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WebQuests and Lesson Plans
Whatever you need, from an idea to get you started to a full-blown plan, this section provides you with resources to connect Explore More to your classroom. Do you have a classroom activity to share? We'd love to hear from you. Contact us.

WebQuests
Classroom Activities
Lesson Plans
PBS Teachers Lesson Plans

Web Quests
The World Wide Web can be a very exciting place. It can also be confusing -- full of questionable content, outdated information, and authors who would never qualify as experts. WebQuests are activities that help you make the most out of the best of the World Wide Web. Learn more about WebQuests (http://webquest.sdsu.edu/)

Explore More WebQuests

Subject

Grade

Description

All

6-12

Genetic Engineering MiniQuest
This short activity is a great way to get your students familiar with the Explore More: Genetic Engineering Web site and prepare them to take the other WebQuests. Students need to explore the site to find the answers.

All

6-12

Explore More News (Short Term)
This WebQuest is a problem-solving exercise. Your students play the role of a newspaper reporter for Explore More News. They research an issue that interests them and write one article. This WebQuest works for any of the four topics (genetic engineering, energy, working landscapes, water quality). Plan on at least two class periods to complete this quest.

WebQuest Assessment Rubric (Short Term)
This WebQuest Assessment Rubric and Guide for the short term WebQuest helps students get organized and record their progress. It includes a checklist to record progress and a rubric to evaluate work. Students will learn about an issue related to one of the Explore More Web sites and create one Explore More News newspaper article.

All

6-12

Explore More News (Long Term)
This WebQuest is a problem-solving exercise. Your students play the role of newspaper reporter for Explore More News. They research an issue that interests them and write five articles. When they are finished, the students should have:

- a general news article
- a human interest article
- an issue article
- an editorial
- a letter to the editor

This WebQuest works for any of the four topics (genetic engineering, energy, working landscapes, water quality). Plan on at least four class periods to complete this quest.

WebQuest Assessment Rubric (Long Term)
This WebQuest Assessment Rubric and Guide for the long term WebQuest helps students get organized and record their progress. It includes a checklist to record progress and a rubric to evaluate their work. Students will learn about an issue related to one of the Explore More Web sites and create an Explore More News newspaper section that contains five types of newspaper articles.

Related WebQuests from the Web
(Compiled by Bernie Dodge for the WebQuest Page, San Diego State University: http://webquest.sdsu.edu/)

Subject

Grade

Description

Science

6-8

GE Foods - Friend or Foe? What are genetically engineered foods and are they dangerous to our health and to our environment? Look at both sides of the issue and then discuss findings at the "World Food Conference".
http://home.earthlink.net/~spcemonk/webquest.html

Science

6-8

To Fund or Not To Fund... Should support for the Human Genome Project continue?
http://oncampus.richmond.edu/academics/as/education/
projects/webquests/genetics/webgeneticssa2.html

Science

9-12

Cloning WebQuest The ethics of gathering human stem cells from early stage human embryos for treatment of Parkinson's
http://www.geocities.com/cloningwebquest/index.htm

Science

9-12

DNA Profiling An investigation of the issues surrounding DNA profiling
http://www.geocities.com/dnawebquest/index.htm

Science

9-12

GE Foods - Friend or Foe? What are genetically engineered foods and are they dangerous to our health and to our environment? Look at both sides of the issue and then discuss findings at the "World Food Conference".
http://home.earthlink.net/~spcemonk/webquest.html

Science

9-12

Genes: The Building Blocks of Life Decide how to allocate funding for different types of genetics research.
http://oncampus.richmond.edu/academics/as/education/
projects/webquests/genes/

Science

9-12

Genetica's Dilemna Preparing city council decision on production of genetically modified corn
http://www.tccsa.net/webquest/shea/

Science

9-12

Hello Dolly Examines how we should legislate cloning, especially humans. The projects works up from looking at the background to a presentation on why legislation is needed.
http://www.powayschools.com/projects/dolly/

Science

9-12

Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis WebQuest Should early stage embryos be tested for cystic fibrosis before implantation?
http://www.geocities.com/pgdwebquest/index.htm

Science

9-12

Tinkering with Mother Nature The impact of genetically-modified foods on society, economics and the environment is examined.
http://gmhsscience.com/GMO/

