Understanding Variation

Does where we live influence how our bodies express genetic traits? Explore variation in human skin color with an activity that incorporate video and hands-on learning. Individuals model the relationship between phenotypes and genotypes, then discover how genetic information helps scientists determine a person's ancestry.

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CCSS: Adaptable
NGSS: Designed
Instructional Ideas

  • Make the activities the focal point of a polygenic traits lesson
  • Have the class identify other polygenic traits, such as eye color, through a research project
Classroom Considerations

  • Show the video in class if pupils are not able to watch it for homework
  • Students will need prior knowledge of Mendelian genetics and inherited traits

  • Teacher's guide contains printable worksheets and an answer key to make grading simple
  • The lesson is a great way to incorporate geography and culture into the science classroom

  • None
Common Core