coins, baby, genetics, genetic makeup, breeding, specifications, dominant, recessive, traits, heterogenous, homogenous, 1 Hour Total
Subject Non-LEGO
Grade Level K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
Time 1 Hour Total
Brief Description Students flip coins to determine the genetic makeup of a baby smiley from mom and dad smilies. Next, the children “breed” their smilies to try and make a specific smiley.
Lesson Objectives: – learn about dominant and recessive traits.
– learn about heterogeneous and homogeneous genetic makeup.
– learn about genetic engineering.
Materials Needed: 1 unique smiley for every student in class with genetic makeup.
key for genetic makeup
1 coin per student
Baby smiley worksheet
Preparation and Set Up: Print out attached documents, or make your own.
Procedure Lesson – 10 minutes Ask all brunettes to raise their hands Ask all blonds to raise their hands Why are there more brunettes? Brown hair is a dominant trait! explain how if you inherit a dominant gene, you will show that trait no matter what gene it’s paired with.   What are some other inherited traits? (have students see who has dominant and recessive traits) widows peak (dominant) hitchhikers thumb (recessive) rolling tongue (dominant) left thumb over right when hands are interlaced (left over right – dominant) attached/detached earlobes (detached – dominant) You inherit traits from your parents! which gene you inherit from each parent is just like a flip of a coin! Talk with students about genetic engineering- breeding to achieve favorable traits. This includes seedless fruit, large vegetables, and fast horses.   Activity – 40 minutes Hand out a smiley and a coin to each student. With their partner, students should have a set of ‘parent’ smileys, and two coins. One trait at a time, students flip coins to determine which gene is passed on from the parent smiley. Heads means the first trait is passed, tails means the second trait is passed. Students fill out their ‘baby smiley’ worksheet to determine the genetic make up of the baby, and then draw the child in the box. activity phase two – if time permits Students draw a smiley using their favorite traits, and go around the room flipping coins with other smilies to try and ‘breed’ their favorite smiley. Students should keep track of how many generations it took them to arrive at their smiley.
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