Unit Industry Sector
Agriculture & Natural Resources

Unit Originally Created By: Karen Dalton-Wemp

Genetics and Heredity

Part of Course: Ag Biology Model

Unit Overview / Details

This unit contains lessons on Mendel and heredity, Punnett Squares, DNA RNA/protein systhesis and Genetic Engineering/Biotechnology

Instructional Hours

30 Hours


Differentiate b etween genotype and phenotype, and describe how dominant and recessive genes function

Understand how to use a Punnett Square to display phenotype and genotype ratios

Understand current agricultural environmental challenges.

Understand the purpose and anatomy of cells.

Know how cell parts function

Understand what functions organelles play in the health of the cell.

Understand plant inheritance principles, including the structure and role of DNA.

Lessons in this Unit

  • DNA in a shoe box. Students will construct a DNA model and identify each part of a DNA molecule. DNA is a complex  molecule composed of a series of nucleotides. Each nucleotide unit consists of a sugar (deoxyribose) a phosphate, and one of four nitrogenous bases: adenine, guanine, cytosine, or thymine.

    Instructional Time
    2 Class Periods
    Class Periods
    55 Minutes
  • Students will experience the frustration scientists feel as the students build a nucleotide and end up with a complete double helix strand of DNA. Also addressed in this lesson is the discrimination that took place concerning male and female scientists winning the Nobel Prize for the discovery of the structure of the DNA strand.

    55 Minutes
  • Students will complete a Transcription and Translation activity and manually translate DNA into mRNA then physically move the information from the nucleus to the cytoplasm and work with a ribosome to stack amino acids together to form a protein.

    Instructional Time
    2 Class Periods
    Class Period
    55 Minutes
  • Students will be introduced to the Golden Rice story. Included in the lesson is 'how to make golden rice'; the controversy; the global food fight; weighing the perils; and assessing the promise.

    Instructional time
    180 Minutes
  • Why are your eyes that color? Where did your facial expressions come from? What traits could you pass on to your children? The conversation begins here as we create a larger-than-life chromosome model to focus on genes and genetic traits. With a fun play on words, jeans and other clothing items are used to represent genes on giant chromosomes. Students tap into previous knowledge about DNA, explore the large chromosome models in their classroom, and investigate the important role genes play.

    Family Traits
    5 Minutes
    K-W-L Chart
    5 Minutes
    Modeling Chromosomes
    10 Minutes
    Student Application
    20 Minutes
    Key Terms Review
    10 Minutes
    5 Minutes
    5 Minutes
  • This lesson predicts genetic probability using monohybrid and dihybrid Punnett Squares. In 1905, Reginald Punnett, devised a short-hand way of determining the expected proportions of possible genotypes in the offspring of a cross. This method is called the Punnett Square. It takes account of the fact that fertilization occurs at random, as Mendel's Law of segregation states. If the genotypes of the parents are know a Punnett Square can be used to predict the possible genotypes of offspring.

    Instructional Time
    2 Class Periods
    Class Period
    55 Minutes
  • Students will look at the process of DNA translation and transcription as it creates the end product of protein.  They will creat a "Road Map" of the process describing what and where each step occurs.

    1 Hour
  • In this lesson students will be able to explore the cloning world. Students will receive information on transgenic animals and the basic cloning process. During the course of the lesson, students will simulate the process of cloning a mouse. This lesson gives students the opportunity become hands-on with cloning.

    1 Class Period
    55 Minutes
  • In this lesson students will be able to understand the use of hybrids and purebreds in agriculture. Selective breeding (artificial selection) is a form of genetic engineering. This lesson gives the teacher an opportunity to bring in live animals for students to make connections to how selective breeding is used in agriculture to improve livestock. Meat and Dairy goats are the main examples used in this lesson. This lesson can be used with real live animals or simply modified using pictures of livestock if you do not have the accommodations for livestock on campus.  

    This lesson should be taught in two days. The first one is introduction of the topic and the second is application.
    2 Days
  • This Genetics lesson concentrates on random selection of dominant and recessive traits and how those traits affect the phenotype of cattle. Students will flip coins to randomly select the alleles of a calf. Genotypes and phenotypes will be recorded and the students will use the characteristics to create a likeness of the calf at the end of the lesson. This is an agriculture twist on a classic biology activity.

    One Class Period
    55 Minutes