Variation of Inherited Traits Science Games

10 games

In this series of games, your students will learn about heredity, and how genetic traits show up in offspring. The Variation of Inherited Traits learning objective — based on NGSS and state standards — delivers improved student engagement and academic performance in your classroom, as demonstrated by research.

Scroll down for a preview of this learning objective’s games and the concepts they drive home.

Concepts Covered

Genotype refers to an organism’s genetic makeup, and phenotype is its set of observable traits. Alleles are the different forms of a gene. When an organism carries identical alleles for a trait on both chromosomes in a pair, it is homozygous for that trait. Different alleles make it heterozygous.

In sexual reproduction, each parent contributes half of their chromosomes to the offspring, whereas in asexual reproduction, the lone parent transmits 100 percent of its genetic information.

Different cases exhibit different patterns of genetic inheritance. Genes can be dominant or recessive. Dominant genes block recessive genes from appearing. For any given gene, an organism can be homozygous dominant, homozygous recessive, or heterozygous.

If an offspring is heterozygous with two different dominant traits, that can manifest itself in two different ways. In incomplete dominance, there is a blended expression of the two alleles, like when a red and a white rose produce a pink rose. In co-dominance, the alleles are both expressed equally but not blended, like when a black chicken and a white chicken produce a black and white speckled chicken.

Traits that are linked to the offspring’s sex are located on the sex chromosomes. Females have two X chromosomes and males have one X and one Y.

Some traits are controlled by many genes. This is known as polygenic inheritance. In humans, for example, height and hair color are polygenetic.

With simple dominant/recessive inheritance traits, the Punnett square is a useful tool for visualizing what will show up in an organism’s phenotype. Pedigree charts are also useful for predicting the patterns of inheritance over generations of offspring.

A preview of each game in the learning objective is found below.

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