Science

9-12

To Fund or Not To Fund... Should support for the Human Genome Project continue?
http://oncampus.richmond.edu/academics/as/education/projects/
webquests/genetics/webgeneticssa2.html

Social studies

9-12

Gridlock Explore the causes of gridlock in your community. Identify a specific problem; develop a remedy; submit recommendations to an authoritative body.
http://imet.csus.edu/imet2/stanfillj/projects/grid/intro.htm

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Extension Activities

Looking for ways to connect the content within the Explore More Web site to your classroom curriculum? Math, science, language arts, and social studies extension activities are here to meet that challenge. Created by Iowa teachers, these extension activities are designed to bridge Explore More: Genetic Engineering with your curricular area using appropriate skills, higher-order thinking skills, and student-centered ideas. The design includes a title, subject area, an activity overview with objective, suggested procedures, assessment ideas, and the related standards and benchmarks. While not complete lesson plans, these extension activities are idea nuggets for you to design your own lesson plan, tailored to your curriculum.

Science

6-8+

A Forensic Mystery
In this activity students will use forensic techniques to solve a "robbery" that teacher stages using genetic evidence from the class.

Science

6-8+

Birds and Their Beaks
In this activity students will research and discriminate between various types of beaks. They will explain how these beaks help the birds adapt to and survive in their environments.

Science

6-8+

Gene Combination Probability
This activity is a model of the process of independent and random assortment of genes. Students select "genes" from the egg and sperm cells and observe the resulting combinations in the "offspring."

Science

6-8+

Genetics or Environment
In this activity students will trace one of these "undecided categories" through their ancestors. Afterwards they will try to conclude whether the characteristic was inherited or learned.

Science

6-8+

Human Genome Project
The Human Genome Project is a long-term project which is decoding the sequence of human chromosomes, identifying the genes, and mapping them. This project could have a huge impact on our lives, certainly within your students' lifetimes. By the end of this research activity, students will be able to explain the details of the design of this landmark project.

Science

6-8+

At Least Two Sides to Every Issue
This is a cooperative learning activity designed to give students a format in which they can express their viewpoint in a fair and open environment. the activity also forces students to take the opponent's side of an issue. At the end of this activity, students should understand various viewpoints of a genetic enginering issue.

Social Studies

6-8+

A Perfect "Dolly"
It is known that livestock can be genetically engineered for specific traits such as disease-resistance, leaner meats, faster growth, higher milk production, etc. Create a picture of a "perfect" sheep and label the traits that it possesses. Keep in mind the places around the world that raise sheep and characteristics that might contribute to a "perfect" animal.

Social Studies

6-8+

Cause and Effect
Students will learn about the history of genetic engineering by researching events from its timeline and recognize the causes and effects of those events. A T-chart and presentation will be created to share the information with others.

Social Studies

6-8+

Map It
Bioprospecting, looking for microorganisms that have potential to contribute to human endeavors, is an important step in many companies research. In this activity, students are cartographers and have been asked to make a map of unusual places that the researches might travel to "prospect" for bacteria (a microorganism).

Social Studies

6-8+

Mock Senate Debate
This activity is a role-play of a Senate debate on bills suggested to remedy a problem dealing with genetic engineering. As a result of this lesson, students will understand the role of a Senator in writing laws to deal with problems and suggest remedies for a problem related to a genetic engineering issue.

Social Studies

6-8+

New and Improved
During this activity, students will work together to identify plants and animals native to different parts of the world and make connections to create new, "improved" species which can be used to create new varieties of food, clothing, or shelter.

Social Studies

6-8+

Political Cartoon Creation
Genetic engineering involves many issues with multiple viewpoints. In this activity, students will form and express their own position/opinion on a genetic engineering issue by creating a political/editorial cartoon.

Social Studies

6-8+

Scientists of Genetic Engineering
Students will learn about the history of genetic engineering by researching individuals who contributed in some way to the science of genetic engineering. Using this information, students will create a Biographical Dictionary.

Social Studies

6-8+

The GE Game
Genetic engineering involves many issues that impact the world. In this activity, students will work together to understand the history of genetic engineering and explore the issues by creating a game.

