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Genetics Photo Story Project

Last Updated: May-16-2009

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Developed By

  Laura Troy
Eric Creps

Lesson Title

  Genetics Photo Story Project

Length of Lesson

  7 Days

Lesson Unit

  Genetics and DNA







Grade 2


Subject 2


Strand 2


Michigan Content Expectations



  Genes, Traits, Recessive, Dominant, Alleles, Hybrid, Homozygous, Heterozygous, Gametes, Mutation, Trisomy, Monosomy, Karyotype, DNA, chromosome, double helix



Microsoft Photo Story 3

Computers, with headphones, microphones, internet access.

Flash drive

Projector and screen

Story Board Graphic Organizer

Photo Story 3 Instructions

Student Examples





The following lesson is a review of the big ideas which were taught during the Genetics/DNA Unit. Students will work in pairs. They will choose a big idea(concept) and develop a Photo Story 3 project. We spent several weeks teaching the required HSCE's for DNA, Genetics and Cell Division. This project  is developed as an assessment tool, as well as a learning tool because research shows that people learn best when they teach others.


Big Idea(s)


DNA must replicate itself faithfully in order to pass all genetic information on to descendent cells.

Cell division is necessary for growth, repair of damaged cells and species reproduction.

Errors or damage to DNA cause mutations.

DNA codes are responsible for the reproduction of inherited traits.


Essential Questions


Why do we look the way we do?

Why is it necessary for cells to divide?


Learning Objectives


The student will:

Explain that the information passed from parents to offspring is transmitted by genes that are coded in DNA molecules.

Explain that DNA codes for proteins that are responsible for our inheritied traits.

Compare and contrast mitosis and meiosis.

Recognize every offspring has its own DNA sequence.

Predict the consequences that changes in the DNA composition of particular genes may have on an organism.

Describe the structure and function of DNA.

Propose the effects (on genes) of exposing an organism to radiation or toxic chemicals.

Draw and label a homologous chromosome pair with heterozygous alleles highlighting aparticular gene location.


Summative Assessment


Develop a Photo Story which describes one of the Big Ideas about DNA, Genetics.


Resource(s) available for this section

Lesson Opening


Begin a class discusion by asking the students why cells divide? Why do we look the way we do? Can something go wrong? Make a list of the students' ideas.


Lesson Opening Co-teaching Plan


One teacher will lead the discussion while the other makes a list on the board of the students' ideas. Both teachers will prose questions and make suggestions.




Students will be shown a variety of completed Photos Story Projects which vary in presentation style (ie narration, no narration) and difficulty. The teacher will highlight how the person who made the video used strategies to get the "big idea' across to the audience.

The Smart Board will be used to show different websites in which to find free music, pictures etc.


Exploration Co-teaching Plan


One teacher will introduce the project while the other teacher will show the videos and website.


Check for Understanding


Give the students the directions for the project along with a list of "big ideas" they can choose from. Let the know they can choose their own "big idea" with teacher approval. Review the rubric  with the students. Ask students to give examples of the criteria on the rubric. Clarify any misunderstandings as needed.


Check for Understanding Co-teaching Plan


The co-teacher will monitor for any looks of confusion. The co-teacher will walk around and answer any questions that an individual may have but is afraid to ask in front of the class. The teacher review that part of the directions out loud in case other students may need some clarification.




After the requirements of the project have been covered, the teacher will demonstrate the different aspects of making a Photo Story Project on the Smart Board.

Resource(s) available for this section

Explanation Co-teaching Plan


Both teachers will highlight key ideas.


Check for Understanding (2)


Once in the computer lab the teacher will monitor students working on their projects. A hard copy of making a Photo Story will be made available to help with clarifications.


Check for Understanding Co-teaching Plan (2)


Both teachers will monitor student activity and provide support as necessary.


Extended Practice


Students will work on their Photo Story Projects while being monitored by the teacher.  Research, story board and Photo Story will be done by students working in pairs. The students will follow the deadlines which are on the rubric.

Resource(s) available for this section



After students present their projects the teacher will highlight key concepts form the presentation.

A written quiz will be given after the students complete a study guide of the "big ideas" for this unit.


Closing Co-teach Plan


Both teachers will provide feedback and highlight key concepts.

The co-teacher will work with a small group of students  while they complete the study guide. The quiz will be given in a small group setting, extended time and reading or clarification of questions.