Handy Family Tree

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In this bilingual (English/Spanish) activity, learners create family trees by tracing the hands of their family members. Learners list inherited traits like eye color, freckles, and chin shape on the fingers of the left hands and list learned traits like favorite foods, games, and pets on the fingers of the right hands. Learners assemble the hands to form trees. Use this family activity to help learners distinguish between inherited and learned traits.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
30 to 45 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
1 cent - $1 per student

Age Range:
Ages 6 - 11

Resource Types:
Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan

English, Spanish

Materials List (per student)

  • One large piece of paper or poster board
  • Colored paper (one or two for each family member)
  • Scissors
  • Pens or markers
  • Tape or glue


  • Life Sciences
    • Heredity and Genetics
      • Patterns of Heredity
      • Human Genetics
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Gathering Data
      • Formulating Explanations
      • Communicating Results

Informal Categories

  • Arts and Crafts


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • see color
  • read
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Components that are part of this resource:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • Genetic Science Learning Center, University of Utah

Source Collection

  • Teach.Genetics


  • All rights reserved, University of Utah, 2006

Funding Source:

  • Health Resources and Services Administration, Maternal and Child Health Bureau, Genetic Services Branch and the March of Dimes, U33MC00157