SC.7.L.16.2

Determine the probabilities for genotype and phenotype combinations using Punnett Squares and pedigrees.
General Information
Subject Area: Science
Grade: 7
Body of Knowledge: Life Science
Idea: Level 2: Basic Application of Skills & Concepts
Big Idea: Heredity and Reproduction -

A. Reproduction is characteristic of living things and is essential for the survival of species.

B. Genetic information is passed from generation to generation by DNA; DNA controls the traits of an organism.

C. Changes in the DNA of an organism can cause changes in traits, and manipulation of DNA in organisms has led to genetically modified organisms.

Date Adopted or Revised: 02/08
Date of Last Rating: 05/08
Status: State Board Approved
Assessed: Yes

Related Courses

This benchmark is part of these courses.
2002070: M/J Comprehensive Science 2 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
2002080: M/J Comprehensive Science 2, Advanced (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
2000010: M/J Life Science (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
2000020: M/J Life Science, Advanced (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
7820016: Access M/J Comprehensive Science 2 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2018, 2018 and beyond (current))
2002085: M/J Comprehensive Science 2 Accelerated Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
7920030: Fundamental Integrated Science 1 (Specifically in versions: 2013 - 2015, 2015 - 2017 (course terminated))

Related Access Points

Alternate version of this benchmark for students with significant cognitive disabilities.
SC.7.L.16.Pa.1: Recognize a characteristic passed from parents to self, such as eye color.
SC.7.L.16.In.2: Recognize that it is possible to predict whether a person is likely to inherit a particular trait from parents.
SC.7.L.16.Su.2: Recognize that animals, including humans, inherit some characteristics from one parent and some from the other.

Related Resources

Vetted resources educators can use to teach the concepts and skills in this benchmark.

Lesson Plans

Genetics and Proportions Design Challenge:

Students will explore principles of heredity through an activity where they design a themed Potato Head toy set.

Type: Lesson Plan

3D Printing: Designing Robots Using Heredity and Probability:

This lesson explores the importance of Punnett squares in determining genetic characteristics. It uses a 3D printer to demonstrate these characteristics.

Type: Lesson Plan

Smith Valley Farms Horse Pedigrees:

The owner of newly opened Smith Valley Farms is looking to breed the next generation of top race horses. In this MEA, students will study race horse pedigrees as well as horse racing data to determine which is the best stallion to breed with a filly. Students will have to read a horse pedigree, calculate percentages based on a data table, and complete Punnett squares to determine genetic probability.

Model Eliciting Activities, MEAs, are open-ended, interdisciplinary problem-solving activities that are meant to reveal students’ thinking about the concepts embedded in realistic situations. Click here to learn more about MEAs and how they can transform your classroom.

Type: Lesson Plan

Genetics Has Gone to the Dogs!:

This lesson uses pooches to teach about pedigrees and the impact of artificial selection on individuals and populations as well as to drive home math concepts already discussed in lessons on Punnet squares.

Type: Lesson Plan

Monster Mash-Up of Genetics:

Students will participate in determining traits of a monster by throwing a die. Students will develop an understanding of how genetics play a role in determining the phenotype of an individual.

Type: Lesson Plan

It's Not Easy Being Blue:

After students have an understanding of Punnett squares and their purpose, students will then be introduced to pedigrees. Students will be shown the purpose of pedigrees, how to read them, and how to create one. 

Type: Lesson Plan

Genetics can be a Monster!:

In this lesson, students will use Punnett squares to calculate the probabilities of different genotypes and phenotypes produced by genetic crosses.

Type: Lesson Plan

Hair or No Hair- Please tell me Punnett Square:

This lesson is designed to teach students how to read and interpret Punnett square with the final goal of them creating their own squares. The students will be able to determine possible genotypes and phenotypes of offspring based parent alleles.

Type: Lesson Plan

Manipulating Punnett Squares:

Students will learn how to draw, complete, interpret, calculate the probabilities, and figure ratios for single trait crosses with complete dominance interaction.

