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Modeling Across the Curriculum

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Genetics Guide

Subject: Biology

Genetics is a branch of biology that deals with heredity and variation amungst organisms.

Recommended Sequence

Since the activities increase in complexity from the first simple models and user interface introductions to the later activities requiring integrated models and sophisticated reasoning skills, we strongly recommend that learners complete the core activities in sequence. Optional activities can be used more flexibly but should be used after the prerequisite core activities.

In addition to the activities, there are two surveys, a pre-test, a post-test, and embedded assessment pieces that enable the MAC project to evaluate students' progress and draw conclusions about the effectiveness of the activities.

Please make sure to administer the Pre-Test before the core activities and the Post-Test after the core activities. They are an essential part of this research project.


  1. Introduction - What do dragons look like and why? (Dragon Genome Chart)

  2. Rules - How do genes affect appearance?

  3. Meiosis - Why don't members of a family look more alike?

  4. Horns Dilemma (optional) - Can two horned parents have a hornless baby?

  5. Monohybrid - Do traits really skip generations?

  6. X-linkage - What difference does it make if a gene is part of the X Chromosome?

  7. Mutations - What happens when you change the DNA? How are mutations inherited?

  8. Mutations 2 (optional) - What happens when you change the DNA? How are mutations inherited?

  9. Dihybrid Cross - What is the likelihood that two traits will be inherited together?

  10. Scales (optional) - How do you investigate the inheritance of a new trait?

  11. Invisible Dragons - Can you determine the genotypes of invisible parents from the phenotypes of their offspring?

  12. Plates (optional) - How are plates inherited?

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