- Review Process
- Take Action
- A project of
This comprehensive inquiry explores the world of the genetics and pharmaceutical biotechnology through a simulation of a 'real world' veterinary health issue.
The resource centers around the diagnosis and treatment of a cat with several health issues that has been brought to an animal clinic. Students will test, diagnose, and make treatment recommendations for the cat by applying their knowledge of genetics and the medical uses of chromosomal mutation & genetic modifications. The lessons incorporate principles of heredity, DNA, dominant and recessive traits, Mendel’s Laws, and Punnett Squares. Students must also consider the moral and ethical issues surrounding biotechnology and human health.
The resource consists of 18 lesson plans augmented with Power Point and video presentations.
Lesson One: Real Cats Wear Pink (2 x 60 min)
Students read about genetically modified cats and simulate the genetic modification of a desired trait.
Lesson Two: Cats and You : DNA Doubles? (2 x 60 min)
Students discover the history of the mapping of the human and feline genomes and compare the chromosomal DNA of each one.
Lesson Three: Diagnose Sparky (2 x 60min)
The simulation begins with Sparky the Cat being brought to an animal clinic. Students complete a triage and create a case folder.
Lesson Four: Analyzing Sparky (1 x 45 min)
Students analyze Sparky’s blood work results and discuss a diagnosis
Lesson Five: Urine Jeopardy ( 1 x 60min)
Students administer a urine test. analyze the results and discuss diabetes mellitus
Lesson Six: Another Cat Needs Exfoliation (2 x60 min)
Students treat feline acne in a pregnant cat and perform a hands-on activity simulating a urine test.
Lesson Seven: Mapping the Males (1x 60min)
Using videos and biological models describing how to interpret gel electrophoresis, students determine the potential father of Sparky’s kittens.
Lesson Eight: Gelin’: Gel Electrophoresis (1x 60min)
Students simulate gel electrophoresis by conducting a simple chromatography experiment.
Lesson Nine: Who’s Your Daddy? : (1 x60 min)
Students examine DNA fingerprints to determine the father of Sparky's kittens.
Lesson Ten: Lucky Brands Genes: Genetic Traits (1x 60min)
After reviewing genetic terminology students examine their own single gene traits.
Lesson Eleven: Punnet Squares Possibilities (2 x 60min)
Students use parent genotypes to determine the phenotypes of the kittens and calculate their risk of having polycystic kidney disease and neonatal isoerthrolysis.
Lesson Twelve: Lucky Brand Genes: Chromosome Cookies (2 x 60min)
Students make cookies to model the various ways that chromosomes can be mutated- insertion mutation, deletion mutation, translocation mutation, and duplication mutation. They relate this exercise to the current and future uses of medical biotechnology.
Lesson Thirteen: Kitten Creation ( 2 x 60 minutes)
Students use dominant and recessive traits to determine the physical traits of their kittens. They then use craft supplies to build stuffed models of the cats incorporating those same physical traits.
Lesson Fourteen: Adaptation Sensation (2 x 60min)
Students discover how organisms are modified (natural selection, crossbreeding/hybrids, genetic modification) and create metaphors for cat and human modifications.
Lesson Fifteen: Crossing Hairs (1x60min)
Students consider desired traits of cats to crossbreed for a new desired trait. They play a game in which they take on the role of a cat breeder and are asked to produce offspring with certain traits. Cat profiles and pictures are included.
Lesson Sixteen: Great Expectations Through Modifications (3 x60min)
Students study the role of recombinant DNA in the production of insulin. They then construct a poster to explain this process.
Lesson Seventeen: What is Biotechnology? (1x60min)
Students are introduced to the term biotechnology and complete a 'biotechnology timeline' activity. They then discuss what developments the future may hold.
Lesson Eighteen: Medical Ethics ( 2 x 60min)
Students complete Sparky’s Medical Expenditure Log and consider the genetic, ethical and medical concerns with regards to the cat’s treatment. The final step is to read an article describing “The Sports Gene”, and present the arguments around testing for the sports gene in children.
This resource could be used in high school science and biology courses to address outcomes associated with genetics, heredity, DNA, dominant and recessive traits, Mendel's Laws, punnet squares and molecular biology. Science and technology classes would benefit from the discussions generated from the descriptions of current medical technologies used in assessing and treating disease. It could also be used as a springboard to evaluate different societal perspectives on the development and use of biotechnology.
