Generations of Traits

This Generations of Traits lesson plan also includes:

Young scientists generate an understanding of genetics in this simple hands-on activity. Using colored pom-poms to represent the unique traits of four grandparents, students blindly choose attributes to pass on to a set of parents, and eventually to four grandchildren as they learn about the randomness of heredity.

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CCSS: Adaptable
NGSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas

  • Include this activity as a science learning center during an introductory unit on genetics in the upper-elementary and middle school grade levels
  • Differentiate instruction by pulling a small group of students aside and performing the lesson as a teacher-guided activity
Classroom Considerations

  • If colored pom-poms are not available in your class, any set of multi-colored manipulatives will work

  • Worksheets clearly walk students through each step of the activity
  • Activity simplifies the concept of heredity, making it accessible to a wider range of students
  • Both English and Spanish versions of the worksheets are provided
  • Resource offers keys ideas and common misconcepts to discuss with the class following the activity

  • None