Curriculum Resources: Biology

CMS 7th Graders DNA Extraction Labhidden
CMS 7th Graders DNA Extraction Labhidden
Left: A CMS 7th Grader's DNA Keychain, Right: CMS 7th Graders Make A DNA Keychainhidden
CMS 7th Graders Use VMD To Learn About DNAhidden
CMS 7th Graders Use VMD To Learn About DNAhidden
CMS 7th Graders Use VMD To Learn About DNAhidden
CPLC Graduate Student Patrick Mears Shows Leal Elementary Student Her Finger On The Bio Bushidden
CMS 7th Graders DNA Extraction Labhidden
CPLC Teaching Fellow Janet Sheung Shows DMBGC Teens A Microscopic Worldhidden
CMS 7th Graders DNA Extraction Keychainhidden
CMS 7th Graders DNA Extraction Labhidden
Leal School Students View Algae On Slidehidden
Leal School Students View Swimming Algaehidden

1. "Exploring DNA and RNA Structure"
Provides a presentation to introduce DNA and RNA to advanced 7th graders and a coloring activity which will help students learn about DNA and RNA structure while also preparing them to view molecular structures in VMD using the CPK coloring scheme. This lesson is recommended as a precursor to the VMD nucleic acid lesson (lesson 2 below) and is intended for one 50 minute class period.

Classroom Presentation
Student Worksheet
Lesson Plan & Notes for Teachers
Assessment

2. "Exploring the Structure of DNA and RNA in VMD"
Builds on the previous lesson by using the molecular visualization software VMD to view nucleotides and small strands of DNA and RNA. This lesson requires at least one computer with VMD installed for every 3 students. It is very helpful if there is also a computer with an LCD projector attached for the teacher to demonstrate how to load and manipulate the molecules. This lesson is ideal when given two, 50 minute class periods, but it can be completed in one class period if the coloring activity above is done first and brought to the computer room as a key to help students along.

Student Handout
Lesson Plan & Notes for Teachers
Assessment

3. "Extracting DNA From Your Cells"
A lab (adapted from the Genetic Science Learning Center's "How to Extract DNA From Anything Living") in which students extract DNA from their own saliva using common household materials and then sore the precipitated DNA in clear microcentrifuge tubes strung up on necklace string. It is designed for one 50 minute class period.

Student Handout
Lesson Plan & Notes for Teachers
Assessment

4. "DNA Keychains: Spell Your Initials Using the Genetic Code!!!!"
An activity in which students translate their initials into DNA bases using the Genetic Code and then build the corresponding DNA molecule using colored beads to represent the different bases. The final structure is coiled around a pencil to create a double helix and strung onto a key ring for use as a colorful keychain! This lesson is designed for one class period, though students will likely need to finish the keychains at home.

Student Handout
Lesson Plan & Notes for Teachers
Assessment

5. "Cyan Fluorescent Protein (CFP) Expression Lab"
A lab in which students must determine whether the gene for Cyan Fluorescent Protein and the gene for Ampicillin resistance are located on the plasmid or the E. Coli genome. They use a transformation control and both Ampicillin and plain Agar plates to solve this problem. The lab is designed for one 50 minute class period, but you will need another 50 minute class period to introduce the lab and help students form their hypotheses. You may also need a 3rd class period for data analysis, or students can briefly check their results in class and write complete their data analysis worksheet as homework.

Student Handout
Lesson Plan & Notes for Teachers
Assessment

6. "RNA Polymerase: An Enzyme Caught in the Act!"
A VMD exploration of an actively transcribing RNA Polymerase. The lesson must be preceded by a discussion of proteins, protein and nucleic acid structure, and the genetic code. This lesson requires at least one computer with VMD installed for every 3 students. It is very helpful if there is also a computer with an LCD projector attached for the teacher to demonstrate how to load and manipulate the molecule. This lesson is designed for two 50 minute class periods.

Introduction to Proteins and RNA Polymerase
Student Handout
Lesson Plan & Notes for Teachers
Assessment

7. "Build Your Own Creature Using the Genetic Code" is an in-class activity in which students translate a long piece of DNA in order to determine the physical traits of a mythical creature that they will name and draw. This can be completed in one 50 minute class period, or as a homework assignment outside of class.

Student Handout
Lesson Plan & Notes for Teachers
Assessment