In Lesson 7, we learned about the Austrian monk Gregor Mendel and his pea plants. Mendel’s careful study of how pea plants inherit traits allowed him to predict the existence of genes (he called them “particles”) nearly 100 years before DNA was discovered! Students then practiced analyzing trait inheritance patterns using a Punnett Square worksheet.
Reminder: Students must upload the final draft of their Task to Ms. H’s Dropbox folder (the Final Draft folder in their class period folder) by midnight tomorrow (Friday, February 14). Students who upload the Task before the deadline and who receive a grade of Proficient or better will receive a Golden Ticket!
Today we had a lively discussion of the effects of nature and nurture on various traits. We realized that the information encoded in our genes might make us appear and think a certain way, and yet our environment also plays an important role in making us who we are. The discussion transitioned to Lesson 6: mitosis and meiosis. Our previous emphasis on DNA replication and the vocabulary associated with the project from Lesson 1, coupled with the videos of DNA replication from Lesson 2, all created the foundation for readily understanding cell division.
Picking up where we left off before Task Week, in Lesson 5 we reviewed key vocabulary related to the Central Dogma. Students received blank copies of the vocabulary worksheet and were provided with time in class to transcribe Central Dogma-related definitions. The remainder of the class period was spent working in small groups to discuss and debate whether specific traits are inherited through nature or nurture. The purpose of this lesson was to provide students with a link between proteins (encoded by genes within DNA) and phenotype (traits that are readily observed). Next, we will turn our attention to how traits are inherited: mitosis and meiosis.
What a week! I am so proud of my students for staying on track and doing an outstanding job presenting their DNA Replication projects to the class. Students who did not present this week are expected to present at the beginning of class on Tuesday. Today we learned about the Central Dogma concept (Lesson 4). We explored how introns are excised from mRNA by the spliceosome and the resulting mRNA exits the nucleus and is translated into protein by a ribosome. Students received a set of notes to use for review and which should be very helpful in completing the Central Dogma Crossword Puzzle. The crossword puzzle is due next Thursday (January 30). Students who would like to extend their learning about introns should consider reading “New Genes Spring, Spread from Non-Coding DNA” and share your learning with the class!
As a reminder, the DNA Base Pairing Worksheet was due today.
This lesson is all about the Central Dogma: DNA makes RNA makes protein. Review the lesson (Genetics Unit Lesson 3) and complete the worksheet (DNA_base_pairing activity) to demonstrate mastery of this challenging concept. Remember: Monday is the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday so we will not have school until Tuesday. You will have the weekend and all day in class to complete your DNA Replication projects. Use your time wisely! Be ready to present your learning to the class. Groups will have at least 5 minutes to share their work and answer questions. Also, the Biology Task Golden Ticket deadline has been extended to February 14. Upload your drafts to Ms. H’s Dropbox folder or email them directly to me for feedback.
Please review Genetics Unit Lesson 2 to learn how DNA copies itself. Note the complex molecular machinery required to simultaneously copy DNA in both the 5′ to 3′ direction, as well as in the 3′ to 5′ direction. For more on the mechanism, read about Okazaki fragments.
Remember, the Biology Task was due yesterday, so please see me if you have not yet submitted your final draft. Also, the DNA transcription project is due this Friday.
Big day today! Tasks are due – please submit to Ms. H’s Dropbox account in your designated class folder. Students who need additional time must check in with me to create a plan for success.
We are starting a new unit on genetics today. Why genetics? Because a thorough understanding of genetics is central to understanding biology today. To discuss heredity, evolution, medicine, and biotechnology, we need a common understanding of genetics. Please review our first lesson (Genetics Unit Lesson 1 140113) and work together with your project teammates to complete the Genetics Unit Assignment 1 by this Friday.
Reminder: the final deadline for the completed final draft of the Task is Monday, January 13. The grading rubrics are available in Ms. H’s Dropbox folder.
Here are the slides from class on January 9, 2014.
Day 1 – Period 1