Lesson 6: Mating Dragons

  1. Introduction
  2. Teach It
  3. Dig Deeper


Sexual reproduction has its advantages over asexual reproduction. Certain traits can also provide an advantage to an organism. In this lesson, students will mate their dragon with the dragon of a classmate, create Punnett squares which provide information to guide them in the depiction of their dragon offspring and add an extra trait of their choice to help their offspring survive.

Time: one class period


  • Students use Punnett squares to model the traits that are created through sexual reproduction between their dragon and another dragon.
  • Students extend their thinking to include a new trait that will increase the chance of survival for their dragon offspring.

Type of Activity:

  • Partner activity – Fill out offspring survey using Punnett Squares

Next Gen Science Standards:

  • Develop and use a model to describe why asexual reproduction results in offspring with identical genetic information and sexual reproduction results in offspring with genetic variation. MS-LS3-2

STEAM Habit of Mind:

  • Students collaborate with others to mate their dragons.
  • Students envision what cannot be directly observed to imagine possible next steps.
  • Students extend their thinking by identifying one trait that will help their dragon offspring survive.

Suggested Do Now:

Word Wall:

  • Epistasis

Teach It

Materials Needed:


The teacher will organize the students so that a student with a male dragon and a student with a female dragon will be partnered. Students will use their original My Dragon Offspring surveys to swap genetic information with their partner and complete the mother and father sections of their Punnett square handout. Students will also extend their thinking to include a new trait that will increase the chance of survival for their dragon offspring. Both partners must agree and they need to write out the different genotypes and corresponding phenotypes for this new trait. This trait also must be approved by the teacher. One example is gills so dragons can breathe underwater.

Once their dragons have mated, students will complete their Punnett squares independently and individually by rolling a die to determine which genotype they will get for each trait (See student instructions). The offspring’s genotypes will determine the phenotypes that are exhibited in their offspring dragon.

Through a verbal or written explanation, have students describe why the sexual reproduction of their original dragons would result in offspring dragons with different genetic information.  Students should explain why sexual reproduction would be an advantage over asexual reproduction for an organism’s survival.

Dig Deeper (Extension)

If students have not used the Pigeonetics online game, they should definitely play it at this time. In the game, students are tasked with breeding pigeons with certain characteristics so they must work through challenges which become progressively harder. It can be found online at Pigeonetics game. Accompanying Pigeonetics materials can be found at the links in the Materials section of this lesson.

Go to Lesson 7: Communication – Displaying the Offspring