DNA Structure, Nucleic Acids, and Proteins

What is in that double helix? Explain intricate concepts with a variety of creative activities in a lesson that incorporates multiple steps to cover DNA structure, nucleic acids, and proteins. Pupils explore the history of DNA structure, then participate in modeling and extracting activities to depict the correct composition of DNA, including nucleic acids and proteins. They continue by extracting DNA from a chosen object and conclude with a fun role-playing activity about protein synthesis.

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Instructional Ideas

  • Divide the class into groups and assign each group a DNA-related topic; they should explore this topic and provide a slide presentation to discuss findings
Classroom Considerations

  • Prior to this lesson, be sure to complete "The Parts of an Experiment: Introduction to Inquiry and the Scientific Process"
  • Preparation is required for the DNA extraction piece depending on what fruit or organism the class chooses
Pros

  • Four separate steps, each building off another, may be broken into multiple days if needed
  • Provides creative activities to explain complex processes 
  • The class may progress at a slower or quicker pace, depending on their level of acquisition
Cons

  • None
NGSS