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 and translate a gene, and describe the effects of mutations on this gene.


Lesson Objective:

SWBAT analyze the effect of a DNA mutation in the MLH1 gene on the susceptibility of a patient for colon cancer.


Lesson Assessment:

Performance assessment


Benchmark or Standards:

B.1.7 Explain that complex interactions among the different kinds of molecules in the cell cause distinct cycles of activities, such as growth and division. Note that cell behavior can also be affected by molecules from other parts of the organism, such as hormones.
B.1.8 Explain that cellular differentiation results from gene expression and/or environmental influence.
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:

Guided reading questions, computers, internet access, graphic organizer



TimeLearning TaskMethod or Procedure
3BW: Recall our work last unit with cancer. What is cancer? How does it affect the cell cycle? What were some of the genes that were involved?Bellwork
45Intro to MLH1 and HNPCC: define tumor-suppressor and oncogenes, mismatch repair proteins, the MLH1 gene and what it codes for, what is HNPCC, how people are diagnosed with HNPCC, the genes thought to be involved with HNPCC, the potential relationship between HNPCC and MLH1, etcPair work on guided reading and questions, Lecture for supplementary material not in the reading
4What is our goal for this experiment? To determine the extent to which mutations in the MLH1 gene may cause cancer.Notes and questioning
Day 2  
50Students will go to the computer lab and use on-line transcription and translation tools to determine the exact DNA and any subsequent amino acid mutations for patients with HNPCC. The students are given the DNA sequence in a file, and they must analyze the sequence using the on-line tools.Computer lab
Day 3  
10Summarize the results. Each group reveals the mutation of their patient (both the DNA and any subsequent AA mutations), and students fill out a chart showing the results.Graphic organizer
5Results Analysis. Students will begin to draw conclusions based off of these resultsPair work
10Results Analysis. Students will begin to draw conclusions based off of these resultsClass Discussion
10Description of the paper requirementsLecture with Handout
20Work on independent paperComputer Lab


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