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Science and Global Issues: Biology, Genetics

Science and Global Issues: Biology, Genetics

29-42 (6-9 weeks)

Unit issue: People rely on genetically engineered crop plants to maintain a global food supply, but the use of this technology can impact sustainability.

Overarching question: How do genetically engineered crops affect the sustainability of food production? 

This unit begins with students reviewing their initial ideas and questions from Sustainability: Changing Human Impact, about the issue of creating genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Students are presented with data about the increase in herbicide-resistant weed species in the U.S. following the introduction of herbicide-resistant soy crops. This brings them to the unit issue: People rely on genetically engineered crop plants to maintain a global food supply, but the use of this technology can affect the sustainability of food production. Students may ask questions about how weeds could become herbicide-resistant and what this means for sustainable food production. During the unit, students consider an overarching question: How do genetically engineered crops affect the sustainability of food production? They also begin to consider the consequences for people locally and globally if steps aren’t taken to manage genetically engineered crops for sustainability. 

Performance Expectations: 
HS-LS1-1: Construct an explanation based on evidence for how the structure of DNA determines the structure of proteins, which carry out the essential functions of life through systems of specialized cells. 
HS-LS1-4: Use a model to illustrate the role of cellular division (mitosis) and differentiation in producing and maintaining complex organisms. 
HS-LS2-7: Design, evaluate, and refine a solution for reducing the impacts of human activities on the environment and biodiversity. 
HS-LS3-1: Ask questions to clarify relationships about the role of DNA and chromosomes in coding the instructions for characteristic traits passed from parents to offspring.
HS-LS3-2: Make and defend a claim based on evidence that inheritable genetic variations may result from (1) new genetic combinations through meiosis, (2) viable errors occurring during replication, and/or (3) mutations caused by environmental factors.
HS-LS3-3: Apply concepts of statistics and probability to explain the variation and distribution of expressed traits in a population. 

Content in Science and Global Issues: Biology, Genetics is organized into activities, as follows:

