Overview

In this activity, students analyze a pedigree chart (Part A in the pdf) to identify which individuals are carriers of the disease Alkaptonuria (ALK). The pedigree uses two linked traits (ALK and blood type), providing an extra challenge for students in analyzing the pedigree.
Students begin by doing pre-class readings and watching videos through Moodle related to pedigrees and genetics, and also perform a quiz to test what they have learned.
In class, the instructor reviews inheritance patterns and answers any student questions related to the material. During this time, students perform a clicker-like quiz on Moodle to test that ...

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In this activity, students analyze a pedigree chart (Part A in the pdf) to identify which individuals are carriers of the disease Alkaptonuria (ALK). The pedigree uses two linked traits (ALK and blood type), providing an extra challenge for students in analyzing the pedigree.
Students begin by doing pre-class readings and watching videos through Moodle related to pedigrees and genetics, and also perform a quiz to test what they have learned.
In class, the instructor reviews inheritance patterns and answers any student questions related to the material. During this time, students perform a clicker-like quiz on Moodle to test that they have understood the key concepts. The recommended time for reviewing the material and doing the quiz is 35 minutes.
The rest of the class time is devoted to the activity. Students get into their pre-assigned groups of 4. Using Moodle, groups work through a pedigree chart and answer questions related to that chart.
There are extra pedigree analyses (Part B and Part C in the pdf) for groups that finish early. Alternatively, these extra activities can be accessed by students outside of class (through Moodle) as additional practice post-class.

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Objectives

At the end of this activity, students are expected to have a better understanding of autosomal dominant, recessive, and sex-linked traits, and be able to analyze displayed patterns and genetic relationships. They should also have a deeper understanding of gene linkage, and be able to apply this knowledge to other pedigree charts. This includes the application of probability to solve complex pedigree problems.

Context and requirements

Level Grade 12-U0
Discipline Biology
Activity Content Genetics (pedigree charts, inheritance patterns)
Technological Requirements Laptops
Best Use Practice

Author’s Notes

Benefits

This case study-like activity motivates students, since they see a real-world application for genetics in the pedigree analysis.
The questions are set up to guide the students through the pedigree chart in a step-by-step manner, which helps students break down the chart into more manageable and understandable sections.

Challenges

Keeping students focused and on track (time-wise)
Because this activity is performed in Moodle, there is a specific way that students must input their answers. If they do not, even if their answer is correct, it is marked as incorrect.

Tips

Bonus question worth points on their next test really motivates students to take the time to answer well. It also helps keep them focused and on track during the activity.
Be sure to emphasize how to correctly input answers in Moodle.

Activity Pedagogical Components

Problem solving

Students read and watch videos aboutgenetics and pedigree charts in order to have sufficient knowledge for class so that they can perform the activity. A preparatory quiz tests their knowledge and shows them areas where they might need to re-read material.

Case Study

In groups of 4, students pool their knowledge and apply it to the pedigree chart in Part A of the pdf.

Questions related to the activity get students to think about specific portions of the pedigree chart. This enables deeper thinking and a more thoughtful processing of the components of the pedigree chart.

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