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Teacher Resources

Teacher Resources

Lesson plans, genetic educational materials, printable activity sheets, and other teaching resources for educators seeking to increase genetic and genomic literacy.

Materials for Teacher Resources

Biostatistics

Basic Probability and Chi-Squared Tests (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: An expert authored advanced in-class exercise teaching critical skills for classic genetic analysis, including probability, making predictions, and assessment

Human Genetic Variation: A Flipped Classroom Exercise in Cultural Competency (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: An expert authored advanced in-class case discussion teaching concepts of population genetics and genetic variation.

Iceland’s Genetic Database: Good or Bad Idea? (PDF 28.17 KB, Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: This lesson examines issues stemming from genetic databanks and population genetics studies.

Kids DO Science: Probability and Genetics (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: Information, activities, and games that teach probability

Mendelian Genetics, Probability, Pedigree, and Chi-Square Statistics (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: A lesson that requires students to work through a series of questions pertaining to the genetics of sickle cell disease and its relationship to malaria. These questions will probe students' understanding of Mendelian genetics, probability, pedigree analysis, and chi-square statistics.

Scitable Faculty Resources

Description: The Scitable faculty resource pages include a tool for creating virtual classrooms, the Scitable Faculty Discussion Group, and a variety of instructive courses for educators

Statistics Education Web (STEW)

Description: Statistics Education Web (STEW) Lesson plans on statistics for K-12 math and science teachers

Statistics Education Webinars

Description: Statistics webinars for math and science teachers

The Probabilities of Problems: A Look at Inheritance (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: Students learn how to calculate the the probabilities of passing on certain genetic disorders and then evaluate case studies involving genetic testing.

Biotechnology

Biotechnology: An Agricultural Dilemma (PDF 28.17 KB, Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: A lesson examining potential benefits and risks of genetically modified crops

Cloning Animals and Plants: Any Difference? (PDF 21.04 KB, Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: In this lesson plan students storyboard the history of famous animal clones, examine the differences between animal and plant cloning, experiment cloning a Coleus plant, and design a controlled plant experiment.

Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Testing (PDF 347.34 KB, Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: This lesson provides students the opportunity to explore the excitement and challenges related to the direct-to-consumer (DTC) genetic testing industry. How do consumers react to genetic information gleaned from DTC services? What information can be learned through a DTC test, and do consumers need or want a doctor or genetic counselor to access this information?

Genetic Testing: Road Map or Crystal Ball? (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: Students are exposed to the pros and cons of genetic testing and must take a stand by writing a position paper, after viewing the "Who Gets to Know?" video and/or reading case studies from the Our Genes/Our Choices series.

Genetics and Reproduction (PDF 232 KB, Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: This lesson addresses the genetic reproductive technologies that are being used by individuals who, for a variety of reasons, wish to know and/or have some choice about the genetic makeup of their children. It begins with a discussion of the technologies that can reveal the genetic makeup of fetuses and then moves on to a technology called preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD). The goal of this lesson is to give students an opportunity to discuss many aspects of PGD such that they become aware of the diversity of opinions surrounding PGD.

GM Foods: Are They Safe? (PDF 28.17 KB, Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: This lesson examines potential benefits and risks of genetically modified foods

Human Cloning: Is it Biological Plagiarism? (PDF 28.17 KB, Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: In this lesson, students apply scientific principles to personal and social views on human cloning.

Maintaining Plant Genebanks (PDF 44.43 KB, Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: A lesson plan exploring the benefits and problems of maintaining plant genebanks globally

Personalized Medicine (PDF 313 KB, Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: Personalized medicine, also referred to as precision medicine, holds great promise to improve healthcare. As the cost of genetic analysis decreases and research advances, it is becoming increasingly possible to include a person’s genetic make-up in the repertoire of tools that inform his or her healthcare. This lesson asks students to delve into the hopes and challenges of personalized medicine and to consider the practical applications of genetic analysis in medicine.

Protecting Athletes with Genetic Conditions: Sickle Cell Trait (PDF 402 KB, Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: As the genetic basis for many health conditions is revealed, some doctors, coaches, and academic and athletic organizations are wondering whether genetic analysis can provide health and safety benefits for athletes. As of 2013, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), the governing body of college sports in the United States, began screening all of its athletes for the genetic condition sickle cell trait (SCT). This lesson explores the discussion surrounding this policy and asks students to examine how genetics might impact their own athletic choices and options.