Type: Lesson Plan

Genetics: Smile for the Camera, Baby!:

The words "create a baby" will grab the attention of any student. After studying the probabilities for genotype and phenotype using Punnett squares, this is an activity that will unify all previous tasks. The activity asks students to illustrate a baby using prior knowledge of vocabulary such as allele, trait, phenotype, genotype, dominant, and recessive.
The goal of this lesson is to take the pieces and parts of the "genetic language" that has been taught using Punnett Squares and pull everything together to show that "genetic material from mom and dad make me." The creation of a baby from single inheritance traits will reinforce why we study probability of what offspring will look like, what an allele is, and what the difference between phenotype and genotype are.
Note that incomplete dominance and polygenic traits are represented by single gene traits only for the purposes of this lesson.

Type: Lesson Plan

Build-A-Baby:

Students will examine Gregor Mendel's laws of genetics in this lesson. Students will first explore the range of variation in human physical traits and discuss where this variation comes from. They will be then paired into groups and given the role of genetic counselors that are trying to predict the traits of offspring using traits of their parents. A toss of a coin will represent alleles for various characteristics. Students will combine dominant and recessive traits to determine the phenotype and genotype of their genetic babies. Their predicted baby will be displayed for peers to view. As an extension to this activity, the students can learn that through gene technology, parents may soon have more choices available to them: hair color, physical size, intelligence. Students canl research and evaluate how can science answer new and ethical questions.

Type: Lesson Plan

Getting the Most Genetics out of SpongeBob:

Students work collaboratively to explore genetics with SpongeBob and the Bikini Bottoms gang! The learners will take pre/post quizzes, watch a short video clip, complete a worksheet cooperatively within small groups, and rate their understanding using the learning scale included with the lesson. The activities within this lesson is best implemented towards the end of a unit on heredity and genetics.

Type: Lesson Plan

Genotype, Phenotype, Schmenotype?:

The lesson provides a hands-on activity for students to distinguish between genotype and phenotype.

Type: Lesson Plan

Discovering Genotype and Phenotype:

This lesson primarily addresses students discovering the concept of dominant and recessive alleles by examining how genotype determines phenotype through a structured inquiry. Punnett squares are also introduced as an extension of the primary activity.

Type: Lesson Plan

Independent Compound Probability:

During this lesson, students will use Punnett Squares to determine the probability of an offspring's characteristics.

Type: Lesson Plan

Grandma's Mysterious Plants:

This lesson, which follows the Argument Driven Inquiry model of instruction, asks students to use a Pedigree and Punnett Squares to explain Grandma's mysterious plants. Given physical traits in a small population of plants, students determine which gene is dominant and if a specific group of plants is homozygous or heterozygous.

Type: Lesson Plan

Computer Simulated Experiments in Genetics:

A computer simulation package called "Star Genetics" is used to generate progeny for one or two additional generations. The distribution of the phenotypes of the progeny provide data from which the parental genotypes can be inferred. The number of progeny can be chosen by the student in order to increase the student's confidence in the inference.

Type: Lesson Plan

Super Hero Genetics - Bioengineering & Heredity:

Students must help geneticists develop a new breed of scientific explorer. Using knowledge of genetics, genotypes, and phenotypes, students must select a combination of alleles that could create people better adapted for exploring dangerous areas and other worlds. Then, students must choose which genetic alterations to apply to themselves!

Model Eliciting Activities, MEAs, are open-ended, interdisciplinary problem-solving activities that are meant to reveal students’ thinking about the concepts embedded in realistic situations. Click here to learn more about MEAs and how they can transform your classroom.

Type: Lesson Plan

I Have a Pedigree too, Prince Charles!:

In this lesson students will investigate pedigrees and culminate in an activity where students create their own or imaginary pedigree.

Type: Lesson Plan

Where Do Our Looks Come From?:

This is a 7th grade Genetics lesson, primarily on genes, alleles and chromosomes. This lesson will teach dominant and recessive genes.

Type: Lesson Plan

Probabilities and Punnett Squares:

Students simulate the process of meiosis for an alien society. The students choose physical characteristics for hair, nose and eyes corresponding to genes and then generate two alien babies. Then pictures of the parents and babies are drawn, with similarities and differences noted and explained.

Type: Lesson Plan

Genotype and Phenotype Probabilites With Punnet Squares and Pedigrees:

Lesson to help students understand how to predict genotype and phenotype probabilities using Punnet Squares and pedigrees.

