Modeling Mendel's Pea Experiment

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This modeling activity allows learners to discover for themselves what Mendel uncovered in his famous pea experiments. By modeling Mendel's pea experiments, learners will form their own explanations for the result of crossing a true-breeding round pea plant with a true-breeding wrinkled pea plant (the F1 generation) and for the results of allowing an F1 pea plant to self pollinate (the F2 generation). They will then compare their explanations to Mendel's own conclusions. This is an excellent introduction to Mendelian genetics which generates discussion and stimulates interest in Mendel's principles. Learners are encouraged to use the same observation and critical thinking skills that Mendel used. This activity can be instructor-led as a demonstration or conducted by groups of learners.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
45 to 60 minutes

Learning Time:
45 to 60 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 14 - 18

Resource Types:
Activity, Demonstration, Experiment/Lab Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan


Materials List (per group of students)

  • garden peas (purchased at local garden/feed store)
  • aluminum foil


  • Life Sciences
    • Diversity of Life
      • Plants
    • Heredity and Genetics
      • Patterns of Heredity
  • Mathematics
    • Data Analysis and Probability
      • Data Analysis
      • Data Collection
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Gathering Data
      • Formulating Explanations
      • Communicating Results


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

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


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • Nolin, Jeanette