Heredity and genetics

Middle school students are curious about genetics, and most have an awareness of the use of genetic testing and DNA samples from popular television programs. The featured articles this month show how teachers can capitalize on this interest with interesting and relevant learning experiences.

Genes Are Us describes two activities that can help students understand the uniqueness of an organisms DNA and the concept of DNA fingerprinting. Who done it? The case of the suicidal murder victim shows a real-life application of the processes of microscopy, chromatography, blood typing, and gel electrophoresis as students attempt to collect and analyze evidence. Both of these classroom-tested activities capitalize on the interests and experiences of middle schoolers.  [SciLinks: Blood Type, DNA Fingerprinting, Electrophoresis, Forensic Science, Microscopes, Paper Chromatography]

According to the author, the activities in Natural Selection and Evolution: Using Multimedia Slide Shows to Emphasize the Role of Genetic Variation evolved from a student misconception that adaptations are a result of environmental challenges rather than from genetic variations. She uses resources from Learn.Genetics, a comprehensive collection of information and activities on genetics, bioscience and health topics (there’s enough on this site for an entire course).

Creative Natural Selection takes traditional activities and kicks them up a notch to involve student creativity and creativity. The article contains resources, rubrics, and descriptions of  “Predict a Pollinator” and “Predicting Natural Selection with Camouflage” [SciLinks: Pollination, Animal Camouflage]

In a Phenylketonuria Genetic Screening Simulation, students assume the role of lab technician as they engage in a simulation of this common test for newborns. The author provides samples documents for student notes and data entry, the procedure for the simulation, and background resources.  [SciLinks: Genetic Diseases, Screening, Counseling]

The authors of Learning About Genetic Inheritance Through Technology-Enhanced Instruction used the WISE 4 resource to develop a module in which students use technology to “see” the possible phenotypes and genotypes of offspring. The module has embedded assessments and the article has a daily overview and screen shots of the unit. [SciLinks: Heredity, Genotype / Phenotype, Punnett Squares]

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One Comment

  1. claudia
    Posted November 1, 2012 at 3:44 am | Permalink

    Interesting, the post written very sound, writing procedure looked very competent and has a good sense of humor.Keep sharing such a great posts Middle School Essay Rubric thanks.

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