Lab: Punnett Square and Probability
Duration: Approximately 50 minutes
In this activity, students conduct a probability experiment representing traits that would occur in subsequent generations of a fictional flower. They then connect this experiment to the concepts of dominant and recessive alleles. Noticing that the genetic information is not always immediately apparent, students connect data to the Punnett Square. Finally, they apply what they learned to solve the bunny color problem as revealed in Scene: How Now Brown Bunnies.
By flipping coins (or something similar), students will model the likelihood that particular genetic information is transmitted to subsequent generations.
Students will note the difference between the presence of a recessive allele and the appearance of that trait physically.
Students will add data to a Punnett Square and understand its format.
- For this activity, students will need to use poker chips (or similar) that they can label with letters representing dominant and recessive on the two sides. Coins (heads vs. tails) can also be used.