Independent Assortment and Karyotype Lesson

Karyotype Lesson that students can color on paper or on Google Slides

This independent assortment and color your own karyotype lesson is now digital!

For several years now, my Color Your Own Karyotype and Independent Assortment lesson has been loved and utilized by thousands of teachers and students all over the globe to really clarify the concept of Independent Assortment. It’s one of the first activities that I published and it’s truly one of my favorites.

Teachers have sent me pictures of their students’ karyotypes (sometimes called the Wall of Karyotypes!). Performing this activity is very often an eye-opening experience for students and it can help students really connect genetics and cell division together.

Class Display of several student karyotypes, each with their own independent assortment
A Wall of Karyotypes!!
Student coloring their own karyotype and learning about independent assortment
A student coloring his own karyotype!

But it’s 2020…

I know a lot of teachers are working harder than they have done before and engaging students while teaching virtually is the most difficult task. So this past week, I set out to transform the Color Your Own Karyotype Activity into a digital lesson that teachers can use to engage students with a little karyotype magic!

The activity is only slightly simplified (the digital activity uses only non replicated chromosomes to keep it a little simpler and smaller to fit on a screen) and it can be completed in EDIT mode in Google Slides! (If you don’t use Google apps, you can download it as a Powerpoint from your own Google Drive and share the powerpoint with your students instead.). In the activity, students will select chromosomes and use the Shape Fill button in Google Slides to color them in.

During the activity, they color in each grandparent’s karyotype with one color.

Step 1 in Color Your Own Karyotype Lesson, to set up an independent assortment lesson
Sample grandparent karyotype

Then the parents’ karyotypes will have two colors, indicating they received a chromosome from each of their parents.

Parent Karyotypes
Sample parent karyotype

After that, students use coin flips to determine which chromosomes end up in their parents’ gametes, resulting in their own karyotype! This is where they learn about independent assortment.

Students will each have their own unique independent assortment of chromosomes
Student’s Unique Karyotype

At the end they will have a better understanding of independent assortment and how genes and chromosomes are inherited!

Color Your Own Karyotype Digital Pages for Google Slides to help students understand independent assortment

You can purchase this digital activity along with the printable PDF version here on my website or here on Teachers Pay Teachers. If you already purchased the activity before, you can go re-download it and you will get the latest version AND the new digital version!

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