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					             Asia Ledbetter
Mendelian Genetics and Heredity Unit Plan
   9th grade Life Science, Junior High
Subject Area Description:
I will be covering Mendelian Genetics and Heredity. This unit will be taught to students with
no genetics background. The suburban school is primarily composed of white upper middle
class students. Within the group of students I am teaching, there is one student on an IEP,
and none of the students are ELL. Though the year-long course is titled “Life Science”, only
one semester is dedicated to biological sciences; the first semester is physical science only.
Prior to this unit, students have learned all about the cell: meiosis, mitosis, and DNA
(including replication). After completing this unit, students will be able to explain the basis of
heredity and they will be able to explain the value of studying a family’s genetic history.
They will be conducting an inquiry project where they will determine how to classify a
specific fruit fly trait (i.e. dominant, recessive, sex-linked, etc.) through designing their own
experiment in which they will conduct multiple test crosses. Additionally, students will be
working toward a final project where they will take on the role of a genetic counselor and
counsel a “client”.

Essential Question:
Is who I am determined totally by genes? This will be a question I will push students to
consider throughout the unit. We will do a pre-write at the beginning of the unit and then
towards the end of the unit I will ask students to do a post-write and ask them to include at
least four specific examples from the unit that support their answer.

Goals and Objectives:
1. Students will be able to communicate scientific concepts, information, and findings to
others in writing. (EALR 2.1.2)
1.1 Students will be able to communicate scientific concepts, information, and findings to
others in the form of a written report.
1.2 Students will be able to communicate scientific concepts, information, and findings to
others in the form of a poster.
2. Students will be able to value discussion with their peers about scientific thinking and
findings.
2.1 Students will be able to ask questions about others’ work.
2.2 Students will be able to respond to questions about others’ work.
2.3 Students will be able to respectfully challenge others’ ideas/thinking.
2.4 Students will be able to work cooperatively to solve a problem and/or answer a question.
3. Students will be able to explain the basis of heredity. (EALR 1.2.2)
3.1 Students will be able to discuss the differences between sexual and asexual
reproduction.
3.2 Students will know that, in reproduction, genetic information is passed from parent to
offspring.
3.3 Students will be able to explain how the environment influences phenotype.
4. Students will be able to design and conduct a scientific inquiry.
4.1 Students will be able to design a scientific inquiry involving the genetics of fruit flies.
4.2 Students will be able to conduct a scientific inquiry involving the genetics of fruit flies.
4.3 Students will be able to analyze the results of their scientific inquiries involving the
genetics of fruit flies.
5. Students will be able to explain the value of studying a family’s genetic history.
5.1 Students will be able to construct and analyze Punnett squares.
5.2 Students will be able to construct and analyze pedigrees.
Day 1: Methods of Reproduction
1. What will students do?                     Students will discuss (in large and small
                                              groups) different methods of reproduction,
                                              examples of living things that use these
                                              different methods, and will discuss
                                              advantages and disadvantages of each.
                                              Students will revisit what they learned about
                                              reproduction (mitosis and meiosis). [Teacher
                                              will be eliciting student ideas]
2. Learning objectives for the class?         Students will be able to discuss differences
                                              between sexual and asexual reproduction.
3a. Why introduce idea at this time?          Students are already familiar with mitosis and
                                              meiosis from prior completion of cell unit.
                                              This is an activity to get them thinking about
                                              how genetics fit into that prior knowledge
                                              (start thinking about cell reproduction in a
                                              more tangible way). Students will also have
                                              a chance to use their prior science knowledge
                                              in discussion and to review the relevant parts
                                              of the prior unit.
3b. Why this instructional strategy?          Important for students to “talk science”. This
                                              is something they all have experience with
                                              both as human beings, and as students who
                                              have just completed a cell unit. Discussion
                                              would be a good way to get them all started
                                              on thinking about genetics. Peer interaction.
4. What evidence of student                   Small groups will come up with a sheet of
learning/understanding will you collect?      their input, one representative will share that
                                              with the class. Class will compile information
                                              on board that will be recorded into journals.
                                              Also, informal questions/answers.
5. Resources?                                 Overhead, student journals, review
                                              overheads of mitosis and meiosis.

