This activity begins with sections that help students to understand basic principles of genetics, including (1) how genotype influences phenotype via the effects of genes on protein structure and function and (2) how genes are transmitted from parents to offspring through the processes of meiosis and fertilization. Then, a coin flip activity models the probabilistic nature of inheritance and Punnett square predictions; this helps students understand why the characteristics of children in many real families deviate from Punnett square predictions. Additional concepts covered include polygenic inheritance, incomplete dominance, and how a new mutation can result in a genetic condition that was not inherited. This activity helps students meet the Next Generation Science Standards.
This overview reviews key concepts and learning activities to help students understand how genes influence our traits by molecular processes. Topics covered include basic understanding of the important roles of proteins and DNA; DNA structure, function and replication; the molecular biology of how genes influence traits, including transcription and translation; and the molecular biology of mutations. To help students understand the relevance of these molecular processes, the suggested learning activities link alleles of specific genes to human characteristics such as albinism, sickle cell anemia and muscular dystrophy. This overview provides links to suggested activities which include hands-on laboratory and simulation activities, web-based simulations, discussion activities and a vocabulary review game.