Biotechnology: Ethical or Not?


11 déc. 2012 (il y a 8 années et 9 mois)

410 vue(s)

Lesson Plan Title:

Biotechnology: Ethical or Not?

Shannon Turner

Concept/Topic to Learn:
Genetic Engineering

Standards Addressed:

List significant contributions of biotechnology to society, including agricultural
and medical prac

Use digital tools to publish curriculum
related content.

Demonstrate advanced technology skills, including compressing, converting, importing,
exporting, and backing up files.

Practice ethical and legal use of technology systems and di
gital content.

Specific Objectives:

The students will be able to define key vocabulary and concepts related to the field of
biotechnology, specifically, the branch of genetic engineering.

The students will research the questions surrounding the ethical us
e of assisted
reproductive technology and create a glog to support their viewpoint.

Required Materials:

Biology: The Dynamics of Life

from Glencoe

Designer Babies

from Discovery Health

Computer with internet access

Anticipatory Set (L

Tell the students the story of a couple who desperately wants to have a child. The mother
and father are both carriers of cystic fibrosis and know that their child would have a 25%
chance of having the disease. Ask the students if they believe gen
etic engineering
techniques should be used to guarantee this couple a healthy child.

Tell the students the story of another couple who desperately want a daughter with
“supermodel” characteristics. They want her to be tall, thin, and have all the traits
eemed by society to be desirable. Ask the students if they believe genetic engineering
techniques should be used to give this couple the daughter they desire.

Step Procedures for Teaching the Lesson:

Explain to students that the same techniques us
ed to guarantee a healthy child can also be
used to give a child certain desirable traits. Discuss the fact that, currently, ethics
standards don’t exist for this field. Define ethics and tell students that in the future, many
of them will have to make de
cisions regarding the ethical or unethical use of

Define genetic engineering and all other vocabulary relevant to this field. Explain how
genetic engineering is carried out and how it is being used already in the fields of
medicine and agri
culture. Use examples such as transgenic bacteria producing human
hormones and transgenic plants that are herbicide resistant.

Have students brainstorm about possible risks and benefits of biotechnology. Suggest
some possible risks such as eliminating cert
ain traits from the gene pool or creating a
genetic underclass of people who have “undesirable” traits. Suggest possible benefits
such as ridding the world of genetic diseases and treatment of other diseases like

Show the video “Designer Babies”
. Pause after part one and discuss the ethics of using
genetic engineering to have a baby of a certain gender. Have students tell whether or not
they believe this is an ethical use of biotechnology.

Show part two of the video and discuss the idea of a gen
etic underclass. Discuss what
future problems may occur if only the wealthy can afford to correct the genetic problems
of their children.

Guided Practice/Monitoring:
(This would probably occur the next day.)

Have students conduct internet research on how
genetic engineering is being used in the
field of reproductive medicine. Ask students to pay close attention to information
regarding the selection of certain characteristics like gender or other desirable physical
characteristics. Have the students adopt
a stance on the issue, in favor of or not in favor
of. The students will collect information from reliable internet sources to support their
stance and record this information in their notes, along with information regarding their
internet sources.

ts will visit

and set up an account. They will create a glog page
with the information they have collected either in support of genetic engineering or in
opposition to it. The glog will include the f

4 statements from reliable sources defending their position

4 graphics from the glogster library

1 embedded video from TeacherTube regarding genetic engineering

At least 2 hyperlinks to internet sources used for the glog

A bibliography of all sou
rces used

Closure (Reflect Anticipatory Set):

Once glogs are completed, have students view the glogs of their classmates. Discuss the
fact that there are legitimate reasons to support both viewpoints. Reiterate that the
students may be involved in develop
ing a genetic code of ethics in the future. Define the
term bioethics and tell students this field is constantly changing as the capabilities of
genetic engineers are growing on a daily basis.

Assessment Based on Objectives:

The students will be able to d
efine key vocabulary and concepts related to the field of
biotechnology with 80% accuracy.

Each student will successfully create a blog including all the required components.

Adaptations (For students with special needs):

Adaptations to be made for a ch
ild with a hearing impairment:

Provide notes for video contents and lecture content.

Provide written guidelines for blog components.

Teacher will keep close proximity during independent work in order to monitor
progress and provide any additional assistanc
e needed.

Extensions (For Advanced Students):

Have advanced students research new genetic testing techniques that are being used for
diagnosis of genetic conditions. Have the students present their research to the class in
the format of their choice (i.e.

glog, video, power point, etc.)

Possible Connections of Other Subjects:

Brave New World
by Aldous Huxley. Have students compare the world
portrayed in the book with society today.

Calculate the frequency that certain alleles show up in t
he gene pool.


In order to get a variety of positions, the students could be assigned a role such as genetic
engineer, parent, child, or religious figure. Have the students adopt the viewpoint of their
assigned role and construct a blog support
ing this viewpoint.

Having students construct their first blog can be intimidating for them. The teacher must
maintain proximity and provide help along the way as needed so the students do not get
overly frustrated with the assignment.

Allow one day for
presenting the material, at least one day for researching and
completing the blog (it may take 2), and one day for viewing the blogs of other students
and discussing them.

On the final day, the blogs could be viewed and discussed by the entire class as a
by using the Smart Board. This would give the opportunity for thorough discussion of the
different viewpoints.