What Can I Learn From Worms? Regeneration, Stem Cells, and Models (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: A series of high quality lesson plans exploring a variety of topics including the cell cycle and the use of model species in biomedical research. You may need to register to view the lesson plans, but the plans and registration is free.

What Changes Our Minds? Toxicants, Exposure, and the Environment (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: A series of lesson plans and laboratory experiments exploring the effects of environmental exposure to chemicals. You may need to register to view the plans, but the lesson plans and registration is free.

Who Owns Rights To Pharmacogenetic Information? (PDF 28.17 KB, Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: This lesson examines potential benefits, risks, and ethical concerns of designer drugs.

Cell Biology

cK-12 Foundation - Teachers

Description: Ck-12 Foundation offers life-science simulations to immerse students in an interactive learning experience, practice problems, free full-text FlexBook Textbooks, tools for leading group discussions and more.

Genes in Motion - Mitosis Lesson Guide (PDF 331.37 KB, Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: Lesson plan on mitosis

Mitosis - The Dance of the Chromosomes (PDF 304.58 KB, Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: A PowerPoint presentation on mitosis

Using Technology to Study Cellular and Molecular Biology (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: A curriculum supplement for high school students exploring how technology advancements in cell biology have been used to enhanced health

What Can I Learn From Worms? Regeneration, Stem Cells, and Models (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: A series of high quality lesson plans exploring a variety of topics including the cell cycle and the use of model species in biomedical research. You may need to register to view the lesson plans, but the plans and registration is free.

DNA Forensics

DNA, Crime and Law Enforcement (PDF 329 KB, Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: The collection and analysis of DNA is an important tool in law enforcement. This lesson explores the challenge of establishing ethical and legal frameworks in a timely manner to guide the use of newly developed technologies. A key question that is woven through this lesson is how we as a society can use genetics to keep people safe, solve crimes and, at the same time, develop policies that provide appropriate safeguards and privacy protections.

Entomology in Action (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: Lesson plans and teaching aids on entomology

Entomology Resources for Teachers

Description: Information, brochures, and other resources on entomology for teachers

Forensic Entomology (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: Lesson plans, work sheets, and teaching aids on forensic entomology

DNA, Genes, Chromosomes

cK-12 Foundation - Teachers

Description: Ck-12 Foundation offers life-science simulations to immerse students in an interactive learning experience, practice problems, free full-text FlexBook Textbooks, tools for leading group discussions and more.

DNA Replication: A case discussion of a landmark paper by Meselson and Stahl (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: An expert authored advanced in-class exercise involving literature assessment and detailed exploration of DNA replication

For Teachers – yourgenome.org

Description: Lesson plans, classroom activities, and other resources for teaching DNA, protein, cancer and other topics

Genetic Timeline (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: A lesson plan highlighting key discoveries that have led to our present understanding of the human genome

Inside/Outside the Human Genome Project (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: In this cooperative learning activity for grades 6-8, students combine a jigsaw learning technique with an inside/outside review game to learn about DNA, genes, chromosomes and the Human Genome Project.

Molecular Genetics (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: Lesson guides and video slide show presentation on HIV viral replication and other molecular genetic topics

Origami DNA (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: A classroom activity on the DNA double helix

PBS LearningMedia™

Description: A Web site providing teachers with strategies, tools, and professional development resources for incorporating digital learning in the classroom

Power My Learning

Description: A web-based platform with online learning activities for K-12 students, parents, and educators. You will need to register to use the site, but registration is free.

Scitable Faculty Resources

Description: The Scitable faculty resource pages include a tool for creating virtual classrooms, the Scitable Faculty Discussion Group, and a variety of instructive courses for educators

Teacher Guide - Have Your DNA and Eat It Too (PDF 266.17 KB, Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: Lesson plan on the structure of DNA and a class activity building an edible double helix

Visualizing Gene-Expression Patterns

Description: A slide show with video clips illustrating how scientists detect when a gene is being expressed in tissues

X or Y: Does it Make a Difference? (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: Students learn and describe the functional differences between X and Y chromosomes, and explain the significance of these differences in the human genome.

Epigenetics/Inheritance and the Environment

Genes, Environment and Genetic Complexity: Aggression in Humans (PDF 256 KB, Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: Questions about whether genetics can, in part, explain violent, aggressive behavior in humans are not new. Recent episodes of large-scale violence, whether in schools or other public places, have renewed discussion about the intersection of crime, mental health and genetics. In this lesson, students are asked to examine popular but incorrect ideas related to the idea that a single gene or even set of genes can “cause” humans to behave aggressively.

