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This lesson provided by:
Author:Antwuan Stinson
System: College/University
School: Alabama State University
Lesson Plan ID: 33259

DNA/Genetics through Protein Synthesis


In this lesson, we will be challenged to find the answers to various questions about DNA and how it is associated with genetics. Questions will be prompted and proctored through Voicethread. This activity will take place through a series of teacher prepared questions related to the basic structure of DNA. From here questions will move to the relationship between DNA and RNA and finally the relationship between DNA and its role in genetics. The outcome of this lesson will be that students will garner a deeper understanding of what DNA is and how it affects them on a microscopic level through a macroscopic level. At the conclusion of the lesson students will be challenged to write an original response to the essential question of "what is genetics and how does it affect me" as viewed through the lens of the DNA molecule.

This is a College- and Career-Ready Standards showcase lesson plan.

Content Standard(s):
SC(7) 10. Identify differences between deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and ribonucleic acid (RNA).
ELA2015(7) 11. Determine two or more central ideas in a text and analyze their development over the course of the text; provide an objective summary of the text. [RI.7.2]
ELA2015(7) 16. Compare and contrast a text to an audio, video, or multimedia version of the text, analyzing each medium's portrayal of the subject (e.g., how the delivery of a speech affects the impact of the words). [RI.7.7]
Local/National Standards:  
Primary Learning Objective(s):

This lesson will begin at the Bloom's Revised Taxonomy levels of remembering and understanding in the early rounds of questioning. As questions become more complex students will be pushed to analysis; they will be challenged with questions where there is less of a clearly defined answer and will have to reason through what they know and can deduce in order to come to a suitable answer. At the end of the lesson students will work cooperatively to evaluate different scenarios where DNA and genetics intersect to decide what options would be the best. Possible prompts will involve mapping out the human genome and the ethics of this, taking the genome to learn about possible genetic disorders that individuals might have, and ethics of cloning and stem cells. Students will end the lesson by creating original responses to open-ended questions that cover various topics in current genetics and medical fields.

Additional Learning Objective(s):  
Approximate Duration of the Lesson: 31 to 60 Minutes
Materials and Equipment:

Paper and writing utensils will be needed for the conclusion of the lesson. During the lesson dry erase markers, white boards, and erasers will be needed to help with writing down student responses to each of the questions. A timer will also be used to help track the amount of time given to find an answer for each of the questions during the game.

Technology Resources Needed:

Technology to be used will include: computers, iPads, video conferencing (Voicethread), and the interactive whiteboard.



Teacher should be come acquainted with the websites and how to use the process from DNA transcription through protein synthesis.  Look at the Extension section for a detailed description of the process.

  1. Genetics Webquest: During this lesson a webquest was used to help students gain background knowledge on DNA's structure and some of the basic ideas of what it does. This lesson implemented computers as opposed to iPads so that students could use the flash player to watch videos that gave information on the subject matter while they answered related questions.
  2. Punnett Square Reinforcement: In a lesson reviewing how to create Punnett Squares, I used technology to aid in the differentiation of instruction. All students used iPads to help with this. First they used a youtube video to rehash the process of making Punnett Squares. Then, based on their various extra assignments they had to use a variety of different web sources to find assistance with parts of the process they were struggling with.
  3. During a third lesson response system may be used to do formative assessments throughout a lesson. At the end of this lesson, give a hard copy of a quiz to each student and have them answer questions through the response system. This will allow for immediate feedback for each student and provide q quick formative grading process.

Attachments:**Some files will display in a new window. Others will prompt you to download. WebtoolPresentationRubric.doc
Assessment Strategies:

Use the attached rubric to assess student performance and participation


My before activating strategy will be a "High Five!". I will have a diagrammed hand projected on the interactive board. In each finger, write one key word about the topic of discussion for the day and the students will have 2-3 minutes to write what they know from previous classes about each of the terms. This will help to preview what will be involved in the lesson and will also get students thinking about what they can remember about DNA and genetics to date.

During the lesson play a fact finding type of interactive game. Use the website/link ( as a source of discussions.  Continue to demonstrate protein synthesis using the web resource  After demonstrating how to build a DNA molecule, divided the students into teams of 4-6. Each team will have iPads/computers at their table in order to complete the Voicethread to describe the process of DNA transcription through protein synthesis.  The teacher should be prepared to ask probing questions that increase in complexity throughout the lesson. After each question is asked students will work at their tables to find an answer online for each question. Once the answers have been found, students will write their responses on a whiteboard along with a citation for where they found the information to share on Voicethread. This will allow for an ELA tiein to citations and the importance of giving credit to authors to avoid plagiarism. After each question is completed the teacher will give a concise explanation of the answer. Each round will have increasingly difficult questions that move further up the Bloom's Revised Taxonomy. At the end of the game students will be questioned about their DNA discoveries and any details that students have will be answered.

After all questioning has ended the lesson will be concluded with a writing portion. Students will use the various sources they have found to aid in answering the essential question for the lesson and an opinionated question that relates to ethics of DNA and how it is used in genetics on Voicethread. Questions may include issues of cloning, stem cells, mapping of the genome, or potential other topics.


Special education students will receive accommodations by working in small group throughout the lesson. They will have peers to help them write out their responses to questions during the game portion of the lesson and by working in small group will be able to participate more fully in the game than if they were to be isolated. Special education students will also be given additional time, either an extended timeline or the option to respond at home, for the free response portion of the lesson. Non-reading students will be asked about their thoughts to the free response questions orally in small group with the teacher.

Each area below is a direct link to general teaching strategies/classroom accommodations for students with identified learning and/or behavior problems such as: reading or math performance below grade level; test or classroom assignments/quizzes at a failing level; failure to complete assignments independently; difficulty with short-term memory, abstract concepts, staying on task, or following directions; poor peer interaction or temper tantrums, and other learning or behavior problems.

Presentation of Material Environment
Time Demands Materials
Attention Using Groups and Peers
Assisting the Reluctant Starter Dealing with Inappropriate Behavior

Be sure to check the student's IEP for specific accommodations.
Variations Submitted by ALEX Users:
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