Genetics & Heredity

Use experiments to teach science

What's the difference between DNA, genes, and chromosomes? How do our genes results in different traits? What's the difference between mitosis and meiosis? How can a Punnett squares worksheet help me track genes and traits in organisms? Lab activities will help answer these questions.

Are Your Students Engaged?

Are you looking for a way to engage kids in their science learning? Are you eager to see your students become scientists in your classroom?

That's the goal of this course...

Activity Highlights

Building crazy creatures is a fun way to see how genes express themselves in offspring. And the more you create the more you see the huge number of possible combinations of traits.

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Punnett squares can be challenging for kids. And they need to repeat them to really understand them. Labs help immensely in this regard.

There's nothing like repeating famous experiments to make them come alive. Here we're channelling Mendel and raising F1 generation of different genetic crosses. Kids can see how the progeny reveal the hidden genomes of the parents.

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Mitosis and Meiosis are similar processes that are easily confused. Here's a dance that will get you up and moving and help solidify what's gong on.

DNA structure is famous. Build a simple model and unwind the components. This model is great because it's reusable and does a great job of modeling how DNA replicates.

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What's Included in the Course/Unit?

    • Written instructions include:
    › Simple directions (written to students)
    › Questions and worksheets
    › Explanations for the teacher
    › Answer keys to help with assessing student work.
    › List of materials and setup hints.

    › Video instructions including:
    • A demonstration of the activity
    • Hints and strategies for preparing each lesson

    › Course platform with a forum for asking questions if you need further clarification or support.
Enroll in Course for $18

Concepts and Topics Addressed in this Unit:

    ✦ Many of our traits are inherited.
    ✦ Some traits are dominant, some are recessive, and some are neither.
    ✦ Very few visible human traits follow simple Mendelian genetics.
    ✦ Traits are passed from parent to offspring
    ✦ Each parent donates one copy of each gene to its offspring
    ✦ Dominant genes are always expressed when the gene is present, but recessive genes are only apparent when the dominant gene is absent.
    ✦ Traits are passed from parent to offspring
    ✦ Each parent donates one copy of each gene to its offspring
    ✦ Dominant genes are always expressed when the gene is present, but recessive genes are only apparent when the dominant gene is absent.
    ✦ Each parent passes half of its genes to each of its offspring
    ✦ Offspring may or may not appear like their parents depending which genes are transmitted.
    ✦ Genes are passed from parent to offspring in a specific way.
    ✦ Each parent passes half of its genes to each of its offspring
    ✦ Offspring may or may not appear like their parents depending which genes are transmitted.
    ✦ Parental genotype can be determined based on the frequency of various traits in the offspring.
    ✦ Chromosomes divide during mitosis and meiosis
    ✦ During mitosis two identical cells result
    ✦ During meiosis, four non-identical gametes result
    ✦ One molecule or strand of DNA comprises a single chromosome.
    ✦ DNA molecules split lengthwise before duplicating.
    ✦ In DNA, only specific bases can combine with each other.
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​Invite students to become scientists in your classroom

As fellow scientists they need to learn to investigate, discover, measure, observe, examine...

And these skills take time and repetition.

 

But repeating stuff can be boring…

That’s where labs come in! 

Many of the labs are teaching the same fundamentals but use different materials to keep things interesting.

 

What if you don’t have time to research the science behind a concept?

I’ve got you covered... Sections in the written instructions and the videos should answer your questions. Here you’ll also find hints and helps for running an activity. Additionally, the Teacher Notes sections will give you plenty of background information. You won’t have to do any outside research unless you want to.

What if your kids are at different levels?

Ah, differentiation! In my classroom everyone did the Core Labs—marked by Δ. These are the labs we talk about in our discussions and they provide the content for what we test. Extension Labs go deeper or broader—some are tangents, and some repeat the core concepts for kids who need that.

What if you don’t have time to introduce a lab?

No worries! if students work at at their own pace they can be independent and work through the instructions.The lab instructions are written directly to the students so you can just print and go.

When does the course start?

This course is a collection of lessons to use in your classroom. You can start as soon as you sign up!

Can I access these resources from my phone or tablet?

Sure! It works well on any device.​

Do I have to go in order?

Nope! You can use the lessons in any order—I always arrange them in a way I think makes sense, however since students in my classes worked at their own pace, they also tended to do the lessons in their preferred order. Within each section, the lessons progress from concrete to more abstract and from fundamental concepts to more tangential ones.

Who is this course for?

This course is designed for teachers to give them hands-on resources to teach middle school science.

Will this course work for homeschoolers?

I think so, though my background is classroom teaching. It’s not designed like a plug and play course. It’s a collection of activities that will help you teach the content.

What if I am unhappy with the course?

We would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact us in the first 30 days and we will give you a full refund.

How long do I have access to the course?

After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course - across any and all devices you own.

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Meet the author...

Hi, I'm Carolyn Balch, the author of Engaging Science Labs. I started my career as a high school physics teacher. Then I entered the field of museum education at the National Air and Space Museum (part of the Smithsonian Institution) where I wrote science education materials and ran teacher workshops. When my children were born, I left the workforce and when they were little, our family got involved with a school start up. My children grew and with them, the school; 

 

I volunteered on a weekly basis, running science experiments for my son's class and joined the faculty as the middle school science teacher when the seventh grade was added. Now I write full-time, working to publish the curriculum I developed while I was teaching. Each online course is a unit of study from a hands-on, laboratory-experience perspective.