GMO Spuds

We love to mess with genes in Biology class.  You never know what you will create.   See Flatoples .

2014 Spudoodles

This time around we created Lil’ Spuds.  Oh yeah, we’re crazy.

I got all the information from Mr. McClung’s World.   You can watch a great slide show of his students’ creations on his website and get all the information on how to create your own.  I warn you, it can be scary.  Be afraid.

I tried to print off the worksheets from Mr. McClung’s, but I wasn’t able to, so I made my own.

Spud Report Card –  The student with list the genotype of the father and mother.

Spud Chromosome Chart – This is the list of genotypes and what they represent.  The student will list the Lil’ Spud’s genotype here.

Spud Genes – This is a list of alleles used for this experiment.  There is enough for six students.   The students will pick from these to make the Lil’ Spud.  I used dark red paper and wrote on the back what each allele was for.  Ex. hair, mouth, legs, etc.    I used the game cards at

First the students were to list the genotype for the mother and father spuds.

Once the Mother’s and Father’s genotypes were listed.  The red cards were turned over.  The student then picked one allele from the mother and father, for  each phenotype  (hair, eyes, mouth, etc.) to create their Lil’ Spud.  This genotype was listed on the Spud Chromosome Chart.

Now comes the beginning of the fun part!  Making Lil’ Spud.  The students were to create their spud according to the characteristics they picked from the mother and father.  They could not change anything, just as our parents could not change us.  🙂

Yes, there was some disappointments.  That’s when I asked what characteristics did they have that their parents would like to change.  It was a thoughtful question.  Over all, their creations were fabulous.  How could they not be?  After all, they are in MY Biology class. 😀

Enjoy the family slide show!  Then go make your own Lil’ Spud.

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29 responses to “GMO Spuds

  1. They will all be fine parents one day with amazing looking offspring.

  2. Another Super Heros of Science group photo. It’s awesome!!! =D This is such a cool project Michelle!

  3. Woo Hoo! What fun! Can’t wait to try ours on Friday! Awesome post!

  4. Adorable – just adorable!

  5. In the group picture, I love the expression of the girl in the blue shirt! 😀

  6. Hmmmm, I can’t view your documents. It says, “Sorry, we are unable to retrieve the document for viewing.”
    I can get to Donna Young’s, and to Mr. McClung’s though…
    Is anyone else having trouble opening Applie’s links?

    I know when I have mine set for “anyone with the link” other people can’t open it. They *should* be able to, but they can’t.
    So I have to set my documents to “public on the web.”

  7. Hi Michelle,
    I’ll be using this activity in our co-op class this Monday. Should be fun, fun, fun! A quick question though: when you put the alleles in the mom & dad bags you just do it randomly, right? So there are two allele cards for each trait. Thanks!

    • HI Lynn, Yes, I put the alleles in randomly. Two alleles for each trait, in each bag. I try to make sure that all the bags do not have the exact same combo. All the same color. On the backs I put Hair, Eyes, or Nose on the corresponding allele. Then the student will have all the Mama’s in one area, and all the Dad’s in another area. All with the hair, eyes,or nose facing up. Then the student randomly picks one hair, eyes, nose, etc. from each parent to create the babe. Does that make sense? It’s a lot easier to do it than explain it to someone. I probably told you more than you asked for. lol

      Let me know if you have any more questions. 🙂

  8. Thanks, Michelle! It went great and we had a blast. The spudoodles that my genetic engineers created were adorable and hilarious 🙂

  9. Thank you so much for all of your posts. They are a huge help to me as I fumble my way through my first time teaching biology. I plan on making some spudoodles tomorrow!! Here’s a great worksheet on Genetics that I think I might use as well. It’s fun and covers the topics of the chapter well.

    Click to access Genetics_Oompa_Loompa.pdf

    • Hi Julie,

      Thanks for the link and for the nice comment. I saw it earlier this year and thought about using it. I also spotted a genetics sheet on Sponge Bob. Right now I don’t know where it is. 🙂


  10. Very glad to see you worked the kinks out this year with your spudoodle projects! They all look great and thanks for linking our blog to your post….believe it or not I get a TON of hits from your blog. Thanks again!

    Joe McClung
    Woodland Jr. High
    Fayetteville, AR

    • Mr. McClung, Thank you for visiting my blog and thank you for giving us the instructions on how to do this fun project. I am looking forward to doing it again next year. 🙂

  11. I echo what Julie said… I feel as though I’m fumbling through Biology! (I *knew* there was a word for what I was doing — just didn’t know what it was!!!) 😀
    Very thankful for your posts, Michelle!

    • Thanks Marty! I don’t see you fumbling through Biology on your blog. 🙂 Guess what? I checked out Chemistry, to see if I can facilitate it. Now we are talking of someone fumbling through science!!

      • Thanks, Michelle, but you know I come here to see what you write in your posts before I write mine! 😀
        You’re just way more interesting and fun. I try to be… =)
        Good luck on the Chemistry! (yikes!)

  12. Do you have a filled out version of the Spud Report Card for reference?

  13. Thank you so much! That will be so helpful! I just want to make sure I completely understand it before doing it!

  14. I am having trouble opening your spud report card and chromosome charts. Can you help me?

  15. I cannot get to Mr. Clung’s website 😦 is there a new link?

    Also, do you “choose” what the parents are before starting? I’m a little confused about that part. Does each student get their own set of sacks or do they share? Sorry for all the questions.

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