5th Grade

Lesson Idea: Invite Students to Learn About Genetics by Creating Baby Aliens

Students create their very own alien baby by experimenting with genetics (flipping 2 coins) and learning about phenotypes and genotypes.

Teach Genetics By Creating Baby Aliens

In this activity, students learn about heredity and how traits are passed on to each generation by creating a baby alien. Prior to creating an alien, first discuss that genes are units of heredity. There are two alleles, one is dominant and the other is recessive. Dominant alleles have a capital letter. Recessive alleles have a lower case letter. If both alleles are different, it is heterozygous (blending of traits). Genetic makeup (letters) are called genotype. Physical characteristics are phenotype.

What you need:

  • Alien Lab Printable (click link below to download)
  • Pencils
  • 2 coins for each student
  • Colored construction paper
  • Markers and crayons
  • Glue

What you do:

In this activity both parents are hybrid (heterozygous). Give each of your students two coins to flip (one represents mom, the other dad). Heads = dominant / Tails = recessive. Students fill in the genetic chart to discover what their alien baby will look like. Once their chart is filled, they look at the genotype and phenotype that represents each trait and construct their baby alien out of construction paper. Each student starts out with a circle. They choose the colors and the length of each component (arms, legs, fingers, toes). Once their alien is constructed, they draw their baby alien with its Mommy and Daddy by looking at their genetic chart.

Click here for the free printable: Alien Genetics Lab: Alien Baby Creation