Fun Bugs Activity
STANDARD: 3200 - 04
Students will understand reproduction and heredity of organisms.
Compare and contrast sexual and asexual reproduction.
Distinguish between meiosis and mitosis.
Recognize and explain how certain traits are passed from parents to
Intended Learning Outcomes
1.a. Make observations and measurements.
2.g. Construct models and simulations to describe and explain natural
Students should have a basic understanding of chromosomes and genes.
As part of the activity, genotype and phenotype can either be taught
or reviewed. This activity will teach meiosis, mitosis, sexual and
Safety Concerns: If students are allowed to eat the bug, tell
them to make sure that they take out the toothpicks, brads and nails
before eating the parts of the bug. One copy of the Fun
Bug Traits worksheet for each student.
4 paper "chromosomes" for each student,
and a supply of large and small-colored marshmallows, small nails,
chocolate chips, brass brads as needed by the students to make one
fun bug for each student and one fun bug for each of pair of students
- Give students two paper chromosomes. Have them write some combination
of dominant and recessive genes, one gene on each of the chromosomes
to make either heterozygous or homozygous for each of the five traits.
The choices for letters are any combination of N,n; B,b; C,c; M,m;
- Using the two created chromosomes, fill in the columns of the
Fun Bug Worksheet. The materials list on the worksheet will indicate
how many of each of the supplies are needed to create the fun bug.
Get the supplies and make the Fun Bug. This is one of the possibilities
for what it may look like.
- Using the two chromosomes, model mitosis by duplicating each of
the original chromosomes on the two blank chromosomes.
- Line up the doubled chromosome and split the chromotids apart.
These now become two cells, one new one with the same genetic information
as the parent cell. Compared to your original Fun Bug, what would
the Fun Bug, you created from the new cell, look like? What is the
disadvantage of this kind of reproduction (Asexual Reproduction)?
What is one advantage of this kind of reproduction?
- Now model meiosis, by starting with the original two chromosomes.
Duplicate the chromosomes again, by placing the second chromosomes
next to the original. Then place the doubled chromosome pairs side-by-side.
Separate these to form cells with two chromosomes each.
- Split the doubled chromosomes into cells containing one chromotid
each. This makes four haploid cells, four cells each with one half
of the genetic information. Could these cells each form a new Fun
Bug that would live? No. So take one haploid cell and find another
haploid cell to join with to make a new cell with complete genetic
- Using the new information from the sexual reproduction of the
new cell. Fill in the columns of the Fun Bug
Worksheet. The list of materials will indicate how many of each
of the supplies is needed to create the fun bug. Get the supplies
and make the new Fun Bug.
- Use your parent Fun Bugs and compare it to the daughter Fun Bug.
Is the daughter Fun Bug exactly like the parents? What is an advantage
of sexual reproduction? What is a disadvantage of sexual reproduction?
- Take out the toothpicks, brads, and nails and eat the eatable
parts of the bugs. Clean up.