: Genetic Engineerin
Grade Living Environment Class
(2 classes each with about 25 students)
Five to six class periods: One class period for introduction of topic, two to three periods for
research and preparation, and one day for presentation.
National Science Content
The student demonstrated scientific inquiry and problem
solving by using thoughtful
questioning and reasoning strategies, common sense and conceptual understanding from
Standards, and appropriate methods to investigate the natural world; that is th
a) Asks questions about natural phenomena; objects and organisms; and events and discoveries.
to explain a variety of observations and phenomena
c) Uses evidence from reliable sources to construct explanations.
d) Evaluates diff
erent points of view using relevant experiences, observations, and knowledge;
and distinguishes between fact and opinion
e) Identifies problems; proposes and implements solutions; and evaluates accuracy, design, and
outcomes of investigations.
f) Works ind
ividually and in teams to collect and share information and ideas.
2) The student demonstrates conceptual understanding by using a concept accurately to explain
observations and make predictions and by representing the concept in multiple ways (through
ds, diagrams, graphs, or charts, as appropriate). Both aspects of understanding
The student produces evidence that
demonstrates the understanding of:
Big ideas and unifying concepts, such a
s order and organization; models, form and function;
hange and constancy; and cause and effect.
The designed world, such as development of agricultural techniques; and the viability of
health, such as nutrition, substance abuse, and exercise; germs and toxic substances;
personal and environmental safety.
Science as a human endeavor, such as communication, cooperation, and diverse input in
scientific research; and the importance of
reason, intellectual honesty, and skepticism.
4) The student demonstrates competence with tools and technologies of science by using them to
collect data, make observations, analyze results, and accomplish tasks effectively; that is the
echnology and tools (such as rulers, computers, balances, thermometers, watches,
, and microscopes) to gather data and extend the senses.
)Acquires information from multiple sources, such as experimentation and print and non
: The use and ap
plication of Genetic Engineering
As part of the Living Environment curriculum, students should learn prior to the
genetic engineering lesson a general understanding of heredity, genes, and the
From there I’ll explain the DNA
protein connection touching
briefly on the processes of DNA replication, transcription, and translation.
Afterwards the concept of DNA individuality, gene expression and mutation.
Then I will introduce the idea of how techno
logy and genetics students have
revolutionized today’s world which will bring us to our unit.
After covering this unit, I cover a topic that is usually more challenging and
which in encompasses genetic engineering and that is the types of cell division
(mitosis and meiosis) and the types of reproduction (asexual or cloning vs.
sexual). When I cover
these topics after my main unit, students will have a better
grasp as to how genetically engineered bacteria and plants are able to reproduce
quickly by binary fission or vegetative propagation.
To gain a basic understanding
terms and concepts related to the science of
genetic engineering and GMF.
To learn the application of genetic engineering in the real world.
To discuss the ethical issues surrounding the practice of genetic engineering and
the use of GMF.
To analyze case studies using the rules and principles of ethics.
Students will explore many issues related to the impacts of biotechnology through
Science, Social Science, Math, and English
To provide a mechanism for students to apply their knowledge of
ethical decision making models to analyze and debate a variety of different
genetics topics currently at issue in today’s society.
To apply the principles of ethical decision
making to actual cases, to appreciate
that there is usually no one “
right” decision, and to compare their conclusions to
those of individuals who are in the field.
Computer with Internet access
Paper, pens, and pencils
Copies of Take
home Activity Sheet
(At the bottom of the Project)
The time allowed for this unit will be approximately 5
6 days depending on how
quick the students comprehend the unit.
Scope and Sequence
This lesson is given under the assumption that DNA structure and how it
gives the cell instructions in making specific proteins have already been discussed with
The lesson could begin by grouping students into pairs and allowing them to
write down what they know about genetic engineering and why they think it is important.
Students are then told to make a small trip to the computer lab
and in groups of fives
ents are told to give the questions to each other and search
for answers to each
other’s questions. Then in groups of 5’s, one student from the group will write down
what the group l
earned from their investigation that makes genetic engineering
nteresting yet controversial issue
. The next day as a class, we discuss and share
students’ questions and answers.
I will explain how technology and biology
(biotechnology) have given us the tools needed to improve
and alter the basic
composition of a li
Introduction on GE and identify the key components
involved in it (enzymes, target gene, host organism).
The insertion of a foreign DNA into
a host organism is used to make a specific protein into a cell's DNA. The manufactured
protein will alte
r a particular characteristic and pass the new instructions on to its
(This might need an extra day)
the overhead projector I will show
diagrams from online
on how genetic engineering is done. As part of the
Environment curriculum, students are required to know the basic steps to
accomplish it and allowing them to visualize this before reco
rding the steps is an
I will explain at least 5 specific examples of GE products that will show a
broad range o
f organisms used.
(For example, the use of bacteria to produce
insulin and the use of bacteria in
to produce Bt corn
The technique in how it
is explained in detail with diagrams from the internet
write a proposal for creating their own genetically engineered organism that would
line resources each student is to find a problem (economic
social, political) and inquire whether the GE product he designed would help allevia
issue at hand. The class will have the opportunity to analyze his argument and have an
open discussion on the strength of his argument.
