Where'd You Get Those Genes?

Where'd You Get Those Genes? By Beth Brookhart and Pam Schallock
September 2001

Grade: 5-7

Subjects: Science, Mathematics, English Language Arts, History/Social Science, Visual/Performing Arts

The students participate in a variety of lessons that examine the basic principles of heredity, as well as learn some specifics about genetics and how they are incorporated into today's agricultural industry. After reading an interview with a horse breeder, students will understand that certain traits are carried from one generation to the next. The Rock, Paper, Scissors activity helps students understand that some traits are dominant and others are recessive. Students are then asked to create a new produce item by combining existing traits with desirable traits. By reading biographies of scientists who have contributed to the study of genetics and biotechnology, students gain a better understanding of the history of genetic research. Finally, using tomatoes as an example, students learn how technological advances have affected tomato production.