NOVA scienceNOW - Epigenetics (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: A classroom activity on epigenetics

What Changes Our Minds? Toxicants, Exposure, and the Environment

Description: A series of lesson plans and laboratory experiments exploring the effects of environmental exposure to chemicals. You may need to register to view the plans, but the lesson plans and registration is free.

What Makes Honey Bees Work Together? (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: A series of lesson plans exploring how genes and environment affect behavior, as well as introduces students to research tools used to investigate gene expression. You may need to register to view the lesson plans, but the plans and registration is free.

What Makes Me Tick...Tock? Circadian Rhythms, Genetics, and Health (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: A series of lesson plans exploring how environment, genes, and proteins affect behavior. The lesson plans incorporate real-life examples, case studies, and interactive online components to teach concepts of epigenetics. You may need to register to view the lesson plans, but the plans and registration is free.

Evolution

Applied Evolution: How Will We Get There from Here? (PDF 28.17 KB, Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: Students perform a simulated natural selection activity with candy, prepare a mock HIV court case, imagine Earth in the future, track a Hantavirus outbreak, conduct “Marty the Mutating Marcescens” experiment, and brainstorm a potential detergent enzyme.

Beanbag Population Genetics (PDF 46.88 KB, Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: Classroom exercises demonstrating genetic drift and natural selection

cK-12 Foundation - Teachers

Description: Ck-12 Foundation offers life-science simulations to immerse students in an interactive learning experience, practice problems, free full-text FlexBook Textbooks, tools for leading group discussions and more.

Classroom Activities - Natural Selection and Adaptation (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: A teachers guide, educational video, student quiz, and activity plans for teaching natural selection and adaptation

Classroom Activities: Battling Beetles (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: A series of activities teaching concepts of natural selection, genetic variation, and evolution

Classroom Activities: Gene Switches (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: Teaching materials on evolution and genetic variation with a classroom activity to model a gene switch

Classroom Activities: Variations in the Clam Species Clamys sweetus (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: An activity to engage students in thinking about the mechanism of natural selection

Cystic Fibrosis: Exploration of Evolutionary Explanations for the High Frequency of a Common Disorder (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: An expert authored advanced in-class exercise making and testing hypotheses to explain the high incidence of cystic fibrosis in certain populations

Do You See What I See? (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: A series of lesson plans and laboratory exercises exploring vision, color perception, color-blindness, diversity of vision across species, and how this diversity affects survival and reproduction. You may need to register to view the lesson plans, but the plans and registration is free.

Evolution and Medicine (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: Lesson plans on how evolution informs human health, biomedical problems, and disease treatment

Evolution in a Ring (PDF 28.17 KB, Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: This lesson engages students in critical thinking about ring species and how the process of speciation occurs.

Evolution: Are There Really Missing Links? (PDF 13.91 KB, Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: This lesson focuses on applying evidence for evolutionary transitions to the general theory of evolution. Students can investigate how Darwin’s finches would adapt to simulated island environments, create an exhibit of “missing links” art, market a virtual natural history museum and more.

Evolution: Is It Fact and/or Theory? (PDF 26.75 KB, Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: This lesson examines patterns of change in nature, mechanisms of evolution, and factual evidence for evolution.

Extinction: Is It Inevitable? (PDF 28.17 KB, Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: This lesson explores the cycle of extinction and biotic recovery, with special emphasis on the causes of extinction.

Genes, Variation and Human History (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: Interactive classroom activities on genetic variation

Genetic Variation (PDF 492.28 KB, Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: A presentation on genetic variation intended for classroom use

How Do New Species Form? (PDF 28.17 KB, Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: This lesson explores speciation, stasis, and change with activities that focus on comparing gradualism to punctuated equilibrium.

Identifying Angiosperms (PDF 28.17 KB, Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: The lessons use photography and guided discussion to engage students in learning about classification, co-evolution, and the mystery of disappearing bees crucial to the pollination of flowers.

Mapping Change Over Time (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: Collect information about the organisms alive at different times since the Earth formed. Discuss reasons for extinctions. Discuss advantages of change

mtDNA: So What Did You Inherit from Your Mom? (PDF 26.75 KB, Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: This lesson examines the structure and function of mitochondria and its role in evolution

Natural Selection (PDF 13.91 KB, Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: In this lesson plan students develop a conversation with Darwin, chart examples of natural selection in action, and speculate on the future of evolutionary history.

