Here is a fun lab activity for general 9th or 10th grade biology that allows students to analyze amino acid sequences to determine the relatedness of four species. Students use pony beads to represent amino acids, build a sequence of beads on pipe cleaners, compare four strands of different colored beads, count the different colors in each strand, complete a chart, and analyze evolutionary relationships. Additionally they use a codon chart to determine the DNA code for one of the strands. Concepts covered are DNA, mRNA, codons, amino acids, mutations, species relatedness, and evidence for biochemical evolution. It's a fun, inexpensive lab which can be built of craft store materials that brings the abstract into concrete concepts.