3-Lesson Primer

Get a taste of what Geniverse has to offer with our 3-Lesson Primer, a short sequence of activities that introduces students to basic Mendelian inheritance.  These three lessons are appropriate for middle and high school students. This primer, which can be done using the Demo Version of Geniverse, can be completed in three class periods and can serve as an introduction for students with little or no background in genetics.  Of course, it can be used as a fun review for students with prior knowledge of genetics, too!  

With these 3-Lessons, you will:

  • Use the Demo Version, there is no need to register or create student accounts.
  • Introduce students to basic Mendelian genetics.
  • Introduce students to meiosis, linking it to Mendelian inheritance.
  • Have access to teacher guides and lesson plans including handouts.
  • Conclude with the in-software assessment.

What do I need for these 3-Lessons?

What will my students be learning and doing?

This sequence of activities guides students to make connections between genotype, phenotype, meiosis and fertilization. Students explore the inheritance of metallic and nonmetallic coloring, as well as the presence or absence of wings, forelimbs, and hindlimbs. At this level, each gene has only two possible alleles and behaves according to the classical Mendelian dominant/recessive model.

  • Case #1: Students manipulate alleles through pull-down menus to change genotype and observe any resulting phenotypic changes. They then use this knowledge and the pull-down menus to match a series of target drakes.

  • Case #2: Students use the meiosis tool to observe gamete formation and independent assortment of chromosomes. They also use the tool to select gametes for fertilization to produce target offspring drakes. The model presents the basics of meiosis in a way that allows students to explore connections between meiosis and inheritance of traits at both the genotypic and phenotypic levels, and it lays the groundwork for understanding the similarity and variation among offspring of the same parents.

  • Case #3: Students combine the ability to manipulate alleles with the ability to then breed the drakes to produce a series of target offspring drakes. The alleles of only one parent can be manipulated, while the alleles of the other are fixed and known.

  • Case #5: Students bring their knowledge and experiences to bear on the optional assessment. They need to determine the unknown but fixed genotype of a male drake for each of the four traits seen thus far. Students use pull-down menus to set the alleles for the female drake in such a way as they think breeding the two and observing the offspring will inform the genotype of the male.

Got a Little More Time? Challenge Your Students!

Try an argument case!

  • In Case #4, students are presented with four character claims about how baby drakes inherit their genes from their parents. Students use breeding experiments to determine which character's claim is correct.  Check out the Case 4 Lesson Plan. (~60 minutes)
  • Case #6 continues the Mendelian genetics theme by introducing a new phenotype: hornless.  Students breed given drakes to determine which phenotype is dominant for this trait: having horns or being hornless.  Check out the Case 6 Lesson Plan and the Apprentice Level Teacher Guide. (~60 minutes)

Argument cases require students to perform breeding experiments between given parent drakes in order to answer a specific question about inheritance. Students develop an argument by posting a claim (answer to the question posed), supported by evidence (from their breeding experiments) and reasoning (an explanation linking the evidence to the claim).

If using the Demo version of the software, students will submit their arguments in writing. If you’d like students to be able to submit their arguments through the in-software Journal of Drake Genetics, you must register on the Learn portal and use the Full Version of Geniverse.

If after this sample you decide you would like to do more Geniverse with students, we recommend using the Full Version. Check out Which Version of Geniverse is Right for You? to understand the similarities and differences between these two free versions of the software.