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Gregor Mendel: The Monk with the Most!

By Jason Howe

How did a gardening monk make one of the most important contributions in the history of biology? Teach your students about Gregor Mendel's discovery with this lesson.

Gregor Mendel Gregor Mendel was a German monk in the 19th century. While studying his pea plants that grew in the garden outside the monestary, he began to wonder why there were differences in traits of the plants, such as height, pod shape, color, etc.

Lesson Objectives:

*This lesson could be used as a follow up lesson after the lesson on Phenotypes and Genotypes.

1. Students will learn procedures for completing Punnett squares.

2. Students will use Mendel’s pea plant traits as examples for practicing punnett squares.

Lesson Procedure

1. Explain to students Gregor Mendel was a monk who liked to garden. Have your class watch a you-tube video, explaining some of his theories: (

2. Students will receive notes, along with guided practice on steps for completing Punnett squares.

Punnett Squares are a method of predicting what genes the offspring between two parents will have. We use them to do genetic crosses, which is how we make this prediction. Capital letters stand for dominat traits, while lowercase letters stand for recessive traits.

Click on the link below to download the full notes.


1. The Mendel Punnett Square sheet will be used as an assessment to gage students’ understanding of punnett squares.  

2. Additional punnett square examples can be made up or found on the internet if the first assessment shows a need for further practice.