Social Studies

6-8+

Where in the World is the Food?
Experts say that genetic engineering can increase the amount of food produced on the same amount of land that is currently being farmed. Students will locate the 20 countries most lacking in food that could most benefit from increased food production.

Language Arts

6-8+

Perplexing Puzzles
As a way to review the terms introduced in the genetic engineering unit, students will create their own crossword puzzles. These can then be given to other students to complete when reviewing the vocabulary.

Language Arts

6-8+

Biographical Sketches
Genetic engineering took a long time to get where it is today. Gregor Mendel, Francis Crick, Rosalind Franklin and many others struggled with far less advanced technology. Students will take a look at these important and interesting people and practice the technique of writing biographical sketches.

Language Arts

6-8+

Stem Cell Debate
President Bush has declared that scientists can use only existing stem cell lines for publicly funded research. In a recent survey of 1000 adult Americans, over 60% supported stem cell research. In this activity, students will debate the issue of stem cell research.

Language Arts

6-8+

Create Your Own Company
Transgenic Pets, of Syracuse, New York, is developing an allergen free cat for people with cat allergies. In this activity, students will work in pairs or small groups to create and market their own genetically engineered product which will be useful to society in some way.

Math

6-8+

Cloning Percentage
You have been asked to apply your math knowledge to the cloning of another sheep. This time scientists would like to make the animal 20% bigger than the original. What are the new measurements of the cloned sheep that they have produced.

Math

6-8+

Decisions
Students will calculate and estimate the number of plants it will take to create a harmonious biosphere.

Math

6-8+

Estimation
If you had to count the number of cells there were in a 10 inch by 10 inch flat surface, what would be the best way and or ways to estimate it without counting every cell?

Math

6-8+

Fibonacci
Students will calculate the Fibonacci Sequence using different number combinations.

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Lesson Plans ISU Office of Biotechnology
This collection of classroom activities were prepared by the Office of Biotechnology at Iowa State University. All of these are appropriate for middle school science labs. Some supplies are provided directly by the Office of Biotechnology. You will need to contact their office several weeks in advance (information is provided within those activities). For more science activities for all grades, visit the Office of Biotechnology (Iowa State University)

Science

6-8+

DNA Extraction From Onion DNA is present in the cells of all living organisms. This procedure is designed to extract DNA from onion in sufficient quantity to be seen and spooled.

Science

6-8+

Fruit Cup DNA Extraction From Kiwi DNA is present in the cells of all living organisms. This procedure uses household equipment and store supplies to extract DNA from kiwi in sufficient quantity to be seen and spooled.

Science

6-8+

DNA Transformation of Bacteria-Ampicillin Genes control the traits that living organisms possess. Bacteria, such as E. coli, have genes on their chromosomes and on small circular pieces of DNA called plasmids. Genes can be transferred from one bacterium to another on the plasmid by a process known as transformation. In this experiment, a plasmid with a gene (DNA) for resistance to the antibiotic ampicillin will be used to transfer the resistance gene into a susceptible strain of the bacteria.

Science

6-8+

Plant Micropropagation Using African Violet Leaves Through the use of biotechnology, desirable genetic traits can be transferred from one organism to another by transfer of DNA. In plants, the DNA of interest is transferred into the new plant by using Agrobacterium tumefaciens, a bacterium that can infect plant tissues and incorporate part of its DNA into the DNA of the host plant. The target for the foreign DNA is a small piece of plant tissue or a small mass of plant cells. Once the DNA has been transferred, new plants must be regenerated from the small pieces of transformed plant tissue using micropropagation (tissue culture) techniques.

Science

6-8+

Chymosin Demonstration The following demonstration provides an example of the use of a protein (chymosin) produced by biotechnology for making ice cream, custard, and cheese. Chymosin is produced by genetically engineered bacteria.

