Cells and Their DNA
The introduction of the concept of heredity and DNAs role begins with an understanding of
what a cell is. Students learn about the major features of a cell, the different forms cells
are found in and how cell functions relate to cell shape. Students have the opportunity
to look at cells through a microscope. The concept of heredity is explored in replications
of Mendels plant experiment. Students collect data and draw conclusions about gene dominance.
The structure of DNA is explored through model building. The role of key historical figures in the
discovery of cells, heredity and DNA structure are highlighted.
The Information to Build and Operate Your Cells
Students gain a basic understanding of the mechanics of genetics as revealed through the
structure and function of the hereditary material, DNA. Students in grades 4 through 6
construct a fictitious "dinosaur chromosome" and then perform a simplified DNA
extraction from duck blood.
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