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 construct a complementary strand of DNA given a template, and describe the molecules involved.


Lesson Objective:

SWBAT articulate how PCR mimics DNA replication to create multiple copies of a gene.


Lesson Assessment:

PCR concept check


Benchmark or Standards:

B.1.21 Understand and explain that the information passed from parents to offspring is transmitted by means of genes which are coded in DNA molecules.


Materials Needed:

TV, VCR, Jurassic Park movie, PCR concept check paper, computers w/ internet



TimeLearning TaskMethod or Procedure
3BW: How are dinosaurs created in Jurassic Park?Bellwork
15Watch Clips from Jurassic Park that explain how the dinosaurs are createdVideo and discussion
30Reading about the steps of PCR and its role in creating dinosaurs in Jurassic Park, emphasizing the role of the replication machinery.Reading and guided questions
2Why is PCR impossible without Taq polymerase?Exit card
Day 2  
3BW: What are some of the implications of PCR for genetic research?Bellwork
4Discuss bellworkClass discussion
20Students complete an interactive simulation of PCR on the computers, and they can see how the copies double after every cycle and it requires students add the proper components at the proper times.Lab simulation using computers (The actual lab itself is prefered, but our lab was inoperable at the time).
10Analyze how PCR mimics DNA replication. What is similar and different between the two?Brainstorm, notes
15PCR concept checkIndividual and independent work on assessment


Changes for Next Time:

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