TeachersFirst's Genetics - Science Resources

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Find engaging tools related to genetics in this curated list. Read the descriptions to find out whether a site sounds right for what you want to know. Some sites may be more challenging reading, while others may offer solid basic information. Be sure to try several sources. Some resources offer lesson plans or activities, while others are basic content sites. 

Explore our entire list of tagged resources related to genetics.

 

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Decoding Cancer - Discovery Education

Grades
9 to 12
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Decoding Cancer brings cancer research to the high school classroom. The site includes many standards-based interactive lessons applying knowledge in genetics, pathology, and more....more
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Decoding Cancer brings cancer research to the high school classroom. The site includes many standards-based interactive lessons applying knowledge in genetics, pathology, and more. Find a Cancer Treatment Virtual Lab for students to learn how to order tests and treatments for cancer patients. Decoding Cancer also features career profiles introducing students to health-care professions and an extensive glossary featuring doctor and scientist's terminology.

tag(s): genetics (87), human body (133), medicine (67)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plans (provided in PowerPoint format) and interactives for use when teaching genetics, health, or biology lessons. Be sure to share this site with students interested in medical careers and gifted learners. After learning about cancer, have students create a multimedia presentation using Slidestory, reviewed here. Slidestory allows you to narrate a picture. Challenge students to share their findings on cancer treatments and research. Sign up for Decoding Cancer to receive updates and notification of new site additions.

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Interactive Games: Science Lives Here - The Royal Institution

Grades
4 to 12
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Learn about science, engineering, and the natural world with this large variety of interactive games. Scroll through to view all game topics, or use the drop-down box to limit your...more
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Learn about science, engineering, and the natural world with this large variety of interactive games. Scroll through to view all game topics, or use the drop-down box to limit your search by subject. Content offers a broad range of choices including animals, genetics, and space.

tag(s): animals (319), biodiversity (35), cells (99), genetics (87), gravity (50), human body (133), insects (71), medicine (67), nutrition (159), periodic table (51), plants (175), ponds (8), rainforests (21), solar system (121), space (226), stars (69), STEM (197)

In the Classroom

Introduce a new concept through games offered on this site. Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector, then allow students to play on their own. If you are beginning the process of integrating technology, have students create blogs sharing their learning and understanding using Telegra.ph, reviewed here. This blog creator requires no registration.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Science in the Classroom - Science in the Classroom

Grades
9 to 12
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Science in the Classroom offers free annotated research articles and teaching materials. Choose any item to read each article in full. Dig a little deeper by selecting a Learning Lens,...more
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Science in the Classroom offers free annotated research articles and teaching materials. Choose any item to read each article in full. Dig a little deeper by selecting a Learning Lens, found at the bottom of any article under Teaching Resources, to focus on specific information within the article such as conclusions or connections to standards highlighted by different colors. Also, this site offers Thought Questions for each article allowing readers to extend thinking beyond the information provided. Some selections include videos. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable. You could always view them at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as Freemake Video Converter, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): animals (319), cells (99), diseases (71), drugs and alcohol (25), genetics (87), human body (133), medicine (67), plants (175), STEM (197)

In the Classroom

Science in the Classroom is a must-add to any high school classroom. View articles together on your interactive whiteboard as you add highlighted annotations to focus on the content. Alternatively, print a copy of the article and have students add highlights to compare to the site's highlighted portions. Be sure to help weaker readers and ESL/ELL students by sharing the vocabulary words before reading, either on a handout or by projecting on an interactive whiteboard or screen and highlighting them in the text as you come to them. Flip learning by having students read an article before coming to class, ask them to prepare questions they have for when they return to class. Have students create a simple infographic sharing their findings using Venngage, reviewed here. Use an online flashcard maker, like Flashcard Stash, reviewed here, to review important vocabulary or content from any article.

