Students have been studying Human Genetics throughout this unit and focused their attention on blood typing in the previous lesson. To reinforce the blood typing curriculum, students will combine their scientific understanding of genetics and their legal defense skills to determine paternity based on blood typing using the Case of the Suspected Father Handout.
This is activity brought out the feisty nature of a few of the students as they have watched way too many daytime talk shows that argue paternity cases among individuals with very colorful personalities. The students enjoyed applying their genetics knowledge to a real world scenario. I encourage you to frame this activity as a daytime talk show. My students had a great time imaging these scenarios and it brought comic relief to our otherwise hectic curriculum pace!
The video clip below shows this anticipatory activity in action:
Students are more accustomed to utilizing a KWL Chart as an introductory activity at the beginning of a new unit of study. This lesson will implement the KWL strategy as a concluding lesson for the Human Genetics Unit, but can be adapted to be a concluding lesson for any unit of study.
Students are instructed to get out a sheet of paper and fold it into 1/3's. Students will label their paper in the following manner:
First Column: What Do I Know (K)?
Second Column: What Do I Want (W) To Learn?
Third Column: What Did I Learn (L)?
The video clip captures the direct instruction to explain and implement the KWL strategy to the students:
Step #1: What Do You KNOW?: Students will use this independent activity to review what they KNOW about human genetics. For this first portion of the KWL activity, students are asked not to use their notes or their textbook at this time and rely solely on their memory and mastery of the content. This portion of the lesson is designed to be an authentic self-assessment for students as they prepare for their exam.
Step #2: What Do You WANT to Know?: Students will dive into their textbooks to explore details that support the hands-on, inquiry activities that were part of the Genetics Unit. As students flip through their textbook and read the details of the content, they need to record concepts, definitions, or facts that they would WANT to know for the upcoming assessment. I do not usually use the textbook as a resource during my day-to-day instruction because I want the students to be active participants in hands-on, inquiry activities. Students are encouraged to read the textbook at home as a reinforcing voice to the daily lessons and a resource to clarify questions from the lesson.
Please move to the next section for Step #3: What Have You LEARNED?
Student Work to Complete KWL 1 - Students were engaged in this activity knowing they have an impending assessment and were excited to use the KWL Chart as a tool to organize their test preparation.
Using The Textbook To Complete KWL - Since students are not accustomed to working out of the textbook, the change of pace was a welcomed activity for most students.
KWL Student Work Samples - Each student's KWL chart contained different facts, questions, or reflections but the common theme was that each student was engaged in their personal learning process and grew from the experience. The KWL chart as a student review is a valuable reflective tool that reinforces the curriculum while identifying areas of necessary growth. The students enjoyed this activity and I will replicate this strategy in future lessons.
Before students can fill out Step #3: What Did You LEARN?, the class will participate in a whole-group discussion to explain concepts that were identified as part of Step 2: What Do you WANT To Know? Student volunteers are encouraged to ask their clarifying topics in an effort to inform the whole class.
After an in-depth group discussion, students are ready to complete the third and final column of their KWL Chart. As students complete their KWL Chart, they are able to work with their partner to identify facts, topics, or concepts that they have learned through today's review session. This collaborative session is intended to build confidence around the genetics curriculum with the impending unit assessment.
Another adaptation of this strategy is for students to share their KWL charts in small groups in an effort to inspire and inform their peers about what they have learned through this activity.
By the conclusion of the lesson, students should have a completed KWL Chart that emphasizes the most important concepts in our unit of study. Students are encouraged to review the KWL Chart as a review for the assessment. Students will also complete the Ch 11 Study Guide in preparation of the unit test. The Ch 11 Study Guide - KEY has been included for your reference.
As a final activity, students will turn to their partner and share the following: