This is a 6 page resource that walks students through a mutation simulation for 4 traits of an alien species known as "Narwhaligans". The mutations occur at random- using a coin, a die, and student birthdays. There are two versions: one with a DNA codon chart and one that uses an mRNA codon chart.
This simulation is used to help teach students about mutations and to clear up misconceptions they may have about mutations. However, this resource is not designed to serve as an introductory tool. Students should already possess background knowledge about mutations.
Students compare normal Narwhaligan DNA to DNA that has been changed by a mutation. Then, they determine if that change will result in a new protein or not. There are 11 conclusion and analysis questions that make a great discussion, as well. The conclusion portion of this activity is editable. Students are not building new organisms in this simulation, but rather altering DNA. Also emphasized is that the altered DNA can be passed on to offspring.
You may also be interested in:
Mutations PowerPoint presentation with student notes
Mutations Interactive Notebook Activities
2017 Vanessa Jason Biology Roots
For single classroom only; not to be shared publicly (do not create publicly accessible links).
Copying for more than one teacher, classroom, department, school, or district is prohibited. Failure to comply is a violation of the DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act).
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