Day 2: The History of Genetics (pre-Mendel)
1. What will students do?                     Discuss why children look different from their
                                              parents. [Teacher will be eliciting student
                                              ideas]. Students will be introduced to the
                                              unit Essential Question (“Is who I am
                                              determined totally by my genes?”) and
                                              complete a journal entry. After students
                                              complete this exercise, jigsaw readings on
                                              history of genetics (what people thought
                                              before Mendel). Each small group will read,
                                              summarize, and briefly present their article to
                                           the larger class.
2. Learning objectives for the class?      Students will learn about genetic history.
                                           Students will be able to communicate
                                           scientific information in the form of a poster.
3a. Why introduce idea at this time?       Students should have an essential question
                                           to interest them and focus them on what
                                           they are learning. Students should have an
                                           understanding of how changeable science is,
                                           how influential new research is to our
                                           understanding of science. It will build on the
                                           discussion from yesterday and get students
                                           excited about learning more about genetics.
3b. Why this instructional strategy?       I believe it is important for students to be
                                           able to read about science and to be able to
                                           explain science to themselves and others. I
                                           also believe that summarizing the main
                                           points of an article and presenting that
                                           information are important skills.
4. What evidence of student                Small group posters, student discussion,
learning/understanding will you collect?   informal student questions/answers.
5. Resources?                              Several different articles about the history of
                                           genetics before Mendel, poster paper and
                                           markers for small groups, student journals.


Day 3: Learn about Mendel
1. What will students do?                  Read individually about Mendelian genetics
                                           (short section in textbook), help teacher
                                           outline main points of what they read and
                                           record main points in their journal
2. Learning objectives for the class?      Students will be able to communicate
                                           scientific information in the form of writing.
                                           Students will know what Mendel contributed
                                           to the field of genetics.
3a. Why introduce idea at this time?       Students need some background knowledge
                                           before moving on to inquiry project and
                                           computer programs
3b. Why this instructional strategy?       Students need to be able to read about
                                           science individually, textbook is a good
                                           source for background knowledge for student
4. What evidence of student                Group outline, student journals
learning/understanding will you collect?

5. Resources?                              Classroom set of textbooks, student journals,
                                           overhead
Day 4: Understand Mendel
1. What will students do?                  Discuss concepts/terminology presented as
                                           large group. Small groups will be handed
                                           cards with descriptions of real life examples
                                           of genetics. Students will work to classify
                                           these genetic cases using the terms in the
                                           chapter (genotype v. phenotype, dominant v.
                                           recessive). Classification will first be done in
                                           pairs, then two pairs will join and discuss
                                           their classifications. Final classifications to be
                                           turned in at end of class.
2. Learning objectives for the class?      Students will learn the terms genotype,
                                           phenotype, dominant, recessive.
                                           Students will learn the concept of dominant
                                           and recessive.
                                           Students will be able to work cooperatively to
                                           solve a problem.
3a. Why introduce idea at this time?       These terms are easily confused and hard to
                                           understand. This is a chance for students to
                                           see real life genetic scenarios, as well as a
                                           chance for them to practice applying these
                                           terms.
3b. Why this instructional strategy?       Not as intimidating or as boring as a
                                           worksheet, students help each other
                                           understand, teacher has a litmus test for
                                           where the class is at.
4. What evidence of student                Final drafts of genetic classifications.
learning/understanding will you collect?
5. Resources?                              Index cards with genetic scenarios,
                                           overhead, classroom set of textbooks.

