Genetic Education Resources for Teachers

Genetic Mind Reader Review Game


Genetic Mind Reader is a game that reviews some important concepts and terms relevant to the Human Genome Project and genetic research. The game is played like a mind reading session between two teams. The question is presented by a student saying, "I am thinking of a genetic concept..."


A game will be used to reinforce important genetic terms and concepts.


Middle school - High school


One class period

Learning Objectives:

By the end of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Define correctly many genetic terms.
  • Differentiate between a physical map and a genetic map.
  • List some genetic diseases.
  • Relate the number of base pairs to the complexity of an organism.


Cooperative learning


To reinforce genetic concepts and terms

Equipment and supplies:

Card stock or copy paper (Optional: overhead projector, transparency sheets)

Set up/preparation:

Download and print a copy of Genetic Mind Reader Game Cards . Print this on card stock, if possible. Cut the copy into game cards, keeping the concepts and answers separate. Download and print a copy of the answer key . Optional: make a transparency of the answer side of the game cards.

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Anticipatory Set:

Write some of the answers on the board or use the prepared transparencies. Ask students to spend 15 minutes working with a partner to define as many terms as they can. They may use their books or other resources. Explain that they will be playing a game using the terms and definitions.

Guided Practice:

Select one game card. Read what is on the card, prefacing it with "I am thinking of a genetic concept...". Ask the students to raise their hand if they know the term that is being defined. Call on students until the correct term is given or after three attempts give the correct answer to the students. Tell them that this is how they will be reviewing the concepts. Call on a student to summarize the rules; answer any questions there might be about the game.


  • Divide the class into two groups, teams "A" and "B".

  • Review the rules of the game with the students:

  • A member of one team will read from his/her card, and the other team members will raise their hands if they think they have the correct matching game card. Emphasize that they are not to read or disclose the number showing on the card. (The number is there for checking the answer only.)

  • The teacher chooses a student. If the team answers correctly on the first try, they receive 3 points.

  • If the team answers correctly on the second try, they receive 2 points.

  • If the team answers correctly on the third try, they receive 1 point.

  • Distribute the concept cards to one team and the answer cards to the other team.

  • Ask a member of team "A" to begin by reading from his/her card aloud.

  • Members of team "B" raise their hands if they think they have the card that matches the card that was read.

  • The teacher selects a student to answer, and awards the points for correct answers.

  • The teacher then asks a member of team "B" to read his/her card. The game ends when all cards have been read or matched.

  • The team with the highest score is the DNA Champion Team.

Clean up:

Collect all of the game cards for future use.


Explain that these terms are important for understanding and further study of genetics. Ask each student to write down three concepts or terms that they learned in this lesson.


For higher-level classes, ask the students to make up the game cards using their notes, text or Internet resources. For a review of specific chapters, use the vocabulary reviews found at the end of the chapter for making game cards.


Ask students to list, in their notebooks, five concepts they have learned about genetics. Call on various students to share their list with the class. Answer questions and clarify as needed.

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Last Reviewed: March 9, 2012