Students will begin the lesson by viewing a video clip that will explain the difference between classical and transgenic breeding of plants. Next, students will work in groups to identify common foods that contain genetically-modified organisms (GMOs). Students will further explore this concept by gathering and synthesizing information regarding the impact of genetically modified organisms on the appearance of desired traits in organisms. Lastly, students will engage in the "RAFT" writing strategy, by taking on the role of a farmer persuading their employees to consider the positive or negative impacts of genetically-modified food crops.
This lesson results from a collaboration between the Alabama State Department of Education and ASTA.
Cows have adapted to an incredible range of environments as they have provided people with milk, meat, leather, and draft power. As a response to the many uses and habitats of cattle, a wide variety of breeds have been developed. Breeders of beef and dairy cattle carefully select cows from known breeds that will yield the most meat and milk. In this video from Nature, learn about the most desirable traits in both beef and dairy cows.
In this lesson, students compare the processes of selective breeding and transgenic manipulation of plants. They consider the pros and cons of growing genetically modified crops. Then they explore the possible future consequences of genetically modified organisms. Finally, they analyze public opinion data about the use of genetically modified foods. As an optional activity, students explore genetics-inspired art and create their own artistic expressions about genetically modified foods.
The teacher will present an informational text from the website, ReadWorks. Students will interact with this non-fiction text by annotating the text digitally. The students will answer the questions associated with the article as an assessment. This learning activity will help explain the impact of selective breeding on the appearance of desired traits in organisms.