Lab Aids | Store

Middle School Curriculum

Back in 1963 when LAB-AIDS® shipped its first kit, we had a vision, to revolutionize the middle school classroom with one of the first inquiry-based approaches to learning science through hands-on activity. More Info



22-30 (6 weeks)

Students consider whether to be tested for a hereditary condition as they explore fundamental principles of Mendelian genetics. Laboratory activities and simulations allow students to examine the inheritance of traits through generations. Students investigate heredity among imaginary “critters,” pea plants, and humans. Other activities focus on the difference between asexual and sexual reproduction, the process of cell division, and the role of nature and nurture in determining traits. Near the end of the unit, students model the use of DNA technologies to solve real-world problems.

Content in Genetics is organized into 18 activities, as follows:

Activity Title Activity Type Activity Overview
54. Investigating Human Traits Investigation Students collect data on six human characteristics and discuss causes of human variation.
55. Plants Have Genes, Too! Lab Students germinate seeds and use information about the parent plants to predict offspring color.
56. Joe’s Dilemma View and Reflect After reading a fictional story about a child who may have the Marfan syndrome, students watch a video on this genetic disease.
57. Reproduction Reading Students read about the differences between sexual and a sexual reproduction at the cellular level.
58. Creature Features Modeling Students develop models to investigate the inheritance of a trait in imaginary creatures.
59. Gene Combo Investigation Students model the inheritance of single – gene traits by collecting and analyzing data from coin tosses.
60. Mendel, First Geneticist Reading Students read about Gregor Mendel’s experiments with pea plants.
61. Gene Squares Problem Solving Students use Punnett squares to predict the approximate frequencies of traits among offspring.
62. Analyzing Genetic Data Lab Students quantify and analyze results of the seeds germinated in Activity 55. (Optional web-based activity on Life Cycles of Plants and Animals, including a flower dissection.)
63. Show Me the Genes! Reading Students read about the behavior of chromosomes and the function of DNA during sexual reproduction. (Optional web-based activity on Human Reproduction.)
64. Nature and Nurture Lab Students design an experiment to investigate the effect of the environment on seedling color.
65. Breeding Critters — More Traits Investigation Students create imaginary critter offspring to model patterns of inheritance.
66. Patterns in Pedigrees Problem Solving Students use Punnett squares and pedigrees to analyze patterns of inheritance.
67. What Would You Do? Talking it Over Students re-visit the Marfan scenario from Activity 56 and discuss the trade-offs of genetic testing.
68. Searching for the Lost Children Investigation After being introduced to a story about children lost during war, students apply blood group genetics to evaluating parent/child matches.
69. Evidence from DNA Modeling Students perform a DNA fingerprinting simulation to generate different sized pieces of DNA.
70. Finding the Lost Children Investigation Students use DNA fingerprints to gather additional evidence about the lost children introduced in Activity 68.
71. Should We? Talking it Over Students learn about the work of Dr. Mary-Claire King, who helped families in Argentina find their lost children and explore the ethics of using genetic information.

LAB-AIDS® provides several useful tools to guide you and your students through the Genetics unit:


Student Book

The Genetics soft cover Student Book guides investigations and provides related readings. The Student Book uses a variety of approaches to make science accessible for all students. SEPUP’s integrated literacy strategies help students process new science content, develop their analytical skills, make connections between related concepts, and express their knowledge orally and in writing.

The built-in assessment system helps teacher’s identify students’ strengths and weaknesses from the beginning of the course. This allows them to adjust activities when needed so that all students get the best chance to build their knowledge and appreciation of science.


LAB-AIDS® Science Lab Notebook

The use of a science journal or notebook in SEPUP is strongly recommended. The 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 is 112 three-hole punched pages which allow students to store the completed pages in their binder. It has a 2 column design and plenty of room for notes and responses to Analysis Questions. Graph Anywhere allows data tables and graphs to be drawn in a fraction of the usual time. The Science Lab Notebook was designed with “Best Practices” in mind.


Complete Materials Package

All SEPUP materials packages are designed with teachers, students and environmental considerations in mind. Traditional laboratory style classrooms are not necessary to teach SEPUP.

Materials packages include most of the items needed for the activities. They support multiple classes – typically up to five classes of 32 students (160 total students) – before consumables need to be replaced. It’s important to note that materials are consumed at various rates; therefore, it will not be necessary to replace all consumable items every year. Exclusive to SEPUP programs are the molded tray liners that keep everything in place and easy to locate – even in a hurry.


Teacher’s Guide

The Genetics Teacher’s Guide takes you through each activity in the Student Book and helps you see the development of concepts within the big picture of the units and the course you are teaching. It helps you set up the equipment from the kit, organize the classroom, conduct activities, and manage practical details, all of which enhance students’ learning environment.

The Teacher’s Guide is packaged as a series of loose-leaf binders that you can personalize with annotations, rearrangements, and insertions. The Teacher’s Guide provides full support for teaching the program. Additional support resources can also found in the Teacher’s Guide.


Teacher Resource

The Teacher Resource provides background and suggestions to increase the overall effectiveness of implementing the program across all levels of learners. Sections include: SEPUP’s Approach to Teaching and Learning, Differentiation Strategies for Diverse Learners, Literacy Strategies for Supporting Reading Comprehension and for Enhancing Students’ Writing and finally Comprehensive instruction on the SEPUP Assessment System.


Books Online

Individual, classroom or district licenses can be purchased for access to our student books on-line. It features editable Word documents for each set of Activity Assessment Questions which allows students to e-mail their finished work back to the teacher. Microsoft Word Tools provide strong support for diverse learners. The Spelling and Grammar Checker uses red and green underline squiggles representing spelling (red) and grammar (green) errors alerting students to potential errors. The thesaurus helps to refine writing as well as expose students to new vocabulary words. Students with poor spelling skills often have difficulty using a dictionary. This feature provides an instant definition for a highlighted word, eliminating the task of dictionary lookup. Students can also use the Thesaurus to find the synonyms of words.

All pages were created using Adobe Acrobat Reader. A great feature of the Adobe program is “The Read Aloud Function”. The program audibly reads the text, allowing the student to follow the reading on the page. You can speed up or slow down the program based on the student’s ability. This helps all students increase their vocabulary.


ExamView® Test Generating Software

ExamView® for Issues & Life Science makes it easier for educators to use your content to assess, track, and analyze student performance. Comprised of the Test Generator, Test Manager, and Test Player, ExamView® is the industry standard for paper, Internet, and LAN‐based question and test development.

Test Generator Educators can create assessments, quizzes, study guides, and worksheets using multiple question formats, pictures, tables, graphs, charts, and other multimedia elements. Works exclusively with eInstruction’s CPS™ student response systems for real‐time results.

Test Manager Educators collect results and generate comprehension reports in minutes. Test Manager also manages class rosters and automatically collects performance data from the school network to analyze student results and identify areas of concern.

Test Player Gives students the ability to take tests and view study guides over the school network. ExamView® adds even more benefits to your content.

QuickTest Wizard New tests can be created in a matter of minutes with easy step‐by‐step navigation. Simply select the question banks and the number of questions and ExamView® does the rest.

Style Gallery ExamView® tests can be easily formatted to match state or national standardized tests. Simply choose a layout based on predefined formats (e.g., TAKS, FCAT, GED, GMAT, NCLEX, etc.) and print a comprehensive answer sheet.

Multiple Question Formats ExamView® supports 14 question formats. An ExamView® question can contain pictures, graphs, charts, tables, and other multimedia elements. You can create dynamic questions (algorithms) for any subject area which allow infinite customization of a question using mathematical definitions.