Biology

Lesson 1 -- DNA: Structure and Function

Lesson Plan

 

State Standards:

Life Science 6-8, Reproduction and Heredity: 7, 8, and 9

Essential Question:

How does the structure of DNA relate to its function?

Lesson Question:

What is the structure of DNA?

Introduction:

DNA, or deoxyribonucleic acid, is the fundamental building block for an individual's entire genetic makeup. It holds the genetic blueprint of the organism. It contains the genetic instructions used in the development and functioning of all known living organisms. Since this stuff is so key to life as we know it, what does it look like?

Task:

Investigate DNA structure by creating some models and learning the history of how its structure was determined.

Lesson Experiences:

origami template

YouTube DNA Origami

DNA Origami: how to fold a double helix

Congratulations, you have made the DNA “double helix” shape.

Now, it's time to make a more complex DNA model – as a pair, you will make one model. Get the materials from your teacher and use these

YouTube DNA Structure

DNA structure

Discovery of DNA Structure and Function: Watson and Crick

YouTube They Might Be Giants - Cells

YouTube They Might Be Giants - Cells

Assessment:

Study the three Wordles below and pick the one that best describes DNA.

Wordle 1:


Wordle 2:


Wordle 3:

With your partner, come up with your own DNA Wordle. Be creative! Use the rubric below to guide your work.

Wordle

Conclusion:

You have modeled the shape and structure of DNA. You created the double helix shape in your first activity and created a model of the sugar-phosphate backbone and base pair ladder rungs in your second model. Now, think about how the shape of this ladder with rungs of paired bases might make it particularly easy for DNA to make copies of itself.

Assessments:

 

You will be able to....

Strong

Good

Adequate

Inadequate

Weighting

demonstrate your understanding
of DNA structure

at least 6
structure related
terms are present
in a large font

4 or 5
structure related
terms are present
in a large font

3 structure
related terms
are present
in a large font

fewer than 3
structure related
terms are present
in a large font

20

come up with creative descriptions
of DNA structure

use 3 or more creative
terms in addition to the
scientific terms

use 2 creative
terms in addition
to scientific terms

use 1 creative
term in addition
to scientific terms

no creative terms
used to describe
the DNA structure

10

modify Wordle look and feel from
the basic default to something
more creative

color, font and layout
have all been thought-
fully chosen

two of color, font
and layout have
been modified

one of color, font
and layout have
been modified

no changes to
the default look
and feel were made

10

Group participation

all students contributed
to creating the Wordle
to the best of their
efforts

all students contributed
to creating the Wordle

only one student made
a substantial contribution
to creating the Wordle

neither student
applied much effort
in creating the Wordle

10

Resources:

Teacher Notes: