activities for teaching biology

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the magnitude of observed health effects to evaluate whether laws banning first cousin marriage in 25 states should be repealed.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. The Teacher Notes provide background information and instructional suggestions and explain how this activity is aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards.

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. The Teacher Notes provide background information and instructional suggestions and explain how this activity is aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards.

 

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. This activity is aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards.

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

 

Mitosis, Meiosis and Fertilization - Major Concepts, Common Misconceptions and Learning Activities

These teacher notes summarize important concepts concerning mitosis and meiosis and propose a sequence of learning activities that will help students understand and learn these concepts and progress beyond common misconceptions. Students also learn how understanding meiosis and fertilization provides the basis for understanding how inheritance occurs.  Links to suggested activities are provided, including a hands-on simulation of mitosis, meiosis and fertilization, a card sort activity, a discussion activity about the effects of mistakes in meiosis, and a vocabulary review game. This activity is aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards.

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

Mitosis, Meiosis and Fertilization Vocabulary Review Taboo Game

This game helps students to enjoy reviewing vocabulary related to mitosis, meiosis and fertilization.  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.

 

More Minds-on Activities for Teaching Biology

This website offers:

  • multiple minds-on analysis and discussion activities for teaching biology to high school students (and also middle school students and students in college non-major biology courses)
  • overviews of important biological topics, including major concepts, common misconceptions, and recommended learning activitiesto help students overcome common misconceptions and develop a genuine solid understanding of important biological concepts
  • games for learning and review.

Our companion website (http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/sci_edu/waldron/) offers:

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