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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.

Population Genetics (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: In this lesson, students simulate what happens to a population containing sickle cell trait carriers over several generations in the presence of a high, medium, or low incidence of malaria. Students analyze class data to understand trends in each population and the selective forces at play. Students also review and discuss real-world data.

Population Genetics of Plant Pathogens

Description: Population biology focuses on the biological processes that affect populations of organisms. Population biology is relevant to plant pathology because plant diseases are caused by populations of parasites. Explore concepts of gene mutation, genetic drift, gene flow and more through this series.

Retinoblastoma, Cystic Fibrosis, and Body Mass Index, Oh My! (PDF 196.72 KB, Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: Building on their intuitive understanding of twin study correlations, students analyze subsets of data to determine how strong the environmental and genetic influences are for three different traits/conditions. Students use mean, standard deviation, and Pearson correlation coefficient to describe and make meaning of their data. They also graph their data and correlations, and compare the results from their subset of data to the results of a group using a different subset of the data.

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

Can you taste PTC? (PDF 1,989.26 KB, Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: In this lesson, students use a Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP) kit to determine their genotype for the TAS2R38 gene. While waiting for their results, students also test their PTC tasting ability (phenotype). The class then analyzes both phenotype and genotype data to determine which allele is the taster allele and which allele is the non-taster allele.

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.

Debating the Ethical and Legal Implications of Genetic Testing (PDF 904.59 KB, Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: Students explore the difference between ethical and legal issues and use an analytical framework to work through an ethical scenario before researching and debating two genetic testing scenarios. Additional chapters from DNA: Promise and Peril (McCabe, Linda L. and McCabe, Edward R.B. Regents of the University of California Press, 2008.) provide a starting point for their research.

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?

Extracting DNA (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: In this lesson, students develop understanding of DNA by modeling the process of DNA extraction.

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

How does genotyping work? (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: Students learn about DNA extraction, PCR, restriction digest, and gel electrophoresis through a combination of virtual labs and class discussion. Students learn about the TAS2R38 gene which is involved in the ability to taste bitter foods. Students perform simple bioinformatics using primer sequences and allele sequences of TAS2R38.

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.

Introduction to Genetically Modified Organisms (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: Students take a pre-test to help the instructor guage pre-existing knowledge and attitudes about genetic modification. After a presentation on the basics of recombinant DNA technology, students read an article about genetically modified foods that presents both the benefits and concerns this use of recombinant DNA technology has brought up. Students then work in small groups reading articles that go more in depth about either a pro or con of GMOs. After each group briefly presents the arguments for or against GMOs from their article, students are asked to write an opinion paper for homework.

Is it Genetically Modified? (PDF 198.25 KB, Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: Students are introduced to and asked to think about the procedures used to detect GMO foods, namely PCR and gel electrophoresis. In small groups, student then get to test foods brought from home for the presence of GMO ingredients using the Bio-Rad GMO Investigator Kit. At every step of the way, students are asked to think about why each step is important. Finally, students must analyze and interpret their experimental results, write a comprehensive lab report, present their findings to their classmates.

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.

Risks and Benefits (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: This lesson provides students with an opportunity to further their understanding of the risks and benefits associated with innovations in science and technology.

Spot the Difference - Zebrafish (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: Step into the shoes of a genetic scientist and carry out a phenotype analysis with the model organism, zebrafish.

Technological Advances in Health (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: Students will learn how technology influences human existence by examining the benefits and risks of different biotechnological advances.

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

Cell Differentiation and Gene Expression (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: This lesson uses the example of cell differentiation to introduce the concept of differential gene expression.

Cells 2: The Cell as a System (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: In this lesson, students review cell structures and investigate how the components of a cell operate as a system.

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 (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: This lesson helps students develop an understanding of mitosis.

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

Description: A PowerPoint presentation on mitosis

The Invisible Kingdom (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: This lesson helps students develop an understanding of the characteristics and diversity of microbial life. Readings prompt discussions a variety of topics ranging from antibiotic resistance to horizontal gene transfer.

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

Short Tandem Repeats...and Murder! (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: The lesson plan guides students through PCR and gel electrophoresis simulations for six short tandem repeat (STR) loci. They use their data to solve a murder.

