The concepts of meiosis, segregation of alleles, genetic probabilities, Mendelian inheritance, genotypes, and phenotypes can all be fairly abstract for many 9th or 10th grade biology students. This activity will make these concepts concrete for the students in a hands-on, minds-on format. In the lab, each pair of students will role play a pair of crossing pea plants. By flipping coins they will produce imaginary offspring and compare the ratios of their actual offspring to those predicted by the Punnett square.
This printed teaching packet contains the following:
1. Student copy of the lab activity (Please feel free to photocopy a class set of these!)
2. Teacher’s answer key for the student copy of the lab activity
Materials required for this lab are relatively inexpensive and easy to obtain, (coins, masking tape, and scissors!) but I have found this activity to be an effective way to help my kids bridge the gap from concrete to abstract level thinking, while gaining a deeper understanding and appreciation for the work of Gregor Mendel.