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Seventh Grade, Genetics & Genomics Lesson Plans (6 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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Try the annual Engineering Challenge from Science Buddies! Open to all students worldwide, a new challenge and prizes are announced every January. Explore the current challenge as well as ones from past years! Read more
Lesson Plan Grade: 6th-8th
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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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Try our new Science Project Pathways in Google Classroom. One tool to plan, assign, and manage a science project in your class.

Simply enter the project start date to get a customizable science project schedule that breaks the science project into a series of smaller more manageable assignments to keep students on track. The assignments use Science Buddies guide to the scientific method to take students step-by-step through a science project. From the schedule, teachers can make assignments in Google Classroom and view student progress on each assignment.

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.
Lesson Plan Grade: 6th-8th
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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.
Lesson Plan Grade: 6th-8th
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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.
Lesson Plan Grade: 6th-12th
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We hear about COVID-19 variants all the time, but what is a virus variant, how do they come about, and why do they matter? Students will explore these question and more in this lesson plan. They will use SimPandemic, a free online tool, to model what COVID-19 outbreaks look like when communities are exposed to different COVID-19 variants and understand how genetic mutations in a virus can lead to functional changes. Read more
NGSS Performance Expectations:
  • MS-LS2-4. Construct an argument supported by empirical evidence that changes to physical or biological components of an ecosystem affect populations.
  • 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.
  • HS-LS3-2. Make and defend a claim based on evidence that inheritable genetic variations may result from (1) new genetic combinations through meiosis, (2) viable errors occurring during replication, and/or (3) mutations caused by environmental factors.
Lesson Plan Grade: 6th-8th
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This lesson uses problem-solving and logical thinking to introduce students to phylogenetic trees. Students will create, organize, and structure data to explore patterns of heredity. Learning Objectives Students will: Explore how phylogenetic trees organize species based on shared characteristics. Discover both the power and the limitations of phylogenetic trees as a tool for making inferences about the evolutionary history of different species. Engage in authentic science practices… Read more
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