Secular Science Resources for Homeschoolers

High School Biology 10 – Genetics

This lesson covers material in Chapter 6 of Holt Biology and Chapter 10 in Biology: Life on Earth.  Students watched the following videos before class:

In class we watched a video by Veritasium – Why Women are Stripey.

I had the students do the same worksheet on punnett squares (Genetics: INB Activity Pack by Getting Nerdy with Mel and Gerdy) that the middle school class did and the Qwitekutesnute activity from Real Science Odyssey Biology Level 2.  But instead of going with the traits listed in the activity the class chose different traits for the creatures.  For IMG_9350example, instead of thin or fluffy tail, the creatures have spikes (dominant) or not (recessive),  curly (dominant) or straight (recessive).  We also chose to treat body color as an incomplete dominance trait, so if the creature had DD it was red, dd was yellow and Dd was orange.  Students flipped 2 pennies to determine what alleles (heads – dominant trait, tails – recessive) their creature had. We ended up with some very interesting creatures, including a few mutations (blue spots and an extra leg!)IMG_9359

Once they had their creature finished they picked another creature from the class and bred them to create offspring.  If a parent had DD, then it gives all offspring a D, but if a parent has Dd then you have to flip a coin to see which allele the parent gives its offspring. They go through all the traits with both parents and then draw the offspring.  If students wanted the offspring to have wings then they needed to breed their creature with one who had 2 dominant alleles (WW) for wings, or at least one (Ww). Some students wanted to do multiple generations but we ran out of time.



Middle School Biology 09 – Inheritance

We started class with the following videos on Gregor Mendel and genetics:

The main focus of today’s lesson is understanding punnett squares, learning some of the vocabulary used in genetics such as recessive, dominant, homozygous and heterozygous and how we inherit traits.  I some interactive notebook pages from Genetics: INB Activity Pack by Getting Nerdy with Mel & Gerdy, the first was a sheet full of punnett squares that  students had to complete and questions about the genotype (which genes, HH, Hh or hh) and phenotype (physical characteristic inherited, such as 1 or 2 horns) of the parents and offspring.  Hopefully by the time they finish this activity they will know quite a bit of the vocabulary.

IMG_9344The second activity was an actual vocabulary page where they had to match the terms to the definitions and match examples for each term.

IMG_9345Lastly, we did an activity from Real Science Odyssey Biology Level 2, where students flip coins to determine the different genes that their creature will inherit and draw the traits on the provided outline.  This got really silly but when you’re flipping coins to see if you creature gets a mohawk or ear tufts its probably to be expected.  Once everyone has their creature done they pick another student’s creature to breed with and flip coins to see which genes the offspring gets from each parent and create the new offspring. If both students use the same set of parents they can see how the offspring might end up looking different since it may inherit different genes from each parent.


High School Biology 10 – Meiosis

Students read Chapter 6, Meiosis & Mendel in Holt Biology or finished Chapter 9 in Biology: Life on Earth, and watched the following videos before class:

I did a short presentation on meiosis and had the students make the same story board that the middle school class did yesterday, (pictured at top of post) and then make stop motion movies.


Middle School Biology 08 – Meiosis

We started class by watching a video on meiosis by the Amoeba Sisters:

I bought Meiosis Diagram Activities for High School Biology by Science With Mrs Lau on Teachers Pay Teachers and printed out the pages for meiosis where the students only had to draw the chromatids in each cell, showing their location during the different phases of meiosis.  We went step by step and I drew them on the whiteboard while students filled in the worksheets. Students then used these as their story board for a stop motion movie.   I found a video on youtube were the students used legos instead of pop beads and showed that to my students before they made their own movie.

Here are the movies my students made:

You can see this is a bit more complicated than mitosis.  The chromosomes crossover (if students remembered to do it) during the first prophase, swapping genetic information, this adds variety to the daughter cells.  We also end up with 4 daughter cells, not 2 and each one is different (if crossing over occurs), which means we have to go through prophase, metaphase, anaphase and teleophase twice.

High School Biology 09 – Mitosis

The high school class was exactly the same as the middle school class this week so you can look at the post for that class for details.

Students were asked to read Chapter 5: Cell Growth & Division in Holt Biology or if they’re using the honors textbook, Biology Life on Earth with Physiology, Chapter 9: Cellular Reproduction, and watch Crash Course Biology #12 on Mitosis.

Here are the stop motion movies made by the high school class.  I happened to notice in my presentation to the class that centrioles looked like rigatoni so we used rigatoni in the movies today.

Next week we’l make stop motion movies of meiosis.

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