Day 5: Computer lab
1. What will students do?                  Students will reinforce genetic
                                           terminology/concepts with use of computer
                                           program (I don’t remember what the title of
                                           the program my CT uses is—sorry!).
2. Learning objectives for the class?      Students will learn the terms genotype,
                                           phenotype, dominant, recessive.
                                           Students will learn the concept of dominant
                                           and recessive.
3a. Why introduce idea at this time?       Students need a firm understanding of the
                                           terminology/concepts before they can
                                           conduct their inquiry project/complete their
                                           culminating project
3b. Why this instructional strategy?       Computers are interactive and students can
                                           work on their own at their own pace.
4. What evidence of student                Observations of individual students working
learning/understanding will you collect?   with the programs (monitoring progress in
                                           the computer lab)
5. Resources?                              Computers, Genetics computer program

Day 6: Punnett Squares
1. What will students do?                  Discussion about XX v. XY, students will help
                                           teacher construct Punnett Square to show
                                           the 50/50 chance of a baby being boy/girl.
                                           Students will copy two more sample Punnett
                                           Squares done by teacher on overhead into
                                           their journals. Finally, students will spend
                                           the remainder of the period completing a
                                           worksheet.
2. Learning objectives for the class?      Students will be able to construct and
                                           complete a Punnett Square.
3a. Why introduce idea at this time?       Again, this is a skill students will need for
                                           inquiry project and culminating project.
3b. Why this instructional strategy?       Students can refer to examples from
                                           beginning of class to help them complete the
                                           worksheet, Punnett Squares are tied to prior
                                           knowledge (boy/girl chance = 50/50),
                                           worksheet can be kept for reference.
4. What evidence of student                Completed worksheet.
learning/understanding will you collect?
5. Resources?                              Punnett Square worksheet, overhead,
                                           classroom set of textbooks

Day 7: Computer Lab/Ratios
1. What will students do?                  The first part of the period, students will be
                                           completing more complicated Punnett
                                           Squares using computer software. The last
                                           part of the period, students will calculate
                                           genotypic and phenotypic ratios for the
                                           Punnett Squares on yesterday’s worksheet
                                           after seeing examples on the overhead and
                                           recording them into their journals.
2. Learning objectives for the class?      Students will be able to complete complex
                                           Punnett Squares.
                                           Students will be able to analyze the results of
                                           Punnett Squares.
3a. Why introduce idea at this time?       More complex Punnett Squares build on prior
                                           lesson, genotypic and phenotypic ratios bring
                                           in prior vocabulary and show the reason for
                                           using Punnett Squares as a tool.
3b. Why this instructional strategy?       Computer is more interactive, using the
                                           worksheet from yesterday ties the
                                           genotypic/phenotypic ratios to something
                                           familiar.
4. What evidence of student                Completed worksheet, also observations of
learning/understanding will you collect?   individual students working with the
                                           programs (monitoring progress in the
                                           computer lab)
5. Resources?                              Prior lesson’s worksheet, Genetics computer
                                           program, textbooks

Day 8: Cross tests
1. What will students do?                  Students will revisit the section in their
                                           textbook on cross tests, class will discuss
                                           how/why cross tests are done. Examples will
                                           be provided on the board and students will
                                           be asked what to do and why.
2. Learning objectives for the class?      Students will learn why test crosses are
                                           conducted.
                                           Students will be able to conduct a test cross.
3a. Why introduce idea at this time?       Students need to know how to use test
                                           crosses before they begin their inquiry
                                           project.
3b. Why this instructional strategy?       More interactive than textbook
                                           reading/worksheet, teacher can give
                                           examples, teacher can gage where class is.
4. What evidence of student                Discussion, student answers to teacher
learning/understanding will you collect?   proposed questions.
5. Resources?                              Textbooks, marker and whiteboard, student
                                           journals