Short Tandem Repeats...and Murder! (Short Version) (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: This lesson plan involves solving a murder case through analysis of short tandem repeat (STR) loci of forensic DNA samples.

Take the Case: Chain of Evidence (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: Students will use the interactive Take the Case - Chain of Evidence to investigate a crime scene and analyze evidence, interview suspects, and solve the case.

Using QR Codes in Forensic Science (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: In this lesson, students use mobile technology and knowledge of forensic science to research a crime case.

DNA, Genes, Chromosomes

Analyzing Chromosomes (PDF 7,056.8 KB, Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: Students learn about chromosome analysis by completing a partial karyotype and assess the karyotype for anomalies. Students practice sharing bad news to parents.

Cell Differentiation and Gene Expression (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: This lesson uses the example of cell differentiation to introduce the concept of differential gene expression.

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.

Cracking the Genetic Code (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: This lesson explores what the knowledge of DNA can tell us about ourselves and other organisms and species.

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

Do you have good taste? (PDF 173.5 KB, Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: Students explore their sense of taste by recording the taste sensations detected when standardized solutions are applied to different areas of their tongue. Students learn that their genotype for certain genes influences their tasting phenotype through the processes of transcription and translation of the genes to produce taste receptor proteins.

Environmental Factors, Inducible Promoters, and Gene Expression (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: Students explore how changes in gene expression are induced by environmental conditions. The lesson plan involves a bacterial transformation experiment, discussion on skin tanning, and a presentation assignment on regulated gene expression.

Extracting DNA (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: In this lesson, students develop understanding of DNA by modeling the process of DNA extraction.

Genetic Timeline (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

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

Genomics and Human Identity (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: Bring genomics to life for your high school students with this lesson plan. The lessons encourage hands-on, inquiry-based learning and include genomic concepts and research projects.

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.

Measuring Gene Expression (PDF 1,317.88 KB, Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: Students come up with an experimental design to test 1) that different cell types from the same person result from differences in gene expression OR 2) that tanning is result of skin cells changing their gene expression. Students complete a virtual lab that introduces them to microarray technology. Macromodel Microarrays are used in small groups to measure the gene expression for cancerous versus normal breast tissue, and each group must make a treatment recommendation based on the gene expression results.

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

Sequence Bracelets

Description: In this activity you can make a bracelet of DNA sequence from organisms including a human, chimpanzee, butterfly, carnivorous plant or flesh-eating bacteria.

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.

Yummy Gummy DNA

Description: Make your own edible DNA double helix out of sweets.

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

The Mystery of Calico Cats (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: In this lesson, students explore the genetics and epigenetics behind calico cats. Using sex-linked Punnett squares, students must determine what the genotype for coat color is for calico cats. The class then discusses why dosage compensation for the X chromosome is necessary in females and how that relates to the patchy appearance and female sex of calico cats.

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

Bird Beaks (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: In this lesson, students will explore the relationship between a birds beak and its ability to find food and survive in a given environment.

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

Comparing Species through the Fossil Record (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: In this lesson, students begin to understand how physical features noted in the fossil record provide clues about the evolution of species.

Comparing Theories - Lamarck and Darwin (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: This lesson provides an opportunity for students to compare the theories of two historically important evolutionary scientists: Jean Baptiste Lamarck and Charles Darwin.

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 (PDF 18,899.51 KB, 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.

Exploring Learned and Innate Behavior (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: This lesson explores the differences and similarities between innate and learned behavior and skills among humans and monkeys.

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.

Feathers - The Evolution of a Natural Miracle (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: This lesson will help students learn more about the predictive power of scientific theories and fossil evidence by studying the evolution of feathers.

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

Genetic Variation within the One Human Race (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: Through this lesson, students will understand the pattern of genetic variation among humans.

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.

Introduction to Natural Selection (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: This lesson is an introduction to natural selection.

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

Nowhere to Hide (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: Through the use of an interactive activity, this lesson focuses on the concept of natural selection.

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.

