Want an engaging game where students selectively breed monsters? Look no further, I have two fun activities where monsters are farmed for their horns and fur. The first scenario is done in groups of 3-4 students. The second scenario is an added challenge to done independently or with partners. The second activity will allow you to work more one-on-one with students who need more time with the first activity. Both activities address the following NGSS standard:
MS-LS4-5: Gather and synthesize information about the technologies that have changed the way humans influence the inheritance of desired traits in organisms.
Monster Farming for Horns Scenario:
Aliens have hunted wild monsters on the planet Genescence for years as a food source. Lately, the aliens have technologically advanced in their society. They discovered how to plant crops and farm monsters. In addition, the aliens have learned how to harvest the precious ivory inside the horns of monsters. Aliens use the ivory to carve out sacred objects and they sell them at a high value. Few monsters have horns in the wild, and most wild monsters do not have horns. To complicate matters, there is a spotted disease affecting monsters in the wild. This disease does not affect the fertility of the monsters, but it causes any monster with horns to have a brittle ivory molecular structure. As a human ambassador representing Earth, you will teach the aliens how to selectively breed monsters with horns and no spotted disease.
Monster Farming for Fur Scenario:
Besides carving ivory from the horns of monsters, aliens love the luxurious fur of monsters from the great North. Monsters can have no fur, short fur, or long fur. Long fur is a great adaptation to survive the extreme cold temperatures. Unfortunately, aliens have over hunted the monsters in the North. Aliens are seeking our help to farm monsters with long fur. To complicate matters, the spotted disease has caused any monsters with short or long fur to go bald. As a human ambassador representing Earth, you will teach the aliens how to selectively breed monsters with long fur and no spotted disease.