Traits Activities

Try these activities in your home, at a family reunion, with a group, or at work. Each activity provides an engaging way to learn about traits or better understand disease risk. Just click on the PDF icons to download and print both English and Spanish language versions. Have fun!

Basic Trait Activites

AN INVENTORY OF MY TRAITS (PDF: 682kb)

Students take an inventory of their own easily-observable genetic traits and compare those inventories with other students in groups.

TRAITS BINGO (PDF: 560kb)

Review inherited traits with a fun bingo game!

GENERATIONS OF TRAITS (PDF: 680kb)

Students track and record the passage of colored "pompom traits" through three generations of ginger-bread people.

A RECIPE FOR TRAITS (PDF: 1.1mb)

Build your own dog using a "DNA recipe"!

Select strips of paper that represent DNA, decode the DNA "recipe" to reveal your dog's physical traits, and draw it. You'll learn that differences in DNA lead to differences in traits.

A TREE OF GENETIC TRAITS (PDF: 596kb)

Find the most and least common combination of three traits in your group!

Participants mark traits for tongue rolling, earlobe attachment and PTC tasting on paper leaves and organize them on a large "tree of traits".

This activity works best with medium to large groups.

For a description of many of the traits used in these activities, visit Observable Human Characteristics.

Family Activities

HANDY FAMILY TREE (PDF: 1.8mb)

A family tree is a picture that shows members of your family. Do this activity to create your own family tree!

Family members will learn about inherited and acquired traits as they create a handprint for their family tree. This art project is great for families of all configurations.

TRAITS AND TRADITIONS (PDF: 2.5mb)

Can you think of a trait you have inherited? How about a trait that you have acquired by learning or tradition?

Play this memory game with your family or group to discover some common traits and traditions!

TRAITS TRIVIA (PDF: 2.5mb)

What inherited traits do you share in common with others? What traits are unique to you? Do this activity to find out!

We all have inherited traits that we share in common with others. Yet, every person has a combination of traits that is unique to them. Individuals of all but the youngest ages can participate in this fun activity. It also is a great ice-breaker for groups.

Heredity and Health Activities

WHAT'S YOUR FAMILY HEALTH STORY? (PDF: 2.1mb)

Use this guide to gather and record your family health history. Directions for constructing a Health Family Tree are included.

PICK THE RISK
PICK THE RISK (SPANISH VERSION) (PDF: 1.3mb)

Learn how common chronic diseases (such as heart disease) run in families and how risk for developing these diseases is influenced by the combined action of several genes.

Track and record the passage of colored pom poms (representing genes) through three generations of a family. Discover each person's risk for developing heart disease.

RISK CONTINUUM (PDF: 3.7mb)

What does it mean to be "at risk" for developing a common disease such as heart disease?

Do this active demonstration with a group to learn what it means to be in a "risk group" and how lifestyle choices can modify your risk.


APA format:

Genetic Science Learning Center. (2016, March 1) Traits Activities. Retrieved June 22, 2017, from http://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/basics/activities/

CSE format:

Traits Activities [Internet]. Salt Lake City (UT): Genetic Science Learning Center; 2016 [cited 2017 Jun 22] Available from http://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/basics/activities/

Chicago format:

Genetic Science Learning Center. "Traits Activities." Learn.Genetics.March 1, 2016. Accessed June 22, 2017. http://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/basics/activities/.