Most scientific knowledge begins with an observation by a curious individual. But science would not have progressed to have made the astounding discoveries that we find almost commonplace today, if the casual observation did not instigate further investigation.
Even a person lacking astute powers of observation will notice that family members frequently resemble each other in some manner. With most seventh grade students, however, such an observation stands on its own; it’s usually taken for granted-“Oh, it’s just that way”. Encouraged to step beyond the observation to investigate the mechanism on which the perceived resemblance is based, the seventh grader becomes the curious young scientist and is fascinated with his discoveries. On this premise, this unit has been developed.
This curriculum unit is designed to provide the seventh grade life science student with a basic knowledge of genetics to encourage the investigation of genes and the transmission of characteristics to succeeding generations in humans. To accomplish this task, students must possess a background on the cell. It is with this topic of cellular structure that my unit commences. With this knowledge of cell organelles and their functions mastered, I will progress to cell duplication in somatic cells and germ cells. The role of DNA, its arrangement in the gene will also be included. Certainly no unit on genetics and heredity would be complete without the early history of genetics with the findings of Mendel. My presentation will also include the topic of sex chromosomes and sex-linked traits. The topic of gene mutation will conclude the unit.
The content of this curriculum unit will include:objectives for each subtopic, background information for teachers and students, lesson plans and activities with emphasis on development of scientific vocabulary. A glossary of related terms, bibliographies for both teachers and students will conclude the unit.