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In this genetics lesson, students build living Punnet squares for Martian combinations




9, 10, 11, 12  


Title – Living Punnet Square Lab (Genetics)
By – Shannon Harrington
Primary Subject – Science
Grade Level – 9 – 12

** Pre-Set Up – Create manilla folders w/ the correct genotypic card options for the crosses below (adding more for confusion). Tape out blank Punnet squares on the floor of the classroom for ease and create 6+ groups of 4 students for the living lab. Students are to break down the cross and create a living Punnet square. They may not move on to the next question without approval from the teacher. I had my students do it in a competition between groups, which made it fun.

Building a Living Punnet Square

Directions: Using the traits listed below, build a Punnet square for the following crosses. Use this activity to understand how each parent contributes one allele to the offspring. Build the Punnet squares using the grid marked on the floor. The folders have the possible allele combinations. Use white boards for practice if necessary. Good luck!


  • One Eye (E) vs. Two Eyes (e)
  • Three Fingers (F) vs. Two Fingers (f)
  • Green Skin (G) vs. Blue skin (g)
  • Two Antennae (A) vs. One Antennae (a)

1. Homozygous dominant male for eyes mates with a heterozygous female. What are the genotypes of her offspring? Build the living Punnet square and when you’re ready, call for the teacher.

2. Two heterozygous for fingers Martians marry and have four kids. How many of their kids will have three fingers? How many will have two? Build the living Punnet square and when you’re ready, call for the teacher.

3. A homozygous recessive for skin color female Martian has children with a heterozygous male. What are the genotype possibilities for her four children? Build the living Punnet square and when you’re ready, call for the teacher.

4. A homozygous dominant for antennae mates with a homozygous recessive female. What phenotypes are shown in their four children?

5. A male Martian that is heterozygous for fingers marries a female martin that is homozygous recessive. What are the chances (in %) that their children will be heterozygous?

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