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:

3 days

Prior Knowledge:

SWBAT transcribe a DNA sequence and translate an RNA sequence.

Lesson Objective:

SWBAT apply the process of translation to analyze mutations in a gene.

Lesson Assessment:


Benchmark or Standards:

B.1.23 Understand that and describe how inserting, deleting, or substituting DNA segments can alter a gene. Recognize that an altered gene may be passed on to every cell that develops from it, and that the resulting features may help, harm, or have little or no effect on the offspring’s success in its environment. B.1.26 Demonstrate how the genetic information in DNA molecules provides instructions for assembling protein molecules and that this is virtually the same mechanism for all life forms.

Materials Needed:

Projector, laptop, X-men video


open-ended questioning (X-men), predicting before concluding


graphic organizers


TimeLearning TaskMethod or Procedure
10Students are given a strand of DNA, and they must transcribe and translate this strand. Then, they must change one base on that strand, and transcribe and translate this new sequence. What do you notice?Bellwork
4Discuss bellworkclass discussion
3Explain the different types of DNA mutationsNotes
4Predict the consequences of different DNA mutations on the amino acid sequence. If you substitute a DNA base pair, will the amino acid always have the same change?Brainstorm
20Explain how the mutations in DNA result in different amino acid mutations. Use a graphic organizer showing the original DNA strand, the DNA mutation, the RNA strand, and the Amino Acid strandGraphic organizer, questioning
2Is a DNA mutation ALWAYS bad?Exit card
Day 2
3BW: Do you think it is possible to create X-Men from mutations? (Show video clip of X-men that describes how they were the result of "mutations")Bellwork
4Discuss BW: begin to focus on the idea of how mutations may or may not effect an organism, and the extent to which they may cause change in the phenotype of the organism.Discussion
45Transcription, translation, and mutations worksheet. Students will be given DNA sequences to transcribe and translate. Then, they will make DNA mutations and analyze the effect of these mutations on the amino acid strands.Pair-work
HWHW: Study for quiz on transcription, translation, and mutations
Day 3
5BW: Review for quiz, finish going over the pair-work from yesterdayBellwork
40QuizIndependent & Individual
7Answer questions from the quizClass discussion

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