Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

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Life Science: About the Course

Teacher-Talk Life

[Channel-talklife] Essential Science for Teachers:Life Science Posting

From: Joanne Roberts <joannemroberts@msn.com>
Date: Sun Oct 09 2005 - 17:44:13 EDT
X-Mailer: MSN 9

Here is my response to the question:

Guided Channel-TalkLife Posting

Animal life cycles-and, more generally, reproduction-can be understood at different levels (e.g., populations, organisms, cells, organic molecules). In the video, you were encouraged to explore this topic by considering the role of DNA-an organic molecule. DNA isn't something with which K-6 students are likely to have had any direct experience (the Kiwi fruit extraction can help here). However, many children use DNA in their vocabulary, and some know it has something to do with heredity. How might an understanding of DNA be incorporated into a unit about animal life cycles in a meaningful way at the K-6 level? Is this possible? Why or why not? State your position on this along with any suggestions for other teachers in your Channel-TalkLife posting for this session.

I teach third grade and recently completed the classification of living, nonliving, and dead objects with my students. Although I did mention that living things reproduce and need to pass on the traits that helped them to survive to their offspring I did not discuss DNA because I have found that early in the year students have difficulty understanding things that are on a microscopic level. I did not think it was important that they could use the term DNA in third grade but I did want them to make connections to the fact that living things reproduce and through reproduction they pass on both positive and sometimes detrimental traits to their offspring. I used the example of a bright pink snake with yellow spots in the green, green grass who happens to be sunning itself next to a sibling who is dark green. Which one will the bird spot? Which one will survive and reproduce?

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Received on Sun Oct 9 20:25:32 2005



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