Reflection: Modeling The Central Dogma (#3 of 6): DNA Telephone Game - Section 3: Instructional Input/Student Activities


The more tangible (think "hands on") I can make instruction the better. For this reason, I wanted to meld the often played Telephone Game with the lesser known process of transcription and translation. By having students role play this process, they must take an active role. The concept of "ratio" describes the amount of cognitive work done by both the students and teacher in class. In this case, the student "ratio" is well over 50%. Once I explain the process and deliver the needed direction cards to students, they are fully on the hot seat!

DNA Telephone #1: This photo shows Victor (on the left) playing the role of mRNA explaining to Christian ("rRNA") what his task is to do.

DNA Telephone #2: This photo shows Morgan (tRNA) acting out the original message (originating from DNA). It can be observed that the arm color is wrong (red when it should have been green). This was a case when the DNA told the wrong message (AKA mutated the code that then changed the outcome (protein chain = drawing).

DNA Telephone #3: This photo shows three students role playing the mRNA (Aydan near the screen), rRNA (Orion sharing the message), and tRNA (Jeff listening to his instructions awaiting his turn to act it out).

  Modeling: The Central Dogma: Act it Out!
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The Central Dogma (#3 of 6): DNA Telephone Game

Unit 3: 4) DNA & RNA ("Instructions for Life")
Lesson 6 of 10

Objective: Systems of specialized cells within organisms help them perform the essential functions of life. (HS-LS1-1) All cells contain genetic information in the form of DNA molecules. Genes are regions in the DNA that contain the instructions that code for the formation of proteins, which carry out most of the work of cells. (HS-LS1-1 & HS-LS3-1)

Big Idea: The structure of DNA is a double helix. Its shape explains how hereditary information is stored and passed along to offspring.

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