This Inherited Traits Baby Face Genetics Coin Toss Activity aligns with NGSS MS-LS3-2 : Modeling why sexual reproduction results in offspring with genetic variation. This is a no prep, fresh, fun version of a coin-toss genetics activity. All you need is a handful of coins! Students love the excitement of "making a baby" with a partner! The big question for this activity is: if two parents are heterozygous for 27 different traits, will the phenotypes of their offspring be identical?
"Mother" and "father" both get a coin to flip. They proceed through 27 traits, including hair color and texture, eye shape and color, nose size, ear attachment, etc. Co-dominant, polygenic, and incomplete-dominance traits are represented, although the students don't necessarily need to know what these terms mean- they learn as they go due to the nature of the directions for those traits.
After determining the baby's phenotype for all 27 traits, the partners create their baby announcement by carefully including each of the baby's inherited traits. Hang up all of the babies around your room and have a "beautiful baby" competition as extra incentive for the students to do a beautiful job on their drawings!
Four conclusion questions that students answer on the back of their baby announcement will help you to assess whether they really understood the point of this activity. Teacher notes and an answer key for the definitions are included.
This is a fun, low-prep, and creative exercise for reinforcing your genetics unit!
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