Genetics & Genomics Lesson Plans (7 results)

What traits are heritable? How different is your DNA from a frog's, a mouse's or even your relative's? Can your genes tell doctors what is the right dose of a medicine for your body? These are the types of questions scientists are answering with genetics and genomics. By studying individual genes as well as genomes, the whole set of DNA belonging to an organism, scientists hope to get a more complete understanding of how our bodies work and develop better disease treatments.

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Lesson Plan Grade: 6th-12th
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In this lesson plan, students will take a closer look at the most recent developments in gene editing. Specifically, they will learn about the CRISPR technology using various interactive simulations and other resources. Based on their gained knowledge, students will create a model of the CRISPR-Cas9 components and create a stop-motion animation video of the molecular mechanism of CRISPR-Cas9. Remote learning adaptation: This lesson plan can be conducted remotely. Students can work… Read more
NGSS Performance Expectations:
  • MS-LS4-5. Gather and synthesize information about technologies that have changed the way humans influence the inheritance of desired traits in organisms.
  • HS-LS1-1. Construct an explanation, based on evidence, for how the structure of DNA determines the structure of proteins, which carry out the essential functions of life through systems of specialized cells.
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Lesson Plan Grade: 6th-8th
Explore genetic variation through the world of taste in this problem-solving lesson plan. Working both individually and collaboratively, students figure out what kind of tasters they are, what this means about their own genetics, and how genetic mutations can lead to functional differences. This activity provides a hands-on, personalized opportunity to learn about how genotypes and phenotypes align. Read more
NGSS Performance Expectations:
  • MS-LS3-1. Develop and use a model to describe why structural changes to genes (mutations) located on chromosomes may affect proteins and may result in harmful, beneficial, or neutral effects to the structure and function of the organism.
  • MS-LS3-2. Develop and use a model to describe why asexual reproduction results in offspring with identical genetic information and sexual reproduction results in offspring with genetic variation.
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Lesson Plan Grade: 6th-8th
In this lesson, students will model how traits are passed on from parents to their offspring by creating baby aliens based on their parents' traits. As students compare the physical features of their alien families, they will be able to make the connection between an organism's genotype and phenotype. Students will also learn the difference between dominant and recessive traits. Read more
NGSS Performance Expectations:
  • MS-LS3-2. Develop and use a model to describe why asexual reproduction results in offspring with identical genetic information and sexual reproduction results in offspring with genetic variation.
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Lesson Plan Grade: 6th-8th
Using the context of apples, students will apply their knowledge of heredity and genetics to distinguish between sexual and asexual reproduction as they explain how new varieties of apples are developed and then propagated to meet consumer demand for a tasty, uniform, consistent product. Read more
NGSS Performance Expectations:
  • MS-LS4-4. Construct an explanation based on evidence that describes how genetic variations of traits in a population increase some individuals' probability of surviving and reproducing in a specific environment.
  • MS-LS4-5. Gather and synthesize information about technologies that have changed the way humans influence the inheritance of desired traits in organisms.
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Lesson Plan Grade: 9th-12th
This lesson introduces students to the relationships between chromosomes, genes, and DNA molecules. Using the example of a strawberry, it also provides activities that clearly show how changes in the DNA of an organism, either naturally or artificially, can cause changes. Read more
NGSS Performance Expectations:
  • HS-LS3-3. Heredity: Inheritance and Variation of Traits
    Apply concepts of statistics and probability to explain the variation and distribution of expressed traits in a population.
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Lesson Plan Grade: 9th-12th
This lesson compares and contrasts prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells and examines the form and function of the plasmid found in prokaryotic cells. Students will then use these principles to simulate how a desirable gene can be isolated and inserted into a plasmid as one step in the process of creating a genetically modified organism (GMO). Read more
NGSS Performance Expectations:
  • HS-LS1-2. Develop and use a model to illustrate the hierarchical organization of interacting systems that provide specific functions within multicellular organisms.
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Lesson Plan Grade: 3rd-5th
Students will explore heredity concepts by comparing observable traits of apples and onions, collecting data on the traits of different apple varieties, and learning about apple production. Additional activities include hands-on methods for testing apple ripeness. Read more
NGSS Performance Expectations:
  • 3-LS3-1. Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence that plants and animals have traits inherited from parents and that variation of these traits exists in a group of similar organisms.
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