Chromosome Models: Karyotyping

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This activity was designed for blind learners, but all types of learners can have a tactile opportunity to construct a karyotype, an organized model of an organism’s chromosomes, conveying the chromosome’s size and shape. Learners with visual impairments as well as sighted learners can learn about the organization of chromosomes which carry the genetic material in all cells that have a nucleus.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
30 to 45 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per student

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Model


Materials List (per student)

  • 4 to 6 ounces of play dough or clay depending on the number of chromosomes needed. Play dough works well because it hardens and the “chromosomes” then hold their shape.
  • Smooth clean surface at least 12” by 12”. A tray works well to define the space.
  • Raised line images of karyotypes, some unsorted and others organized into a karyotype.


  • Life Sciences
    • Cells
      • Cell Structure and Function
      • Cell Division
    • Heredity and Genetics
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations

Informal Categories

  • Model Building


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Components that are part of this resource:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



  • All rights reserved, Perkins School for the Blind,