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Teach.Genetics - Genetic Science Learning Center at the University of Utah

Grades
9 to 12
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Find free tools and resources for teaching genetics, bioscience, and health at Teach.Genetics. Scroll down the page to view an alphabetized list of all available curriculum models,...more
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Find free tools and resources for teaching genetics, bioscience, and health at Teach.Genetics. Scroll down the page to view an alphabetized list of all available curriculum models, or choose the link to the Curriculum Index at the top of the page to find the complete list of available materials. Each model includes complete teaching materials, including student and teacher guides as well as supplemental material such as worksheets and quizzes.

tag(s): body systems (58), evolution (102), genealogy (7), genetics (87), heart (40), human body (133)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the many free educational materials for use in your science classroom. Use materials from this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a unit or lesson on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Share topics from Teach.Genetics with students for use with science fair projects. Have students create a multimedia presentation using Slidestory, reviewed here. This site allows you to narrate a picture. Challenge students to find a photo (legally permitted to be reproduced), and then narrate the photo as if it is a news report. Use a tool such as bubbl.us, reviewed here, to create and share the concept maps of information included with activities.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Untamed Science - Rob Nelson

Grades
6 to 12
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Make science fun using Untamed Science. Focusing on biology and ecology, these videos and quick fact pages offer high interest and fast paced information in many topics. Search or browse...more
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Make science fun using Untamed Science. Focusing on biology and ecology, these videos and quick fact pages offer high interest and fast paced information in many topics. Search or browse through the full list of videos. Begin at either Tree of Life or Biology to find categories within each section. Be sure to also check out the How-to Filmmaking portion of the site to learn about filmmaking, beginning with the basics through advanced filmmaking approaches. If your district blocks YouTube, the video clips may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as Tube Offline, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube. While most topics are appropriate for teenage students, you may want to preview.

tag(s): amphibians (21), animals (319), biomes (139), cells (99), ecology (133), evolution (102), fish (24), genetics (87), mammals (34), planets (131), reptiles (12), video (271)

In the Classroom

Use videos from this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a unit or lesson on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Create a link to videos (or use the embed code from the YouTube page) on your class website or blog for students to view at home. Challenge cooperative learning groups to create their own science videos modeled after these and share them on a site such as TeacherTube reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Engineer a Crop - PBS

Grades
7 to 12
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Concerned about the risks and benefits associated with GMO's (genetically modified organisms)? The use of GMO's is in the news right now: Do we have a right to know what ...more
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Concerned about the risks and benefits associated with GMO's (genetically modified organisms)? The use of GMO's is in the news right now: Do we have a right to know what is in our food? Is it really bad for us? Use this interactive to experiment with developing the best corn plants through selective breeding. Then, use bioengineering manipulation to develop a tomato plant resistant to certain insects. Learn how each method works, compare your success, and end by reading viewpoints about GMOs. Both Flash and html versions of the interactive are available.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): evolution (102), genetics (87)

In the Classroom

Be sure to include this interactive when discussing DNA, Genetics, and Genetic Engineering methods. As students question whether GMO's are a good idea, many questions can be answered using the interactive. Be sure to also include links on effects to the environment and address many of the other points discussed in the viewpoints. Create an in class or online debate within your classes in the use of GMO's. Use many of the points used in the interactive, backing up viewpoints with additional research and material learned in class.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Who Am I? - London Science Museum

Grades
6 to 12
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Who Am I? is an online exhibit presented by the London Science Museum devoted to the exploration of genetics and the human body. Play Thingdom, choose a "thing," and begin ...more
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Who Am I? is an online exhibit presented by the London Science Museum devoted to the exploration of genetics and the human body. Play Thingdom, choose a "thing," and begin the process of nurturing it to maturity. Move through a progression of challenges to create offspring with the correct traits. Choose the Find Out More section to view animations of your body, your brain, and your genes.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): brain (66), cells (99), emotions (38), genetics (87), human body (133)

In the Classroom

Much of this material is ideal for sharing on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Another idea: flip your classroom and have your students view a certain section of the site at home and share their thoughts the following day in class. Allow students to play Thingdom on classroom laptops to explore concepts learned about genetics. Create an account to save games for later play. Have students create an annotated image including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here to explain the genetics concepts they have learned.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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CK-12 - CK-12 Foundation

