We know “roses are red, violets are blue,” but can some be white, pink, or yellow, too? This question is related to genes and how genes combine. In this activity, you and your family members can learn how chance affects the ways in which genes combine.
- 20 red beans (beads, buttons, or other small objects can be substituted)
- 20 white beans
- 2 paper bags
Put 10 red beans and 10 white beans into each bag. The beans represent the genes for flower color—red flowers and white flowers. The red flower gene is dominant. The white flower gene is recessive. Label one bag “Female.” Label the other bag “Male.” Pick one bean from each bag without looking. Use a tally mark to record the combination in the chart. Return each bean to its original bag. Repeat drawing beans until you have recorded a total of 20 tallies. Continue the chart on the back of this sheet. Be sure that each bag always contains 10 red beans and 10 white beans before each draw.
Which combination occurred most? What color—red or white—would you see in most of the offspring?