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  • In this activity, students simulate the passing of traits through three generations. The students work in groups of four ‘siblings’ and compare their combinations of traits.

    By the end of this activity, students should be able to:

    • explain what a trait is and give examples
    • describe the basic concept of inheritance: that parents pass genes (within chromosomes) on to their children
    • explain why there are similarities and differences within families.

    Download the Word file (see link below) for:

    • introduction/background notes
    • what you need
    • what to do
    • student worksheet.

    Related content

    The articles DNA, chromosomes and gene expression and Meiosis, inheritance and variation take a closer look inside our cells to explain some of the ideas fundamental to finding out what makes each of us unique. Proteins have many roles in the human body and different combinations of genes build these proteins to perform specialised functions.

    Before starting this activity with your students you might want to address some common alternative conceptions about genetics.

    Useful links

    Visit the Learn Genetics website and view the What is inheritance, Things you may not know about DNA and What is a trait? animations for more information about how genetic information is passed from one generation to the next. Check out the rest of this site for more information.

      Published 23 June 2011 Referencing Hub articles
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