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Jeepers Creepers Genes

Jeepers Creepers Genes

(Ages 4-7)

Number of Attendees:

How many did you plan or set registration for? Was it a drop-in?

20 children registered, not drop in

How many did you actually have attend?

Program not held yet

Length:

How long did you need to prep for the program?

Expected preparation time 30 minutes

How long did the actual program take start to finish?

Program scheduled for 45 minutes

Materials:

  • Beads with upper and lowercase letters (or that you can write letters on)
  • Keychain or string
  • Closed top boxes
  • Recycled materials to build monster

Cost:

Dependent on materials 

Room Setup:

3 tables in a U shape

Description:

Monster Genetics

Children create “monster” craft while learning basic principles of genetics. Aimed to teach how physical traits are underlied by genes which come in different forms to produce variation of traits.

Setup:

  • 8 closed tissue boxes: each box filled with uppercase and lowercase beads (each letter in separate box). Every letter corresponds to a specific monster trait and upper/lowercase variations is used to determine what that specific trait looks like (ex. Box 1 has “F” and “f” beads, which are used to determine face shape)
  • 8 stations, 1 for each monster trait: each station has materials needed to create the two variations possible of the specific trait (ex. Station 1 has circle and square cut outs which are the two face shape options)

What the Kids Do:

  1. Take two lettered beads from each box
    • Each letter represents trait (ex. eye color)
    • Uppercase represents dominant variation (ex. brown)
    • Lower case recessive variation (ex. blue)



  2. String two beads of each letter together to create “genotype”
  3. Use beads in conjunction with key (below) to determine which variations of monster traits
    • Capital letter= dominant variation= always “expressed”
    • Lowercase letter= recessive variation= only “expressed” with other lowercase

      Face

      Eyes

      Nose

      Mouth

      F= circle face

      f= square face

      I= 1 large eye

      i= 3 small eyes

      N= bottle cap nose

      n= button nose

      M=square mouth

      m= circle mouth

      Hair

      Body

      Arms

      Legs

      H= pipe cleaners hair

      h= pom pom hair

      B= circle body

      b= square body

      A= large popsicle stick arms

      a= small popsicle stick arms

      L=large straws legs

      l = small straws legs

  4. Construct monster based on genotype
    • ex) from “Ff-ii-Nn-MM-hh-Bb-Aa-LL” beads, should create monster with circle face, 3 eyes, bottle cap nose, square mouth, straight hair, circle body, furry arms, tentacle legs

Notes:

  • Let kids figure out which variation of each trait their monster should have based on their beads
  • If kids struggle to translate letters into traits hint that uppercase letter always “wins out” over lower case letter
  • Activity can be modified to include fewer traits and/or different variations of traits

Conclusion:

Children will go home with a keychain “genotype” of their monster, and its “phenotype”, the monster craft. Emphasize on puzzle solving used to translate letter beads into monster craft. 

Submitted By:

Sabrina Ferrara, Ridgewood Public Library 

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