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Learning Exercise

Material: Science & Mathematics Education Center
Submitted by: Vanessa Garcia on Sep 16, 2007
Date Last Modified: Jun 18, 2008
Title: What is DNA?
Description: In this activity students extract DNA from bananas. They will see that DNA is a component of living things and that DNA can be extracted and observed.
Type of Task: Group, Student-centered, Supervised
Time Required 50 Minutes
Topics: This activity will cover what DNA looks and feels like. Students will be given a short lecture before the activity on what components make up DNA and the function of DNA.
Course: 7th Grade Life Science/ High School Biology
Audience: High School, Middle School
Prerequisites Skills: Students should have a basic understanding of the cell theory.
Learning Objectives: Meets California Standards: 5.The genetic composition of cells can be altered by incorporation of exogenous DNA into the cells. As a basis for understanding this concept: Students know the general structures and functions of DNA, RNA, and protein.
Technical Notes: This lesson contains 3 parts: Part 1 is a 10-15 minute lecture on DNA. The second part is 20 minutes on the DNA extraction activity. Part 3 will allow students to reflect on what they have learned by answering questions and writing a quick summary of what they did.
Text of Learning Exercise:
Assessment: Ask students to Draw their white threads of DNA. The following questions may be asked: 1) Describe the appearance of DNA extracted. 2) From your experiment can you describe what is a precipate? 3) Write a conclusion on what you have learned about DNA from our unit. 4) Do you think your results would be different if you were to use a fruit or vegetable other than bananas? Explain.
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