Activity Title Activity Overview
1. Superweeds! Where Did They Come From? Students begin the unit by engaging in argument from evidence pertaining to how superweeds (weeds that are herbicide-resistant) could have got-ten into a farmer’s corn fields. Stu-dents consider the cause and effect of growing genetically modified plants and consider if this is the explanation behind the presence of superweeds. They begin to explore the different ways that genes can be passed from one organism to another. Working toward HS-LS3-2
2. Creating Genetically Modified Bacteria To explore how scientists create GMOs, students genetically modify E. coli to express GFP and ampicillin resistance. They consider how the structure and function of a protein can yield a visible trait (e.g., glowing bacteria). They explore how genetic modification can be used to express proteins that can be used as biofuels. Students construct explanations about how they modified E. coli, what they observed, and how they know that the modification was successful. Working toward HS-LS1-1
3. Mitosis and Asexual Reproduction To understand how genetic information is replicated and passed from parent to daughter cells, students develop and use a model to explain the process of mitosis. Students view a mitosis simulation and then create a system model by drawing and annotating each phase of mitosis. Students discuss the probability that daughter cells will receive an inserted gene from a genetically modified parent cell. Working toward HS-LS1-4
4. Breeding Corn To understand how genes are passed from parent to offspring, students determine the genotypes of offspring by using a Punnett square for one trait. Students ask questions about and discuss the causes of varied phenotypes in the resulting offspring. Students predict the expected ratio from crossing two heterozygous parents, and analyze example crosses to determine parental genotypes based on offspring results. Working toward HS-LS3-1 Working toward HS-LS3-3
5. Breeding Corn for Two Traits Students extend their understanding of allelic frequency by applying concepts of probability as they consider crosses that feature two traits. Students ask questions about and discuss the cause of the varied phenotypes among the resulting offspring. Working toward HS-LS3-1 Working toward HS-LS3-3
6. How Did This Happen? Class Consensus Students engage in argument from ev-idence about how superweeds arrived in the farmer’s fields and were able to spread. Students consider evidence and arguments presented in previ-ous activities to generate their own explanation of the phenomenon and to contribute to a class explanation. They also consider the possible effects that superweeds may have on future crop yields. This activity completes the first learning sequence and provides an opportunity to assess Performance Expectation HS-LS3-3. Working toward HS-LS3-2 Assessing HS-LS3-3
7. Protein Synthesis: Transcription and Translation To understand how genetic modification changes the structure and function of proteins in organisms, students explore the process of protein synthesis in two phases, transcription and translation. Students generate models that support their explanations of how protein synthesis works in plant cells. Working toward HS-LS1-1 Working toward HS-LS3-1
8. Cell Differentiation and Gene Expression To determine why cells in different tissues express different proteins and how environmental factors influence expression, students explore the expression of 11 different human genes. Students ask questions about the causes and effects of gene expression in four different cell types and how genes are passed from parent to offspring. Students are assessed on Performance Expectation HS-LS1-4. Assessing HS-LS1-4 Working toward HS-LS1-1
9. Explaining Herbicide Resistance in Weeds Students construct initial explanations of how herbicide resistance is generated in plants at the level of genes, proteins, and DNA. Students revise their models of genetic modification from Activity 7 to include how protein synthesis and gene ex-pression lead to specific traits, such as herbicide resistance. Working toward HS-LS1-1
10. Molecular Mechanism of Herbicide Resistance To more fully understand the mechanism of herbicide resistance in plants, students read and analyze text about how scientists generate a mutation in a specific protein (EP-SPS) to cause herbicide resistance. Students revise their initial explanations of genetic modification to include information about EPSPS, and construct an explanation about how herbicide resistance is created in plants. Students are assessed on Performance Expectation HS-LS1-1. Assessing HS-LS1-1 Working toward HS-LS3-1
11. Meiosis and Sexual Reproduction To more deeply understand how genetic information is passed from parent to offspring, students use models to learn about the processes of meiosis and sexual reproduction. Students compare these processes as sources of inheritable genetic variation, and identify evidence that can be used to determine the cause of said variation. Students are assessed on Performance Expectation HS-LS3-1. Assessing HS-LS3-1 Working toward HS-LS3-2
12. Genes and Chromosomes To understand how genetic information is segregated into different sex cells, students track specific genes as they are carried by chromosomes to each egg or sperm cell and ultimately to a fertilized egg. Students use models to deepen their under-standing of meiosis and inheritance in the context of reproduction in a genetically modified plant that leads to the generation of modified sperm (pollen) and how weeds can generate herbicide-resistant offspring. Applying HS-LS3-1 Working toward HS-LS3-2
13. Which Plant Is Genetically Modified? Students analyze DNA evidence from gel electrophoresis to deter-mine whether gene migration from crops to weeds could have occurred in the superweeds in Farmer Green’s fields. Students draw on this evidence to engage in argument about the cause of herbicide resistance among the superweeds in Farmer Green’s fields. This activity completes the second learning sequence and provides an opportunity to assess Performance Expectation HS-LS3-2. Assessing HS-LS3-2
14. Genetically Modified Organisms and Biodiversity To determine how superweeds affect local biodiversity, students analyze and interpret data that shows the patterns of weed and insect population changes prior to and after reports of superweeds being present in fields. Students draw conclusions about the benefits and trade-offs of genetically modified crops. Working toward HS-LS4-3 Assessing HS-LS3-3
15. Benefits and Trade-Offs of Genetically Modified Organisms Students obtain and evaluate evidence about the benefits and trade-offs of GMOs. Students discuss the benefits and trade-offs and look for patterns in what communities should consider when deciding on the use of GMOs. Working toward HS-LS4-3 Applying HS-LS1-1
16. Evaluating Genetically Modified Organisms Students analyze data about the sustainability of a county’s agriculture. Based on the patterns presented in the data, students make an evidence-informed recommendation as to whether the county should grow genetically modified soy. Working toward HS-LS2-7 Working toward HS-LS4-3
17. Alternatives to Farming Genetically Modified Organisms Students evaluate four alternative farming proposals that address superweeds. With a focus on how the outcome of each proposal may affect the sustainability of agricul-ture in the county, and supported by evidence, students construct a recommendation for the proposal of their choice, present it to the class, and independently write their recommendation to the board. This activity concludes the third and final learning sequence of the unit. Working toward HS-LS2-7

Science and Global Issues: Biology, Genetics

Student Book

Science and Global Issues: Biology, Redesigned for the NGSS (SGI: Biology) is a year-long hardbound book with all five units. Like the previous edition, SGI: Biology wraps the entire program around the issue of sustainability, and each unit around a specific Unit Issue to anchor the content.
Science and Global Issues: Biology, Genetics

The Lab-Aids© Science Lab Notebook

The use of a science journal or notebook is strongly recommended for all science classes. A journal not only models the way scientists work but it helps to develop and reinforce students’ science learning and literacy skills.

The LAB-AIDS Science Lab Notebook was designed with “Best Practices” in mind. Each of the 160 LABLOG pages, has a 2-column design with GraphAnywhere, which allows data tables and graphs to be drawn in a fraction of the usual time, and plenty of room to record data, notes, and responses to questions. It is also three-hole punched to allow students to store the entire notebook, or individual completed pages, in their binder.

Science and Global Issues: Biology, Genetics

Teacher Edition

Science and Global Issues: Biology, Genetics

Student and Teacher Portals

In addition to hardbound print books, instructional materials are also available through the online portal. Student navigation through each activity is facilitated by section tabs, and the interactive design allows students to respond directly in their portal. The online student portal is also where helpful resources can be found, like LABsent (for students who are absent from a lab), Spanish text, and embedded assessments.
Science and Global Issues: Biology, Genetics Item # Price Quantity
Lab-Aids© Science Lab Notebook
(bulk pricing up to 48% off)
SLN-1 $8.95