Day 9: Intro to Inquiry Project
1. What will students do?                  Phase 1 of inquiry: Students will listen to
                                           teacher explanation of model organisms,
                                           students will read handout about fruit flies,
                                           students will receive directions/rubric for
                                           inquiry project. Students will learn procedure
                                           for anesthetizing fruit flies and will study
                                           anesthetized fruit flies and identify traits (eye
                                           color, wing shape, bristle number, etc.)
                                           Students will turn in a list of traits that they
                                           have identified as variable.
2. Learning objectives for the class?      Students will be able to explain the life cycle
                                           of fruit flies.
                                           Students will be able to identify traits of fruit
                                           flies.
3a. Why introduce idea at this time?       Students have built a strong enough
                                           background in genetics to begin the inquiry
                                           project, flies need 11 days before their
                                           offspring’s traits can be identified (necessary
                                           to start project ASAP)
3b. Why this instructional strategy?       Simple task for students, students will be
                                           oriented with fruit flies and how to manage
                                           them. Students are “doing” science.
4. What evidence of student                List of identified traits.
learning/understanding will you collect?
5. Resources?                              Fruit flies, materials necessary to anesthetize
                                           fruit flies, information sheet, directions/rubric
                                           for inquiry project, student journals

Day 10: Designing the Investigation
1. What will students do?                  Phase 2 of inquiry: Students will work with
                                           small lab groups to pick a trait to investigate.
                                           Lab groups will develop their testable
                                           question, after that is OK’d by teacher
                                           Phase 3 of inquiry: lab group will develop
                                           their procedure (what to cross and why,
                                           timeline, step by step procedure)
2. Learning objectives for the class?      Students will be able to design a scientific
                                           inquiry regarding fruit fly genetics.
                                           Students will be able to work cooperatively to
                                           answer a question.
3a. Why introduce idea at this time?       Students have built a strong enough
                                           background in genetics and fruit flies to begin
                                           the inquiry project, flies need 11 days before
                                           their offspring’s traits can be identified
                                           (necessary to start project ASAP)
3b. Why this instructional strategy?       Group work will help minimize student errors
                                           and there are not enough materials for each
                                           student to conduct their own inquiry.
                                           Students are “doing” science.
4. What evidence of student                Testable question and procedure.
learning/understanding will you collect?
5. Resources?                              Information on fruit flies, list of traits,
                                           student journals.

Day 11: Conducting the Investigation
1. What will students do?                  Phase 3 of inquiry (cont’d): Students will
                                           work with small lab groups to carry out their
                                           already constructed and OK’d procedure.
2. Learning objectives for the class?      Students will be able to conduct a scientific
                                           inquiry regarding fruit fly genetics.
                                           Students will be able to work cooperatively to
                                           answer a question.
3a. Why introduce idea at this time?       Students have built a strong enough
                                           background in genetics and fruit flies to begin
                                           the inquiry project, flies need 11 days before
                                           their offspring’s traits can be identified
                                           (necessary to start project ASAP)
3b. Why this instructional strategy?       Group work will help minimize student errors
                                           and there are not enough materials for each
                                           student to conduct their own inquiry.
                                           Students are “doing” science.
4. What evidence of student                Observations of individual students working
learning/understanding will you collect?   on the lab (monitoring progress in the
                                           science lab)
5. Resources?                              Materials outlined in students’ procedures

Day 12: Exceptions
1. What will students do?                  Students will review section in text on
                                           codominance, variable expressivity,
                                           incomplete dominance, and sex-linked traits.
                                           Class discussion on what these terms mean
                                           (terminology) and how they work (concept).
                                           Small groups will be handed cards with
                                           descriptions of real life examples of genetics.
                                           Students will work to classify these genetic
                                           cases using the terms above. Classification
                                           will first be done in pairs, then two pairs will
                                           join and discuss their classifications. Final
                                           classifications to be turned in at end of class.
2. Learning objectives for the class?      Students will be able to explain the terms:
                                           codominance, variable expressivity,
                                           incomplete dominance, and sex-linked traits.
                                           Students will be able to explain how
                                           codominace, variable expressivity, incomplete
                                           dominance, and sex-linked traits work.
                                           Students will be able to work cooperatively to
                                           solve a problem.
3a. Why introduce idea at this time?       Some of the traits that they are studying in
                                           their inquiry project will be sex-linked. Other
                                           exceptions will be present in the culminating
                                           project.
3b. Why this instructional strategy?       Not as intimidating or as boring as a
                                           worksheet, students help each other
                                           understand, teacher has a litmus test for
                                           where the class is at.
4. What evidence of student                Final drafts of classifications.
learning/understanding will you collect?
5. Resources?                              Index cards with real life scenarios,
                                           textbooks, overhead

