This is unlike anything you’ve ever done with students. When students come back to visit (even years later), this is the project they remember. All materials and resources are editable.
In this project, each student will find an egg in the classroom. The egg will contain a unique genome, which encodes 10 or 11 traits. Students will learn to identify and decode the genes (protein synthesis), produce a dragon with unique traits (paper planes – wing size, body length, color, weight, behaviors, etc.), and a population of dragons will compete in a series of activities to simulate the competition organisms encounter in an ecosystem. They will tally the survival of each, and determine, through simple statistical analysis, if certain traits affect the likelihood of a dragon to survive (fantastic intro, or reinforcement of evolution by natural selection. Students will then select mates, produce gametes (through meiosis), and produce offspring (through fertilization). It can serve as a seamless transition into genetics as well. Students learn these challenging concepts through hands-on, inquiry based, student centered activities. This is my students favorite project for the entire year.
This Product comes with the following resources:
1. Detailed Lesson Plans, which describe the sequence for 3 weeks of student-centered, project-based, hands-on learning
2. 71-Slide Powerpoint Notes aligned to the Lesson Plan sequence, with images, video links, anticipatory sets, and visual directions to help students through this rigorous project. The Powerpoint can be edits to differentiate for different levels of difficulty.
3. 24 unique dragon genomes, each containing 20-22 genes (coding for ten traits). You get two sets of each genome, differentiated for different learners.
4. Karyotyping worksheet, to produce a karyotype from the dragons’ genomes.
5. Notes on Genes, Protein synthesis, Meiosis, and Fertilization; This project is a fantastic way to reinforce, or lead into, evolution by natural selection.
6. Printable templates for the physical dragons (paper planes), with a video link showing exactly how to fold them, and fly them.
7. Detailed directions for six different competitions (games) to simulate a population of organisms competing to survive
8. Survival tally sheet, data input sheet (Google Sheets), Analysis of Dragon Survival Sheet with detailed directions on how to determine if the traits affect survival of the dragons.
9. Mini Dragon-Meiosis activity, which walks students through meiosis in a simple way
10. Printable materials to produce the Dragon Mating Poster; showing the process of meiosis and fertilization.
11. Detailed instructions for each activity, with answer keys, worksheets, and more
12. Link to a video “Why Sex?” and video questions.
13. A challenging 25-question quiz, which requires students to implement the skills they learned throughout the long-term project.
14. A Protein Synthesis and mutation review practice packet with answers
FOR A SHORT TIME, THIS ITEM IS PRICED LOW. THE PRICE WILL INCREASE SOON.
"Dragon Meiosis Activity" is a quick-and-easy activity that walks students through the basics of meiosis. It is included in this bundle, but can also be purchased separately.
Get it here: Dragon Meiosis Activity
You can use a helpful Unit Bundle before implementing this one , which offers all you need to teach a Unit on DNA for students grades 7-12.
Get it here: DNA Unit Bundle
"Evidence for Evolution: Stations Lab" explores six lines of evidence that support evolution by natural selection. Each line of evidence is its own station, and students use inquiry to complete the lab.
Get it here: Evidence for Evolution Stations Lab
A. NEXT GENERATION SCIENCE STANDARDS HEREIN
DCI’s: PS1.B Chemical Reactions
LS1.A Structure and Function
LS1.B Growth and Development
LS2.D Social Interactions and Group Behavior
LS3. Heredity: Inheritance and Variation
LS4.B Natural Selection
Cross Cutting Concepts: Patterns, Cause and Effect, Scale, Proportion, and Quantity, Systems and System Models, Structure and Function, Stability and Change
Scientific and Engineering Practices:
Planning and Carrying Out Investigations, Analyzing and Interpreting Data, Developing and Using Models, Using Mathematical and Computational Thinking, Engaging in Arguments from Evidence
B. SUGGESTED USES
Prior Knowledge: This can be used with a basic understanding of DNA and genes. It can serve as a follow-up to evolution by natural selection, or can lead into it. It also can lead into genetics seamlessly.
Implementing the Lesson:
This mult-topic, long-term (2 to three week) plan comes with detailed lesson plans to help you implement the unit(s) easily. Your students will love you for doing this unique long-term project.
This is my students favorite project of the year. If yours liked it, there are more like this at my TpT store:
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