Dinosaur Genetics Stations Activity
In this genetics activity, students will put their knowledge of protein synthesis and inheritance patterns to the test by working through 6 fun and challenging stations! Students will move through each station in this self-guided activity to gather and analyze genetic evidence to determine what a newly discovered dinosaur species most likely looked like. Every station will test their understanding of and skills related to heredity topics, such as transcription and translation, genotypes and phenotypes, monohybrid and dihybrid crosses, Mendelian genetics, and complex inheritance patterns. At the 5th station they will use the data they have collected to create a visual representation of their dinosaur, and at the 6th and final station students will reflect on their findings, answering CER questions related to mutations and adaptations to their environments. All stations and student handouts are included in printable pdf and paperless digital formats that can be used in Google Drive™ or Microsoft OneDrive™. This is a really fun way to review genetics and heredity concepts prior to formally assessing students on them! This would also be a GREAT substitute for a summative assessment on these topics, especially if you are looking for a nontraditional way to summatively assess students in a distance learning/virtual teaching setting!
How can I use this?
- To connect protein synthesis to inheritance patterns of different traits.
- To review before a unit test on genetics or heredity.
- To review genetics and heredity topics before a final exam.
What prior knowledge should students have?
This set of stations was written as a challenge activity to synthesize content from multiple units in a fun summative way. Because of this, students need to have prior instruction on the following topics in order to be successful working through these stations on their own:
- Protein synthesis - being able to transcribe and translate a gene
- Basics of Mendelian genetics and related vocabulary, such as dominant, recessive, genotype and phenotype
- Punnett squares - being able to complete monohybrid and dihybrid crosses
- Complex inheritance patterns, such as multiple alleles and polygenic inheritance
Students will also make inferences on the type of environment the dinosaur most likely lived in and its food sources, however prior instruction on adaptations and evolution is not required in order to complete this. If using this at the end of the year after having taught on these topics, you could push your students deeper on the reflection questions related to these topics.
What is included?
- 2 pages of teacher implementation notes (PDF)
- 4 pages of student handouts (PDF form and a link to the paperless digital version of the handouts in Google Slides)
- : Instructions are included for how to convert all of the paperless digital resources to be used in Microsoft OneDrive™ if you are not a Google school!
- 6 stations, differentiated 5 different ways (PDF form and a link to the paperless digital version of the handouts in Google Slides)
- All 5 different versions of the stations are equally as challenging, just differentiated so you can make it more challenging by having different students work on different dinosaurs.
- 20 page detailed answer key, including answers for every version of the stations that is included (PDF)
How much class time will this take?
If you just have your students do a drawing of the visual representation of their dinosaur for Station 5, this will take about 2 hours. If you decide you want to make this a more challenging assessment and have students make a 3-dimensional model of their dinosaur, this will take more class time.
How can I grade this?
- I would count this as an in-class review activity and grade it for a 100 point minor grade. Stations 1-4 and 6 would each be worth 15 points, and the visual representation for Station 5 would be worth 25 points.
- If you want to use this as a nontraditional summative assessment (in place of a test on these topics), you could easily grade this as a 100 point test/major grade.
What if I have a question?
Email me at [email protected] I’d love to answer any questions you have prior to purchasing!
What if I want more?
This product is part of my Heredity Unit. You can check it out by clicking HERE!
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