Day 13: Genetic Disorder Study
1. What will students do?                  Students will choose from a list of genetic
                                           disorders which to study. Each genetic
                                           disorder will have an article of information for
                                           the student to read. After reading the article,
                                           students will be grouped by disorder into
                                           small groups that will work together to make
                                           a poster of information for presenting to the
                                           class.
2. Learning objectives for the class?      Students will be able to explain, in detail, a
                                           specific genetic disorder.
                                           Students will be able to ask questions of
                                           others’ work.
                                           Students will be able to respond to questions
                                           from others.
3a. Why introduce idea at this time?       Students have a background in “exceptions”
                                           and other genetic terminology. Applications
                                           to the real world and their life.
3b. Why this instructional strategy?       I believe it is important for students to be
                                           able to read about science and to be able to
                                           explain science to themselves and others. I
                                           also believe that summarizing the main
                                           points of an article and presenting that
                                           information are important skills.
4. What evidence of student                Posters/presentations
learning/understanding will you collect?
5. Resources?                              Poster paper, markers, articles on specific
                                           genetic disorders, directions/rubric for group
                                           presentation and poster

Day 14: Presentation day
1. What will students do?                  Students will have the first few minutes to
                                           polish their poster/presentation, the rest of
                                           the period will be used for group
                                           presentations of genetic disorders (including
                                           all genetic terms that apply)
2. Learning objectives for the class?      Students will learn about a variety of genetic
                                           disorders.
3a. Why introduce idea at this time?       Further understanding of genetic
                                           terminology, real world knowledge,
                                           background for culminating project
3b. Why this instructional strategy?       Good for students to “talk” science, peer
                                           interaction, prompts deeper understanding of
                                           the material
4. What evidence of student                Posters/presentations
learning/understanding will you collect?
5. Resources?                              Posters, scoring rubric


Day 15: Pedigrees
1. What will students do?                  Students will get a handout detailing the
                                           different symbols used in pedigrees,
                                           discussion of usefulness of pedigrees, class
                                           reading of a sample pedigree, practice
                                           constructing and analyzing pedigrees.
2. Learning objectives for the class?      Students will be able to construct and
                                           analyze a pedigree.
3a. Why introduce idea at this time?       Necessary for culminating project, real world
                                           application.
3b. Why this instructional strategy?       Students need individual worksheet practice
                                           to build skill, also easy to assess individual
                                           progress.
4. What evidence of student                Completed individual worksheet.
learning/understanding will you collect?
5. Resources?                              Pedigree symbol information sheet, student
                                           journals, overhead, pedigree worksheet.