NIH Curriculum Supplements for High School: Human Genetic Variation (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: Lesson plans and activities on human genetic variation

Our Universe: Designed or Evolved? (PDF 15.34 KB, Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: This lesson investigates and compares two views — Intelligent Design and Evolution.

Poster: Fossil Evidence and Evolution

Description: A printable poster for your classroom. Students are challenged to place seven types of fossils into the proper geological era.

Roots: The Ancestry of Modern People (PDF 13.91 KB, Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: This lesson examines the two main models of the origin of modern humans. Students can map the movements of early humans, consider what it takes to be a paleoanthropologist, write a news flash about Lucy’s discovery, chart a book plot about the adventures of an early hominid, and create a sketchbook of hominid fossils.

Selection In Action - Peppered Moths (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: Use web-sourced material, maps and population data to explore the industrial melanism of the Peppered Moth

Teacher's Guide: Understanding Human Genetic Variation (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: An online teaching module on human genetic variation

Teaching Materials: Understanding Evolution

Description: Resources for teaching evolutionary patterns, processes, and theory

Visualizing Gene-Expression Patterns

Description: A slide show with video clips illustrating how scientists detect when a gene is being expressed in tissues

What Makes Honey Bees Work Together? (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: A series of lesson plans exploring how genes and environment affect behavior, as well as introduces students to research tools used to investigate gene expression. You may need to register to view the lesson plans, but the plans and registration is free.

Genetic Conditions

An Inventory of a Few Human Traits (PDF 26.81 KB, Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: An activity observing and comparing common human traits with discussion questions

An Inventory of My Traits (PDF 666.47 KB, Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: A lesson plan and class activity on genetic traits

Cell Biology and Cancer (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: A NIH Curriculum Supplement for high school teachers including lesson plans, class activities, and videos.

Creating Genetic Counselor Pamphlets (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: After discussing the benefits and potential misuses of prenatal genetic testing, students in grades 9-12 research a particular genetic disorder and then create pamphlets about the disorder from a genetic counselor's point of view.

Cystic Fibrosis: Exploration of Evolutionary Explanations for the High Frequency of a Common Disorder (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: An expert authored advanced in-class exercise making and testing hypotheses to explain the high incidence of cystic fibrosis in certain populations

Do You See What I See? (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: A series of lesson plans and laboratory exercises exploring vision, color perception, color-blindness, diversity of vision across species, and how this diversity affects survival and reproduction. You may need to register to view the lesson plans, but the plans and registration is free.

Environment and Gene Interactions Cancer Module (PDF 3,266.9 KB, Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: A power point presentation on genetic and environmental risk factors for cancer

For Teachers – yourgenome.org

Description: Lesson plans, classroom activities, and other resources for teaching DNA, protein, cancer and other topics

From Genomes of Species (PDF 28.17 KB, Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: Students create a play, interview a medical patient or doctor, explore advances in genomics at a local university, consider the feasibility and ethical use of bonobos as a model organism.

Gene Therapy (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: A classroom activity exploring the risks and benefits of gene therapy

Good Cells Gone Bad (PDF 102.28 KB, Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: An activity on the cellular changes that lead to cancer

Inside Cancer - Teacher Center

Description: A Web tool for building classroom presentations, finding lesson plans, and aligning content with national and local education standards

Knowledge is Power – Check out your gene pool

Description: Instruction for requesting a copy of a video featuring interviews with a physician, genetic counselor and families directly affected by Tay-Sachs and Canavan disease

Mendelian Genetics, Probability, Pedigree, and Chi-Square Statistics (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: A lesson that requires students to work through a series of questions pertaining to the genetics of sickle cell disease and its relationship to malaria. These questions will probe students' understanding of Mendelian genetics, probability, pedigree analysis, and chi-square statistics.

The Tree of Genetic Traits (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: Instructions for a class activity on genetic traits

Traits Activities (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: Activities on genetic traits and disease risk

Heredity/Inheritance Patterns

An Inventory of a Few Human Traits (PDF 26.81 KB, Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: An activity observing and comparing common human traits with discussion questions

An Inventory of My Traits (PDF 666.47 KB, Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: A lesson plan and class activity on genetic traits

Basic Probability and Chi-Squared Tests (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: An expert authored advanced in-class exercise teaching critical skills for classic genetic analysis, including probability, making predictions, and assessment

DNA from the Beginning

Description: An animated primer of 75 experiments that made modern genetics

Do You See What I See? (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: A series of lesson plans and laboratory exercises exploring vision, color perception, color-blindness, diversity of vision across species, and how this diversity affects survival and reproduction. You may need to register to view the lesson plans, but the plans and registration is free.