Type: Lesson Plan

Genotype and Phenotype Activity:

This is a hands-on activity that will help students distinguish between genotype and phenotype.

Type: Lesson Plan

Heredity Mix 'n Match:

Students randomly select jelly beans (or other candy) that represent genes for several human traits such as tongue-rolling ability and eye color. Then, working in pairs (preferably of mixed gender), students randomly choose new pairs of jelly beans from those corresponding to their own genotypes. The new pairs are placed on toothpicks to represent the chromosomes of the couple's offspring. Finally, students compare genotypes and phenotypes of parents and offspring for all the "couples" in the class. In particular, they look to see if there are cases where parents and offspring share the exact same genotype and/or phenotype, and consider how the results would differ if they repeated the simulation using more than four traits.

Type: Lesson Plan

Original Student Tutorials

Albino Alligators Part 3: Pedigrees:

Explore the inheritance of traits using a pedigree in this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Albino Alligators Part 2: Punnett Squares:

Use Punnett squares to determine the probabilities of genotypes and phenotypes in this original tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Albino Alligators Part 1: Genotypes and Phenotypes:

Come investigate heredity using the American alligator to help you understand many of the terms and ideas associated with the passing on of genetic traits from parent to offspring, in this interactive tutorial. 

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Family Trees and Pedigrees:

Learn how pedigree charts can represent inheritance patterns and how genetic diseases are passed down through generations in this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Genetics and Probabilities:

Learn to predict the probability of offspring inheriting different traits and combinations of genes using Punnett squares. In this interactive tutorial you also review genotypes and phenotypes.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

From Flowers To Freckles: Mendel's Mighty Model:

Learn how scientists use models to simplify and understand the world around us. In this interactive tutorial, you'll also explore the benefits and limitations of scientific models.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Text Resources

Concept 41: "Some genes are dominant":

This resource comes from the Cold Springs Harbor Laboratory: DNA from the Beginning online module series. There are 41 modules located on this site all focused on DNA and organized by individual concepts. The science behind each concept is explained in each module by animations, an image gallery, video interviews, problems, biographies, and additional links. This is the 4th module in the series and it is focused on concept that some genes are dominant.

Type: Text Resource

Concept 41: "Genes don't blend":

This resource comes from the Cold Springs Harbor Laboratory: DNA from the Beginning online module series. There are 41 modules located on this site all focused on DNA and organized by individual concepts. The science behind each concept is explained in each module by animations, an image gallery, video interviews, problems, biographies, and additional links. This is the 3rd module in the series and it is focused on presenting the concept that genes don't blend.

Type: Text Resource

Video/Audio/Animation

How Mendel's Pea Plants Helped Us Understand Genetics:

This resource is a brief TED Ed video that covers Mendel's contributions to the field of genetics. It clearly and concisely explains genotype, phenotype, dominance, and Punnett squares in a kid-friendly way.

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

STEM Lessons - Model Eliciting Activity

Smith Valley Farms Horse Pedigrees:

The owner of newly opened Smith Valley Farms is looking to breed the next generation of top race horses. In this MEA, students will study race horse pedigrees as well as horse racing data to determine which is the best stallion to breed with a filly. Students will have to read a horse pedigree, calculate percentages based on a data table, and complete Punnett squares to determine genetic probability.

Model Eliciting Activities, MEAs, are open-ended, interdisciplinary problem-solving activities that are meant to reveal students’ thinking about the concepts embedded in realistic situations. Click here to learn more about MEAs and how they can transform your classroom.

Super Hero Genetics - Bioengineering & Heredity:

Students must help geneticists develop a new breed of scientific explorer. Using knowledge of genetics, genotypes, and phenotypes, students must select a combination of alleles that could create people better adapted for exploring dangerous areas and other worlds. Then, students must choose which genetic alterations to apply to themselves!

Model Eliciting Activities, MEAs, are open-ended, interdisciplinary problem-solving activities that are meant to reveal students’ thinking about the concepts embedded in realistic situations. Click here to learn more about MEAs and how they can transform your classroom.

Original Student Tutorials Science - Grades K-8

Albino Alligators Part 1: Genotypes and Phenotypes:

Come investigate heredity using the American alligator to help you understand many of the terms and ideas associated with the passing on of genetic traits from parent to offspring, in this interactive tutorial. 