Day 16: Constructing your own pedigree
1. What will students do?                  Follow a trait (i.e. curly hair or brown eyes)
                                           in their own family through 3 generations.
                                           Predict what their offspring will look like.
                                           Constructing and analyzing their own
                                           pedigree. (Sample family info. provided for
                                           students who can’t/don’t wish to use their
                                           own family)
2. Learning objectives for the class?      Students will be able to trace a trait through
                                           three generations of a human family.
3a. Why introduce idea at this time?       Tie what they’re learning in genetics to their
                                           own life/real world. Also skill building for
                                           culminating project
3b. Why this instructional strategy?       More practice, real world application,
                                           individual assessment.
4. What evidence of student                Completed pedigree and predictions
learning/understanding will you collect?
5. Resources?                              Sample family info (if needed), directions and
                                           rubric
Day 17: Culminating Project
1. What will students do?                  Students will complete a post-write on the
                                           essential question. They will need to include
                                           four specific examples from the unit to
                                           support their answer. Students will be given
                                           their culminating project directions and
                                           rubric. Students will have the period to work,
                                           ask questions, and view examples of the
                                           finished product. Culminating project:
                                           Students will take on the role of a genetic
                                           counselor. They will answer a client’s
                                           question (client has NO science background)
                                           about future children, given a verbal
                                           description of the family pedigree. Students
                                           will construct and analyze both a written
                                           pedigree and Punnett squares to help them
                                           answer their client’s question. They will turn
                                           in their pedigree and Punnett squares along
                                           with a written explanation to the client’s
                                           question (written in non-scientific terms) that
                                           explains the symptoms of the genetic
                                           disorder and the mechanism of inheritance.
2. Learning objectives for the class?      Students will be able to construct and
                                           analyze Punnett squares.
                                           Students will be able to construct and
                                           analyze pedigrees.
                                           Students will be able to explain scientific
                                           terms and concepts as they relate to
                                           genetics.
3a. Why introduce idea at this time?       End of unit, helps students strongly tie all the
                                           concepts together, real world applications
3b. Why this instructional strategy?       Culminating project good way for students to
                                           incorporate and tie together prior knowledge
4. What evidence of student                Completed culminating project
learning/understanding will you collect?
5. Resources?                              Project directions/rubric, sample product,
                                           student journals, textbooks

Day 18: Analyzing Inquiry Project Data
1. What will students do?                  Phase 4 of inquiry: Students will gather
                                           data on the results of their multiple crosses.
                                           Students will work in small groups to analyze
                                           their data and answer their question. Small
                                           groups will work on writing the
                                           results/discussion/conclusion part of their
                                           inquiry project per the directions in the
                                           inquiry project handout.
2. Learning objectives for the class?      Student will be able to analyze the results of
                                           their scientific inquiry.
                                           Students will be able to communicate their
                                           findings in the form of a written report.
3a. Why introduce idea at this time?       Inquiry project offspring available for
                                           classification, next step in inquiry phases.
3b. Why this instructional strategy?       Students “doing” science. Collaboration
                                           increases ideas and decreases careless errors
4. What evidence of student                Final lab report, observations of groups in
learning/understanding will you collect?   science lab setting.
5. Resources?                              Fruit fly offspring, student directions/rubric,
                                           student journals

Day 19: Work day
1. What will students do?                  Phase 5 of inquiry: Work in small lab
                                           groups to complete their reports to turn in.
                                           Work on summarizing findings on poster for
                                           group presentation. By end of period report
                                           and poster should be completed.
2. Learning objectives for the class?      Students will be able to analyze results of
                                           their inquiry project.
                                           Students will be able to present results of
                                           inquiry project to peers and teacher in
                                           writing.
3a. Why introduce idea at this time?       Next phase in inquiry process.
3b. Why this instructional strategy?       Students “doing” science and “talking”
                                           science. Translating findings into language
                                           understandable by peers and teacher.
4. What evidence of student                Poster/Lab Report
learning/understanding will you collect?
5. Resources?                              Poster paper, markers, student
                                           direction/rubric, student journals

Day 20: Wisdom walk/work day
1. What will students do?                  Students will go on wisdom walk around
                                           room, viewing other groups’ posters. After
                                           students have viewed their peers results,
                                           students will have a chance to ask questions,
                                           then the remainder of the period will be a
                                           work day for culminating project.
2. Learning objectives for the class?      Students will be able to ask questions about
                                           others’ work.
                                           Students will be able to respond to questions
                                           from others.
3a. Why introduce idea at this time?       Students are in the final phase of inquiry;
                                           continued work is necessary for culminating
                                           project.
3b. Why this instructional strategy?       Students “doing” and “talking” science;
                                           students synthesizing information.
4. What evidence of student                Questions from wisdom walk; finished
learning/understanding will you collect?   product of culminating project.
5. Resources?                              Posters, student journals, directions & rubric

				
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