Sesame Street Genetics

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SWBAT to apply principles of genetics to complete group project.

Big Idea

Summative Assessment of genetics.


10 minutes

In this section of the lesson, I engage students by completing a virtual lab as a class. I use the SMARTBoard, but you can project this on a wall or whiteboard. 


Purpose of investigation is to explore how Punnett Squares are used to predict the outcomes of monohybrid genetic crosses.


  • Construct and analyze Punnett squares for monohybrid genetic crosses given scenarios describing Drosophila crosses.
  • Analyze the expected genotypes and phenotypes that result from each cross.


40 minutes

In this activity students apply all the concepts they have learned in the genetic unit by completing a group project.


Introduce project by showing students Sesame Street Genetics PowerPoint which introduces students to assignment. (MS-LS3-2 -Develop and use a model to describe why asexual reproduction results in offspring with identical genetic information and sexual reproduction results in offspring with genetic variation/SP2 - Developing and Using Models/SP3-Planning and Carrying out Investigations) 

Guiding Questions

What if Zoe and Elmo fell in love, got married and had a baby? What would their baby look like?  Why do children look like their parents?  Why do children have some traits of each parent?

What exactly do parents pass to their children?  How do parents pass traits to their children?

1)     Ask students to study the different characters and write down all of the traits that couldbe passed from parent to child.

2)    Write all observations on the board and distinguish between a trait and specific forms oftrait.  E.g. body color is a trait that may be passed down, but there are six different forms orcolors of this trait.

Student Requirements

1)    Observation Of genetic characteristics

2)    Answers on Sesame Questions About Genetic Characteristics

3)    Going to the Chapel ( Sesame Street Couples)

4)    Sesame Street Punnett Squares

5)    Create Two Monster children

6)    Students draw family portraits and pedigree charts.

7)    Present Family Portrait. Students should be able to write a brief introduction on theirassigned family heredity. 

Cocncepts Covered:

1.  Traits

2.  Genotype

3.  Phenotype

4.  Types of Inheritance

5.  Punnett Squares

6.  Pedigree Analysis


10 minutes

In this section of lesson students complete an Exit Slip.  

You are starting a dog breeding business. You saw an article that said that spots on your breed of dog increase its price three times. Spots on your breed of dog is a recessive trait. Your dog Ginger has a beautiful spotted coat. Ginger is homozygous (dd) for spots. You have been offered two dogs as a mate. Dog A has DD as his genotype. Dog B has a genotype of Dd.

Explain which mate you would choose for your dog and why. (SP7 - Engaging in Arugment From Evidence/W.7.1 - Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.)

●  Create a Punnett square for each of the possible mates.

●  Describe the possible offspring’s phenotypes.

●  Choose the mate that will make the most money and justify with evidence from your Punnett squares.