Family History: The Next Generation

Description: A Webinar on family health history

Gene You: Genetics and Inheritance

Description: Lesson guides, videos, slides, and other teaching resources on genes and inheritance

Genetic Lesson Plan Ideas

Description: An alphabetical list of lesson plans that teach genetic concepts

Harry Potter's World

Description: Activities for teaching basic genetic concepts as well as characteristics of complex traits

Heredity (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: Lesson guides and an activity on heredity

Introducing Ideas About Inheritance (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: A classroom exercise illustrating genetic vs environmental influences on human traits

Introduction to Heredity (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: A video and lesson plans for teaching concepts of heredity

Investigating Reproductive Strategies (PDF 4.11 MB, Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: A lesson plan on sexual vs asexual reproduction

It is Genetic--Or Is It? (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: This lesson for grades 9-12 explores the age-old discussion of nature vs. nurture: how much of our individuality is based on inheritance, and how much is shaped by our environment? Students explore different traits as genetic or environmental and then discuss issues of accountability for genetically-influenced personality traits.

Multifactorial Traits (PDF 2.53 MB, Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: Detailed book chapter on multifactorial traits with practice problems

Pick the Risk: The Polygenic Pedigree Challenge (PDF 501.94 KB, Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: Instructions for a classroom activity that illustrates how changes in a combination of genes can influence disease risk

Risk Continuum (PDF 3.23 MB, Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: Instructions for a classroom activity teaching how genetic and environmental factors affect a persons risk for heart disease

Rolling the Dice (PDF 174.45 KB, Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: An activity on how life-style choices can influence health

The Tree of Genetic Traits (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: Instructions for a class activity on genetic traits

Traits Activities (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: Activities on genetic traits and disease risk

What Makes Honey Bees Work Together? (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: A series of lesson plans exploring how genes and environment affect behavior, as well as introduces students to research tools used to investigate gene expression. You may need to register to view the lesson plans, but the plans and registration is free.

What's Your Family Health Story?

Description: Instructions in English and Spanish for collecting and organizing your family health history

Your Family Health History - A DNA Day Activity (PDF 119.18 KB, Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: A PowerPoint presentation on using a pedigree to record your family health history

Top Issues In Genetics

Advanced Bioinformatics: Genetic Research (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: A curriculum unit exploring how bioinformatics is used to perform genetic research. Specifically, the bioinformatics tools of BLAST, ORFinder, ClustalW and Cn3D are used to analyze genetic sequences.

Animals in Research (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: A curriculum supplement introducing the complex topic of animal research using structured discussion, stakeholder activities, case studies, and ethical frameworks.

Athletics and Genetics Lesson Plan (PDF 465 KB, Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: Genetic testing is increasingly playing a role in sports. As the genetic basis for many health conditions is revealed, some doctors, coaches, and academic and athletic organizations are wondering whether genetic analysis can provide health and safety benefits for athletes. Can genetics help minimize the risk of injury? In addition, as scientists uncover numerous genes linked to athletic performance, questions have emerged about whether genetics might play a role in guiding young people toward the sport in which they are likely to have the most success. In this lesson, students are asked to consider how their own genetic information might influence their athletic path.

Athletics and Genetics Scientific Supplement (PDF 271 KB, Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: Can genetics help minimize the risk of injury? Can genetic testing guide young people toward the sport in which they are likely to have the most success?

Bioethics 101 (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: A five-lesson introductory course to help science teachers in guiding their students to analyze issues using scientific facts, ethical principles, and reasoned judgment

Bioethics and the New Science of Addiction (PDF 159.3 KB, Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: A worksheet and discussion questions on using a hypothetical vaccine to treat drug addiction

Bioinformatics (PDF 13.91 KB, Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: Students use inquiry skills to make and test predictions about genes and their corresponding proteins, understand the use of bioinformatics programs, and pursue their own studies of genes and proteins of interest to them.

Creating Genetic Counselor Pamphlets (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: After discussing the benefits and potential misuses of prenatal genetic testing, students in grades 9-12 research a particular genetic disorder and then create pamphlets about the disorder from a genetic counselor's point of view.

Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Testing (PDF 347.34 KB, Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: This lesson provides students the opportunity to explore the excitement and challenges related to the direct-to-consumer (DTC) genetic testing industry. How do consumers react to genetic information gleaned from DTC services? What information can be learned through a DTC test, and do consumers need or want a doctor or genetic counselor to access this information?

DNA Barcoding and the International Barcode of Life (iBOL) Project

Description: A rich source of teaching materials and instructional guides for one of the largest biodiversity genomics initiatives

DNA, Crime and Law Enforcement (PDF 329 KB, Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: The collection and analysis of DNA is an important tool in law enforcement. This lesson explores the challenge of establishing ethical and legal frameworks in a timely manner to guide the use of newly developed technologies. A key question that is woven through this lesson is how we as a society can use genetics to keep people safe, solve crimes and, at the same time, develop policies that provide appropriate safeguards and privacy protections.

Does Our Background Shape Our Thinking About Environmental Issues? (PDF 175.67 KB, Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: A lesson guide exploring personal attitues and impressions of environmental issues

Ethics Primer (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: Engaging, interactive, and classroom-friendly lesson ideas for integrating ethical issues into a science classroom.

Exploring Bioethics (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: Curriculum supplement, teacher's guide, and support materials on bioethics

For Teachers – yourgenome.org

Description: Lesson plans, classroom activities, and other resources for teaching DNA, protein, cancer and other topics

Genes, Environment and Genetic Complexity: Aggression in Humans (PDF 256 KB, Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: Questions about whether genetics can, in part, explain violent, aggressive behavior in humans are not new. Recent episodes of large-scale violence, whether in schools or other public places, have renewed discussion about the intersection of crime, mental health and genetics. In this lesson, students are asked to examine popular but incorrect ideas related to the idea that a single gene or even set of genes can “cause” humans to behave aggressively.

Genetic Screening of Newborn Infants: What Should We Test and Why? (400.62 KB, Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: A lesson plan and class room activity exploring how determinations are made regarding public policies on newborn screening

Genetic Testing - Protecting Health or Denying Rights? (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: Case scenario and discussion questions on genetic testing

Genetic Testing: Road Map or Crystal Ball? (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: Students are exposed to the pros and cons of genetic testing and must take a stand by writing a position paper, after viewing the "Who Gets to Know?" video and/or reading case studies from the Our Genes/Our Choices series.

Genetics and Reproduction (PDF 232 KB, Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: This lesson addresses the genetic reproductive technologies that are being used by individuals who, for a variety of reasons, wish to know and/or have some choice about the genetic makeup of their children. It begins with a discussion of the technologies that can reveal the genetic makeup of fetuses and then moves on to a technology called preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD). The goal of this lesson is to give students an opportunity to discuss many aspects of PGD such that they become aware of the diversity of opinions surrounding PGD.

Genetics, Jobs and Your Rights (PDF 101.93 KB, Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: The lesson explores the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), called the “first civil rights legislation of the 21st century” by former Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy. Learning about the history of genetic discrimination in the workplace, along with the progress being made to ensure workers do not have information about their DNA used inappropriately, is key to seeing the potential of personal genetics come to fruition.

History, Eugenics and Genetics (PDF 345 KB, Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: This lesson provides students with a historical overview of the American eugenics movement and highlights some of the advances and breakthroughs that have been achieved through genetic and genomic research. Many people fear that new advances in genetics, particularly embryo screening and analysis of fetal DNA, could lead to a new era of eugenics. The goal of this lesson is for students to start discussing these topics so that they can understand the complexity of the issues and engage in conversations that contrast the dangers of eugenics with the benefits that can come from genetic information.

HIV Vaccines (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: A curriculum unit exploring the scientific and ethical issues involved in clinical HIV vaccine trials using human research participants.

Human Cloning: Is it Biological Plagiarism? (PDF 28.17 KB, Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: In this lesson, students apply scientific principles to personal and social views on human cloning.

Humans in Research (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: A curriculum supplement introducing how research with humans is conducted, the rules and regulations involved, and the bioethical principles that guide scientists when involving humans in research.

Inside/Outside the Human Genome Project (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: In this cooperative learning activity for grades 6-8, students combine a jigsaw learning technique with an inside/outside review game to learn about DNA, genes, chromosomes and the Human Genome Project.