Science

6-8+

Soybean Flavor Demonstration Tasting soybeans with and without lipoxygenase enzymes provides a tangible illustration of the action of a gene. Iowa teachers can obtain the soybeans needed for the demonstration without charge from the Office of Biotechnology at Iowa State University.
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PBS Teachers

We have selected related resources from the PBS Teachers collection of over 3000 teacher guides, lesson plans, activities, and related programs. Visit the PBS Teachers site to find out more: http://www.pbs.org/teachers/

Subject

Grade

Description

Science

General

Scientific American Frontiers
Dragon Science: Driven to the Wall
Learn how computers and humans use "fuzzy logic" to solve problems.
http://www.pbs.org/safarchive/4_class/45_pguides/pguide_602/4562_drive.html

Science

General

Dragon Science: Food for Thought
Learn about hybrid vigor and selective breeding.
http://www.pbs.org/safarchive/4_class/45_pguides/pguide_602/4562_food.html

Science

General

Galapagos: DNA Adventure, The Web of Life
Using jellybeans, practice synthesizing and hybridizing DNA.
http://www.pbs.org/safarchive/5_cool/galapagos/g52d_dna.html

Science

General

Never Say Die: The Clock of Life
Create a flipbook which animates the process of mitosis.
http://www.pbs.org/safarchive/4_class/44_guides/guide_1003/44103_life.html

Science

General

Never Say Die: How To Make A Nose
Create a three dimensional DNA model.
http://www.pbs.org/safarchive/4_class/44_guides/guide_1003/44103_nose.html

Science

General

Science Italian Style: All In the Family
Learn about species relatedness with a simulated electrophoresis activity.
http://www.pbs.org/safarchive/4_class/45_pguides/pguide_503/4553_family.html

Science

General

The Wild West: Dead Men's Tales
Isolate DNA from an onion and perform experiments.
http://www.pbs.org/safarchive/4_class/45_pguides/pguide_601/4561_men.html

Science

General

The Living Edens
Anamalai: What About The People?
Learn about how biodiversity and population density come into conflict in southern India. http://www.pbs.org/edens/anamalai/teach.html

Science

General

Nova: Hot Science
Create a DNA Fingerprint: Hot Science
Try a Shockwave model of DNA electrophoresis and match a DNA fingerprint to one of several others in an online mystery.
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/sheppard/analyze.html

Science

General

A Science Odyssey
Earth and Life Sciences: Origins
Study electrophoresis and DNA fingerprinting.
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aso/resources/guide/earthact3index.html

Social Studies

General

Affluenza
Consumption
This popcorn activity compares consumption in the U.S. and developing nations.
http://www.pbs.org/kcts/affluenza/treat/tguide/tguide7.html

Social Studies

General

Affluenza
History of Wanting More
Learn how consumption evolved through research on a particular product.
http://www.pbs.org/kcts/affluenza/treat/tguide/tguide9.html

Social Studies

General

Forgotten Americans
Community Organization
Learn about community organizers in the Colonias in Texas, and explore community problem-solving in your area.
http://www.pbs.org/klru/forgottenamericans/classroom/classcomm.htm

Social Studies

General

Life in a Colonia
Learn about living conditions in one Mexican-American community, and discuss the "essentials" for quality of life in your area.
http://www.pbs.org/klru/forgottenamericans/classroom/classlife.htm

Social Studies

General

Your Town
Explore standards of living and public amenities available in different parts of your community.
http://www.pbs.org/klru/forgottenamericans/classroom/classtown.htm

Social Studies

General

Six Billion and Beyond
Study Guide
Study the environmental and cultural implications of world population growth through international case studies, debates, and community extension activities.
http://www.pbs.org/sixbillion/studyguide/studyguide.html

Language Arts

General

Ancestors
Records At Risk
Create a timeline of your life, and identify different records that relate to particular events.
http://www.pbs.org/kbyu/ancestors/teachersguide/episode1.html

Language Arts

General

In the Mix
Media Literacy: TV - What You Don't See!
Activity ideas and discussion questions about advertising, music videos, editing techniques, and news broadcasts.
http://www.pbs.org/inthemix/educators/pro_disc_guides.html

Language Arts

General

The People's Century
Exploring Points of View
Explore historical source material, multiple points of view, and the differences between documentary and historical fiction.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/peoplescentury/teachers/exploring.html

Math

General

The Democracy Project: Kids
Budget Making
Introduce students to budgets; learn about government services and basic expenses; and create pie charts representing government spending priorities.
http://www.pbs.org/democracy/kids/educators/budget.html

Math

General

Graphically Speaking
Explore the relationship between congressional representation and state population by graphing current statistics.
http://www.pbs.org/democracy/kids/educators/graphically.html




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