Population Genetics (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: In this lesson, students simulate what happens to a population containing sickle cell trait carriers over several generations in the presence of a high, medium, or low incidence of malaria. Students analyze class data to understand trends in each population and the selective forces at play. Students also review and discuss real-world data.

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.

Preserving Health through Biological Diversity (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: This lesson advances student understanding of why diversity within and among species is important.

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

Sun, Natural Selection, and Skin Color (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: In this lesson, students explore how the intensity of the sun at different latitudes has contributed to variations in human skin color.

Teaching Materials: Understanding Evolution

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

The History of Evolutionary Theory (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: This lesson provides high-school students with an introduction to a more detailed study of evolution by focusing on the historical origins of Darwin theory and the ideas that came before it.

The Teacher-Friendly Guide™ to Evolution Using Bivalves as a Model Organism

Description: A guide providing teachers with background information to support existing curricula and aid in teaching the concept of evolution.

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

Cancer Risks (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: In this lesson students examine environmental and hereditary factors that increase the chance of developing cancer.

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

Exploring Twin Studies (PDF 1,037.91 KB, Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: In this lesson, students are challenged to brainstorm traits and conditions for which they think there is evidence of both environmental and genetic influence. After reading about those influences in type II diabetes, students are challenged to come up with a study design that allows them to determine the relative contribution of environment and genetics for any given trait/condition. Finally, students are introduced to the most common design used for this purpose, the twin study. Students gain an intuitive understanding of how the correlations from twin studies are interpreted to reveal the relative strength of genetic and environmental influences on a trait or condition.

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

Genomics and Human Identity (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: Bring genomics to life for your high school students with this lesson plan. The lessons encourage hands-on, inquiry-based learning and include genomic concepts and research projects.

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

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

Inheriting Sickle Cell Anemia (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: Students learn about the most commonly inherited mutation in hemoglobin beta that causes sickle cell anemia. Students learn how to construct a pedigree from family history information, will practice generating RNA and protein sequences from a DNA sequence, and will connect changes in DNA sequence to changes in protein behavior to symptoms of an inherited disease.

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

KRAS: Cancer Mutation (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: Use real genomic data to find mutations in a gene associated with pancreatic, lung and colorectal cancers.

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.

Population Genetics (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: In this lesson, students simulate what happens to a population containing sickle cell trait carriers over several generations in the presence of a high, medium, or low incidence of malaria. Students analyze class data to understand trends in each population and the selective forces at play. Students also review and discuss real-world data.

Race and Genes (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: Visible traits of the human phenotype associated with specific races are influenced by a common set of genes all humans share, the genome, and environmental interactions. Culture determines how they are perceived.

Retinoblastoma, Cystic Fibrosis, and Body Mass Index, Oh My! (PDF 196.72 KB, Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: Building on their intuitive understanding of twin study correlations, students analyze subsets of data to determine how strong the environmental and genetic influences are for three different traits/conditions. Students use mean, standard deviation, and Pearson correlation coefficient to describe and make meaning of their data. They also graph their data and correlations, and compare the results from their subset of data to the results of a group using a different subset of the data.

Skin Cancer 1 - Exposing Healthy Skin to the Sun (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: Students develop an understanding of the science behind keeping skin healthy.

Skin Cancer 2 - Types, Prevention, and Detection (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: In this lesson, students develop an understanding of skin cancer and its different types, how it can be detected, and how it can be prevented.

Sun and Skin (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: Students discuss what they already know about the impact sun exposure has on their skin and what they typically do to protect themselves, if anything.

Symptoms of a Mystery Disease (PDF 305.56 KB, Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: tudents read a description of a patient with a mysterious disease and must decide what tests might help them understand the disease. Then, they investigate how the patient's oddly shaped blood cells (discovered in a blood test) lead to his symptoms.

Technological Advances in Health (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: Students will learn how technology influences human existence by examining the benefits and risks of different biotechnological advances.

The Chernobyl Disaster (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: Students explore how a nuclear accident can affect biological systems.

The Science of Cancer (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: A collection of lesson plans, tool, science updates, and videos about cancer and cancer research.

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

Variation in Human Skin Color (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: In this lesson, students explore the factors that control variation in human skin color and the implications of this information for human society.

