Reflection: Student Ownership DNA Analysis - Section 2: Explore


Most of the time, a science lab is already written out with the materials and procedures that students need to follow. For this lab, I have decided to try something different. Because the students have a choice of three different activities to complete, it would be really hard to write out the procedures for all three labs and make it easy for the students to follow and understand. Plus, it is a lot of work for the teacher! 

So this time, I decided to let the students watch instructional videos, and write out their own materials and procedures. Not only will it force them to really pay attention to the procedures in the video, but it also integrates writing across the curriculum. I think this is a great way to integrate technical writing into the science curriculum, as it lends itself easily to this process.

It could happen that students will disagree on the steps or materials that are needed. That is not very different from when they're following the procedure that's already written for them, because students will always have different ideas on how to perform an experiment. When this happens, I have the students work together to come up with a procedure that they can all feel comfortable with. If they cannot agree, I allow them to try to different methods and compare the results. Isn't that what science is all about?!

Also, I do allow the students to refer back to the videos anytime they feel is necessary, but if they do, I require them to make any changes on their lab guide before moving onto the next step.

  Students Design the Lab
  Student Ownership: Students Design the Lab
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DNA Analysis

Unit 5: Forensics
Lesson 10 of 15

Objective: SWBAT extract DNA from a variety of materials to explain how DNA is extracted to be used in forensic science.

Big Idea: Forensic investigators rely on DNA to provide the most accurate evidence to help solve crimes. But what is DNA how do they collect it? We learn all about it in this lesson.

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