Introduction to DNA Barcoding

Description: An interactive presentation on DNA barcoding and the International Barcode of Life project

Introduction to Personal Genetics (PDF 397.84 KB, Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: This lesson introduces students to the recent advances in genetics, genetic testing and personal genome sequencing, and presents some of the decisions and ethical challenges an individual may face regarding the use of this technology. It also highlights some of the likely benefits of personal genetics, such as gaining the ability to act on one’s genetic risks, tailoring medicines and interventions, and becoming more active and engaged healthcare consumers.

Introductory Bioinformatics: Genetic Testing (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: A curriculum unit exploring how bioinformatics is applied to genetic testing. Specifically, the bioinformatics tools of BLAST and Cn3D are used to investigate the genetic and molecular consequences of a mutation to the Breast Cancer Susceptibility 1 (BRCA1) gene.

Issues In Education

Description: Articles by opinion leaders on bioscience literacy in the classroom, classroom methodology, cultural considerations and more.

Microbes: Too Smart for Antibiotics? (PDF 13.91 KB, Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: This lesson focuses on examining why microbes become resistant to antibiotics, as well as their roles in human health and the environment.

Molecular Genetics (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: Lesson guides and video slide show presentation on HIV viral replication and other molecular genetic topics

mtDNA: So What Did You Inherit from Your Mom? (PDF 26.75 KB, Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: This lesson examines the structure and function of mitochondria and its role in evolution

NHGRI Webinar Series

Description: Webinars on current topics related to genomics, health, and society

Personalized Medicine (PDF 313 KB, Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: Personalized medicine, also referred to as precision medicine, holds great promise to improve healthcare. As the cost of genetic analysis decreases and research advances, it is becoming increasingly possible to include a person’s genetic make-up in the repertoire of tools that inform his or her healthcare. This lesson asks students to delve into the hopes and challenges of personalized medicine and to consider the practical applications of genetic analysis in medicine.

Preparing to Teach Lessons on Personal Genetics (PDF 127.18 KB)

Description: This overview includes resources for teachers who are looking for a “big picture” idea of the latest genetic research and the issues percolating around the personal, societal, and medical possibilities and questions.

Protecting Athletes with Genetic Conditions: Sickle Cell Trait (PDF 402 KB, Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: As the genetic basis for many health conditions is revealed, some doctors, coaches, and academic and athletic organizations are wondering whether genetic analysis can provide health and safety benefits for athletes. As of 2013, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), the governing body of college sports in the United States, began screening all of its athletes for the genetic condition sickle cell trait (SCT). This lesson explores the discussion surrounding this policy and asks students to examine how genetics might impact their own athletic choices and options.

Roots: The Ancestry of Modern People (PDF 13.91 KB, Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: This lesson examines the two main models of the origin of modern humans. Students can map the movements of early humans, consider what it takes to be a paleoanthropologist, write a news flash about Lucy’s discovery, chart a book plot about the adventures of an early hominid, and create a sketchbook of hominid fossils.

Scientific Themes in Personal Genetics (PDF 278 KB, Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: This lesson introduces students to scientific concepts in genetics that have broad implications for individuals and for society. Students will be asked to consider the role of DNA in our personal and cultural identities as well as our understanding of diversity. They will come away with a perspective that the benefits of personal genetics can only come to light when we understand the potential and the concerns.

Stem Cell Research (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: Lesson plans exploring the scientific and ethical issues involved in stem cell research.

The Human Genome Project

Description: Download component parts of the educational CD, The Human Genome Project

The Probabilities of Problems: A Look at Inheritance (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: Students learn how to calculate the the probabilities of passing on certain genetic disorders and then evaluate case studies involving genetic testing.

The Social Nature of Scientific Research (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: A curriculum supplement introducing students to ways in which scientific research is conducted, how social forces influence scientific priorities, and how basic scientific research may, or may not, support medical applications for human health

What Can I Learn From Worms? Regeneration, Stem Cells, and Models (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: A series of high quality lesson plans exploring a variety of topics including the cell cycle and the use of model species in biomedical research. You may need to register to view the lesson plans, but the plans and registration is free.

Who Owns Rights To Pharmacogenetic Information? (PDF 28.17 KB, Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: This lesson examines potential benefits, risks, and ethical concerns of designer drugs.

Why Teach Bioethics?

Description: An article exploring why it is important for teachers to incorporate bioethics in their classrooms and links to additional resources.