Pedigree Investigator from Learn.Genetics is a fun interactive activity for human inheritance. It focuses on the Marshall family and nicotine addiction in 3 generations. The “Pedigree Analysis Information” provides a good introduction into pedigree symbols. Then, students are guided through a series of videos and documents to determine whether each individual in the family is affected and unaffected and if there are any risk factors present. The interactive guides students with putting the correct symbol for each individual, which they can also record on this handout from the site: Pedigree Investigator Worksheet & Key
Advanced students may be able to complete the worksheet on their own, but my students needed quite a bit of help. The worksheet layout is not exactly like the graphics on the website, so this threw some of my students off. This year, we did the activity together as a class, and it was much more successful. I surveyed the class before I selected a symbol for the pedigree and I asked them to predict the status of the children of each couple before we started them. Afterwards, we went through and added the genotype of each individual.
My students really enjoyed this activity, and it made them question how the patterns of inheritance in their own families. Unfortunately, many students at my school smoke or dip, so I like to show them how this could affect them long-term and why it may be very hard for them to quit if they start.
And they all love the video for III.10, or Tess, who is the epitome of every angry teenager stereotype.