Grades
5 to 12
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CK-12 offers a large variety of lessons and resources in STEM topics mostly geared for sixth grade and higher. Choose to access the site as a student or teacher to ...more
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CK-12 offers a large variety of lessons and resources in STEM topics mostly geared for sixth grade and higher. Choose to access the site as a student or teacher to begin. Search by specific content or to find standards-aligned flexbook textbooks. Download flexbooks in several formats such as PDF or mobi and epub format for use on Kindle and e-readers. Create an account and add flexbooks to your list. Add your own files and resources. Specific topic searches provide links to information from flexbooks as well as available study aids, activities, and assessments.

tag(s): atoms (54), cells (99), charts and graphs (197), decades (10), energy (210), engineering (132), equations (153), fractions (229), genetics (87), inequalities (25), landforms (49), measurement (179), oceans (165), organisms (20), periodic table (51), probability (136), pythagorean theorem (33), rocks (51), scientific method (66), seasons (35), solar energy (40), solar system (121), statistics (126), STEM (197), test prep (94), variables (19)

In the Classroom

Introduce CK-12 to your students (and parents) on your interactive whiteboard and demonstrate ways to use the site at home. Be sure to create a link to the site on your class website or blog for easy access at any time. Create an account and upload your own resources and activities to create your own flexbooks for use with students. CK-12 is available in many languages. Use this site with your ESL/ELL students as a supplement to classroom resources.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Geniverse - Concord Consortium

Grades
9 to 12
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Run genetic experiments by choosing genotypes and phenotypes while predicting outcomes and observing the actual results. This tool models genetic principles and is a simulation to show...more
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Run genetic experiments by choosing genotypes and phenotypes while predicting outcomes and observing the actual results. This tool models genetic principles and is a simulation to show genetics and the process of meiosis. This activity specifies that it should be done using the Chrome web browser, though it appears to work in Firefox, as well.

tag(s): genetics (87), meiosis (15)

In the Classroom

Use the simulations as a preview activity to generate questions about the models used. Use to discuss major vocabulary and content needed for understanding of meiosis and genetics. Introduce content and use this resource to create a simulation lab that reinforces the content and engages students into predicting outcomes and creating explanations.

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Geniquest - The Concord Consortium

Grades
9 to 12
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Use the tutorials, quizzes, and animations at this site to learn about meiosis, genes, and heredity. Use traits of dragons to identify and follow how regions of parents' DNA lead ...more
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Use the tutorials, quizzes, and animations at this site to learn about meiosis, genes, and heredity. Use traits of dragons to identify and follow how regions of parents' DNA lead to inherited traits. Conduct virtual breeding experiments with drakes, a kind of dragon, using real genetics (using mouse DNA) and real data in an environment that guides the learning of genetics by conducting experiments in a virtual environment. Create a registration as a teacher. Add classes and create a special word that students will use to sign up and be part of the class. View their progress and data by clicking on My Classes. Be sure to check out the Getting Started and FAQ sections for help. Click on Activities along the left. Choose from the Intro, Part II Intermediate Activities, or Part III. This site requires Java. Get it here.

tag(s): genetics (87), meiosis (15)

In the Classroom

To use this site in class, set up your class (after registration of course). Add classes and assign activities. Be sure to provide students with a link to the portal as well as the secret word to enter and log in.

This site does not have flashy graphics but uses pure science for inquiry and solving problems. Assign the Intro and Intermediate activities to understand basic concepts. As students conduct experiments, remind them to take snapshots of the screen that they created through the experiments to save for later.

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DNA From the Beginning

Grades
9 to 12
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This is an extensive, well-designed site which lets users create their own personalized study of genetics and DNA. Students can proceed at their own pace through an extensive set of...more
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This is an extensive, well-designed site which lets users create their own personalized study of genetics and DNA. Students can proceed at their own pace through an extensive set of topics, each with explanation, animations, visual materials, and quizzes.

tag(s): dna (64), genetics (87)

In the Classroom

The content is "real world" and could also be a great review or brush-up for teachers who haven't encountered this material in a while.

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Genetics Web Lab Directory - Education Development Center, Inc.