The entire package could also serve as very comprehensive enrichment project, studying the role of genes and inherited characteristics in improving human health.
The following tool will allow you to explore the relevant curriculum matches for this resource. To start, select a province listed below.
|Consideration of Alternative Perspectives||Satisfactory|
The resource does not deal directly with religious and ethical perspectives surrounding the use of genetic applications of biotechnology. It does touch briefly on the medical ethics of these technologies. It presents a positive view of genetic manipulation.
|Consideration of Alternative Perspectives: |
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions||Satisfactory|
This resource does illustrate environmental, social and economic implications related to biotechnology.
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions: |
Effectively addresses the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.
Although not examining all aspects of this issue, it does illustrate its complexity and promotes understanding, discussion and dialogue among the students
|Respects Complexity: |
The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected.
|Acting on Learning||Poor/Not considered|
|Acting on Learning: |
Learning moves from understanding issues to working towards positive change — in personal lifestyle, in school, in the community, or for the planet
Although there is a lesson on medical ethics there could be more opportunities for students to express their values and opinions on the personal and social impacts of bio-technology.
|Values Education: |
Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.
|Empathy & Respect for Humans||Satisfactory|
|Empathy & Respect for Humans: Empathy and respect are fostered for diverse groups of humans (including different genders, ethnic groups, sexual preferences, etc.).|
|Personal Affinity with Earth||Satisfactory|
This resource promotes the use of molecular biology to treat, map and identify disease. The future of these technologies could certainly grow to include technologies to enhance the healing of our planet.
|Personal Affinity with Earth: |
Encourages a personal affinity with -the natural world.
Students are asked to examine thier own personal single gene traits and extend this study to their families.
|Locally-Focused Learning: |
Includes learning experiences that take advantage of issues/elements within the local community.
|Past, Present & Future||Very Good|
Lessons sixteen and seventeen focus specifically on the biotechnological developments of the past, and the great potential of genetic modifications and mapping. Modern biotechnology with its concern for human health is all about the future.
|Past, Present & Future: Promotes an understanding of the past, a sense of the present, and a positive vision for the future.|
A combination of structured and guided inquiry is used. Students are able to discover some answers on their own with regards to the potential of genetics to treat, map, and avoid disease in the future.
Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.
This is primarily a science resource, but there are opportunities for addressing outcomes in language arts, and art.
|Integrated Learning: |
Learning brings together content and skills from more than one subject area
|Inquiry Learning||Very Good|
|Inquiry Learning: |
Learning is directed by questions, problems, or challenges that students work to address.
Both cognitive and affective domains are addressed. A variety of instructional strategies are used, including simulations, hands-on inquiry, research, analysis of data, and games. There are no accommodations suggested for struggling readers.
|Differentiated Instruction: |
Activities address a range of student learning styles, abilities and readiness.
|Experiential Learning||Very Good|
Hands-on activities are unique, interesting and directly related to the goal of the lesson
|Experiential Learning: |
Authentic learning experiences are provided
Students work in groups, and also reflect on issues and questions with 'elbow partners".
|Cooperative Learning: |
Group and cooperative learning strategies are a priority.
|Assessment & Evaluation||Satisfactory|
This resource includes excellent follow-up questions for most lessons, complete with answer keys. Personal assessment is encouraged. Teachers will need to design their own evaluation tools and rubrics.
|Assessment & Evaluation: Tools are provided that help students and teachers to capture formative and summative information about students' learning and performance. These tools may include reflection questions, checklists, rubrics, etc.|
|Peer Teaching: |
Provides opportunities for students to actively present their knowledge and skills to peers and/or act as teachers and mentors.
Case studies are included on desirable traits for dogs and cats and on the "Sports Gene" lesson.
|Case Studies: |
Relevant case studies are included. Case studies are thorough descriptions of real events from real situations that students use to explore concepts in an authentic context.
|Locus of Control||Satisfactory|
|Locus of Control: Meaningful opportunities are provided for students to choose elements of program content, the medium in which they wish to work, and/or to go deeper into a chosen issue.|