Who Gets Sick? (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: Students learn that disease is influenced by genetic factors. They also learn about how the likelihood of inheriting gene mutations for a particular disease is linked to the branches of the human family tree from which one descends.

Heredity/Inheritance Patterns

A Mendel Seminar (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: Students learn about Gregor Mendel. Mendel discovered the process of biological evolution, how recessive and dominant traits are passed on.

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

Asparagus Odor

Description: Chances are there is a kind of food you like that at least one friend finds disgusting, and vice versa. The same goes for smells. And while many factors undoubtedly affect our personal tastes, this Science Update examines how scientists are learning that things simply smell and taste different to different people.

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

Can you taste PTC? (PDF 1,989.26 KB, Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: In this lesson, students use a Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP) kit to determine their genotype for the TAS2R38 gene. While waiting for their results, students also test their PTC tasting ability (phenotype). The class then analyzes both phenotype and genotype data to determine which allele is the taster allele and which allele is the non-taster allele.

Complex Trait Genetics (PDF 2,053.35 KB, Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: The lesson begins with students contrasting histograms of a discrete trait (sex) and a continuous trait (height). Students then explore polygenic inheritance of height with a three-gene system, in the process modeling segregation of alleles and independent assortment during meiosis, as well as sexual reproduction. Finally, students discuss limitations of their model and add environmental influences.

Constructing a Pedigree (PDF 360.58 KB, Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: This lesson uses the Simpsons to introduce the utility of pedigrees in studying family health. Students then apply their knowledge by acting as genetic counselors to construct and analyze a pedigree based on a case study of new or perspective parents who are concerned about the health of their child. As homework, students also have the opportunity to apply pedigree construction to their own family health history.

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.

Exploring Twin Studies (PDF 1,037.91 KB, Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: In this lesson, students are challenged to brainstorm traits and conditions for which they think there is evidence of both environmental and genetic influence. After reading about those influences in type II diabetes, students are challenged to come up with a study design that allows them to determine the relative contribution of environment and genetics for any given trait/condition. Finally, students are introduced to the most common design used for this purpose, the twin study. Students gain an intuitive understanding of how the correlations from twin studies are interpreted to reveal the relative strength of genetic and environmental influences on a trait or condition.

Gene Puzzles (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: In this lesson, students will examine a fictional pedigree and determine which gene is responsible for a given trait

Gene You: Genetics and Inheritance

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

Genes, Environments, and Behavior (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: This lesson focuses on how behavior is defined by scientists and on the genetic and environmental forces that interact to shape behavior.

Genes, Environments, and Behavior 2 (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: This lesson helps students understand how scientists study the genetic and environmental factors that interact to produce variation in behavior across a population.

Genetic Lesson Plan Ideas

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

Genomics and Human Identity (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: Bring genomics to life for your high school students with this lesson plan. The lessons encourage hands-on, inquiry-based learning and include genomic concepts and research projects.

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 Complex Inheritance (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: At the beginning of this lesson, students' prior understanding of non-Mendelian (complex) inheritance, the nature of genetic information, and how genetic information can be used is assessed using a Genetic Pretest and a creative writing assignment. Then, students learn about some of the many complexities of inheritance of non-Mendelian 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

Nature and Nurture (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: In this lesson, students develop an understanding of the role both nature and nurture play in determining human traits.

Pets - Oh Behave (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: This lesson helps students develop an understanding of how innate and learned behaviors and the environment determine behavior.

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

Race and Genes (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: Visible traits of the human phenotype associated with specific races are influenced by a common set of genes all humans share, the genome, and environmental interactions. Culture determines how they are perceived.

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

Sex Determination (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: This lesson explores sex determination in mammals. Students first share their conceptions about the genetics of sex determination, then using normal and abnormal human karyotypes, students hone in on their hypothesis. The case of XY females is used to explain the presence of the SRY gene on the Y chromosome, which must produce active protein in order for a male to develop. The lesson ends by exploring other sex-determination systems in animals and their similarities and differences.

