Week 5

Monday, September 30 (HS-LS1-1): Our week began with a brief class discussion in which students shared out what they know (or think they know) already about DNA.  Students then received a worksheet with questions that were answered by watching The Double Helix video.

After sharing out answers from the video, students received a guided worksheet and instructions for how to complete the first half of the first page.  We will continue the work tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 1 (HS-LS1-1): Today we launched into an investigation of Central Dogma.  Students learned how DNA codes for RNA which codes for protein, with everyone drawing out the notes shown below.  We drew out the processes of transcription and translation, using the guided worksheet from yesterday to help students understand what happens at each step of the process.  We will continue our exploration of Central Dogma and complete the worksheet packet tomorrow.

Notes from class:



Wednesday, October 2 (HS-LS1-1): We completed our tour of Central Dogma with students working through the final page of the guided worksheet from yesterday.  Drawings and the worksheets were both turned in for credit.

Next, we learned about the information contained in DNA.  We watched a thought-provoking video about a scientist who has combined a variety of tools and technologies to turn DNA from hair into portraits using 3-D printing and concluded class with a discussion about how the technology will impact people in the near future.

Thursday, October 3 (HS-LS1-1): In our continued study of Central Dogma, we set our sights on extracting DNA from strawberries.  To prepare for the lab, students watched a video explaining the DNA extraction procedure (produced by the North Carolina Community Colleges group NCBioNetwork.org).  Students watched the video and wrote down as many details as they could.

After watching the video, we assembled one class procedure “crowd-sourced” from the all of the student notes.


Students had the remainder of the class period to type up their notes as the Procedure section of a lab report.

Friday, October 4 (HS-LS1-1): Students will conduct the strawberry DNA extraction lab.  All materials, procedure steps, and results must be documented in their lab notebooks which will be checked and graded for accuracy and completion.


2 thoughts on “Week 5”

  1. Very cool Mr. Swart! What will you do with the strawberry DNA now that it has been extracted? Also, I noticed the scientist did not use gloves when squeezing the DNA extract through the cheesecloth. Is there a chance of contaminating the sample with her own DNA?

    1. For freshman biology, our work with DNA ends at extraction. I make the microscope available to students who want to prepare a slide and get a macroscale view of the extracted DNA, but we save the more in-depth DNA work for AP Biology (and then wearing gloves would be a must to avoid contamination!).

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