CREATIVE WAYS TO TEACH
Myrtle A. Brijbasi
1993 Woodrow Wilson Biology Institute
DNA, the genetic blueprint of living organisms, plays an essential role in the continuity of life. Therefore, the structure and function of DNA must be explained to students as simply as possible, using the most appealing methodologies.
DNA is often described by scientists as "the chemical language of life" (Monsanto, 1990). If the language were "edited"/changed, then the message it delivers to the cell would also be changed. The result is a natural event in evolution. Evolution is the genetic change in a population of organisms over time , produced by the integrating agencies of natural selection and variation. (Beck, Liems, Simpson, 1991)
Changes (mutations) in the gene pool of a population result in genotypic variation. These influence the destiny of the population from one generation to the next.
TARGET AGE: Grade 9-12
CLASS SIZE: 20-24
TEACHER PREP TIME: 30 mins - 1 hour depending on the activity
ACTIVITY TIME: 45 mins
ACTIVITY 1: LAUGH A LITTLE, LEARN A LOT
Students will describe and explain evolutionary concepts featured in cartoon.
Overhead transparencies of cartoons
Prescribed Biology text book, Reference Biology text, notebook, pen, pencil
CHOICE OF CARTOON GRAPHICS:
The Far Side (Gary Larson), Science Digest, local newspapers, Calvin and Hobbes (Bill Watterson) (COPYRIGHT LAWS APPLY), Student/teacher designs.
ACTIVITY 3: NOT JUST A BAG OF BEANS
2 - 45-min periods or 1- double period
Students will determine the types of natural selection in a given population,
DATA TABLE 1: BEAN SIZE
1.* 6.* 11.* * * * * * *
2.* 7.* 12.* * * * * * *
3.* 8.* 13.* * * * * * *
4.* 9.* 14.* * * * * * *
5.* 10.* 15.* * * * * * *
SUMMARY DATA TABLE
Bean size* * * * * * * * * *
bean numbers* * * * * * * * *
ANALYSIS OF DATA
ANSWER THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS.
The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation
CN 5281, Princeton NJ 08543-5281