Understanding the Functions of Proteins and DNA

This overview provides a sequence of learning activities to help students understand that proteins and DNA are not just abstract concepts in biology textbooks, but rather crucial components of our bodies that affect functions and characteristics that students are familiar with. Students learn about how proteins contribute to the digestion of food and how different versions of a protein can result in a characteristic such as albinism, sickle cell anemia or hemophilia. Then, students learn about the relationship between the genetic information in DNA and the different versions of these proteins. The discussion, web-based, and hands-on learning activities presented are appropriate for an introductory unit on biological molecules or as an introduction to a unit on molecular biology. This activity is aligned with NGSS standards.

The attached file has the key concepts and suggested learning activities.

Proteins DNA TN.docx723.43 KB


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iwaldron's picture

2013 revision

The 2013 revision includes additional background information to facilitate teaching the suggested activities.

Serendip Visitor - Ms. Hunter's picture

Thank you

Thank you so much for this well organized easy to use website with so much great information and wonderful ideas!

iwaldron's picture

August 2012 revision

The main change in this revision has been to add background information on each of the conditions used to illustrate the effects of proteins (lactose intolerance, albinism, sickle cell anemia and hemophilia).

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