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This is one of those experiences that will work equally well as an introduction or follow-up to a more formalized lesson on genetic inheritance. After even one session of play, students should have a good grasp of Punnett squares and selective breeding. The game's website includes complete student and teacher guides, walking everyone through several days of class material. Alternatively, teachers can determine their own curriculum. Class discussion will be helpful as a way to tease out core concepts and solidify them, helping students nail down the implicit learning embedded within play.
Show some examples of possible combinations on a whiteboard or projector, and invite students to make predictions based on their learning from the game. Get kids to talk aloud and describe the game's mechanics, and then use those descriptions to define key terms like dominant and recessive traits, alleles, and phenotype. As an extension activity, have kids create their own fictional plants with dominant and recessive traits and have them breed with other students' plants, imagining what the products would look like and determining the traits they would have.Continue reading Show less
Crazy Plant Shop is an engaging science game that embeds learning about Punnett squares and genetic expression into a shop sim. Students assume the role of a plant shop manager who must breed specific types of plants to fulfill customer orders. To get the right plants, students need to combine and breed plants using knowledge of dominant and recessive traits and Punnett squares.
With countless variations of plants and genes to be found, students get much practice and will have fun discovering all the different types of plants for their store. The extra layer of the shop sim means students also get to do skills-building inventory management regarding money and breeding machine power on top of the science-based learning. Since they must conserve money and power, students must decide which orders they are able to fill before the end of the day, when they must pay rent on the shop.
Built around the Punnett square and featuring a bunch of fictional plant varieties, Crazy Plant Shop provides opportunities for kids to experiment with how dominant and recessive traits express themselves. Because students will need to keep a large stock of plants with a variety of genes, they'll also find themselves wrestling with more practical concerns: money and space management. Students will need to use strategy to figure out the best way to fill orders before each day is over. The fictional plants are charming and help simplify concepts without distorting the more complicated reality of genetic inheritance in actual plants.
Key Standards Supported
Follow precisely a multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks.
Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context relevant to grades 6–8 texts and topics.