Lesson Plan

Genetically Modified Organisms

Integrating Science and Common Core Literacy
Leslie S.
TN Technological University
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My Subjects Math, Science, Social Studies

Students will be able to...

  • Gain understanding of what genetic modification is and its two major methods.
  • Explain the impact of GMO on society.
  • Analyze texts, draw conclusions, and collect data in order to take a stand, formulate a claim, and refute counterclaims.
  • Differentiate credible from effective information.
  • Apply citation skills in argumentative writing.
  • Answer text-­‐based questions.
  • Write a five-­‐paragraph argumentative essay. 

Resources for this App Flow:

Grade 8 Literacy in Science: Genetic Modification of Organisms, NYC Department of Education
Common-Core Aligned Task with Instructional Supports

Using the Hunger Games to Get Students Ready for a Biology Test



English Language Arts
Grades 7 – 10
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Engage and Pre-Assessment

The lesson will begin with the use of 10 pre-assessment questions regarding genetically modified organisms. These questions will be displayed using a slideshow saved to Slideshare.  

Slideshare Presentation http://www.slideshare.net/lsuters/genetically-modified-organisms-37824937

The teacher will use an app called Plickers to poll the class response.  

–Classroom polling system
–Each student gets a card that can be attached to back of their interactive notebook
–Teacher displays multiple choice questions.  Students hold card in direction to indicate their answer.
–Student responses are recorded individually with an immediate graph of the aggregate results.
–Teacher scans student cards using iPhone, iPad, or Android device

2 Explore

Begin with showing the first part of the Hunger Games movie clip about tracker jackers and how they were genetically modified. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B8JJsNQoIDc

Ask students to close read about mockingjays and jabberjays (Chapter 3) and tracker jackers (Chapter 14) from the Hunger Games to find out about how the country of Panem created muttations.  Follow with a close read about killer bees. http://insects.about.com/od/antsbeeswasps/qt/what-are-killer-bees.htm

Ask students to compare and contrast muttations or genetically engineered organisms with mutations that naturally occur using the ReadWriteThink Venn Diagram Interactive http://www.readwritethink.org/classroom-resources/student-interactives/venn-diagram-30973.html or the Venn Diagram app.  

3 Direct Instruction

The teacher will review the basic components and structure of DNA, explain how DNA makes a protein, and provide a definition of genetically modified organism and recombinant DNA technology.  The class will briefly discuss the techiques for recombinant DNA and the pros and cons of genetic modification.  The teacher and students will refer to pages 25-29 in the Genetically Modified Organisms PCR analysis by BioBus Educational Programs packet. http://www.docin.com/p-620902260.html

The teacher will record the most important information students need to remember in writing and narrate using the Educreations App on an iPad and save to the class website so students can refer to it as needed.



4 Guided Practice

Students will be assigned to close read an article from Newsela about genetically modified Suicide Mosquitoes in leveled cooperative groups.  They will read the downloaded version of the file on their iPads on the Notability app and make annotations as they read.

They will also use the Notability app to create an annotated drawing.  They will be directed to draw a picture of what happens with the suicide mosquitoes and why they were created.  The drawings should be annotated with brief explanations and they should add audio recorded comments to support the drawings as well.

5 Independent Practice

Activity: Investigating

Students will independently complete the Who Wants to be a Genetic Engineer? challenge and create Cinna-apples and Bt Corn.  

They will use the website: http://passel.unl.edu/pages/animation.php?a=who_wants_to_be_ge.swf

They will also use the lab reports on page 37-38 of the Grade 8 Literacy in Science: Genetic Modification of Organisms, NYC Department of Education lesson plan (linked in the intro) to record their work and respond to questions.

6 Final Performance Task

Part One

Students will be asked to read 2 of the following articles.  They will be downloaded as pdf documents which students can read and annotate on their choice of the Notability or Good Notes app.

Pros and Cons of Designer Babies http://designerbabiesethics.wordpress.com/2013/04/28/the-cons-of-designer-babies/

Genetic Engineering - How do they do that? http://www.eurekascience.com/ICanDoThat/gen_eng.htm

Genetically Modified Food http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fs084

The Debate over Genetically Modified Foods http://www.actionbioscience.org/biotech/sakko.html

In addition, they will be asked to explore the American Museum of Natural History Gene Scene http://www.amnh.org/explore/ology/genetics

Part Two

Next students will need to use some pre-writing tools to help them process the information that they have read in this unit regarding genetically modified organisms from the Hunger Games, suicide mosquitoes, and the 2 additional articles (part one of this activity).  They can use their choice of the following tools to help them describe genetic modification and associated pros and cons.

Animated Cartoon with Go!Animate
Online Poster with Glogster
Concept Map with Popplet
Post-It Note Board with Padlet
Narrated Notes with ShowMe Interactive Whiteboard

Part Three

Students will be asked to write a five-paragraph essay analyzing the significance, ethics, and impact of GMO on society arguing whether it should be continued or regulated.  Students should use Google Docs to write their essay and share the document with their teacher. Guidelines and rubrics for the essay are included in the Grade 8 Literacy in Science: Genetic Modification of Organisms, NYC Department of Education lesson plan (linked in the intro).