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Utah Science

Curriculum Consortium

Tyson Grover 

tgrover@dsdmail.net

Annette Nielson

afonnesbeck@dsdmail.net

Standard 7.3.3: Develop and use a model to describe why genetic mutations may result in harmful, beneficial, or neutral effects to the structure and function of the organism. Emphasize the conceptual idea that changes to traits can happen. Specific changes of genes at the molecular level, mechanisms for protein synthesis or specific types of mutations will be introduced at the high school level.

Student Friendly Objective: I can create a model to show how mutations can be harmful, helpful, or neither.

Anchor Phenomenon: Why are some people colorblind?

Big Idea: Mutations can be harmful, neutral, or beneficial.

 

Students become engaged with this standard as they make observations using the color blind test. As students share their observations, they will also be asking questions about what they are seeing and why some people in the population cannot find the numbers within the circles.

 

Students further explore the concept by looking at images showing organisms with traits resulting from mutations, or by reading passages about such traits. As students write their observations about the structures and functions they see and read about, they begin to form explanations about how the organism got the traits.

 

Next, students build structures using instructions given to them. As they compare and use their model, they understand differences in their models come from differences in their instructions. As students are introduced to DNA and how that leads to protein synthesis, they will explain between their model and what happens when changes happen to DNA.

 

Finally, students elaborate upon what they know as they investigate a pedigree chart, showing color blindness. Students make connections between what they see in the pedigree chart with the beginning activity.


To evaluate understanding, students complete three tasks, where they explain how the organisms got their traits and whether that mutation is good, bad, or neutral.

Storyline Narrative 7.4.3

You found the secret message! Huzzah!

Conceptual Understandings

Some people have a trait that makes it difficult for them to see colors

What causes this trait in a person? Are mutations good or bad?

Snapshot

Students make observations about a color blind test and see that some people can’t see the numbers hidden in the test

Episode 1

Question

How do mutations affect sight?

 

Episode 2

Question

Are mutations good or bad?

Snapshot

Students look at pictures or read articles about other mutations and decide if the traits have an overall positive, neutral, or negative effect.

Conceptual Understandings

There are variations within populations. These traits can be good, bad, or neutral.

How do genetic mutations develop?

Conceptual Understandings

DNA is the instruction manual for an organism’s traits. Changes to these instructions change the traits of the organism.

How can we use past data to predict and track genetic mutations?

Snapshot

Students use blocks to see how changes in instructions can alter the final product, like changes in DNA can change an organism’s traits.

Episode 3

Question

How do genetic mutations develop?

 
 

Episode 4

Question

How can we use past data to predict and track genetic mutations?

Snapshot

Students study a pedigree chart to find patterns with the inheritance of color-blindness

Conceptual Understandings

Color blindness is caused by a mutation in DNA and mutations can be inherited.