Gregor Mendel, the Austrian monk who discovered the laws of heredity forming much of the foundation for modern genetics and genomics, is a common entry point for learning about genetics in basic biology classes.
Here are eleven of our favorite resources for bringing Mendel alive in your classroom, or tuning up your personal knowledge. Check out these notable tools including Mendel’s historic 1865 paper, interactive animations, lesson plans, TEDEd talks, and more.
The 2011 Google Doodle
Google celebrated Mendel’s birthday on July 20, 2011 with a Doodle detailing the importance of Mendel. This blog entry includes the art (Google spelled out in peas) and has background information on his research. It was a Google Doodle: It must be important.
Gregor Mendel - My Favourite Scientist
This six-minute TEDEd video biography of Mendel takes the viewer from “Mendel’s bees” to “Mendel’s peas” using expert narration and youthful illustrations. Packed with detailed interesting information.
Gregor Mendel: Great Minds
A TEDEd video (about 11 minutes long) detailing Mendel’s life using humorous and engaging narration with hand puppets.
DNA From the Beginning
The Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (longtime research home of famous DNA pioneer James Watson) explores Mendel as part of “DNA From the Beginning.” This old school flip chart presentation examines Mendelian genetics up close.
Mendelian Genetics, Probability, Pedigree, and Chi-Square Statistics
A lesson plan from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute's BioInteractive Resources for Science Education. This lesson challenges students to work through a series of questions about the genetics of sickle cell disease and its relationship to malaria. These questions will probe students' understanding of Mendelian genetics, probability, pedigree analysis, and chi-square statistics.
A Guide to Creating a Mendel Seminar in Your Biology Class
A complete guide for a two or three class seminar focused on learning about Gregor Mendel's discovery of a process of biological evolution: how recessive and dominant traits are passed from one generation of living organisms to the next.