Genetics/Biotechnology Theme Page
This "Theme Page" has links to two types of resources related to the study of genetics/biotechnology. Students and teachers will find curricular resources (information, content...) to help them learn about this topic. In addition, there are also links to instructional materials (lesson plans) which will help teachers provide instruction in this theme. Please read our disclaimer.
- Designed for high school biology teachers, this site has tons of information
about genetics - articles, lessons, projects, activities, etc. The trick will
be in finding what you want. Try their search engine and be prepared to do
a lot of browsing.
Eric Lesson Plan Collection
- Use the search engine to find about 10 genetics lesson plans.
- In this 5-10 period web quest teaching unit, senior high students need
to invent a genetically engineered product and then write a report answering
a series of questions about their hypothetical new product (e.g., how they
did it, how it impacts on the plant/animal's habitat and life systems, how
it affects the environment, etc. ). Starting points for their web research
are provided and a teacher's guide is included.
- A wide range of tutorials and online problem sets designed for high school
and university biology students by the University of Arizona. Content in genetics
is covered in three sections: Human Biology, Mendelian Genetics, and Molecular
- In this lesson plan, grade 4-6 students will be introduced to the concept
of DNA and learn about its transcription into RNA and translation into proteins.
into the Gene Pool
- This exhibit from the Exploratorium in San Francisco covers information
in five broad areas: (1) DNA (2) Genetic relationships that link humans to
all animals and plants (3) Tools for decoding DNA (4) Sex and inheritance
(5) Points of view
The Instruction Manual for All Life
- Students can take an interactive tour where they learn about DNA, its structure,
composition, and location within human cells.
- In this web quest, students use the web to research their answer to the
question: "Should genetically engineered food crops be specially labelled
for consumers and why?" Classroom activities include drafting a law to address
the labelling of such food and debating the issue.
from the Beginning
- This is one of several fine genetics sites by the Dolan
DNA Learning Center , Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, New York. It brings
the full spectrum of web technologies to bear on DNA and genetics. The result
is visual genetics, easier for school students to learn.
- Grade 9-12 students use a Web site that is a companion piece to a three
part PBS series from wNetStation (a public television station in New York)
to investigate how dominant traits, genes, and DNA determine the physical
characteristics of a subject. Through the lesson, students will chart the
genetic characteristics of two sets of parents and answer questions about
the potential genetic makeup of their progeny. Student and teacher guides
- A ThinkQuest project by 3 high school students, this site has general information
about genetics including its history, a section on "applications" where students
can discover how genetics is used in everyday life, and a variety of interactive
activities including lab experiements, polls, quizzes and games.
- Explore this meta-list site on Genetics starting at its home page (above)
or go directly to some of its specific pages (below).
- 'Virtual FlyLab allows you play the role of a research geneticist. It is
an educational application for learning the principles of genetic inheritance.
You design matings between female and male fruit flies carrying one or a few
genetic mutations. After selecting the mutations for the two parent flies
and clicking the "Mate" button, you will be returned a document containing
the images of the parent and offspring flies. Virtual FlyLab will apply the
correct rules of genetic inheritance to these mutations to obtain the offspring.
It is your job to determine these rules based on the "experimental" results.'
Do We Inherit Our Biological Charactistics
- Shelly Peretz of Thornridge High School created this web site as a "command
post" for her students' exploration of human genetic disease. Students pick
an assignment from 8 topics (Cystic Fibrosis, Marfan Syndrome, Huntington's
Disease, Breast Cancer, Fragile X Syndrome, Hemophilia, Tourette Syndrome,
Sickle Cell Anemia), read an introduction to the disease, and then work through
a series of web links to learn more about the disease.
- The Human Genome Project is a 15-year effort to identify all the estimated
80,000 genes in human DNA, to determine the sequences of the 3 billion chemical
bases that make up human DNA, store this information in databases, and develop
tools for data analysis. Check out their basic information section for genetics
FAQs, a primer on molecular genetics, genetics terms, and more. The section
for teachers has research abstracts and teaching materials.
- "MendelWeb is an educational resource for teachers and students interested
in the origins of classical genetics, introductory data analysis, elementary
plant science, and the history and literature of science."
A Genetics Tutorial
- Morgan is a tutorial on genetics delivered through a multimedia format.
It is a simplified presentation of basic genetic principles appropriate for
an advanced high school class. (Netscape 3.0 highly recommended; plugins will
Natural History of Genes
- Here's a genetic science curriculum with hands-on activities and projects
designed for K-12 students. Topics include disease genetics, conservation
genetics, human diversity, forensics and DNA.
York Times Learning Network
- In these lesson plans, grade 6-12 students use a New York Times article
as a starting point for their explorations.
Around "Students review the concepts of cloning and genetic
engineering and participate in a round-table discussion based on the ethics
and potential of cloning. Each student then writes either an expository
or persuasive essay on a topic stemming from the cloning debate, including
information from an interview conducted with a 'specialist' on the selected
topic to support the thesis of the essay. "
the Genetic Code "Students investigate different purposes for
which scientists and others use and manipulate DNA. After reviewing the
structure and functions of DNA, students work in small groups to explore
topics related to the use or manipulation of DNA and the potential benefits
and problems of working with DNA in these ways."
into Iceland's Genetic Pool "Students investigate the ethical
issues surrounding the Decode project in Iceland. As the main class activity,
students will take the positions of the Icelandic government, scientific
researchers, and citizens and defend or refute the Decode project in a
Reykjavik town hall meeting."
Protocols: Practical Investigations for the School Laboratory
- The National Centre for Biotechnology Education provides lab activities
in downloadable PDF files.
on Molecular Genetics
- Topics in this primer include: DNA, Genes, Chromosomes, Mapping and Sequencing
the Human Genome, Physical Maps, Chromosomal map, High-Resolution Physical
Mapping, Contig maps: Bottom-up mapping, and many more.
Program Biology Index
- Teachers participating in the SMILE (Science and Mathematics Initiative
for Learning Enhancement) summer session programs each create a single concept
lesson plan. This database has 10 lessons in their section on Genetics. Caution:
Since there is a wide number of authors who have contributed to the database,
the detail and quality of the lesson plans will vary.
Bacterial ID Lab
- The Howard Hughes Medical Institute provides this Shockwave simulation of
a DNA sequencing lab. Students use the latest techniques and a real online
medical database to identify an unknown bacterium, from a snippet of its ribosomal
did You Get Those Ears?
- This lesson plan is intended for high school students who role play as
parents to follow their own, and some hidden lethal traits, through meiosis
and fertilization to the production of an imaginary child. Learning activities
also include the development of their child's physical description and the
composition of a set of questions to a fictional genetics counsellor on any
lethal disorders that their child may have inherited.
Note: The sites listed above will serve as a source of curricular content in Genetics/Biotechnology. For other resources in Science (e.g., curricular content in Earth Science, General Science, Life Science, or Physical Science), or for lesson plans and theme pages, click the "previous screen" button below. Or, click here if you wish to return directly to the CLN menu which will give you access to educational resources in all of our subjects.n the "Previous Page" button below to go to our collection of educational resources.