Use this simulation activity in your genetics unit to help your students REALLY understand how DNA creates genetic diversity. It's hands-on, very engaging, and incorporates both math and art to demonstrate how four nucleotides can be combined to create the awesome diversity of life on earth. It directly addresses the Next Generation Science Standard: NGSS-MS-LS3
Before you continue reading, please note that this product is part of a larger bundle of heredity and genetics activities, simulations, and puzzles which you can see HERE The bundle will save you money over buying the products separately. Please take a look at what it contains before purchasing this product alone!
This is the lesson that had my students still intensely discussing genetics as they walked out the door at the end of class. I had math teachers come ask me what I’d done in class that had students asking them for help with calculating the possibilities!
It’s all done with colored pieces of paper to represent nucleotides. Students draw randomly selected “nucleotides” to create a code from which they draw a beetle. When their beetle is unlike any other beetle in the class, they begin to understand diversity. The reactions of your students when they figure out how many possible combinations of the paper “nucleotide” pieces there could be… is how you’ll know they really, finally, understand the awesome diversity in DNA.
You will need about 90-110 minutes for this simulation. It can easily be divided between two days of instruction, or completed in one extended block period. It’s best used when students have had instruction on the basic structure of DNA, and have been taught that A, T, C, and G create the “DNA code”.
You will receive:
• Instructions for the teacher
• Illustrated instructions for students
• Materials to copy for your students, with extra copies to provide alternatives if your school doesn’t allow color copies.
• Student Conclusions Report form with questions.
• An answer key for the Conclusions Report questions.
You will need:
• paper sacks (4 per student x the number of students in your biggest class. Reuse the bags for the other classes.)
• glue or glue sticks
• copies of the student pages
• red, blue, green, and yellow construction paper (if your school won’t allow you to make color copies from the original provided in the packet).
• colored pencils or crayons for the last half of the activity (day 2 if you split the simulation into two class periods).
This product contains duplicate versions. One version uses the American spelling of the word color. The other version uses the Australian/British/Canadian spelling of "colour".
Download the FREE preview to see samples from all the pages you will receive. You can do this activity tomorrow. It’s easy, fun, and effective!
You might also be interested in my guided graphic notes resources in this Structure of DNA Guided Graphic Notes Bundle
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