Are you getting bored of teaching the same Punnett Squares every year? Do you want to engage students at a higher level, and expose them to some of the more newly discovered genetic processes? This activity achieves that.
Brief: In this Next Generation Science Standards Aligned activity, students review the steps of protein synthesis, and are introduced to the mechanics of epigenetic changes. Students predict how methylation affects gene expression, and model gene expression in six different scenarios in mice, using manipulatives that are included in the download. Finally, students contrast traditional gene expression from epigenetic expression, by answering conclusion questions.
A. NEXT GENERATION SCIENCE STANDARDS HEREIN
DCI’s: LS1.A Structure and Function
LS1.B Growth and Development
LS1.D Information Processing
LS3: Inheritance and Variation of Traits
Cross Cutting Concepts: Patterns, Cause and Effect, Systems and System Models, Structure and Function, Stability and Change
Scientific and Engineering Practices:
Analyzing and Interpreting Data, Developing and Using Models, Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information
You can view/buy a complete Unit Bundle on Genetics by clicking below:
Buy it here: Genetics Unit Bundle
If you like this product, you may like "Giant Genetics Packet; a huge packet of practice problems, Punnett Squares, and more.
Buy it here: NGSS Aligned:Giant Genetics Packet
This packet pairs great with An "Automatically Graded Genetics and Meiosis Test",where you can grade a 55-question online test with the click of a button, using Google Forms
Buy it here: Automatically Graded Genetics Test
You may also like "Test My Genes Lab", where students figure out their genotypes, and perform Punnett Squares.
Buy it here: Test My Genes Lab
If you like this product, you might like "Shamrock Genetics", where students learn about and practice Punnett Squares using Multiple Alleles Traits
Buy it here: Shamrock Genetics
B. SUGGESTED USES
Prior Knowledge: Students should have a basic understanding of DNA’s structure and function and genes. It is not necessary, but helpful to have been exposed to protein synthesis as well.
Implementing the Lesson:
Materials and Setup: The only materials students will need that are not included herein are scissors and glue. All the other materials required are included in this download. Printing the materials in color would be ideal (although I don’t have that option at my school). The teacher can provide brief instructions on how to begin, and then allow the students to work through the packets autonomously.
1. The teacher should hand out the 3 packets: The reading packet, the student packet, and the manipulatives packet. I tell students to think about this activity like a puzzle; they must use the packets, and materials in the packets, in order to figure out what trait is expressed in each of the six scenarios in the student packet.
2. Students should first read the “Reading Packet”, and then triangulate the information from the packet with the other packets in order to cut and paste the correct genes, mRNA transcripts, proteins, and traits for each of six scenarios in the “students packet”. Four of the six scenarios illustrate traditional gene expression, and two require students to methylate a gene, therefore silencing the trait (epigenetics).
3. Finally, students answer four conclusion questions at the end of the packet, reinforcing their understanding of gene expression, and the role that epigenetics plays in gene expression.
4. If you’d like to go further with epigenetics, there are many resources that can be found on the internet, including a NOVA Science Now video that explores the role that epigenetic changes play in identical twins.
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