When I used to try to introduce Punnett squares, I found that half of my students would be lost. The abstraction of using letters to represent alleles left some of them completely lost. This was frustrating, because the other half of my students got it immediately and then became very bored as I explained what the letters represented over and over.
Using this activity, all of that frustration was immediately gone. I use this worksheet to introduce Punnett squares for the very first time. It is about frog skin color- I designate blue as the dominant allele and green as the recessive. Then, instead of having the students use letters to represent these alleles, I hand out blue and green garage sale labels to represent them instead. Once the students have placed the stickers in the correct spots, they color the cartoon frogs the correct color. After using the colored stickers, it is very easy for almost every single student to move on to the abstract letter representation without another hitch. Additionally, since the Punnett squares end up being so colorful, they make great wall decorations- there to remind your students how to do Punnett squares if they get stuck.
NOTE: you will need green and blue garage sale labels and green and blue markers/colored pencils in order to do this activity.
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After college, I taught paraprofessionally for on year before joining the New York City Teaching Fellows in 2007. Now I'm working on my masters degree while simultaneously teaching high school science in an urban school.