Genetics Unit
by Frances Peagler

Objective: Students will gain an understanding of the similarities and differences amongst humans, specifically, and organisms in general. They will also gain an understanding of the mechanisms responsible for heredity .

Benchmark: Understand that human beings have many similarities and differences. The similarities make it possible for humans to reproduce and to donate blood.

Prior Knowledge: Students will have been exposed to concepts such as cell division of both somatic and sex cells, chromosomes, independent assortment and crossing over.

Getting Started: Students will work in cooperative learning groups. They will pick out of a hat one of the following types of organisms: humans, birds, fish etc. (Perhaps the students can produce a list of different organisms for this assignment.)

Assignment One: The students will make a poster showing the diversity of organisms in their group.

Students in each group will then work independently to develop a hypothesis explaining why these organisms are similar and why they are different. The students will then rejoin their groups and discuss their hypothesis. It is their responsibility to come up with a group explanation, which will be presented, to the class.

Journal entry: What do you want to know about the similarities and differences between organisms?

Assignment Two: Students are to research their explanations using the text the Internet and the library. They are to revise their hypothesis, if necessary.

H.W.: Define all key terms. What, in your own words do these terms mean to you?

Assignment Three: Group discussion/teacher presentation of key concepts

Assignment Four: Students are to develop questions, with different levels of complexity to use in a game of jeopardy. The group that answers the most questions correctly will receive extra credit points on the next test.

Assignment Five: Lab on "The Genetics of Parenthood"- Making a Baby. Introduce the concept of probability.

Rubric: group participation, completed assignment (chart) completed accurately and questions answered in a way that shows an understanding of concepts and terminology), and completed drawing

H.W.: Create a song using key terms and concepts of genetics (rap, rock blues Etc).

Assignment Six: Present song to the class.

Student Critique: Students will be given specific guidelines on how to grade songs.

Rubric: 3 points- are 8 out of ten key terms used, were the concepts used appropriately, did you learn anything from this piece/did it make sense, was it creative/have rhythm.

Assignment Seven: Cooperative learning groups. Students will be given a genetic disorder to investigate and present to class Ex. Hemophilia, Tay Sachs, Sickle Cell Anemia, etc. This will be presented to class.

Assignment Eight: Pedigree presentation.

H.W.: Students will pick a trait (such as attached earlobes) and do a family pedigree. Poster presentation

Assignment Nine: The students will read the article on "The science of cloning". Cross-room debate on the pros and cons.

H.W.: Essay on the pros and cons of making a "shopping list" of traits for your future children.