Sex-Linked Inheritance (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: In this lesson, students take on the role of scientists as they explore the results of T.H. Morgan's famous white-eyed flies experiment. Students construct Punnett squares for different hypotheses in order to determine which hypothesis fits Morgan's actual results. Students work toward an understanding that white eyes in flies are an X-linked recessive trait. They explore the hallmarks of this type of sex-linked inheritance as well as the much rarer types, X-linked dominant and Y-linked.

The Chernobyl Disaster (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: Students explore how a nuclear accident can affect biological systems.

The Mystery of Calico Cats (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: In this lesson, students explore the genetics and epigenetics behind calico cats. Using sex-linked Punnett squares, students must determine what the genotype for coat color is for calico cats. The class then discusses why dosage compensation for the X chromosome is necessary in females and how that relates to the patchy appearance and female sex of calico cats.

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

Variation in Human Skin Color (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: In this lesson, students explore the factors that control variation in human skin color and the implications of this information for human society.

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

Who Gets Sick? (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: Students learn that disease is influenced by genetic factors. They also learn about how the likelihood of inheriting gene mutations for a particular disease is linked to the branches of the human family tree from which one descends.

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.

Cracking the Genetic Code (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: This lesson explores what the knowledge of DNA can tell us about ourselves and other organisms and species.

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.

Debating the Ethical and Legal Implications of Genetic Testing (PDF 904.59 KB, Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: Students explore the difference between ethical and legal issues and use an analytical framework to work through an ethical scenario before researching and debating two genetic testing scenarios. Additional chapters from DNA: Promise and Peril (McCabe, Linda L. and McCabe, Edward R.B. Regents of the University of California Press, 2008.) provide a starting point for their research.

Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Testing (196 KB, Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: Students explore common complex traits and diseases by creating a FAQ sheet about a trait or disease listed in their fictitious 23andMe "Spit Kit" results. They also explore the caveats of the genetic testing offered by 23andMe for their trait or disease of interest, and in small groups, decide how relevant they think the results are. This leads to a class discussion about the benefits and drawbacks of direct-to-consumer genetic testing. Finally, students read about the pervasiveness of genetic determinism attitudes in modern society and the unethical behavior these attitudes have led to in the past.

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 from the Beginning

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

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 and Reproductive Issues - The Dilemma of Choice (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: This lesson introduces students to the ethical implications of using our growing knowledge about the human genome to improve our personal and public health.

Ethics Primer (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

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

Exploring Bioethics (PDF 7,386.92 KB, Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

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

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.

Genetic Timeline (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

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

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.

How does genotyping work? (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: Students learn about DNA extraction, PCR, restriction digest, and gel electrophoresis through a combination of virtual labs and class discussion. Students learn about the TAS2R38 gene which is involved in the ability to taste bitter foods. Students perform simple bioinformatics using primer sequences and allele sequences of TAS2R38.

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

MRSA Gene Hunt (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: Explore antibiotic resistannce by taking a closer look at the genomes of two strains of the bacterium, staphylococcus aureus.

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

Origami DNA (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: A classroom activity on the DNA double helix

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.

Risks and Benefits (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: This lesson provides students with an opportunity to further their understanding of the risks and benefits associated with innovations in science and technology.

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.

Sequence Bracelets

Description: In this activity you can make a bracelet of DNA sequence from organisms including a human, chimpanzee, butterfly, carnivorous plant or flesh-eating bacteria.

Stem Cell Research (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

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

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

Technological Advances in Health (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: Students will learn how technology influences human existence by examining the benefits and risks of different biotechnological advances.

Technology and Inequality (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: In this lesson, students become more familiar with different types of technology, and to understand that not all people have the same access to technology.

The Human Genome Project

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

The Illusion of Race (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: The goal of this lesson is to have students investigate both genetic and societal consequences of these often artificial and evolving classifications.

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

Thinnest Material

Description: Learn about the thinnest material in the world that was created using nanotechnology.

Variation in Human Skin Color (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: In this lesson, students explore the factors that control variation in human skin color and the implications of this information for human society.

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.

Women in Medicine - Past and Future (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: In this investigation, students will compare the careers of two women, a century apart, involved in medical research.

Yummy Gummy DNA

Description: Make your own edible DNA double helix out of sweets.