Have students brainstorm the
pros and cons of GE product
After a class
discussion, we will explain tha
t although GE is a powerful
tool in science, scientists have
to tackle the ethical issues surrounding it, and hence the study of bioethics. Bioethics is
the study of the ethical implications of biological research and applications, especially in
it involves the examination of the benefits and the risks of biotechnology.
the students what they think about the ethical issues associated with biotechnology. For
class activity, hand out an activity sheet called "Different Perspectives on Gene
Engineering". The handout examines a scenario concerning cystic fibrosis and genetic
engineering. Every student will be assigned to examine the issue from the perspective of
an individual (Ex. bioethicist, lawyer, molecular biologist, father, eugenicis
religious person). Each student will read the scenario and write a position statement from
the individual's perspective.
Students will make their
minute presentation, followed up by
answering questions from students.
presentation would include what proposal they
thought of in creating their own GE organism that would benefit society and to share
their position statement from the hand
A handout sheet found at the end of the
project will contain a vocabulary list of words
needed to understand this unit.
Assessment and Criteria
I will assess
my students by using a three
Three points: Demonstrates a comprehensive and thorough understanding of the
This is done by writing a clear well
researched position paper; cooperative
work in a group to develop a consensus of opinion; active participation in the
Two points: Demonstrates an adequate understanding of the topic. This is done by
iting a concise positioned paper; cooperative work in a group to develop a
consensus of opinion, but with some disengagement from the group; some
involvement in the class discussion
One point: Demonstrates a weak understanding of the topic. This is done b
writing a clear, we
researched positioned paper; little success with work in a
group to develop a consensus of opinion; little involvement in the final class
Making sure that the materials used was appropriate and motiva
ting for their
grade level is important. I am also aware that even though I was able to manage
the teaching strategies, it is equally important to get the students interested in
To reflect on whether or not I have reached those objectives an
evaluate my own lesson plan, I would give out a questionnaire asking them to
grade my lesson.
I should gauge the level of participation and motivation during
our discussion. It
is imperative that my role remains as a facilitator allowing the students to do their
own independent investigations and conclusions.
“National Science Education Standards”
Genetic Lesson Plan Ideas
“Different Perspectives on Genetic Engineering”
Different Perspectives on Genetic Engineering
In this activity, you will consider ethical issues regarding a scenario about
Read the following scenario regarding genetic testing and cystic fibrosis.
Write a position statement regarding the issues in this scenario from the
one of the six individuals listed on the next page. Your
teacher can prov
ide Web sites to
help guide your research. You may
wish to use the quotation included for each
individual. Address the
• Who should be responsible for answering these ethical questions?
Individuals? Religious leade
• Should an issue such as the one presented here be regulated by
federal laws, by state laws, or
by regulations enforced by a federal
agency such as the Fed
eral Drug Administration? Which
should be the one to take on the responsibility
of monitoring this
• What benefits does this technology offer us? What risks should we
be aware of?
Scenario: Genetic Testing and Cystic Fibrosis
A couple has undergone genetic testing and discovered that both parents are
fibrosis, a disease characterized by a deficiency of certain
enzymes needed for digestion and
respiratory health. Some specialists have
recommended against the couple's having children,
stating that cystic fibrosis is a
serious disease that usually
shortens an individual's life span. On
the other hand,
great advances have been made in research, and people with cystic fibrosis are
now living longer lives of a higher quality than ever before. In addition, it's
possible that a cure
for cystic fibrosis c
ould be found within the next 25 years.
The couple is trying to decide what to
do and is interested in the viewpoints of
the people listed below.
“I am opposed to the manipulation of human genes for any
purpose. It’s just
not right. Who are we to be playing God?”
“I am undecided about the use of genetic engineering in reproductive
What we want is to enjoy the benefits of the technology while
minimizing the risk.”
we should accept human gene engineering, make it legal,
regulate it, and make
sure it's done in a responsible way.”
Expectant father with an inherited heart condition that may be passed on to
“Although the technology to diagnose my child’s susc
eptibility to my
heart condition is
available, it still is a scary piece of knowledge to have in
reproductive decision making, and I’
not sure I want to go through with the
“I am in favor of genetic engineering for reprod
purposes. It is just a
better way of doing what animal breeders and botanists
e already done to improve their
livestock and agriculture.”
“Eventually it will be possible to pick genes for virtually any inherited
I support this technology because it will make it possible
for parents to correct
genetic defects and improve the genes of
Definition: The study of the ethical issues of biological
research and applications,
Context: Scientists must consider
to make appropriate decisions about some
Definition: The techniques of managing biological systems for human benefit.
: Advances in
allow scientists to separate sperm by gender.
deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA)
Definition: The chemical inside the nucleus of a cell that carries the genetic instructions
making living organisms.
Context: Scientists examine
from a developing embryo to find out whether it will
serious birth defects.
Definition: A system of moral principles
Context: Manipulating genes violates the
of some people.
Definition: The science of improving the qua
lities of a breed or species by different
such as the careful selection of parents or the use of genetic testing.
Context: Some people argue that designing traits for offspring is reminiscent of
Definition: The functional and
physical unit of heredity passed from parent to offspring.
Context: Introducing healthy
into diseased cells is becoming an established
Definition: The instructions in a gene that tell the cell how to make a specific
Context: By studying a person's
a scientist can detect certain
Definition: The techniques used to manipulate genes in an organism.
Context: A great number of innovations may arise in the next 20 ye
ars because scientists
making progress in