Grades
7 to 12
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Use this interactive website's fourteen modules to learn the basic concepts of genetics. Basic modules such as Mendel's Peas, Dragon Meiosis, and Punnett Squares provide great examples...more
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Use this interactive website's fourteen modules to learn the basic concepts of genetics. Basic modules such as Mendel's Peas, Dragon Meiosis, and Punnett Squares provide great examples of genetic fundamentals. Provide challenges and use some of the advanced modules for topics such as Genetic Counseling or the Hardy-Weinberg Equation. Hovering the mouse over each module provides a brief overview of the activity, along with the difficulty level. Each module provides downloadable student and teacher instructions along with the activity.

Be aware: some of the PDF downloads (i.e. teacher and student guides) are still under construction at this interactive site. Depending upon the browser that you use, there may be difficulty installing the correct plug in. Be sure to check these modules prior to using in class and try different Internet browsers with this resource.

tag(s): genetics (87), meiosis (15), mitosis (11)

In the Classroom

Use these modules as reinforcement to material discussed in class. Share the interactives on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Have students work in cooperative learning groups to investigate specific modules relevant to your class. Alternatively, use Mendel's Peas to set the stage for class discussion. Students can take notes on material introduced and attempt to identify how crosses of pea plants occur. Students use this problem solving activity to construct meaning of genetics and use as a basis for class discussion and further understanding. Follow with research of other traits and examples of genetic crosses. Students can create combined notes with classmates to best learn genetic concepts. Use a concept mapping tool such as bubbl.us (reviewed here) to share the concept visually.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Wellcome Trust Education Resources - Wellcome Trust Center

Grades
9 to 12
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Find an impressive array of science resources on this site. View the Big Picture issues that explore issues in science and medicine such as "Genes, Genomes, and Health," "Influenza,"...more
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Find an impressive array of science resources on this site. View the Big Picture issues that explore issues in science and medicine such as "Genes, Genomes, and Health," "Influenza," "How We Look," and "Epidemics" to name a few. Download resources for use and use additional online information/interactives. Scroll down the page to click on "Scientific animations" for more great resources. Click on a Big Picture topic to view web only content, downloads, and articles.

tag(s): ethics (20), genetics (87)

In the Classroom

Find fascinating articles and activities to push science topics into more relevant terms. In a unit of Genetics, discuss the Genome Project and its advantages and issues. Read articles and discuss the similarities in human genetics to that of other organisms. Click on "How Unique Are You?" to learn more about common traits such as tongue rolling and hairlines. Follow the registration on this page (username and password only) to find how your traits compare to others. Find lesson plans for many of the topics in these sections including the DNA Database and the issues surrounding its use. Use these resources to further understand what is learned in the classroom and bring to light many of the issues of today. Use the information for class debates or position papers, letters to the editor, or poster campaigns. Have your students try something other than PowerPoint and create a Prezi presentation (reviewed here), all about a topic they explored on this site (independently or with a partner).
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Zoo Matchmaker - Minnesota Zoo

Grades
5 to 12
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Play the role of "population manager" in this game about endangered lions. After a brief introduction, choose tigers to breed in hopes of returning them to their original habitat. Activity...more
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Play the role of "population manager" in this game about endangered lions. After a brief introduction, choose tigers to breed in hopes of returning them to their original habitat. Activity choices are based on maximizing disease resistance or maintaining genetic diversity. It is your goal to help the tigers survive based on offspring created from your choices.

tag(s): animals (319), genetics (87), habitats (107), reproduction (8)

In the Classroom

This activity would work well for individual or pairs of students in a lab or on laptops. This site includes many classroom materials such as data tables on genetic diversity, disease resistance procedures and extension activities provided by the New York Times and others.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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The Gene Scene - American Museum of Natural History

Grades
3 to 8
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The Gene Scene offers a vivid and creative way to explore genetics. The site provides interesting facts, interactive games, activities, and information about DNA, cloning, and more....more
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The Gene Scene offers a vivid and creative way to explore genetics. The site provides interesting facts, interactive games, activities, and information about DNA, cloning, and more. Have you ever been on a global grocery excursion? Students can do this in their cupboards at home or at their local grocery store. Using the Ology questionnaire, plan a genetic journey about curled tongues and wiggly ears. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): dna (64), genetics (87)

