Resource type: Activity, with student movement
Intended Audience: 7th & 8th Grade Science
Activity Time: 15-25 min., depending upon the class’s ability and the amount of scaffolding needed.
Activity Abstract: Students will move around the room to pair their single allele with another student’s allele by high "fiving" random peers along the way as music plays. When the music stops, students pair their personal allele with the last person they high-fived, and return to their seats to complete the checklist.
This activity is to be used as a review of the vocabulary learned in the genetics unit. I have found my students to have the hardest time with this unit’s vocabulary; it is traditionally the lowest scoring standard out of all my life science lessons. Students will need to be able to solve multi-step word problems as part of local district standardized assessments (The CGA in Duval County) and the state’s 8th Grade Science FCAT. A strong foundation in this vocabulary will also help prepare students for the high school’s Biology State EoC.
Florida Standards: SC.L.16.2 Determine the probabilities of genotype and phenotype combinations using Punnett Squares and pedigrees.
“The Ratchet Roundup” Worksheet (1 per student)
An index card for every student with either an “R” or “r” written on it.
Music (I personally like bluegrass for the idea of a Ratchet Roundup, here’s a link to a cover of Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” http://youtu.be/qHNC0sYtAZc
Projector with instructions and hints (optional)
1. Describe the activity to your students. Make sure they understand the purpose of the movement around the room before they get up for the first time… it’s hard to corral them all again once they’ve been let loose out of the barn.
2. Be sure to discuss behavioral expectations during the movement period. Model appropriate voice levels, high fives, and movement. Someone will try to jump around and slap people’s backs, etc. Crucify them after round one.
3. Play music and students move to high five their peers.
4. Stop music and students return to their desks with a new, second allele to complete a genotype.
5. Students individually check off answers for questions #2 and #3. (Having a breakdown of the definitions on a projector may be helpful as a scaffold, and remind students of the trait that is associated with the dominant and recessive allele.)
6. Call on three to four students for their (#1) genotype, (#2)the way their genotype could be described, (#3) if their phenotype is going to make them ratchet.
7. Repeat until all six pairings are complete.
***Sidenote*** ‘Ratchet’ is a popular expression that stems from the word ‘wretched’, and to some children may be offensive if you haven’t made it a silly/funny thing before. All of my students know that it’s just a term of endearment from Crazy Mr. Rawlins. You may want to substitute ‘ratchet’ for some other term, but keep it light-hearted and fun… it’s what sells the learning.