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Genetics Unit


DNA Extraction

8th Grade

Content Area & Topic: Cells and Genetics

Lesson Overview: In this lab you will prepare a solution of banana treated with salt, distilled water, and shampoo (detergent). The procedure uses household equipment and store supplies for the DNA extraction resulting in enough DNA to be seen and spooled.

Iowa Core Statements:

  • Understand and apply knowledge of how different organisms pass on traits (heredity).

Content Objectives:

  • Identify DNA as the molucule that contains the instructions for traits.
  • Understand the process of DNA extraction.

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Evolution Selection Games

7th Grade

Content Area & Topic: Agriculture, Animals, Cells, Environment, Genetics, Cells, Evolution, Natural and Artificial Selection, Inheritance, and Population Dynamics

Lesson Overview: Students act out scenarios of evolution using chromosome cut outs. These could be directed by the instructor, or eventually if they get the hang of it could be “performed” by the students with one of them narrating what is happening. The different scenarios help the students understand how the rules of inheritance and that evolution is a process that is constantly ongoing and affects their daily lives regardless if they are in the medical field, a businessman, a farmer, a biologist, a civil engineer, a pet owner, or simply a human trying to stay alive on this planet. Each scenario comes with a real life context, rules for inheritance, and some twists to make additional points.

Iowa Core Statements:

  • Understand and apply knowledge of how different organisms pass on traits (heredity)
  • Understand and apply knowledge of interdependency of organisms, changed in environmental conditions, and survival of individuals and species.

Content Objectives:

  • Recognize that heredity is the passage of genetic instructions from one generation to another.
  • Identify DNA as the molecule that contains the instructions for traits
  • Explain the organization of DNA into genes and chromosomes.
  • Explain how traits are passed from one generation to the next.
  • Explain how biological adaptation occurs through natural selection.
  • Recognized that genetic diversity enables members of a population to have different variations of a trait.
  • Explain how variations in traits can enable some members of a population to better survive in their environment

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Murder Mystery

8th Grade

Content Area & Topic: Genetics

Lesson Overview: In this lesson, students will learn about DNA fingerprinting. This lesson involves learning about DNA and its use in DNA fingerprinting. THe lesson starts with a short presentation on DNA and its use in solving crimes, followed by a brief class discussion. The students made a determination of guilt based solely on the statements of the suspencts and then finally the students are given DNA evidence and asked to determine who is guilty based on DNA evidence.

Content Objectives:

  • Understanding that DNA is based on the same 4 bases in all life on Earth
  • Understanding that DNA can be used to tell one individual from another

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