In the Classroom

Assign students to explore a section and complete the genetic journey then use the computers to organize data and graph their D.N.A. findings. Use an interactive whiteboard or projector to share and compare findings.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Family Ties - Dragonfly

Grades
3 to 8
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This web site provides a simple introduction to genetics and probability. Students read text about genetics, a few scientists and experiments with peas and chimps. At the end ...more
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This web site provides a simple introduction to genetics and probability. Students read text about genetics, a few scientists and experiments with peas and chimps. At the end of the information - students can play an interactive game to show their understanding of the material.

tag(s): darwin (10), genetics (87), probability (136)

In the Classroom

Don't forget to get an interactive whiteboard for these unique genetic "games." Use this opportunity to have the students look at their own genetic make-up (including ears, dimples and more). Although standards and goals/objectives are not provided, you could easily use this web page as an entire lesson. Include the link to the game on your teacher web page for students to review before a test on genetics. Note: the pages require reading at a middle school level, so you may need to pair weaker readers with someone who can read it aloud with them.

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Tour of the Basics: Heredity - University of Utah

Grades
8 to 10
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Genetics can be a fairly weighty topic, but this site breaks down complex concepts into easy-to-understand language. Click on each of the six topics - DNA, genes, chromosomes, proteins,...more
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Genetics can be a fairly weighty topic, but this site breaks down complex concepts into easy-to-understand language. Click on each of the six topics - DNA, genes, chromosomes, proteins, heredity, traits - and walk through the videos that provide in-depth descriptions and helpful visuals. The Flash based version is still available from this site.

tag(s): dna (64), genetics (87)

In the Classroom

Before using this site, you may want to assess what students know about DNA, and genetics. Put together an assessment asking about basic information using a tool like Survey Anyplace, reviewed here, where you can use a variety of formats including multiple choice, open-ended, images, and more. Then have students preview the first exercise for words they don't know and create flashcards using Flashcard Stash, reviewed here. After completion of the exercise, ask students to reflect on their learning using Flipgrid. FlipGrid allows students to share video responses through collaborative comments and discussions. Require students to comment on at least 3 other students learning reflections. Be sure you've coached students in proper discussion etiquette whether online or in class.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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DNA Interactive

Grades
9 to 12
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This site offers secondary students an extensive exposure to genetics, DNA and gene sequencing, and the problems and procedures that have been tackled to advance current DNA science...more
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This site offers secondary students an extensive exposure to genetics, DNA and gene sequencing, and the problems and procedures that have been tackled to advance current DNA science to its current state. This is a rich resource that could almost serve as a complete tutorial, but teachers will more likely want to use it as a reference tool to supplement classroom or textbook presentations. You'll need strong readers to work through this one.

tag(s): dna (64), genetics (87)

In the Classroom

Use the interactive timeline as a learning center. Have students tour the timeline, with the purposes of finding what they think are the 10 most important events in the history of DNA. Have students create a multimedia presentation of their top 10 events using UtellStory, reviewed here. This site allows users to narrate a picture. Challenge students to find a photo (legally permitted to be reproduced), and then narrate their photos as if it is a news report. To find Creative Commons images for student projects (with credit, of course), try PhotoPin, reviewed here.

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Genetics & Medical Research - National Institutes of Health

Grades
9 to 12
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An online resource for understanding the basics of genetics research, as well as related topics such as the Human Genome project and Gene therapy treatments. A good site for High ...more
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An online resource for understanding the basics of genetics research, as well as related topics such as the Human Genome project and Gene therapy treatments. A good site for High School Biology classes. There is also an interactive children's cartoon helpful for introducing the topic for younger students.

tag(s): genetics (87)

In the Classroom

Start out with this site on your interactive whiteboard or with a projector and the introduction pointing out the list of topics to explore. Ask all students to explore The Genetic Basics noting important information and questions they may have with Memo Notepad, reviewed here; tell students to be sure to save the URL to share their notes and questions with you and their peers. Once students have a basic understanding of genes have small groups investigate the other topics continuing with taking notes or organizing the information using an online concept map such as MindMup, reviewed here, to use in a final presentation. For the final assessment challenge student groups to present their topic to their peers using an interactive poster creator like Adobe Spark, reviewed here.

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