Have you ever thought of using matching cards as an activity in your science classroom? Our Hybrid Animal Activity is one of our favorite ways to get students thinking about what happens when two organisms of different species mate. This hands-on genetic engineering activity will engage and excite your students as they create real hybrids in the classroom. After students have reviewed hybridization and selective breeding, students will use the cards to determine the advantages and possible disadvantages of hybrid organisms.
Sponge or bellwork: Our lesson always starts with a bell-work question or activity that gets kids thinking about the topic at hand. For example:
- Ask students how animals reproduce in nature ad what would happen if organisms of different species mated.
- Ask students to think about two of their favorite animals and mentally create a hybrid between them. What would be the advantages of this union?
- Ask students to create a list of things that are a hybrid – hybrid cars, for example.
Remind them to cite evidence of their reasoning and that, while their thoughts and words are what we want them to record, options such as “I don’t know” or “because I think it is” are not acceptable answers.
* Activity includes 49 pages total, with teacher notes, student handout.
* 22 sets of organism cards make 11 total hybrids.
* Each set makes 8 total cards.
Once you have all of your cards complete, you should be able to match up the two animals. “Half a horse” and “half a donkey” make a mule! One the back of the cards, the kids can find all of the special traits, disadvantages, and habitat information about each animal to complete the worksheet that goes along with the cards. We find that laminating the cards go along way toward preserving the life of the cards. The kids really love this activity, and we hope you do too!
- Have students revisit their hybrid organism from their bellwork. Draw it and identify it’s strengths and weaknesses, habitat, etc.
- Have students research a real hybrid organism and complete a Hybrid Sales Campaign Project.
Need to Modify?
- Provide students fewer or more hybrid crosses.
- Provide students with a partially populated graphic organizer and selected crosses to complete.
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