DNA, RNA, & Crime, Oh My! (Modified Snorks Activity)

This is a fun and creative activity to tie all of the following concepts together into one lesson: DNA sequencing & transcription, mRNA translation, amino acid codons & proteins, genotype, phenotype, recessive & dominant alleles & traits.

 

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Students will help solve a crime based on DNA evidence left on a lollipop at the crime scene. There are 3 versions of the same scenario that will identify 3 different criminals so you can use them for 3 classes – this avoids having the kids tell the next class who the suspect is ;). Each student will receive one of the 4 DNA samples – you can have students work individually, or have a group of students work on suspect 1, another on suspect 2, etc. (Sorry – I do not have an answer key to post)

Directions: Worksheets: DNA-RNA-Crime-Snorks-2018 & Amino Acid Codon Wheel, & additional resource: 20 Amino Acids

  • Step 1 – students will transcribe the DNA sequences into mRNA sequences
  • Step 2 – using the Amino Acid codon wheel, they will determine the amino acid for each codon
  • Step 3 – using the chart, they will find protein using the sequence of amino acids
  • Step 4 – using the proteins, they will determine the phenotype
  • Step 5 – using the phenotypes, they will determine the genotype(s)
  • Step 6 – is their suspect the criminal?
  • Step 7 – they will draw a mug shot of their suspect using the phenotypes they decoded

This lesson was modified from the one found on Biology Corner: https://www.biologycorner.com/worksheets/DNA_snorks.html 

 

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Pedigrees & Genetic Disorders

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Free Resources:

Videos:

 

Finding the Mass, Volume, and Density of Water Lab (Google Sheets)

Materials:

Goals

  • Students will practice their measurement skills using a graduated cylinder to determine volume and a triple beam balance to determine mass.
  • Students will determine the density of water by completing 10 trails and finding an average.

I use this lab to tie their measuring skills together and introduce the concept of density. We then do further explorations of density and practice using the formula.

This lab is a modified version of the lab posted at Middle School Chemistry – for further details about the lesson, please click on this link.

Reading a Graduated Cylinder – Rotation Stations

 

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Materials:

Lesson Tips

  • Introduce how to read a graduated cylinder using the meniscus.
  • Review how to determine the increments for each graduated cylinder.

Diffusion Lab – Iodine & Cornstarch

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Materials and Set Up – this was so easy and inexpensive to do and had the same effect as using dialysis tubing. Great demo/lab as part of our unit on osmosis and diffusion!

For every two students:

  • handout from Biology Corner
  • large beaker
  • inexpensive sandwich bag – non sealing (I used Wegmans 150 ct)
  • 1 tbsp corn starch
  • 50 mL water
  • rubber band
  • clothes pin
  • graduated cylinder
  • 100 mL Iodine dilution

Iodine Preparation

  • 20 ml Iodine added to 500 mL of water
  • measure out 100 mL of diluted iodine for each group

Prelab Prep:

  1. Place one bag over each beaker
  2. Add 1 tbsp of cornstarch to each bag
  3. Add 50 mL of water to each bag
  4. Check for leaks
  5. Use a rubber band on each one to keep closed
  6. Clip bag to beaker

Observations

  1. Students will add iodine and make observations – changes will take place within a few minutes and the longer it sits, the darker it will become.
    1. Iodine is able to pass through the plastic bag, the starch is not
  2. Have students lift the bag out to see the changes that are taking place
  3. Discuss

Update – I let the set up sit over the weekend, and when I came in today, the water was almost completely clear – looks like just about all of the iodine moved into the bag:

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Making copies of Google Docs

K-8 Peck Science now on Instagram

You can follow our K-8 Science teachers on our new Instagram!

https://www.instagram.com/peckscience/

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Star Wars Characters for seating

I love Star Wars and found these really cute characters to use for my seating assignments. I have black lab tables and tape on one of the characters such as “Chewy” or “R2” in the corner. I also use the characters to assign partners and seats randomly.

PS – not 100% sure who the redhead is, assuming little Anakin? General Hux had red hair. Also, Han used a light saber, once, on the Planet of Hoth to cut open the tauntaun to save Luke – kids often ask about it.

Click on the image below to download it for free from TPT:

Free Star Wars Pattern Cards and Puppet Sticks
Free – PreSchool Printable @ TPT

I also found another great free set of Star Wars characters you can download from this blog:

Click on image to go to Google Drive

Free Science Starters, Bell Ringers, Warm Ups, Writing Prompts

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Google Slidesclick here to access my Science Prompts from 2017-18. The slide # is the prompt #. For example, slide 14 is prompt # 14. These are the ones that I wrote – I deleted copyrighted material from other sources such as science starters from Science Spot. 

Prompt Notebook Paper (Prompt Template pdf) – print 20 sheets double sided and place into 3 prong poly-folder, add more pages as needed

I start each class with a science prompt – which was assigned for homework the night before. On Monday, I post the prompts for the week and students are able to work on them for homework instead of the start of class. They can do more than one each night, but we only go over one each class.  I found this to be a much better use of class time and started each class with a 5 minute review of skills and content.

When students come in, they come to my desk for the ‘stamp’ of the day, take a seat, and once everyone has arrived, we go over the answers and discuss. A stamp counts for 2 HW points. They have to follow the directions to earn 2 points, if they just write an answer, they only earn 1 pt. I do a quick spot check, but don’t make any corrections at this point. I randomly pick on students each day to give an answer and they make corrections as needed.

 

 

Welcome to my blog!

I hope you are enjoying your summer! August will be a busy month as teachers prepare for a new school year. If you are a new teacher, or a veteran teacher, looking for new science lessons and ideas to add to your curriculum, my website is here to help. Everything I have posted is free for you to use in your classroom. All of my Google Slides can be edited to meet your needs – here is a quick tutorial to help you make modifications.

To help you find what you need quickly, there are several options available:

Search box in the upper right corner – click on the magnifying glass and enter key words to find lessons.

Tag cloud – scroll down, on the right you can choose either a topic or standard. Each blog entry also has tags on them to help you find related lessons.

Category Menu – scroll down on the right and look for lessons related to your topic, such as ‘Life Science’ or ‘Skills’

Enjoy the rest of your summer and best wishes for the 2018-19 school year!