This lesson plan was created based on a template developed for the Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment initiative sponsored by the Alliance for Catholic Education.

Number of Days:

2 days


Prior Knowledge:

SWBAT define the nucleus, explain the cell cycle, and describe the cellular basis of cancer.


Lesson Objective:

SWBAT utilize a model of DNA to describe the process of replication.


Lesson Assessment:



Benchmark or Standards:

B.1.24 Explain that gene mutations can be caused by such things as radiation and chemicals. Understand that when they occur in sex cells, the mutations can be passed on to offspring; if they occur in other cells, they can be passed on to descendant cells only.
B.1.25 Explain that gene mutation in a cell can result in uncontrolled cell division, called cancer. Also know that exposure of cells to certain chemicals and radiation increases mutations and thus increases the chance of cancer.


Materials Needed:

Laptop, Projector, DNA extracation lab materials, candy for DNA model activity



Analysis of DNA polymerase and cancer, extracation lab, "Sunny Delight" article



Building models



TimeLearning TaskMethod or Procedure
Day 1
3Assess prior knowledgeBellwork: What is a gene? Where do genes come from? What do they do?
9Discuss bellworkclass discussion
15Explain the origins of DNA in the cellDNA Extrication lab: basic experiment in which students remove DNA from wheat germ cells
15Describe the structure of DNA and relate it to chromosomes. Define the nitrogenous bases, base-pairs, complementary, and anti-parallelNotes supplemented by flash video showing the growing complexity of DNA strand from the bases to the double helix
10Construct a model of DNA (using candy) with 5 base-pairs, 5' and 3' ends, and phosphate backbone. Students must label their model.Work in pairs
2Assess/close: Where is DNA located? What are base-pairs?Exit card
Day 2
3Activate prior knowledgeBellwork: What is bad about getting sunburned too often?
3Discuss bellworkclass discussion
20Explain the molecular basis of replication. Students will draw the process of replication, labeling the replication forks, helicases, DNA polymerase. Prior to drawing, students will use their model from yesterday and "replicate" their strand.Read, model, draw
25Analyze the consequences of errors in replication, and how these errors come about. Students will read "sunny delight" article that describes people who have mutations in their DNA polymerase, thus making them more-susceptible to skin cancer. Students will also define "DNA mutations" and explain how an increase in mutations results in an increase of chances for cancer.Read "Sunny Delight" article
5Recall BW. Relate to the final reading of the day.closure--class discussion


Attached Files:




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