Genetics Teacher Resources

Find Genetics educational ideas and activities

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Biology buffs simulate how genetic markers are passed among populations in order to understand how these markers can help anthropologists map human migration. A couple of volunteers leave the room while you walk the remaining learners through the simulation. The volunteers come back into the classroom and track what happened based on symbols recorded throughout the simulation. A very visual demonstration of how genes are passed along!
How might genetic testing impact and transform the nature of athletic sports? After reading a New York Times article on genetic testing for children to determine athletic ability, class members are broken into groups and take on the roles of parents, students, and doctors in various hypothetical scenarios involving such testing. They then draw on their conversations and reading to have a discussion on the usefulness and possible consequences of genetic testing to predict performance.
The highlight of this lesson is a 53-minute investigative video, Can Science Stop Crime?" The question asked is whether or not aggressive behavior is caused by genetic factors. The answer has to do with genetic complexity, the concept that many genes contribute to some of our traits. After watching, reading, and learning, junior geneticists analyze the bioethics revolving around genetic testing.
If you knew that you were likely to develop Alzheimer's disease in your future, how would it affect your life in the meantime? This and other similar thought-provoking questions are discussed in a lesson about the availability of consumer-style genetic testing. The topic is a springboard for a role-playing activity in which groups present arguments for or against direct-to-consumer genetic tests.
Your class will read an overview of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, passed in 2008 and address the question of whether or not genetic information should be used to influence our career paths. In jigsaw style, they then are given different news articles to read and teach to others in the class. The different disorders highlighted include: narcolepsy, sickle cell, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, and more.
Trace simple genetic patterns of inheritance through a small population. Your students create a family pedigree that traces a genetic condition through several generations.
In The Hunger Games novel and movie, a futuristic, dystopian society is the setting. In it, a genetically engineered bird escapes control of the government. Using this as a starting point, teenagers examine the realistic possibility of do-it-yourself biology by reading a newspaper article about it. Discussion points and comprehension questions are provided for you, as well as links to the scientific background involved. This is sure to engage your biology class or your engineering class.
Students examine the genetics involved in the human genome. They brainstorm the advantages and disadvantages to this discovery. They research different experts opinion and write a case study which addresses an ethical dilemma.
To prepare for an informed discussion of some of the issues involved in the controversy surrounding the regulation of genetic testing, class members read an annotated article that details how the issue is presented in film and literature, an article that summarizes the basic arguments for and against regulation, and study a fact sheet. Using the provided information, individuals develop their personal stance on the issue.
The controversy surrounding GMOs is food for debate. With the abundance of articles that can be garnered from various media sources, a skill-building activity that teaches learners how to carry on a balanced, informed discussion of this and other hot-button topics is essential. After reading a summary of some arguments for and against developing more genetically modified foods, individuals craft two statements supporting and two statements opposing this biotechnological research.
High schoolers study genetic manipulations and identify the solutions that could help to solve a problem.  In this genetics lesson students divide into groups and research genetics for a debate. 
Comprehend that many human characteristics-all physical traits and possibly many personality traits-are determined by our genetic makeup. These activities demonstate that all physical traits are genetically determined, some evidence shows that certain personality traits are determined by conditions and events that occur after a person's birth.
Students examine and discuss different current issues related to genetics, such as cloning, GMOs, etc. They research current articles and brainstorm concepts related to genetics.
High schoolers study genetics by role playing.  In this genetics lesson students play the role of a doctor and interpret genetic test results. 
High schoolers examine genetic information that is within a cell.  In this genetics lesson students view videos on DNA and genes then explain a cells function. 
Students explore inheritance patterns of diseases. In this genetic lesson, students explain how recessive genes may cause human disorders. They identify and research five genetic disorders and present their findings to the class.
Students study genetics and how it correlates to disease.  In this investigative lesson students view videos on genetic testing and different diseases associated with genetics. 
Students explore how testing for particular genetic variations can help people to make decisions in lifestyle and health care choices. They analyze a Web-based case study, participate in class discussion, view video segments and formulate an opinion about genetic testing.
Students investigate public policy regarding genetic research and have formed an educated opinion on what they believe the government role should be.
Students spend the lesson reviewing for their Genetics exam. In groups, they compare and contrast the structures of DNA and RNA and discuss how DNA can cause mutations. To end the lesson, they share their knowledge on the contributions of various scientists to this field.