katlittrell's picture

Semantics of Foundation

Words continually evolve, their connotations and definitions shift and are forgotten and replaced as the generations pass. The mutability of language causes people to connote certain words differently. This semester, I am taking an course cross-listed in both English and Biology called “The Story of Evolution and the Evolution of Stories”. This comment from one of my classmates prompted my essay:

Cremisi's picture

Week 2

 This week has been an interesting one for me as I go deeper into the thoughts of evolution. In particular, this week has been a marvel for me--to see how things look at things in terms of a story. Whenever I thought about Darwin I used to think of a stuffy old man eating pheasant at expensive dinner parties. I had never really known the tentative, worrisome, and somewhat charming character that Darwin graces the pages with. I had always thought of science evolving over inspiration, happiness, and wonder..but while reading this book, I find that science is the product of worry. Darwin had his own observations, and they didn't quite match up with what modern science was currently saying.

OrganizedKhaos's picture

The Only Thing That's Constant is Change

     I found this first week of discussion very interesting. As we continued the discussion on evolution as a way of being, I found many questions forming in my head. I understand the importance the role of history plays in explanations for why things are here, but I find more comfort in the idea that history cannot explain everything and that chance, opportunity and maybe even destiny are explanations for some occurrences. One example, we talked about was how we as individuals got here. Though there is a story or "history" that may explain how my parents met, got married, etc. The first answer off the top of my head was "by chance".

Genetics Review Jeopardy Game

This game reviews genetics, with 25 questions of varying levels of difficulty. After you open the game in the PowerPoint attachment, click on slideshow and then view show to operate in full screen mode. Clicking on a number in the game board brings you to a question. When that question has been answered click on the yellow box in the lower right corner and you'll be brought back to the game board screen.  Spaces for questions that have already been answered will now appear blank, just like on the TV show.  

Genetics Vocabulary Review Taboo Game

This game helps students to enjoy reviewing vocabulary related to genetics.  Each card in the deck has a target vocabulary word and two related taboo words that the student may not use as he/she gives clues so the other students in his/her small group can guess the target word.  Many students have trouble learning the substantial new vocabulary required for biology, and this game lets students have fun while reinforcing their understanding of key terms. 

The first file below provides the master copy for creating the card decks for this game, and the second file below provides the teacher notes, including instructions for playing the game.


Genetics Web Search Activity

This web search activity provides instructions and recommended sources to investigate genetic conditions and diseases.

Should States Repeal Their Laws Banning First Cousin Marriage? – Effects of first cousin marriage on health risks for their children

This minds-on discussion/worksheet activity challenges students to analyze which types of genetic conditions will be more common among children of first cousin marriage and to use evidence concerning the magnitude of observed health effects to evaluate whether laws banning first cousin marriage in 25 states should be repealed.  

The first attached file has the Student Handout and the second attached file has the Teacher Notes.


This Genetic Condition Was Not Inherited

This minds-on discussion/worksheet activity guides students to think about how mutations and meiotic nondisjunction can result in genetic conditions that are not inherited (most cases of achondroplasia and Down syndrome, respectively). 

The first attached file has the Student Handout and the second attached file has the Teacher Notes.

Soap Opera Genetics – Genetics to Resolve Family Arguments

This analysis and discussion activity contains four "soap opera" episodes that can be used to reinforce understanding of principles of genetics and the relevance of genetics to everyday life. Concepts covered include Punnett squares, co-dominance, incomplete dominance, sex-linked inheritance, test cross, polygenic inheritance, and the interacting effects of genes and the environment on phenotypic characteristics. Each section can be used separately or with other sections, depending on your teaching goals. 

The first attached file has the Student Handout and the second attached file has the Teacher Notes.


Genetics – Major Concepts and Learning Activities

This overview summarizes important genetic concepts and provides links to suggested learning activities. Part I provides an outline of key concepts needed to understand how genes are transmitted from parents to offspring and how genes influence phenotypic characteristics. Part II recommends learning activities to develop student understanding of these key concepts. 

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


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