Albino Alligators Part 2: Punnett Squares:

Use Punnett squares to determine the probabilities of genotypes and phenotypes in this original tutorial.

Albino Alligators Part 3: Pedigrees:

Explore the inheritance of traits using a pedigree in this interactive tutorial.

Family Trees and Pedigrees:

Learn how pedigree charts can represent inheritance patterns and how genetic diseases are passed down through generations in this interactive tutorial.

From Flowers To Freckles: Mendel's Mighty Model:

Learn how scientists use models to simplify and understand the world around us. In this interactive tutorial, you'll also explore the benefits and limitations of scientific models.

Genetics and Probabilities:

Learn to predict the probability of offspring inheriting different traits and combinations of genes using Punnett squares. In this interactive tutorial you also review genotypes and phenotypes.

Student Resources

Vetted resources students can use to learn the concepts and skills in this benchmark.

Original Student Tutorials

Albino Alligators Part 3: Pedigrees:

Explore the inheritance of traits using a pedigree in this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Albino Alligators Part 2: Punnett Squares:

Use Punnett squares to determine the probabilities of genotypes and phenotypes in this original tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Albino Alligators Part 1: Genotypes and Phenotypes:

Come investigate heredity using the American alligator to help you understand many of the terms and ideas associated with the passing on of genetic traits from parent to offspring, in this interactive tutorial. 

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Family Trees and Pedigrees:

Learn how pedigree charts can represent inheritance patterns and how genetic diseases are passed down through generations in this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Genetics and Probabilities:

Learn to predict the probability of offspring inheriting different traits and combinations of genes using Punnett squares. In this interactive tutorial you also review genotypes and phenotypes.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

From Flowers To Freckles: Mendel's Mighty Model:

Learn how scientists use models to simplify and understand the world around us. In this interactive tutorial, you'll also explore the benefits and limitations of scientific models.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Text Resources

Concept 41: "Some genes are dominant":

This resource comes from the Cold Springs Harbor Laboratory: DNA from the Beginning online module series. There are 41 modules located on this site all focused on DNA and organized by individual concepts. The science behind each concept is explained in each module by animations, an image gallery, video interviews, problems, biographies, and additional links. This is the 4th module in the series and it is focused on concept that some genes are dominant.

Type: Text Resource

Concept 41: "Genes don't blend":

This resource comes from the Cold Springs Harbor Laboratory: DNA from the Beginning online module series. There are 41 modules located on this site all focused on DNA and organized by individual concepts. The science behind each concept is explained in each module by animations, an image gallery, video interviews, problems, biographies, and additional links. This is the 3rd module in the series and it is focused on presenting the concept that genes don't blend.

Type: Text Resource

Video/Audio/Animation

How Mendel's Pea Plants Helped Us Understand Genetics:

This resource is a brief TED Ed video that covers Mendel's contributions to the field of genetics. It clearly and concisely explains genotype, phenotype, dominance, and Punnett squares in a kid-friendly way.

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

Parent Resources

Vetted resources caregivers can use to help students learn the concepts and skills in this benchmark.

Text Resources

Concept 41: "Some genes are dominant":

This resource comes from the Cold Springs Harbor Laboratory: DNA from the Beginning online module series. There are 41 modules located on this site all focused on DNA and organized by individual concepts. The science behind each concept is explained in each module by animations, an image gallery, video interviews, problems, biographies, and additional links. This is the 4th module in the series and it is focused on concept that some genes are dominant.

Type: Text Resource

Concept 41: "Genes don't blend":

This resource comes from the Cold Springs Harbor Laboratory: DNA from the Beginning online module series. There are 41 modules located on this site all focused on DNA and organized by individual concepts. The science behind each concept is explained in each module by animations, an image gallery, video interviews, problems, biographies, and additional links. This is the 3rd module in the series and it is focused on presenting the concept that genes don't blend.

Type: Text Resource

Video/Audio/Animation

How Mendel's Pea Plants Helped Us Understand Genetics:

This resource is a brief TED Ed video that covers Mendel's contributions to the field of genetics. It clearly and concisely explains genotype, phenotype, dominance, and Punnett squares in a kid-friendly way.

Type: Video/Audio/Animation