Science Students Study DNA, Build Tree of Traits


In November, Mrs. Post’s and Mrs. Remy’s 8th grade Science students cut, colored, and taped DNA leaves on their Tree of Traits that they created on the wall in the main hallway. They had been learning about genetics and the difference between dominant and recessive genes.

“Creating the tree helped me better understand that everyone is different and not everyone has the same characteristics as you,” Katelyne Thongkham said. “I liked learning about my classmates and their characteristics.”

Students enjoyed seeing the tree “grow.”

“I learned that everyone is unique in many ways,” Steven Figueroa said. “My favorite part was watching the tree fill out everywhere.”

Doing the tree of traits helped 8th graders better see the difference between everyone and how everyone has different DNA.

Mrs. Remy enjoyed teaching the students about Punnett squares where they learned the possibility of acquiring traits that their parents don’t have but they must carry.

“Students constantly asked questions like, ‘Why do I have blue eyes when both my parents have brown eyes?’” Mrs. Remy said.

Natalie Estrada liked having a visual representation of how everyone is different.

“My favorite part was hanging up the leaves with my classmates because I got to really see the tree come together with all the different leaves that we made,” Natalie said.

Mrs. Post saw the positive impact that creating the Tree of Traits had on her students.

“It was exciting when the kids got excited about who had the same traits as they did,” Mrs. Post said.