Great Ideas: Mastering Mendel’s Laws

Simulation games help students grasp difficult concepts.

Help students understand Mendel’s laws of inheritance and how alleles sort during gamete production

Let us assume there are 23 parents at the school’s open house. They are instructed to first form a line and then split to go to one of the two classrooms. Each time this exercise is repeated, there is a different combination of people in each classroom.

Students quickly pick on the idea of homologous chromosomes (parents); chromosomes alignment on metaphase plate (parents forming line); laws of segregation and independent assortment (mom/dad splitting and each parent doing at random); and gametes (classrooms).

~ Submitted by Dr. Neena Goel, science instructor at Gilmour Academy in Gates Mills, Ohio

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