with Leigh Ann Yoder
Optional Review Session
This week's optional review session was slightly different from the past, as the students worked through a variety of more complex problems. Students are working on understanding inheritance methods including: dominant alleles, recessive alleles, codominance, multiple alleles, and recessive sex-linked alleles. They are also learning about several genetic disorders and the complex genetic treatments available. We did not spend as much time on vocabulary terms, and I suggested to those students taking the test that they work independently to learn the vocabulary. Optional Chapter 4 tests are due back next class.
Advances in Genetics
It seems all of the students are highly interested in this area of our studies. It is fascinating to explore inbreeding, hybridization, cloning, genetic engineering and gene therapy. Some of the highlights of our discussions were on how bacteria are used in the genetic engineering of insulin and how modified viruses are being inserted directly into human bodies to treat cystic fibrosis. Although these are very complex topics, the students all have a strong grasp of them due to their hard work learning about cells, DNA, RNA, and protein synthesis. It is amazing to see all of their knowledge culminate in such an exciting way. I urge you to discuss these topics with your students. I believe you will be quite impressed!
The House of Scorpion by Nancy Farmer
I mentioned to the students this great science fiction novel that addresses the issue of human cloning. Many seemed interested in reading it this summer. I did warn them that they should discuss with their parents as there are some graphic scenes in the novel which could be upsetting to certain students. However, it is also a great novel to read alongside your teen as it opens the pathway to many discussions. For older and/or more advanced students I would also recommend The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. There is a study guide available for this book that is appropriate for homeschool use.
LAB - How are Genes on Sex Chromosomes Inherited?
This lab focused on the sex-linked genetic disorders hemophilia and colorblindness. First students used coin flips to collect experimental data for a variety of scenarios. As a class we did an analysis. Next, students were given the opportunity to lead the class in several critical thinking applications. The focus was to use Punnett Squares and/or Pedigrees to determine the probability that a sex-linked trait would be passed down to a child based on family history. These activities simulated genetic counseling. We ran out of time, so the students are to complete the lab at home.
Complete the lab 'How are Genes on Sex Chromosomes Inherited?'
Read 5.1 and complete the study guide
Read 5.2 and complete the study guide
Project: Decide what information you will present and how you will present it (trifold board or presentation software)
Take the Chapter 4 Test