This curriculum unit is designed to teach 9th or 10th grade students at the high school level. Every effort is made to motivate the students by attracting them to the many marvels of genetics, demonstrations and models of applied genetics, genetic engineering, genetic disorders, detecting genetic diseases thereby invoking their curiosity.
The teachers in the Junior High Schools can also use these plans directly or modify to the students’ levels and needs.
The aim here is to attract students initially and to hold their interest, while slowly introducing the terms, vocabulary and thought-provoking discussion questions without turning them off.
Genetics is only one section of biology and can be prEsented within a week or two and the curiosity of students are brought into focus in the development of this unit.
The search for Nature’s secrets can be an exciting story if presented in an orderly manner. The subject can be introduced with a sequence of events that builds on mendel’s experiments with Pea Plants, leading to an understanding of basic, genetic mechanisms—sex determination, gene function and mutation. The students learn that Mendel concluded from his experiments that traits from both parents are passed on to the next generation of offsprings and that there are dominant and recessive factors for each trait.
What Mendel noted as factors are now called genes. These genes are located on the chromosomes which are found in the nuclei of the cells.
With the aid of models and hands-on experience, students are taught that the chromosomes are made up of long, coiled chemical chains known as DNA. During meiosis and mitosis, DNA is duplicated to make it possible for chromosomes and their genes to be transferred to new reproductive cells and body cells.
Vocabulary and genetic terms can be introduced slowly-heredity, genotype, phenotype, homozygous, heterozygous, sex determination. (xx and xy chromosomes) sex linked traits in humans, etc.
The curriculum unit is divided into 5 capsule lessons; each of which is introduced with the aid of some attention-getting pictures, models, photos, diagrams, slides, videos, demonstrations or activity.
This will turn the students on so that motivation can be generated by relating the information from the lesson to the students’ self-interest. The students’ natural curiosity about how human heredity works should be discussed fully. Further discussions and prepared debates on topics such as
should be encouraged.
1. Probing students’ knowledge of identical twins, lively discussions can be initiated.
2. Using various color-blindness charts, projection slides or diagrams, color-blindness can be surveyed and discussed.
3. Blood typing kits may be available from some biological supply houses. These can be used to determine blood types of students.
Each lesson is designed in the form of a capsule lesson which includes objectives, activity, check up questions for classwork or homework and sometimes a crossword puzzle or vocabulary.
Objectives for each lesson plan are set forth in the beginning of that lesson.
List of References
A list of references for reading and addresses of videos, films and biological supply houses are given at the end of the curriculum unit.
Appendices at the end of this unit can be used to supplement the capsule lessons to initiate interest of students by incorporating diagrams, case-studies and graphs.